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Old 05-20-2009, 12:47 PM   #1
oswiu
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Default AG Bohemian Pilsner (first lager!) Recipe Questions

It's finally got cold enough to make my first lager down here in NZ, and I'm planning on having a brew day tomorrow.

How does this recipe look?
I guess the Munich might be a little out of place, but the ADM pils malt I'll be using has a reputation for being a bit on the "bland" side, and I thought the Munich might give it a little more malt character.
I also have some Melanoiden that I could use in a smaller quantity for the same purpose.
Would it make a big improvement to swap the 30min NZ Hallertau for more Saaz? I have 50g more, but was thinking of holding on to them for a second batch of this.

Recipe Specifications
--------------------------
Batch Size: 22.00 L
Boil Size: 24.96 L
Estimated OG: 1.046 SG
Estimated Color: 5.6 EBC
Estimated IBU: 41.0 IBU
Brewhouse Efficiency: 75.00 %
Boil Time: 60 Minutes

Ingredients:
------------
Amount Item Type % or IBU
4.00 kg Pilsner (2 Row) NZ ADM (2.0 EBC) Grain 87.91 %
0.30 kg Munich I (Weyermann) (14.0 EBC) Grain 6.59 %
0.25 kg Carapils (3.9 EBC) Grain 5.50 %

25.00 gm Hallertauer, New Zealand [6.60 %] (60 minHops 18.7 IBU
25.00 gm Hallertauer, New Zealand [6.60 %] (30 minHops 14.4 IBU
25.00 gm Saaz [4.00 %] (15 min) Hops 5.6 IBU
25.00 gm Saaz [4.00 %] (5 min) Hops 2.3 IBU

2 Pkgs SafLager W34/70


Mash Schedule: Temperature Mash, 1 Step, Medium Body
----------------------------
Step Time Name Description Step Temp
60 min Saccharification Add 20 L of water at 74.4 C 67.8 C
10 min "Dunk" sparge my grain bag into 6L of water at 78C
10 min Mash Out Heat to 75.6 C over 10 min 75.6 C

I don't really have a reliable second heat source, so can't do a decoction, though I could do some kind of step mash, increasing temps by about 1C per minute between rests instead of this.

I'm planning to get the wort as cool as I can (which will probably be 12-13C), aerate by shaking, then pitch the 2x 11.5g packets of dry yeast.

It'll be fermenting out in my back shed. The temperature there cycles between 7-9C overnight up to 13C on a warm day. I'll be putting my fermenter in a 60L plastic tub full of water to act as a temperature buffer, trying to keep the ferment temp as constant as possible. As fermentation slows (any way of judging this without having to take daily hydro samples?) I'll bring the fermenter inside (about 15C) for a day or two as a diacetyl rest.

I'll be lagering in my kitchen fridge at 5-6C.

If anyone has any suggestions, either in terms of recipe or process I'd be pleased to hear them.

Thanks!

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Old 05-20-2009, 01:28 PM   #2
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Default Call it a German Pils instead.

The Saaz and the Bohemian Pilsener yeast strain really make this beer. By using a Hallertau variety and a Bavarian Lager yeast your really making something that is more closely aligned with a German Pils.
Consider dialing the Munich back to 1-4 % to keep the color in line with either of the Bohemian/German styles.
If you are unable to perform a decotion, then I would say at the very least do step mash.

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Old 05-20-2009, 11:17 PM   #3
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Okay, I think I've sorted out a way to do a decoction. My original hesitation was brought on by nervousness about the process and the failure to realize that the quantities that I'd need to be boiling were considerably smaller than those in my full mash tun.

Beersmith suggests the following:
Dough in: 21C, 15min
Acid Rest: Add hot water to reach 40C, 20 min
Protein Rest: Decoct to reach 50C, 10 min
Dextrinization: Decoct to reach 68C, 30 min (bumped this time up from 20.)
Mash Out: Decoct to reach 77C, 5 min

Does that sound reasonable?
The grain is well modified, and Wellington water is quite soft (not quite Pilzen soft, but less than double Pilzen in all the main minerals) so I'm not certain which of these steps are truly necessary. But I suppose if they do it in Pilzen, using modern grains, then it ought to work for me too...

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Last edited by oswiu; 05-20-2009 at 11:23 PM.
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Old 05-20-2009, 11:55 PM   #4
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by oswiu View Post
Okay, I think I've sorted out a way to do a decoction. My original hesitation was brought on by nervousness about the process and the failure to realize that the quantities that I'd need to be boiling were considerably smaller than those in my full mash tun.

Beersmith suggests the following:
Dough in: 21C, 15min
Acid Rest: Add hot water to reach 40C, 20 min
Protein Rest: Decoct to reach 50C, 10 min
Dextrinization: Decoct to reach 68C, 30 min (bumped this time up from 20.)
Mash Out: Decoct to reach 77C, 5 min

Does that sound reasonable?
The grain is well modified, and Wellington water is quite soft (not quite Pilzen soft, but less than double Pilzen in all the main minerals) so I'm not certain which of these steps are truly necessary. But I suppose if they do it in Pilzen, using modern grains, then it ought to work for me too...
My suggestion would be to simplify the schedule a bit and skip the acid rest. You won't need it. Try starting out at 56C rather than 50C and bring your main rest temp down to 66C. The beta rest at 53-58C is better suited to today's malts. In addition the typical tempertature increase with a decoction is ~10C. Trying to go from 50C to 68C in one step will likely drive you crazy, especially seeing this is your first attempt. The 66C main rest will give you better attenuation and a slightly drier finish. The 5% CaraPils in the grist bill will give the beer plenty of body. Good luck and have fun with the brew.
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Old 05-21-2009, 01:10 AM   #5
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Cool!
Thanks very much to both of you for the suggestions.
I've knocked the Munich down to 4% (it's quite a light Munich, +-7L, so the colour should be fine with this amount.)

I think I'll still go with the Hallertau for the 60 and 30 min additions, just because it'll leave me with the ingredients on hand for a second batch of this later this winter, maybe with a slightly different mash schedule or something.

I'd actually already started doughing in when I read BigEd's comment, so I think I'll have to stick with the Acid Rest, though I'll make it short. Definitely a good suggestion about the main rest temp though. I'll definitely do that, and I think I'll bump the protein rest up to 53C, thus making it two 13C steps instead of a 10 and a 16... Hopefully that won't be quite so tough to hit

Thanks again!

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Old 05-21-2009, 03:45 AM   #6
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So far so good.
The first decoction (40C-53C) hit the temperature spot on.
The second one was okay, but it's so bloody cold here that while pouring, mixing, etc. the mash temp dropped to 63.5C and I had to do a third small decoction to get the temp up to the target saccharification temp.

At that point I decided to skip the last decoction step and just use direct heat to raise the temperature up to mash out.

We're on the boil now and I've decided, on the spur of the moment, to switch the hop schedule to 45g NZ Hallertau at 60, 25g Czech Saaz at 20 and 25g Czech Saaz at 5. That way it'll be pretty much all Saaz flavour and aroma and about the same bitterness.

Thanks again to everyone for their help. I'll be interested to see what kind of efficiency the decoction gave me as opposed to my usual infusions

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