Pilsner dms

Discussion in 'Homebrewing' started by chavinparty, Nov 9, 2018.

  1. chavinparty

    chavinparty Initiate (122) Jan 4, 2015 New Hampshire

    so after my most recent batch using mostly pilsner I’ve decided I don’t like it. I always pick up dms after a 60 minute boil. I mentioned this today at my homebrew shop and was told that it was a rookie mistake and you have to do a 90 minute boil with pilsner malt. I think it’s just the batch of best malz I’ve been working through or maybe I didn’t boil hard enough does everyone do a 90 minute boil when using a lot of pilsner malt?
  2. TheBeerery

    TheBeerery Initiate (85) May 2, 2016 Minnesota

    Nope never. PH is another (often overlooked) variable to DMS. Personally I don't use Best because I get a sort of wet hay flavor no matter what.
    Prep8611 likes this.
  3. VikeMan

    VikeMan Meyvn (1,475) Jul 12, 2009 Pennsylvania

    I used to do 90 minute boils with pilsner, but not anymore. I think the 90 minute rule is/was a hangover from an era when malts were a little different. Haven't noticed any DMS in the finished beer. Haven't used Best Malz IIRC.
    corbmoster likes this.
  4. Prep8611

    Prep8611 Aspirant (254) Aug 22, 2014 New Jersey

    I routinely do 30 minute boils with all pilsner without any perceptible DMS.
    corbmoster likes this.
  5. EvenMoreJesus

    EvenMoreJesus Champion (886) Jun 8, 2017 Pennsylvania
    Premium Trader

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  6. pweis909

    pweis909 Poo-Bah (1,762) Aug 13, 2005 Wisconsin

    Are you confident that you are tasting dms? Just asking because I have never noticed it myself in a finished beer. Where I think I have noticed it is in starter wort that I have canned with a pressure canner. Or it could have been something else entirely that I was smelling.
    Prep8611 likes this.
  7. VikeMan

    VikeMan Meyvn (1,475) Jul 12, 2009 Pennsylvania

    Ever had Rolling Rock back in the day?
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  8. Prep8611

    Prep8611 Aspirant (254) Aug 22, 2014 New Jersey

    I’d say that “dms cooked corn flavor” is more due to the actual corn in rolling rock than dms from pilsner. I understand the taste is similiar.
    GreenKrusty101 likes this.
  9. VikeMan

    VikeMan Meyvn (1,475) Jul 12, 2009 Pennsylvania

    They are similar. But RR was well known for having above threshold DMS levels.
  10. pweis909

    pweis909 Poo-Bah (1,762) Aug 13, 2005 Wisconsin

    I haven't had a Rolling Rock since 1992. I had no awareness of beer off flavors at that time. If I were to get one now, would I be able to pick up on it?
  11. wasatchback

    wasatchback Aspirant (283) Jan 12, 2014 Utah

    I have to boil for 90+ but I live at 7000 feet. DMS is blatantly corn when it’s bad but I think it can present itself as other aromas as well that aren’t corn.
    riptorn likes this.
  12. VikeMan

    VikeMan Meyvn (1,475) Jul 12, 2009 Pennsylvania

    Good question. The brand is owned by InBev these days and no longer brewed in Latrobe. I don't know what changes have been made along the way. I think my last Rolling Rock was in the mid to late 80s. I really hated that beer.
    GormBrewhouse likes this.
  13. minderbender

    minderbender Initiate (196) Jan 18, 2009 New York

    I can't remember where I read it, but I remember reading that after the acquisition of Rolling Rock (or Latrobe or whatever) by InBev, an InBev brewer was asked whether they would slowly reduce the DMS or what, and his response was something like, "No, we will learn to brew with flaws." In other words, the DMS is here to stay. [Oh here's a link to what I was referring to.]

    But I also haven't had a Rolling Rock in years, so I have no direct knowledge.

    Incidentally, I believe InBev shifted production from Latrobe to Newark, although I have no idea where it's brewed now.

    [Updated for clarity & to expand on point.]

    [Updated with new information.]
    #13 minderbender, Nov 10, 2018
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2018
  14. pweis909

    pweis909 Poo-Bah (1,762) Aug 13, 2005 Wisconsin

    It was sort of trendy in the mid-Atlantic areas for a stretch. Bars would sell a "bucket of Rocks" to tables of frat-boys in Charlottesville. That's actually what I remember from 1992; since I wasn't part of those tables, could be I didn't have one even then.
  15. VikeMan

    VikeMan Meyvn (1,475) Jul 12, 2009 Pennsylvania

    Same at Penn State. There was even a bar whose only beer was RR. I would have killed for a Miller Light.
  16. PapaGoose03

    PapaGoose03 Poo-Bah (2,284) May 30, 2005 Michigan

    This thread has been a learning journey for me, and I've learned that pilsner malt is prone to DMS. (I'm an extract brewer so no real effect from DMS for my beers, but I still like to learn everything about brewing that I can.) The thread's title is "Pilsner DMS" which may have caused the focus of the discussion to be on that tendency towards DMS from that specific malt, but isn't having a lid on the boil kettle also a significant reason for getting DMS in a beer? And no one has confirmed with the OP whether a lid might have been in use when brewing this beer.

    @chavinparty, did a clue get missed here?
    riptorn likes this.
  17. chavinparty

    chavinparty Initiate (122) Jan 4, 2015 New Hampshire

    That’s too much reading but I’m guessing it explains that dms isn’t a problem people think it is. You’re probably right maybe I just don’t like best malz pilsner. @Mothergoose03 yes I keep the lid off. I’m not new. @TheBeerery i think it is that wet hay flavor I’m getting. I’ll try another brand and report back
    PapaGoose03 likes this.
  18. VikeMan

    VikeMan Meyvn (1,475) Jul 12, 2009 Pennsylvania

    Yes, preventing the escape of converted and volatilized DMS can be a problem.

