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How to get that "grainy" taste?

I need to bounce my brewing issues off the forum. I cannot get that grainy, cerealish finish in any of my malty beers. Is there any particular ways to get it?

My last two batches were both lagers; the first was our own Ken Lenard’s home run red, the last was an oktoberfest with 5lbs pilsner, 5lbs light munich, 0.5lb crystal 40, and 0.25lb aromatic malt. Both batches used 34-70 and fermented at 52F for 3 weeks before a 30 day lagering at 38F. My water source is Milwaukee tap filtered first with a Brita for both the mash and sparge.

Any suggestions? Both beers were malty, but a little too smooth, and I feel that particular flavor would bring another dimension to these brews.

Pilsner malt and lots of it. I’ve only achieved that grainy flavor when I’m at least 80% pilsner malt. As you add other malts it tends to get covered up.

It would be hard to do an oktoberfest with 80% pilsner malt :frowning: any other options?

I would think that a # of biscuit may help, I know it does in my ales, but a lager I’m not sure.

I’m thinking this may be a water issue. Do you have access to a water report you could post?

The type of yeast and fermentation can have an impact on the grainy flavor.
My favorites are WL833 and WL830. With the correct cell count, ferment temp. and aeration these should give you a nice grainy malt profile from the Pils malt.

try using vienna or munich II instead or in conjunction with the munich.

I like roughly 1/3 pils, vienna and munich II in mine, 20 ibus fwh of hallertau mittlefruh and 833 yeast - yum!

Answering from my phone, so bear with the following.

I do not have any water report to post for you guys. I will get one at some point, but not in the next couple of months.

As far as yeast is conerned, I thought wlp830 and 34-70 were the “same” strain. But the red lager got 2 packs for a five gallon batch, and my oktoberfest used the yeast cake, so I doubt pitching rates are to blame here.

Agreed. But I don’t think I’ve ever had a grainy oktoberfest - they tend to be malty but not grainy. Or maybe I’m thinking of a different thing than you have in mind.

Blatz,not to get off the subject but are you saying you get all the ibus from fwh ?

Expand on this please. What aspect of water chemistry will contribute to or cover up a cereal grain taste?


Raising the mash pH can increase the potential to extract tannins from the grain. That might offer some graininess to the beer, but be careful. If you have been mashing at a relatively low pH of around 5.2 (which is usually desirable), you might bump that pH up a couple of tenths and see how that tastes.

Expand on this please. What aspect of water chemistry will contribute to or cover up a cereal grain taste?[/quote]

None that I can think of. Can you tell us a beer that has the flavor you;re going for? That would help to define exactly what it is.

I think I have tasted that grainy flavor in some beers. It an elusive flavor I really like but can’t achieve in my beers. Like a strong grainy bread . Not malt sweetness, not mouth fell.
I know I have tasted it in some very fresh commercial lagers but the next time I tried the same brand it was not there. Sorry I can’t be more specific but tastes are hard to decribe.

I think the last beer I had with that finish was Point three kings. Looks like it’s a kolsch. I remember Lienenkugels oktoberfest having that taste as well. Like DUNNGOOD said, it’s an elusive flavor, coming after you swallow and breath through your nostrils.

What brand munich are you using? I find I get a nice graininess from good munich malt in the medium color range (9-12L)

The munich was Briess 10* lovibond

Chit malt reportedly adds a grainy flavor.

Flaked barley is the same as Chit malt on steroids, if you are looking for graininess. I suggest using less than a half percent in the grist with a pale beer. It can be tasted!

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