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Germany Bayernbiere Bought and Drunk

Discussion in 'Europe' started by boddhitree, Dec 15, 2012.

  1. steveh

    steveh Oct 8, 2003 Illinois

    Uncarbonated? Probably not. Naturally carbonated? More than likely. That's what a Krausen does, adds more sugars to the beer to liven the yeast and create carbonation. It's like home-brewing on a large scale.
  2. spartan1979

    spartan1979 Dec 29, 2005 Missouri

    I was going off of this.
  3. seanyfo

    seanyfo Jan 2, 2006 United Kingdom (Scotland)

    Tonight was the turn of another of the biers i ordered from Web-Bier.de. Im sure we've all had it many times before but ill post my thoughts on this rainy (or as we like to say in Scotland - dreich!) evening.

    Andechs Vollbier Hell

    Appearance - Golden body with excellent retention. White creamy head withered and died pretty quickly with minimal lacing, a feature ive noticed in all the Andechs lagerbiers

    Aroma - Grainy, some biscuity sweet malt with a background hint of DMS

    Taste - Mirrors the aroma pretty well. Grain with biscuity malt sweetness with a touch of hop bite in the lager clean finish. There is just no oomph though! Its very subtle!

    Mouthfeel - Pretty spot on, delicate but the carbonation is high enough for it to be refreshing.

    I know Andechs gets a lot of praise but apart from the Doppelbock Dunkel, their biers always leave me a bit underwhelmed. I could certainly say its a sueffig bier but there is just no distinctive character. Not worth the trek from the Herrsching S-Bahn for me!


    Another obsession for me is bread baking and this certainly went well with the vintage Gouda and Mehrkornbrot i baked earlier![​IMG]

    Schlaf gut!
    boddhitree and einhorn like this.
  4. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    Take note of: “as the bung was traditionally left out of the cask during aging.”

    So, if you were to drink a Kellerbier out of a cask that has a ‘missing’ bung then you can indeed expect for that beer to be lowly carbonated. I personally have not travelled to Franconia (I haven’t won the lottery yet) so I have absolutely no idea what your probability of obtaining a Kellerbier from an unbunged cask will be.

    I have had Mahr's Ungespundet-hefetrüb multiple times on cask in the US but all of those occasions the cask had a bung and the beer was carbonated. I have also had other German Kellerbiers bottles (including Mahr's Ungespundet-hefetrüb but other from other German breweries as well) and those bottled Kellerbiers were carbonated.

  5. herrburgess

    herrburgess Nov 4, 2009 South Carolina
    Beer Trader

    Ungespundet means "unbunged" in German. The beer undergoes primary and secondary fermentation without a Spundapparat (bunging device) on the tanks. The (much-maligned) Reinheitsgebot stipulates that no artificial CO2 can be used to carbonate German beers, so they are instead naturally carbonated during primary/secondary (or captured, natural CO2 is added later). It's a way of getting that certain mouthfeel that you find only in authentic German beers. Has nothing to do with the serving vessel.

    That said, there will be definite -- if relatively light -- carbonation in all Franconian Kellerbiers. Some will be very low (Hoenig Kellerbier), some can be much higher (St. Georgenbrau). At times the bottled version will be fizzier due to the beer being unfiltered and having yeast in suspension, much like a bottle-conditioned beer, and the same beer on cask will be much less fizzy. A Kellerbier on tap will be different from one on cask. Etc. etc. etc.

    Again, there is SO much variation from village to village, brewery to brewery, beer to beer, and serving method to serving method that the best advice I can give you is to explore, find your favorite(s), and settle in with the rest of the normal folk in a shady beer garden with 3-6 Seidla at a sitting. Prost!
  6. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    The serving casks of Mahr's Ungespundet-hefetrüb that I had beers from definitely had bungs in them. As to whether the primary and secondary fermentations at the brewery have bungs I will admit that I don’t know. I do know that the cask Mahr's Ungespundet-hefetrüb beers that I drank were carbonated.

    Whether a Kellerbier from a cask is carbonated or not carbonated is a function of the serving cask.

