prep day

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A Dunkel to be: new crop year Mittelfruh, floor-malted Bohemian dark, yeast propagation, Wookiee co-pilot.

Will report with notes and results in a few weeks.

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18 thoughts on “prep day

  1. I recently kegged a Munich Dunkel fermented with WLP835, fermented at 48F with a 4 day rest at 65F. After an 8 week lager, this beer is my favorite lager I have brewed to date. I love this yeast!!!!

      • Four Day Rest? Nuts. Hey, I’m headed over to Munich and will do a little search for whatever strain locals might offer up to make a local Dunkel. I’m American living in Vienna, but I can offer up a trick from Bavaria from time to time. Perhaps I’ll have something to offer upon the completion of our host’s own Dunkel.

        • safale 34/70
          Weihenstephan Abby, now a technical college outside of Munich. I had their Weissbeir, no dunkels here but I’m told if you want to make your Munich dunkel, then you are likely using safeale 34/70 or something similar. Weihenstephan Abby are the 34/70 creators. I’m told that the local crafters use and twist this strain to their liking including Spaten Dunkel (kinda a big brewer).

          • I had read in multiple places that the Weihenstephan 34/70 strain = WLP830, and so was operating on the assumption that 835 was something else …

      • Just a precaution, part of my normal lager fermentation process. I haven’t found any off flavors from doing the d-rest so far, so I feel better safe than sorry.

        • I started doing a 2-4 day rest based on those asshats at the BN, who don’t necessarily agree on the lenght of time. As I pitch at 45 and let it rise to 48, I probably don’t have anything to worry about, but I do it anyway.

  2. A bit off topic, but I have a question about brewing with a high amount of pilsner malt. I am planning to brew a patersbier with 100% Belgian Pilsner malt. Yesterday, I see Mr. Beer Smith’s new podcast with Nathan Smith. Nathan was saying that to get rid of the high amount of DMS from the pilsner malt you need to do a longer than normal (i.e., 60-minute) boil. He recommends a 90-minute boil. My recipe calls for a 60-minute boil. Do you think I should try to pull a little extra wort from the mash and up the boil to 90 minutes?

    • Sure. I think that’s best practice, especially when brewing pale lagers that won’t hide flaws and/or using a brand or particular lot # of Pils malt that has a high level of DMS precursors (very low L rating, nitrogen on the high side, etc.).

      Having said that, I think for a style like a Belgian Tripel/Blonde/Single, where the base is Pils malt but the primary flavor components come from the yeast, a homebrewer has a little more leeway (especially if you’re just brewing for yourself and not for competition).

  3. Good to see(read) you brewing a Dunkel again 😉
    I like the Mittelfrüh, nice and spicy, did you use the Weyermann malt that is in the pictures?
    And…decoction? I almost know the answer to that question, but there it is anyways 😉

    Felix

    PS: I’ll brew a Dunkel this winter too, waiting for the right temperature in the cellar.

    • Weyermann – yes, it’s the heirloom floor-malted Bohemian dark malt. And actually, it was a step-mash because I was running low on time and propane on brew day!

  4. I just finished the primary fermentation on a Munich Dunkel last night. Cold lager ahead… Used WLP833 on this one. I simply love the yeast. Good on ya Dawson!
    I too just started growing up a pitchable culture of WLP835. I bought it months ago and it has been sitting idle in the fridge. I rediscovered the four vials I bought and figure I have about 10% still viable, ugh – multistep starter…
    I am thinking of pitching this on my annual doppelbock. Let me know how that one turns out. Chances are it won’t be in time for my brewday, but at least we can compare notes and shine the spotlight on this oddly mysterious yeast.

    PS – I will hammer at Chris as well, will see him next week and that is one of my “must know” items.

    Mike

    • Cool. I had to do a multi-step starter as well, but it’s chugging away now and throwing some nicely farty SO2 – similar to Wy2308 but less intense. I am also planning to reuse this for a doppelbock in a few weeks … notes will have to be traded!

      • Ah yes. I primarily use White Labs these days, almost exclusively. WLP838 is one strain that I will stray from WLP833 with, and only in my Marzen. The character that the yeast gives to that beer is wonderful. I will probably do a split batch of Helles Bock to compare, Followed by Doppelbock. Brewing with the seasons as I tend to do, this would be on point. And eventually a Marzen compare…
        We can probably do a little tasting/note swapping at NHC this year. Plenty of lagering time for all, could be very cool. In the meantime, let me know how it does in terms of flocculation, attenuation, etc. Very anxious to hear!

  5. Hey Dawson, whenever I’ve read about decoction mashing I hear that they were performed on moderately modified continental malts (a la Palmer’s How to Brew), but modern malting methods are much better at modifying starches, making at least the conversion aspect of decoction mashing unnecessary. Do you know if these heirloom malts qualify as less than perfectly modified, as is always mentioned when referring to decoction mashes, or is the floor malting process not what contributes less than perfect modification?

    • The analyses that I’ve seen for these malts from Weyermann, plus my own experience using them (limited so far for this Bohemian Dark, several batches for some of the others) suggest that their degree of modification is pretty on par for modern malts. My understanding is that the degree of modification isn’t exclusively determined by the method of malting. What you’ve read about decoction mashing jibes with everything I’ve read/heard through the years – as far as I know, it’s difficult to impossible to find a truly undermodified malt (although I suppose a big brewery could always order an entire lot to spec …), so decoction in this day and age is an aesthetic/tradition/color/flavor-driven decision.

  6. Pingback: TMBR: Schl. Wolfenstein Dunkel | the beer engine

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