Imperial (Double) Pilsener
This beer is inspired firstly by the Real Czech Pilsener's and secondly the Imperial (Double) Pilsener's made by Sam Adams and Rogue's. This beer is not a clone of any beer but is meant to be an Imperial (Double) Pilsener in the Czech style just bigger, a little hoppier and stronger. For max authenticity all Saas hops are used. If however you find 16 oz of Saaz hops to be too expensive then 6 oz of Northern Brewer will work just use 1 oz of Northern Brewer at each hop addition rather than 2.66 oz of Saaz it will work out nearly the same in IBU's. Keep in mind due to this beer needing a lot of hops and the expense of a full pound of Saaz hops being needed this is not a cheap beer at all. This beer isn't as hoppy in bitterness as commercial examples of this beer are because it focuses on Saaz hops aroma to balance the bitterness and is the opposite of what an India Pale ale is which focuses on hop bitterness. It is important that you use the lightest preferably extra light malts and the lightest Dextrine Cara-Pils grains you can find as a pilsener should be very light in color. This is a lager mirror immage answer to an Imperial Pale Ale or India Pale Ale.
Brewer: Mike Prilla Email: Mprilla@aol.com
Beer: Imperial (Double) Pilsener Style: Bohemian Pilsener
Type: Extract w/grain Size: 5.25 gallons
Color: 10 HCU (~7 SRM)
Bitterness: 46 IBU
OG: 1.080 FG: 1.014
Alcohol: 8.5% v/v (6.7% w/w)
Water: I use Distilled water and add 1/2 tsp acid blend 1/16 tsp Gypsum 1/16 tsp Epsom salts 1/16 tsp non iodized salt. Alternately just use 1/2 tsp acid blend and 1/8 tsp Burton water salts. Don't use both. Whatever you do make sure your water is SOFT VERY SOFT as that is the Czech Pilsner style and free of chemicals.
Grain: 2 lb. Dextrine malt (Cara-Pils)
Steep: Pour three gallons of Distilled water into a 4 or 5 gallon or larger pot. Add 1/2 tsp acid blend, 1/16 tsp Gypsum, 1/16 tsp Epsom salts and 1/16 tsp non iodized salt or use 1/2 tsp acid blend and 1/8 tsp Burton water salts. Put crushed grains into a muslin bag and tie the end into a knot to close it. Heat the water to approximately 150º F - 170º F. Place the grain- filled bag into the brew pot water for 30 minutes DO NOT BOIL THE GRAINS just maintain that temperature. Carefully remove the grain bag and allow it to drain into the brew pot without squeezing. Save grain bags for later cold water sparging with the water you will add to get up to 5 gallons this will get more out of your grains than you would otherwise and increase the flavor and gravity of this beer do not squeeze the bag during sparging. I know sparging is normally a hot water thing but this will work to a good enough extent in an extract with specialty grains recipe.
Boil: 60 minutes SG 1.140 3 gallons
6.6 lb. Extra Light malt extract
3 lb. Extra Light dry malt extract
Heat the brew pot water to boiling.
1 Add 1 cup of your malt extract (syrup or powder) You are not adding all the malt for several reasons. Add first hop addition (2.66 oz Saaz in a hop bag) (Alternately you can use 1 oz of Nothern Brewer hops for each addition of 2.66 oz of Saaz hops) Stir constantly until it returns to a boil. Be careful not to let the pot boil over.
2 Boil for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally do not let it boil over Add another 2.66 oz of Saaz hops in a hop bag.
3 Boil for an aditional 15 minutes, stirring occasionally do not let it boil over add another 2.66 oz of Saaz hops in a hop bag and add the 1 tsp Irish moss. I know you were told to add the Irish Moss at the last 15 minutes disregard your past life this is the better method.
4 Boil for another 15 Minuets and add another 2.66 oz of Saaz hops in a hop bag.
5 Boil for 10 more minutes Add finishing aroma hops (2.66 oz Saaz in their own hop bag) 5 minutes prior to end of boil (total boiling time is 60 minutes).
