Causes for Slickness

Sat Apr 09, 2016 4:55 am

So I was tasting some of the "pilsner" I made a few weeks ago after putting it in the keg to age, and I noticed a fair amount of slickness in the mouthfeel for it. Generally, I would associate this with either oats or diacetyl. I didn't put any oats in there, and I gave it a 1 week diacetyl rest and did heated diacetyl tests and didn't get anything. I tried doing the heated test again, and I don't get any buttery/popcorn flavor or aroma, so I don't think it is diacetyl in there.

I have definitely encountered this when I have made oat heavy beers. This one had about 10% torrified wheat in it. Will the unmalted wheat give the same sort of slickness that you can get from unmalted oats? I don't think I have noticed this with unmalted barley in beers.

Also note, the beer is only just carbonated from the 5psi I put on it to keep positive pressure and it is unaged and unfined.

Recipe:

4.75lb pils
1.25lb munich light
1lb torrified wheat
0.5lb carapils
0.25lb caravienna

1oz Mt Hood @60
1oz Aurora Styrian @ 2
3oz Sliquid (pink) @ kegging

Wyeat 2124 Bohemian Lager
Pitch @45, ferment @48 to 75%, 55F to 90%, 60F to finish and d-rest for 5 days.

Any thoughts?

As a side note, the Aurora Styrian give a nice subtle spice and touch of citrus flavor which I think works pretty well.
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Re: Causes for Slickness

Sat Apr 09, 2016 6:57 am

A couple of things:

1) That's a pretty high ratio of non-base malts to base malts in this beer.
2) The whole point of torrified wheat is to produce that smoothing effect.
3) Bohemian Lager yeast produces diacetyl. Period. Just because you can't taste it, it doesn't mean its not there.
It is likely below perception level.
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Re: Causes for Slickness

Sat Apr 09, 2016 8:20 am

BDawg wrote:A couple of things:

1) That's a pretty high ratio of non-base malts to base malts in this beer.
2) The whole point of torrified wheat is to produce that smoothing effect.
3) Bohemian Lager yeast produces diacetyl. Period. Just because you can't taste it, it doesn't mean its not there.
It is likely below perception level.


Fair enough. I realize the base to other ratio is a bit low, but I was trying to get something that seemed like a bigger beer than it is. It clocks in around 3.8%, so I was trying a path that is more like the english base to other ratios for their small beers. I might have gone a little high on the wheat, but I'm hoping that when there is some carbonation in there to cut the slickness that it comes off more as substantial body rather than slickness.
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Re: Causes for Slickness

Sat Apr 09, 2016 10:49 am

Yes, increasing the carbonation should help a bit, but remember that the Ordinary Bitters and such of the world benefit from carbonation in the low end of the spectrum for the exact reasons you are experiencing. It's a fine balance.
Wheat has high protein content, so the full/slick mouthfeel is understandable.

I'd suggest you reduce the amount of torrified wheat next time, and keep dialing this in. Eventually you'll hit the sweet spot where its right where you want it.
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Re: Causes for Slickness

Sat Apr 09, 2016 11:05 am

Agreed with Bdawg. I was going to say that it is hard to make a judgement until the beer is fully carbonated properly. Then you will know if that slickness remains or if it turns into a "creaminess" which can be desirable in some lagers.

And I noticed that you pitched cold (45F) and fermented cold which is the best way to make clean, crisp lagers. While that process should produce very minimal amounts of diacetyl to begin with during the lag phase, you may want to consider performing your diacetyl rests at warmer temps. I run mine around 68F (at least 4-5 days, if not more) just to be sure it is warm enough to keep the yeast active and conditioning the beer. Just a thought for your next one.

I bet once you get it carbed up, it will taste great. And I too would lower that amount of wheat in there. You may not need any at all in your next go round. As I mentioned to you before, try swapping in a small percentage of German Carahell to add your body. No slickness with that malt whatsoever.
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Re: Causes for Slickness

Sat Apr 09, 2016 1:19 pm

Yeah, next time I was thinking I would go lower on the wheat and the munich, maybe cut each in half or so and then backfill it with pilsner malt. For this first whack at it, I just thought I would pick some numbers and go on from there. I tried to find information about using wheat in a pilsner and couldn't find anything beyond something Gordon Strong wrote about the first place winner's recipe for czech pale lager last year. I think it was in zymurgy, but I might be hallucinating that.

Edit: Nope, it was BYO's style article on Czech Lager.
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Re: Causes for Slickness

Sun Apr 10, 2016 2:38 pm

Yeah, wheat is not typically used in german lagers. Although I think it can add some malt complexity when used sparingly.
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Re: Causes for Slickness

Sun Apr 10, 2016 5:02 pm

brewinhard wrote:Yeah, wheat is not typically used in german lagers.


Sure, but I don't brew to style...I made a pilsner, but it was black!
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