Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Munich Day 2

Second day at Doemens today. We started off the morning working on hop calculations and talking about theories of recipe development. We discussed how you can set a target bitterness unit, and then say "I want x percentage of my bitterness from my first addition, y amount from my second, and z amount from my third" and then use algebra to calculate how much hops you need from each addition to get your target IBU and flavor.

Next, we discussed yeast propagation. It sounds like Doemens is very set in their method of propagation, and may even have a higher level of quality over Wyeast and White Labs. From what I understood, Doemens is more patient with propagation steps and is very gentle with the yeast. According to our professor, this allows for a little bit of leeway when fermenting a full batch of beer...   According to our professor, when yeast is handled very well, it can be advantageous to pitch less yeast than is typically recommended in order to get positive flavor contributions.

We then did back to back styles tasting courses. We tried a traditional English Porter, an English Pale Ale (both of which had brettonamyces), a Berliner Weisse, Duckstein, Frü Kölsch, and Altbier in our first session. Of these, the Berliner Weisse was by far my favorite. The porter and pale ale were my least favorite, but they felt overly bitter and spicy from the Brett. According to my friend Ky, from Cologne, the Kölsch was not a good example of the style, and he invited me to a Cologne bierfest here in Munich next week.

In our second session, we tried the German styles that are common today. Dunkel, dopplebock, Helles, Pils, Export Dunkel, and Schwarzbier. All of these were pretty good, but so much of the German beer tastes the same, I am already starting to miss how many options we have in America. To wrap up the day, we milled grain for a batch of beer to be brewed tomorrow.

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