The best German malts

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by mrkrausman, Jul 7, 2015.

  1. mrkrausman

    mrkrausman New Member

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    Guys I am curious as to what name brand German malts are the freshest and offer the best character for a kölsch specifically. I had a judge at competition say that one of my beers tasted like it was made from old ingredients. I do crush my own just prior to mashing.
     
  2. Ozarks Mountain Brew

    Staff Member

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    German Pilsner (Weyermann) is really good, my LHBs cant keep it in stock very long
     
  3. GernBlanston

    GernBlanston New Member

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    One word of caution before you chase all over looking for ingredients.

    Sometimes judges don't know what they talking about.

    It is rather understandable. They are searching for a way to describe something they taste in that particular example in front of them, after tasting many similar, and some not so similar beers, at the same time. It could be that your ingredients were not very fresh. Or, it could be a number of other things completely unrelated to the freshness of German malts.
    The judge is doing the best he can with what he is working with, but sometimes they reach for whats not there.

    Take what they say as part of your feedback, and always with a grain of salt.
    When you taste the beer, do you get a "un fresh" taste? Do your friends and fellow brewers taste it?. Is it a taste you can find in just this example, or in all your beers? Or none?
    If you, or others can't taste it, then just brew with the best you can get, and RDWHAHB.
     
  4. jeffpn

    jeffpn Well-Known Member

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    I couldn't agree more. One of the reasons that I didn't join my local homebrew club is because of all of the experts in the club. One person would say something, another would tell you the first guy doesn't know what he's talking about, and so on. They would argue amongst themselves about everything. I even had one member tell me how I could have made a batch of coffee porter better when I didn't even bring in a bottle! I'm no expert at homebrewing, but I like what I make. My friends like it, too. This hobby seems to be full of people who love to share knowledge that they may or may not have. It can be very confusing knowing who is who.
     
  5. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Having been a judge, I couldn't agree with Gern more. You're tasting something and reaching for an explanation. Although I have to say I've never critiqued ingredients - my palate just isn't that sensitive.

    There are benefits to having a neutral party judge your beers. For one, we have no idea what you intended so something you did intentionally may not be obvious to us. And we, just like every human walking the planet, have blind spots in our taste perception. When I get the judges' score sheets I look them over, get out the beer they judged and see if I can pick up the same issues. If I can't, I may ask someone else, perhaps in the homebrew club, after checking the judge's qualifications. If it's someone new, they might just be on a witch hunt, finding diacetyl where only malt lurks, or mistaking amyl acetate for acetaldehyde. And there's some benefit to judging - my own beers are better for it and I always learn something.

    Homebrew clubs - ditto. I'm an active member of one (and Gern, we could use your expertise there as well!). We don't seem to get the hair splitting you mention so maybe we're lucky. We tend to be older, more technical brewers so that might be a factor as well. But because of your own blind spots, other opinions, particularly those who have no idea what you intended, are valuable. But as always, take them with a grain of salt. You may love the beer someone else spews. It's your beer, do what you like.

    Finally, to fresh malt. The test is simple: chew a few kernels. If it tastes old, stale, moldy or rancid, don't brew with it. If you see mold in the bin, leave the malt there. If it's discolored, don't buy it. Malt has a long shelf life as long as it's kept dry, easy in Colorado, perhaps more difficult here in Houston where it's 90% relative humidity. I've never had a problem I could trace to the Brew Hut's ingredients, doesn't mean there couldn't be one. And as always, use my opinion for comparison, actual results may vary. Good luck!
     
  6. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    And Jeff, couldn't agree more. You have to know the source of the information you get because there's so much disinformation out there (I call it brewing mythology). One source I can guarantee you can trust is Mr. Gern Blanston. I'm looking forward to drinking some of his beers on Thursday night (if you're in Aurora, CO, Thursday is Homebrewer's Night at the Brew Hut - bring a few bottles to share and join in). He and I may banter a bit but one thing I can guarantee - his brewing is rock solid.
     
  7. jeffpn

    jeffpn Well-Known Member

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    And how do I know I can trust you to say that? :p
     
  8. GernBlanston

    GernBlanston New Member

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    I can vouch for him. And if you question my bonafidies, see previous post from Nosybear.
     
  9. jeffpn

    jeffpn Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, but then why should I trust him? :D

    I'm thinking of a Billy Preston song now. Will It Go around In Circles??
     
  10. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    And thus begins the neverending story.
     

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