  7. herrburgess

    herrburgess Nov 4, 2009 South Carolina
    Beer Trader

    All casks that Mahr's serves from are bunged. The cask is tapped at the bottom, initial pressure relieved by opening the valve and dispensing some of the beer, and then the opening on the top is hammered into the cask to allow for air flow. However, as said, unbunged refers to the fermentation vessel, and not to the serving vessel. (Note the main bung in the middle, where the cask is filled.)

    If you do it in the wrong order, you get the following result (note, both openings in the cask were bunged):

    boddhitree and steveh like this.
  8. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    As regards to whether the beer you drink is carbonated or not carbonated is a function of the serving cask. As I stared in my previous posts all to the Mahr's Ungespundet-hefetrüb cask beers I have consumed have been carbonated since the serving cask was bunged.

    I would venture to say that if other breweries bung their serving casks then their Kellerbiers will also be carbonated. Whether all Franconian breweries utilize a bung in their serving casks is something that I do not know. I have no idea what is the norm for the delivery of beer from serving tanks/casks in Franconia.

  9. herrburgess

    herrburgess Nov 4, 2009 South Carolina
    Beer Trader

    I don't know what you're talking about. Can you explain further, please? Are you thinking that serving casks in Franconia are like serving casks in the UK? if so, this is simply not the case and is, in fact, 100% false.

    In Franconia, Kellerbiers are naturally carbonated during primary/secondary (unbunged, so the level of natural carbonation is quite low), put into the cask, and then bunged. They retain whatever carbonation was created during fermentation while in the cask until they are served. Sometimes they are Krausened to create more carbonation and then bunged.

    When Kellerbiers are served by cask, it is done by gravity and the kegs are not resealed. In the UK, the casks are bunged using shives with different levels of porosity, and the beer continues to develop over the course of a few days, typically.The beer is served by means of a beer engine/hand pump and not by gravity.

    Places like Schlenkerla and Mahr's dispense from the 50-liter kegs until it gets closer to closing time, at which point they bring out 20- or 10-liter kegs to ensure all the beer contained therein is consumed before the night is over; if it is and there is still demand, they will start serving bottles. When they are served by tap, naturally collected CO2 is added.

    All of the beer is carbonated, regardless of the serving vessel. What am I missing here?
    steveh and seanyfo like this.
  10. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    As I have stated previously:” I have no idea what is the norm for the delivery of beer from serving tanks/casks in Franconia.”

    I have been very clear about that.

  11. herrburgess

    herrburgess Nov 4, 2009 South Carolina
    Beer Trader

    The only thing I can think of that may remotely resemble the hypothetical you are offering up to the OP is in the case of Bottichbier. Here, people with their own personal cellars pick up the partially fermented beer from the breweries. The beer is pumped straight out of the (unbunged) primary fermenter after about 7-8 days into casks the people bring themselves. Again, the beer is immediately bunged. However, sometimes the people will take the bung out for a few days as the beer continues to finish up (and create additional CO2) in the keg. They do this because they typically purchase 5-6 kegs for personal consumption and don't want the kegs they will tap later to get overcarbonated. Still, the beers all retain carbonation and are all rebunged for serving. See an example in this (very cool) video (starts around the 5' 30" mark, but for the purposes of the OP's question/interest in Kellerbier, the entire 3-part series is indispensable).

  12. seanyfo

    seanyfo Jan 2, 2006 United Kingdom (Scotland)

    From 4:00 - soft/hard pegging

    JackHorzempa and herrburgess like this.
  13. steveh

    steveh Oct 8, 2003 Illinois

    Anything being quoted from Horst Dornbusch's work (such as the German Beer Institute) needs to be swallowed with a heavy grain of salt. There has been much debunking of his writings by many people who have researched farther and much deeper than Dornbusch's "personal observances."

    For instance, look at the page that is quoted: http://www.germanbeerinstitute.com/Kellerbier.html -- and it's written that "Kellerbier is served almost completely uncarbonated," yet look at the images provided of the beers -- do they appear uncarbonated? Hardly.

    Never had a beer in Germany that wasn't carbonated. I think the statement you are dwelling on is more akin to the one inexperienced beer drinkers make when they say English beer is flat. If it's not rolling with bubbles and champaign-like carbonation (like most macro beers here in the US), people tend to think it isn't carbonated.

