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Improving my Vienna

So I posted this is my other thread about my comp score but that appears to have been buried. Just looking for some advice on improving my Vienna.

Here is the scoresheet:
http://kotm-lmhba.us/scoresheets/015.pdf

Looks like the overall consensus was it was a little too “carmelly” or sweet which I agree with. It does have a hint of caramel flavor to it though not sure what’s causing that.

The FG was 1.011 so pretty sure it’s not an attenuation issue. Possibly some caramelzation in the kettle? Maybe bump up the Pilsner and lower the Vienna a little? Wondering if i use 830 next time instead of 820 that might make a difference.

IBU’s were a little on the high side for the style so maybe tone them down a bit.

Recipe was:

Vienna malt - 47% (5 lbs)
Pilsner malt - 28% (3 lbs)
Munich malt (9 SRM) - 23% (2.5 lbs)
Carafa II - 2% (0.2 lbs)
1.5 oz Hallertauer @ 60
0.5 oz Hallertauer @ 10
WLP820 Oktoberfest/Marzen lager yeast

Fermented at 50deg for 10 days, raised to 60deg for 2 days. racked to secondary and lagered a month.

How old was your beer before it went to competition? Was the beer still a little young?

It was about 8 weeks after brew date so I would say no it definitely was not young. I checked the calendar and it lagered for a month not 3 weeks. Edited the original post.

I’ve said many times, and I’ll say it again… WLP820 is a crap yeast and should not be sold.

Use a different yeast next time, and I can guarantee you’ll get better results. Simple as that.

What don’t you like about 820? The flavor profile? It seemed to attenuate well (almost 80%).

[quote=“mattnaik”]So I posted this is my other thread about my comp score but that appears to have been buried. Just looking for some advice on improving my Vienna.

Here is the scoresheet:
http://kotm-lmhba.us/scoresheets/015.pdf

Looks like the overall consensus was it was a little too “carmelly” or sweet which I agree with. It does have a hint of caramel flavor to it though not sure what’s causing that.

The FG was 1.011 so pretty sure it’s not an attenuation issue. Possibly some caramelzation in the kettle? Maybe bump up the Pilsner and lower the Vienna a little? Wondering if i use 830 next time instead of 820 that might make a difference.

IBU’s were a little on the high side for the style so maybe tone them down a bit.

Recipe was:

Vienna malt - 47% (5 lbs)
Pilsner malt - 28% (3 lbs)
Munich malt (9 SRM) - 23% (2.5 lbs)
Carafa II - 2% (0.2 lbs)
1.5 oz Hallertauer @ 60
0.5 oz Hallertauer @ 10
WLP820 Oktoberfest/Marzen lager yeast

Fermented at 50deg for 10 days, raised to 60deg for 2 days. racked to secondary and lagered a month.[/quote]

Agree with Dave about using another yeast. I’m not as vehement in my dislike of the strain as dmtaylo2 but it’s not what I’d use for a Vienna. I like the WLP940 Mexican if you are going with White Labs. It makes an excellent Vienna. The WLP802, 830, and 838 are good.

As for the recipe I’d simplify: Get rid of the Munich. Vienna malt is the way to go here. Replace the Munich with Vienna, you can even go 95-100% Vienna. You did not post your mash schedule. Do not use a flabby, American ale mash in the mid 150s. Keep it low, 148-150F and a decoction is nice if you’re up to it.

I mashed at 148. Single infusion.

Do you think the Munich might be the source of the caramel-like flavor? It was my first time using Munich in a brew. Brand was Avangard

Very slow to start, inferior flavor profile for a German lager yeast, generally a poor attenuator (although I see that you happened to get lucky). Consider the fact that every other German lager yeast on the market is all-around better than the 820, and the conclusion is simple.

The caramel flavor might be from the 820, or it might be from the Munich. I’ve never used that brand. Could also be from some aspect of your process, e.g., if you had decocted and boiled the snot out of it (although again I see that you didn’t). Too hard to tell from here without tasting the beer for meself.

Try the dry W34/70, that is an awesome yeast.

Maybe I’ll give 34/70 a try next time. I’ve heard great things about the yeast. Do you think 2 packs into a 1.050 wort would be a sufficient cell count? I hit the original with pure oxygen through a diffusion stone for 90 seconds before pitching. Brewers friend is showing 4 packets to meet sufficient pitch count which seems excessive.

