Brewer in Germany


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Jul 13, 2012
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First, a big thanks to Larry for creating such a great site and making all the Tools free! I have been using the calculators and Recipe Builder for the past 6 months, and didn't even have to think twice about becoming a paid member so I could continue to keep track of my brewing. :)

My brewing background is pretty limited, and I would definitely still consider myself a complete n00b. I did a fair amount of kit brewing a few years back while living in New Zealand (partly in order to create unusual beers, and partly because it was cheaper than always buying beer at the supermarket), but had to put my brewing activities on hold for a while after moving to Germany.
Finally, at the end of last year, I had time to start up brewing again. Only this time, I have decided to go all grain!
My setup is very basic (25l. electric canner with steel braid in the bottom as a heated mash-tun, a 20l. pot on the kitchen stove for boiling the wort, and 2 plastic carboys as primary and 2ndary fermenters), but I am getting ~65% efficiency with only a single batch sparge and no stuck mashes, so I am fairly satisfied with it for now.
(I did actually have one stuck mash the very first time, but I did so many things wrong with that brew that it doesn't really count...)

I brew on average about once a month, and am working on a good "GPA" (german pale ale) recipe. Being in Germany, I can get great pilsners, black beers, wheat beers, bock beers, etc inexpensively and locally, but I am also a huge fan of properly hoppy IPAs/APAs. They are really hard and/or expensive to get here though. So, I have decided to try brewing my own. :cool:
Because of availability and cost, I am currently concentrating on using mostly German ingredients, with yeast being the one exception (using WLP007).

I am sure you will be seeing me posting up under Brewing Questions or Recipes with n00b-ish questions/comments.

Welcome to the site!

Yeah, it surprises me the Germans are not hop heads?

You may want to order hops in bulk (like 1 pound at a time). I would stock up on hops like cascade, amarillo, and simcoe to start with. This fall would be the best time to get fresh ingredients. There are a few places out of Washington that sell in bulk and hopefully the could ship you some.

This IPA of mine turned out pretty good: ... good-beer-

It is more floral than other IPAs, and very smooth and almost creamy from the crystal hops. I just had a Total Domination in Eugene yesterday (where Ninkasi is based), and this beer is a cousin at best, but still a good IPA.
Hey, thanks for the tips! "Smooth and creamy from the crystal hops" sounds right up my road!
I am still experimenting around with the newer german hop varieties (Perle, Saphir, Smaragd, Opal) for an IPA, but if they don't perform (or if I really get a hankering for a *proper* APA), I will definitely heed your recommendation of buying bulk american hops.
Btw, your recipe looks very tasty. :)

It would seem a bit strange that the germans aren't hop-heads, but the german beer market at the moment is dominated by two major (unfortunately not even mutually exclusive) driving factors, tradition and mass production. The traditional german beers are not particularly "hoppy", at most simply fairly bitter (e.g. Jever, before it turned into the mass produced liquid it is today). Anything mass produced is well...just that, mass produced for the widest market possible. In other words, tasteless.
There is a VERY small, but growing, micro brew movement here though. So, there is hope! :D
(as an example, I recently had a couple bottles of BraufactuM Progusta. Expensive, but worth it!)
Gabe, I have a pretty good "DAPA" (Deutsch-Amerikanisches Pale Ale) recipe, a base American Pale Ale I've done with both German noble hops and Polish Marynka and Lubelski. It works well, tastes nice but judges steeped in BJCP styles don't know what to do with it! Marynka can be replaced with Perle, Lubelski with Saaz and it makes a very good pale ale. I've shared the recipe under the name Polsko– Amerykanskie (Polish-American) Pale Ale. Dry-hop it with either Saaz, Hallertau or Tettnanger for a really spicy finish absolutely unlike an American Pale.

Viel Glueck beim Brauen,
Hi Steve,

thanks for sharing your recipe. Looks good, and fairly similar to what I am playing around with right now. I used Perle for aroma and dry hopping in my 2nd to last brew, and that turned out quite well. Perle seems to be quite a bit milder than Saphir or Smaragd though, so I will need to use more next time.
My attempt with Tettnanger is in the secondary right now.
Let me know how it comes out!