    Natural carbonation is soft, smooth, creamy and easy-drinking.
  14. Stahlsturm

    Stahlsturm Mar 21, 2005 Germany

    SERIOUSLY ?!?! "Kell-uh-beer" ?????? Have these guys ever talked to someone who knows German ?
    herrburgess likes this.
  15. steveh

    steveh Oct 8, 2003 Illinois

  16. Stahlsturm

    Stahlsturm Mar 21, 2005 Germany

    Is he then... Surely, his pronounciation needs a wee bit of a brush up.
    steveh likes this.
  17. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    As a reminder to folks the discussion that I quoted previously on unfiltered lagers came from the homebrewtalk website (the Wiki on that website). Whether Horst Dornbusch was the source of the information that went into that Wiki I have absolutely no idea.

    It may be of interest to some to see what is written on the German Beer Institute website concerning the carbonation level of Kellerbier (see below). I want to be very clear that I personally in no way purport that the information below is accurate; I am only quoting it for completeness. Any person who has comments on what is quoted can send them to info@germanbeerinstitute.com

    Again, every Kellerbier that I have consumed (whether it be via cask, keg or bottle) has been carbonated.


    “Authentic Kellerbiers have very little effervescence, because they are typically served "ungespunded" (unbunged) meaning they are matured in wodden casks with the yeast still active, but with the bung ("Spund" in German) not tightened. As the yeast ferments the remaining sugars in the brew and converts these into additional carbon dioxide gas, the gas is allowed to escape through the bung hole ("Spundloch"). When tapped under just atmospheric pressure, a traditional Kellerbier is very yeast-turbid and has next to no head because of the lack of carbonation. It finishes very dry with both noticeable hop and malt notes in balance.”
  18. Domingo

    Domingo Apr 23, 2005 Colorado
    Subscriber Beer Trader

    Not to hijack this thread, but to take things back a few pages, I finally tried some Flensburger Pils. I brought one back and opened the bottle last night.
    Not sure if they used to be hoppy but aren't anymore, but this was a fresh bottle and I'd say the hops were dialed back. It was a good beer and I'd say the pilsner malt notes were quite nice, but the hops were hiding somewhere. It reminded me more of the ones in Munich more than say, Jever or Rothaus.
    I could drink a lot of it without a doubt, but I usually prefer helles to pils anyway.

    In terms of carbonation - all of the lagers I've ever had were at least mildly carbonated. Some were very much along the lines of "real ale" gravity carbonation, but I've never seen anyone using an hand pump or anything like that.
    Gutes_Bier and JackHorzempa like this.
  19. steveh

    steveh Oct 8, 2003 Illinois

    Horst Dornbusch is the German Beer Institute. Pretty sure we've reported that more than a few (dozen) times around here. Since the info quoted by Sparten above is near to identical to what's on the BI web site, I'd say Jack's source was re-sourcing, like it or not.
    herrburgess likes this.
  20. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    Thank you for reporting your impressions about Flensburger Pils. I found the part of “this was a fresh bottle and I'd say the hops were dialed back” to be very disappointing.:(

    It would appear that the only way to drink an authentic (where authentic = circa 1990) Northern German style Pilsner is to drink a US craft brewed Northern German style beer.

  21. seanyfo

    seanyfo Jan 2, 2006 United Kingdom (Scotland)

    Phew! After that Maerzen/Wiesn debate its time to get back to drinking...... I mean reviewing!

    Back up the hill i go with Andechs Weissbier Hell

    Best Before Dec 2013

    Appearance - Cloudy burnt orange with a creamy head producing average lacing/retention. Not a great start.

    Aroma - Banana notes with faint background biscuity sweetness.

    Taste - More clove coming through with a nice hint of sweet vanilla interplaying with biscuity malts in the finish.

    Mouthfeel - Medium/delicate carbonation but the body is a hair thin compared to Weihenstephan which for me is the benchmark

    A really nice balance of flavours while retaining a superb refreshing quality. Definitely sueffig!