Mr Malty shows 2 11.5g packets to be ok. I recently pitched 2 of the 34/70 into a 50 degree wort. It took 4 days to show activity. I am not sure if I rehydrated correctly. I think next time I am going to use the 2124 Bohemian wyeast and do a gallon starter.

Sounds like 3 packs for the win.

I think I might give it a go with something like this:

Vienna malt - 66% (6 lbs)
Pilsner malt - 32% (3 lbs)
Carafa II - 2% (0.2 lbs)
1.2 oz Hallertauer @ 60
0.5 oz Hallertauer @ 10
Yeast: 34/70

The idea is to dry it out and hopefully reduce some of the caramel flavor and also reduce the bitterness a bit. I’ll use the same mash/ferment/lager schedule as my previous attempt.

What size batch? I pitched one pack directly into a three gallon batch of pilsner at 1.049 and it was going the next morning; ended at 1.007 and tastes great (I don’t care if it’s less filling or not).

What size batch? I pitched one pack directly into a three gallon batch of pilsner at 1.049 and it was going the next morning; ended at 1.007 and tastes great (I don’t care if it’s less filling or not).[/quote]

It was a 5 gallon batch. I didn’t rehydrate the proper amount of time or the yeast was old. Not sure. Its a great yeast though. I used the slurry on my next two batches and it really took off.

[quote=“mattnaik”]I mashed at 148. Single infusion.

Do you think the Munich might be the source of the caramel-like flavor? It was my first time using Munich in a brew. Brand was Avangard[/quote]
I’ve not used that brand, but I think that a German Light Munich (~7L) would be more appropriate to the style than a Dark Munich, like that. The choice of keeping or dropping the Munich Malt may depend on if you want to make a European Vienna Lager or a Mexican Vienna Lager. I’d leave the Munich out of the Mexican version.

[quote=“Slothrob”][quote=“mattnaik”]I mashed at 148. Single infusion.

Do you think the Munich might be the source of the caramel-like flavor? It was my first time using Munich in a brew. Brand was Avangard[/quote]
I’ve not used that brand, but I think that a German Light Munich (~7L) would be more appropriate to the style than a Dark Munich, like that. The choice of keeping or dropping the Munich Malt may depend on if you want to make a European Vienna Lager or a Mexican Vienna Lager. I’d leave the Munich out of the Mexican version.[/quote]

I was looking for a more European Vienna. All of the German Munich’s I’ve seen are 8-10L. The only light one I can find is Dingemans which is technically Belgian. Not that I mind if the beer tastes good just curious if there is much of a taste difference between a German and a Belgian Munich and if it would taste out of place.

I usually add a half pound to a pound of Munich in my pale ales and I always get a lot of caramel notes from it. I’ve used avangard pilsner malt before but not Munich. In fact I did several small batch experiments last summer on some pale ales and used Munich exclusively for color and flavor in addition to base malt. IMO, it should be used lightly. BTW it was light Munich and the brand was weyermann.

Maybe I’ll try it without the Munich altogether and see how that turns out and if I feel it needs the richness added back in ill bump it up to 0.75-1 lb.

[quote=“mattnaik”][quote=“Slothrob”][quote=“mattnaik”]I mashed at 148. Single infusion.

Do you think the Munich might be the source of the caramel-like flavor? It was my first time using Munich in a brew. Brand was Avangard[/quote]
I’ve not used that brand, but I think that a German Light Munich (~7L) would be more appropriate to the style than a Dark Munich, like that. The choice of keeping or dropping the Munich Malt may depend on if you want to make a European Vienna Lager or a Mexican Vienna Lager. I’d leave the Munich out of the Mexican version.[/quote]

I was looking for a more European Vienna. All of the German Munich’s I’ve seen are 8-10L. The only light one I can find is Dingemans which is technically Belgian. Not that I mind if the beer tastes good just curious if there is much of a taste difference between a German and a Belgian Munich and if it would taste out of place.[/quote]
Weyermann Munich type I is around 6L. I’d say try a different yeast, for sure. A little munich in a vienna lager is common, if not warranted, in most cases, I think. WLP830 or 833 ought to do the trick. 833 really is a great yeast.

I agree with beersk, I’d go with the weyermann type 1 munich and wlp830. I have used both and have had nice results.

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