6 Turn off heat. Remove your pot from your heat source, Remove the hop bags and let drain in a strainer above your cooling wort you will sparge these as well as your specialty grains with the rest of the water you will add to get up to 5 gallons again this will get more out of them than if you didn't sparge them. And yes a cold water sparge is better than no sparge at all. Add the rest of your malt sugars to the wort. This will let your malt not turn darker and will also sanitize it, be part of the cooling process and get more out of your hops than if you boiled them with your malt in the mix. It keeps your malt from caramelizing and tasting like a malt based beer. People might even not be able to tell you used malt extract to make this beer and will think just by tasting it that you made an all grain beer if you do it this way. Boil the hops not the malt see the article about that on-line if you have questions just do a search for "boil the hops not the malt". Add the dry malt extract first then the malt extract syrup after the dry malt has dissolved. Stir the malt sugars to dissolve into the beer. The temperature of your wort will drop to about 170 Let the beer sit at this relativly high temperature for 10 minutes (no more no less) to sanitize the malt sugars you just added to the beer. You do not need to boil your malt to sanitize it. In any event the canned malt is already pasteurized and only the dry malt needs any sanitizing anyway.
Cool your wort as you would do normally with an ice bath or wort chiller.
Cool the wort rapidly to 70º F or even cooler. Cooling can be done quickly by immersing the brew pot into a tub of cold water and ice. Be careful to make sure none of the cooling water/ice contacts the wort at all. During cooling sparge hop bags and Grain bags with a gallon or more of cold distilled water in a strainer over the cooling wort. All sparging is for this recipe is pouring some cool water through the grain and hop bags in a strainer over your wort. This isn't a real all grain sparge here and it is not meant to be. This will help the cooling and get more out of your hops and grains as well. Yes a cold water sparging isn't so bad especially in an extract with grains recipe. Discard the grain and hops from inside the bags. Save the bags and wash them out and sanitize for next time. Once cooled keep wort covered in freezer 6 to 8 hours (don't actually freeze it) this is so that the cold trub settles. Cold trub settles better the colder and longer you let it be. I realize you may want to start the fermentation right away and might not want to wait that is your choice but letting the trub settle out and never adding it to your primary will make a better beer.
Hops: 2.66 oz. Saaz (3.75% AA, 60 min.)
2.66 oz. Saaz (3.75% AA, 45 min.)
2.66 oz. Saaz (3.75% AA, 30 min.)
2.66 oz. Saaz (3.75% AA, 15 min.)
2.66 oz. Saaz (aroma)
Yeast: The best yeasts to use are one of the following White labs WLP800, WLP802 or Wyeast 2000, 2001 or 2278. They are all real Czech Pilsener yeast strains. Other lager type yeasts are acceptable and even dry lager yeasts will do in a pinch but I would use two packs of dry lager yeast since this is a high gravity beer. Especially for a lager using a Pilsener strain of yeast. They are not as high rated as you think for alcohol tolerance in fact lager yeasts are not in general as high rated as many ale yeasts are so keep that in mind. My babying of a beer like it is a very high gravity beer that is only 8.5% may seem silly but I am using yeast strains made to produce 5% to 5.5% products and caution is warranted. A yeast starter is preferred since this is a pretty high gravity beer when using a pilsener yeast strain. Alternately you can rather than make a starter use two different strains of pilsener yeast say WLP800 and WLP8002 together. That is more expensive but the blend of the two yeasts will make a very fine beer indeed. Of course if you make this a pseudo Lager and use an ale yeast caution may not be needed at all.
Log: Pour brew pot contents into a sanitized 6.5 gallon food grade plastic Fermenter, leaving sediment (trub) behind and running it through a strainer especially if you did not put your hops in a hop bag. Add 1 tsp Amylase enzyme (this will ensure most of the complex sugars are fermented) many people may want to skip the Amylase enzyme though since for some people it leads to a never ending secondary fermentation depending on what type of Amylase enzyme you use, 1 tsp Super Ferment or other yeast nutrient (this will ensure your fermentation will go well). Remove 1 Gallon of Concentrated wort (before you add the yeast or any more water) into an empty distilled water jug and store in the fridge to be used later to pump up your primary fermentation with a pseudo krausening. This will make your beer better than you realize and ensure your yeast is able to ferment a higher gravity beer than it could otherwise.