German Pils Lager with Yeasty aftertaste

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by Empire Road Brewing, Aug 31, 2018.

  1. Empire Road Brewing

    Empire Road Brewing New Member

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    Hi
    I've primarily brewed ales, and Ive been challenging my brewing skills with lagers. They are challenging indeed.

    Although my lagers are clear and clean, there is a noticeable 'yeasty' after taste. I will outline the recipe and brewnotes and I hope I can get some pointers for a crisp clean Helles Pils.

    https://www.brewersfriend.com/homebrew/recipe/view/663919/helles-solo-pilnser

    The bottled beers have been approximately 8 weeks in the bottle and still have a noticeable yeast after taste.

    Any suggestions welcome
     
  2. HighVoltageMan!

    HighVoltageMan! Well-Known Member

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    #2 HighVoltageMan!, Aug 31, 2018
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2018
    I’m not sure what you mean by “yeasty”. Could it be describe as bready?

    It could be a fermentation problem, your pitch looks good, it fermented a little high, but not bad. WLP800 is a Czech yeast, which known to kick out diacytel (butter or buttered bread), it can stay in the beer even with a rest. It’s not uncommon for Czech Pils to have a little diacytel in them. BTW you have a lot of crystal malt in the recipe, most pilsners and Helles’ have very little or none. They rely on base malt for their character.

    If you want a Helles or German Pilsner, WLP830 is a better yeast. But it has draw backs as well, it gets fruity if fermented too high or with a lower pitch. Use a 1.75 pitch or higher and pitch at 7-8C (44-46F). Leave it there a few days fermenting and then slowly bring it up to 12C (53F). Leave it there for a few days (8-9 days total) then bring up to 16-17C (63-65F) for about a week, crash to 0C and lager it.

    When you get you lager fermentation’s down, you will produce a delicious beer that makes want to go through all that trouble again.

    One more thing, it’s important to aerate the wort of a lager with pure oxygen. Without it, the levels of oxygen will be too low and your yeast will struggle at that low of a temperature.
     
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  3. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Added to above: It's hard to beat Safale's 34/70 for a lager. It's clean and, for lager yeast, very forgiving.
     
  4. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    Going along with HighVoltageMan's thinking, it seems to me that your diacetyl rest temp is pretty low. I'd want to push it at least into the low 60s and make sure that it warms to that temp through and through for a good length of time (and personally, I tend to do it while there's still at least a couple of gravity points to go in fermentation).
    Since yeast flavors can be all over the place, it seems possible that what you're experiencing is a little diacetyl that can lend some cloying notes to the overall profile and make the low-level esters from an otherwise good fermentation take on a bigger role than they might otherwise do.
    Also, bottle conditioning may be allowing yeast sediment to flavor the beer a little. Be sure that it's held very cold for a while so that the yeast packs hard on the bottom and pour carefully.
     
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  5. Empire Road Brewing

    Empire Road Brewing New Member

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    thanks for the feedback guys!

    I will take this onboard, and try my next brew as a traditional pilsner grain bill, and yeast.

    I store my fermenter in a converted fridge with a temp controller, so should put it to good use with stepped temps for ferment and a higher diacetyl rest/crash.

    I haven't really tasted esters in beer enough to spot the flavours immediately: bready, slightly fruity may be a better description, its subtle but annoying, to detract from what could've been a great beer. I will keep you posted on how this next brew turns out.
     
  6. CRUNK

    CRUNK Well-Known Member

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    34/70 is unbeatable.

    And if you are interested in an authentic tasting german helles, check out my landschaft helles.
     
  7. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    To me, that describes low-level diacetyl. :D It just seems to get in the way of clean flavors. A consistent indicator of diacetyl is a slightly oily mouthfeel and bad head retention. If you have either of those, you may have a touch of it.
     
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  8. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    I'm thinking "yeasty" is indeed "bready." Yeast has a distinctive, not very pleasant flavor.
     
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  9. Hawkbox

    Hawkbox Well-Known Member

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    I've got a Munich Lager yeast from Wye Yeast that I think I will swap out with 34/70 as I have limited controls on my temperatures and everyone says good things about it.
     
  10. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    Both 34/70 and S-23 are good lager yeasts for slightly warmer fermentations. One thing to think about is that any yeast prefers a steady temperature, even if it's slightly warm. Big swings in temp will stress yeasts. Water bath in an air conditioned room will give a very passable lager with S-23 and, though I haven't used it that way, 34/70 will do the same according to some of my brewing friends.
     
  11. Hogarthe

    Hogarthe Well-Known Member

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    I find the cali common style lager yeasts work great for lagers when your temp control is less than perfect. Both white labs and wyeast have them, I've used both. I think mangrove jack makes a dry version now, but I haven't used it.
     
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  12. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    We did a split batch with WLP810 and I did a relatively uncontrolled ale fermentation (blue-ice packs in a defunct chest freezer) in the mid-60s range while my partner did a 55 degree controlled fermentation. Both beers were fantastic with the higher fermented beer having a really interesting clean, peppery bite that could only be attributable to yeast with the hops really popping nicely and the lower fermentation had a much smoother malt presentation. That yeast at higher temps would be awesome for a Czech Pils style beer. I definitely plan to try the dry version. ;)
     
  13. Empire Road Brewing

    Empire Road Brewing New Member

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    As an update, I brewed Crunk's Landschaft Helles lager, and have just bottled it, and it doesn't have any of the flaws I have described in this thread.

    I followed the recommendations, including a higher and extended diacetyl rest/crash. Great tips - thanks guys!
     
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  14. CRUNK

    CRUNK Well-Known Member

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    #14 CRUNK, Oct 3, 2018
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2018
    Enjoy the helles its a good solid beer, and thanks for the update, and for also plugging the Landschaft Helles.
     

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