    Gutes_Bier, einhorn and JackHorzempa like this.
  22. sergeantstogie

    sergeantstogie Nov 16, 2010 Washington

    OK Guys, I missed the day sueffig was defined. Lil help? This thread is too long to figure out which day I wasn't paying attention.
  23. seanyfo

    seanyfo Jan 2, 2006 United Kingdom (Scotland)

  24. sergeantstogie

    sergeantstogie Nov 16, 2010 Washington

    No way it's that simple! German words are always onions of complexity. I was guessing quaffable

    And thank you Sean.
    Gutes_Bier and steveh like this.
  25. seanyfo

    seanyfo Jan 2, 2006 United Kingdom (Scotland)

    Maybe its one of those indescribable words like gemuetlichkeit!

  26. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    According to the Bing online translator it means “drinkable”.

    I like that definition!

  27. einhorn

    einhorn Nov 3, 2005 California
    Beer Trader

    I would add the description "pleasantly quaffable".
  28. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    "pleasantly quaffable" Even better!

    Cheers to you sir!
    einhorn likes this.
  29. herrburgess

    herrburgess Nov 4, 2009 South Carolina
    Beer Trader

    If I had to accurately define/translate sueffig, I'd probably go with "moreish."
  30. boddhitree

    boddhitree Apr 13, 2008 Germany

    I have to say… this should've been in the Fernseh-Pils-a-thon thread. Flensburg isn't that hoppy and I think never really was to begin with. The best thing about Flensburg is that it managed to stay independent but somehow find distribution everywhere in German, and most important, find shelf space in major supermarkets in Germany.

    The beer was unheard of outside northern Germany until it was featured in the early 80s in the comic books "Werner," (totally hilarious, btw) whereby it reached a cult status among youth. For them, I'm happy they could translate this publicity into commercial success, but I still am not a fan of the beer, for it's more on the bland side. They've also branched out into brewing the ubiquitous Gold, Weizen and Kellerbier, neither of which I've had. The pic below is from the German Wikipedia page.

  31. boddhitree

    boddhitree Apr 13, 2008 Germany

    This is the post where süffig was defined first by me, right around Christmas, 2012, way back on page 1.
    Gutes_Bier likes this.
  32. Stahlsturm

    Stahlsturm Mar 21, 2005 Germany

    Is "Landbier" a style too ? :D
  33. boddhitree

    boddhitree Apr 13, 2008 Germany

    Aren't you supposed to be in a boring meeting, or something? Hahaha. Actually, you made a good point. Landbier is another way to say Kellerbier, or Zoigl, or whatever a brewer's marketing dept. comes up with. Exactly like Oktoberfest & Weis'n.
  34. Stahlsturm

    Stahlsturm Mar 21, 2005 Germany

    It's a long string of meetings and by now my brain is positively toasted...

    Thought so. I'm sure we'll soon see that one introduced as a seperate style as well. More styles = more winners in beer tastings. Let's inflate styles until everyone winns a bloody price, why don't we ? It works in schools (or does it ?) so why not with beer ?
  35. steveh

    steveh Oct 8, 2003 Illinois

    Love it -- I get to correct the "linguist" this time... Wiesn. I before E, except after... :D

    (just jokin' around!)
  36. danfue

    danfue Sep 16, 2012 Germany

    Found this yesterday. The Brotzeidseidla by Göller from the Unterfranken-region on the Main. A "Schankbier", meaning less original wort and less ABV in official German beer classification. This one has 4.3 % ABV. I found it to be a solid, yet ordinary Helles, good "grainy" aromas, somewhat bready, very lightly hopped, overall quite mild. Would have been a pretty good Helles if only it were a "Vollbier".

  37. Stahlsturm

    Stahlsturm Mar 21, 2005 Germany

    You're both wrong though... The proper spelling is "Wies'n".
    danfue likes this.
  38. Stahlsturm

    Stahlsturm Mar 21, 2005 Germany

    I've been to Zeil am Main and Göller makes a huge variety of beers (for a German brewery) of which that Brotzeitseidla is probably the least exciting. It's sort of in the name already, it's meant to be a quick session beer that you can wash your snack (= Brotzeit) down with and then continue to work.
    herrburgess likes this.
  39. steveh

    steveh Oct 8, 2003 Illinois

    You use your punctuation, I'll use mine. ;)
  40. Stahlsturm

    Stahlsturm Mar 21, 2005 Germany

    I use Bavarian punctuation :p
    The apostrophy in "Wies'n" indicates a missing letter that's there in German but missing in Bavarian dialect.
    steveh likes this.
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