    I figure @chavinparty has been doing all grain for quite a while now and he indicated that the problem has occurred only with this particular malt. But certainly, if a lid is covering the boil to any significant extent, that could be a factor.
    PapaGoose03 likes this.
  19. VikeMan

    VikeMan Meyvn (1,475) Jul 12, 2009 Pennsylvania

    So it doesn't smell like cooked/creamed corn or cabbage?
  20. chavinparty

    chavinparty Initiate (122) Jan 4, 2015 New Hampshire

    It’s hard to describe. It’s mildly off putting in a vegetative way but the fact that I’ve gotten the same flavor from all of my recent pilsner heavy beers makes me think it’s in fact the malt. Our brew club is going to get one of those off flavor kits soon. Guess I need it. Thanks for all the insight
  21. VikeMan

    VikeMan Meyvn (1,475) Jul 12, 2009 Pennsylvania

    For DMS, it can be easier (and cheaper) than that. Get a can of creamed corn. Open. Smell.
  22. riptorn

    riptorn Initiate (107) Apr 26, 2018 North Carolina

    Does it remind you of celery?
  23. honkey

    honkey Zealot (544) Aug 28, 2010 Arizona
    Premium Industry

    I use a lot of Weyermann and I always do a 70 minute boil, but that is in part due to brewing on a commercial system where my boil off rate is only about 6%. With a homebrew system and the large surface area of most boil kettles, if you aren't using a lid, it should be pretty difficult to get DMS.

    However, with the increased use of systems like Grainfathers and Robobrews, those normally need the lid to reach a full boil and the hole in the lid is pretty small, making it more similar to a commercial set up with a vent stack. If that's the case, I would do a 70-90 minute boil.
  24. chavinparty

    chavinparty Initiate (122) Jan 4, 2015 New Hampshire

    Not particularly.
    Sooo I swapped tap lines and Im pretty sure it was the line. Sorry to waste everybody’s time but I had a hydromel followed by a big coffee vanilla cocoa nibs stout on the line previously which probably masked the fact that it needed a cleaning. I don’t normally clean my lines every batch so the question is was the mead infected and if so what kind of infection would cause vegetal flavor?
  25. Mabrungard

    Mabrungard Initiate (32) Jan 9, 2015 Indiana

    Extending your boil duration to 90 minutes is not necessary if you live at a modest elevation or lower. Its the brewers that live at high elevation that MIGHT need to consider extending their boil duration. SMM conversion rate to DMS is temperature dependent. As you probably know, water and wort boil at lower temperature at higher elevation and that can eventually leave your wort with too much SMM and DMS.

    The main thing that I find brewers for that have DMS problems in their beer is that they aren't boiling 'effectively enough'. You can have your kettle completely covered during the early stage of wort 'boiling' and actually only have the wort lightly simmering. That converts SMM to DMS just as effectively as a volcanic boil. However, its the late stage of boiling that your kettle must be open and every molecule of your wort needs to have an opportunity to be at the atmospheric interface at the top of the wort. For that to occur, your wort needs to ROLL across the entire surface of your kettle. A haphazard, volcanic boil may not provide you with that. Offsetting your kettle slightly off the center of your heat source can help heat one side of your kettle and that helps promote the rolling wort action. Its not the volcano, its the roll that you want.

    Of course, your kettle must be uncovered during the DMS volatilization stage. Its the exchange with the atmosphere that rids the wort of its DMS content.

    The final consideration for DMS reduction is to get your wort chilled below 185F as soon as possible when you've brewed with high pils content. Any unconverted SMM remaining in the hot wort has an opportunity to convert to DMS and it isn't going to get the chance to leave the wort since there is little exchange with the atmosphere when its sitting still in your kettle.

    For most brewers in the world, the need for a 90 minute boil when brewing with pils malt...is a myth.
  26. hopfenunmaltz

    hopfenunmaltz Meyvn (1,390) Jun 8, 2005 Michigan

    A comment on Rolling Rock. It was used as an example of DMS when I took BJCP training not that many years ago. It was brewed by ABInbev at that time. The sample had high amounts of creamed corn aroma. Find a bottle or can and try it.
  27. michaeltrego

    michaeltrego Initiate (138) May 21, 2004 New Hampshire

    I would have guessed that Rolling Rock was primary 6-row malt (at least back in the day) not Pilsner malt, and that the corn aroma was coming from the fact that they actually use corn in the grain bill.
  28. hopfenunmaltz

    hopfenunmaltz Meyvn (1,390) Jun 8, 2005 Michigan

    Corn aroma can come from things other than DMS, think about a corn tortillas' aroma, it is a corn aroma, but not DMS.

    Other breweries used 6-row and corn. RR was said to have process issues in the brewhouse, what I don't know exactly.
  29. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (3,760) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    Jeff, @Peter_Wolfe posted the below in a past thread discussion (a reply to me) with emphasis in bold by me:

    “Target for rolling rock, iirc off the top of my head, is between 60-90 ppb (not ppm), and it's usually on the lower end of that (~65-70ish). The limit for all other ABI beers is <10 ppb. The higher level is achieved via a special boiling profile since having a separate malt stream would be really annoying. They (the ABI brewers) actually went to great lengths to "maintain the defect" and not alter the beer profile when they brewed the beer at locations other than the "glass-lined tanks of old Latrobe" or whatever it was that the bottles said.

    Threshold for most people is 40-50 ppb, though some talented folks can detect it down to 15 ppb. Most things with a sulfur atom involved have thresholds in the ppb/ppt range as opposed to ppm.”

    hopfenunmaltz likes this.