From the HBD Archive
From: Dave Sheehy <dbs@hprnd>
Subject: Munich and Vienna Malts
Date: 1990-05-07 20:29:18 GMT

I've finally found the time to post this and it handily
fits into the discussion on Vienna and Munich malt.
A long while ago Pete Soper had this to say about Dave Miller's
Marzen recipe which uses vienna or munich malt:

>Date: Tue, 7 Nov 89 15:15:51 EST
>From: Pete Soper <>
>Subject: Re: recipes
> The Dave Miller book has some very reasonable mash recipes, but
>I would add two warnings. First, his hop bittering levels may come
>out a bit too bitter if you 1) very vigorously boil a very thin
>wort and 2) use very fresh pellet hops. For cases where the sweet
>wort gravity is low I cut back around 10% from his recommendations.
>Secondly, beginners should figure on getting 10-20% less extract
>efficiency than Miller, so the grain quantities need to be scaled
>up to adjust for this. Once you've made a batch or two you can
>then tweak this adjustment to a final value.
> Oh, one last thing. Don't try to replicate the (I think) Marzen
>beer recipe. I think this is the one. It is the one that calls for
>10 pounds of "homemade Vienna malt". Since the "homemade" process
>will denature all the malt enzymes there are none left to mash the
>grain for this recipe. I don't know what the story was supposed to
>be with this one.

I have made the Marzen recipe but with Munich malt and not homemade
Vienna malt. It worked quite well but took 2+ hours to convert since
while there are enzymes in Munich malt they aren't present in the
same quantities as regular pale malt. (Pardon while I drift from the
topic for a bit :-) I was trying to produce something similar to the
lagers that are served at the Weeping Radish in Durham N.C. Their lagers
very much emphasize the malt character with a much lower empahsis on
the hops. The brewmaster there would only tell me that it was a lager
when I asked him what type of beer it was (I guess he figured me for one
of the unwashed masses and wouldn't understand the detailed answer :-).
Anyway, when I got back home I searched through Miller's lager recipes
for a close match to I thought it might be and settled on the Marzen
recipe. It came out pretty close but I can vouch for Pete's comments
on hopping above. I used pelleted hops and a full boil and the beer
was more bitter than I expected it to be.

Let me address one more side issue before I return to the subject of malt.
Miller considers Marzen to be essentially the same as an Octoberfest. Now, I
entered my Marzen in my local beer club's competition (the GCBA in Sacramento)
in the Octoberfest category. One of the comments I got back was that the beer
was underhopped. Now, recall that above I stated that I thought that the beer
was overhopped for the Marzen style of beer (at least compared to the lager
that I was served at the Weeping Radish). Now all you beer judges out there,
fill me in. Is a Marzen the same as an Octoberfest? If not, would it be true
that an Octoberfest is hopped more than a Marzen? Please, I don't want to give
the impression that I'm bitching about the judging because I'm not. All the
other comments I got made sense but this one was completely opposite from what
I expected. Also, has anyone tried the lagers at the Weeping Radish and comment
on what style of lager it is and how typical it is for that category?

Back to malt. Munich malt is kilned off at some temp. over 200F (I don't
remember the exact number) and it stills has enzymes left in it. So what's the
story? Someone asked this question at the February meeting of the GCBA and this
is the answer they got. As the moisture content of the grain goes down (as it
is kilned) the enzymes become more stable. The more stable the enzymes are the
higher temp. they can stand before being denatured. From this point of view, I
can see how Miller's process for making Vienna malt can work and still retain
some enzyme potential. Still if I were making something out of homemade Vienna
malt I sure would like to have a couple pounds of crushed pale malt to throw in
if the mash refuses to convert! I haven't tried making my own Vienna malt yet
(I'm chicken) and I don't know if I will. I've seen Vienna malt listed in some
of the mail order catelogs so I'd rather buy Vienna malt made by somebody who
knew what they were doing rather than rely on my own shots in the dark.

Dave Sheehy

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