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Old 01-06-2010, 09:36 PM   #1
TwoHeadsBrewing
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Default Recipe Help - German Pilsner

I'm going to be brewing up my first lager, a German Pilsner. From the recipes I've seen out there, it's nothing complicated...but please take a look and let me know what you think. Also, at the bottom are some questions about fermentation temps and a diacetyl rest. Cheers!

Beer Specs
Style: 2A German Pilsner
Efficiency: 75%
Batch Size: 11 gallons
Boil Time: 75 minutes
-------------------------------
Est Original Gravity: 1.050 SG
Est Final Gravity: 1.011 SG
Estimated Alcohol by Vol: 5.09 %
Bitterness: 33.5 IBU
Est Color: 4.0 SRM


Grain Bill
18.00 lb Pilsner (2 Row) Ger (2.0 SRM) Grain 90.00 %
1.00 lb Cara-Pils/Dextrine (2.0 SRM) Grain 5.00 %
1.00 lb Munich Malt (9.0 SRM) Grain 5.00 %

Hops
2.00 oz Northern Brewer [8.50 %] (60 min) Hops 25.5 IBU
1.00 oz Select Spalt [4.75 %] (30 min) Hops 5.5 IBU
1.00 oz Select Spalt [4.75 %] (10 min) Hops 2.6 IBU

Misc and Yeast
2.00 items Whirlfloc Tablet (Boil 15.0 min)
1 Pkgs German Lager (White Labs #WLP830) [Starter 2400 ml] Yeast-Lager

Mash Schedule
Mash for 75 minutes @ 150F, no mash out

Fermentation and Lagering
Starter: 2x1400ml starters (via stirplate)
Fermenation: 50F for 21 days, 40F for 21 days
Lagering: Lager @ 37F for 28 days in kegs (or longer as needed for clarity)

Not sure about the fermenation schedule here, or if a diacetyl rest is necessary. I plan on pitching at 50-55F, so will a d-rest be beneficial/required?

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Old 01-06-2010, 10:03 PM   #2
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I would leave out the Munich, replacing it with additional pils and maybe cut the CaraPils in half. There seem to be many homebrew recipes lately adding Munich malt to what are normally all pilsner malt German beers like Helles, Kolsch and Pils. IMO there is no good reason to do that if you are using some decent German pils malt for the base of the beer. Good pilsner malt doesn't need any help in this style. The fermentation schedule looks OK although don't tie yourself to strict time periods, especially seeing as this is your first lager. Just give the beer the time it needs. Re diacetyl rest check the mfg's info on that yeast and also take a sample of the beer to give it a sniff & taste test. A diacetyl rest won't hurt anything and if you do one you will be covered just in case.

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Old 01-07-2010, 07:16 AM   #3
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Yeah I'd ditch the Munich as well, but I used the same % CaraPils in mine and was really pleased with it. Otherwise it looks fine. I might boil for 90 min though.

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Old 01-07-2010, 11:16 AM   #4
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My experience with 830 (and W-34/70) is that it produces a lot of diacetyl. I probably never did catch it in time for an effective d-rest.

My last lager, a Dortmunder with Spalt Select (whole, from Chico Homebrew in fact) and WLP838, was absolutely fantastic.

2 Whirlflocs is probably more than you need.

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Old 01-07-2010, 04:12 PM   #5
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Thanks for the input! So I'll drop that Munich, and I'll keep and eye on fermentation and perform a D-rest. So does 50F seem like a fine temperature to ferment at? And what about lagering, what is your typical lagering period (time and temp)?

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Old 01-07-2010, 04:36 PM   #6
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Another 2 cents: Your grain bill looks fine to me. I would keep the Munich. One pound in a 11 gal batch will just add a bit of malt complexity and won't dominate imo. Color will still be fine.
EDIT: This is assuming it's a good German Munich made from 2-row. If it's a domestic Munich malt and especially if it's domestic 6-row Munich, then I'd just leave it out.

50 degrees fermentation temp sounds fine to me. Lager it as cold as you can for as long as you can.

Just looking at it, for 11 gal of 1.050 wort and being a lager it looks like you'll be way underpitching. There was a comment in a recent Zymurgy regarding lagers that I agree with 100%, it went something like: As goes your yeast, so goes your lager. Can't stress this enough: Pitch plenty of healthy yeast! Yeast is doubly (quadruple-y!) crucial in lagers imo.

EDIT: That's a great yeast strain though. My main lager yeast.

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Old 03-12-2010, 06:11 PM   #7
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Just an update: this beer is AWESOME! I made it as is, just as listed up top even with the Munich. Don't think it made much difference really, so I could have left it out. It's a touch on the bitter side, but I suppose that is appropriate for a German Pils. Has that great lager-yeast profile and malt backbone. Most people love this beer, but it's got too much bittering hops for some. One keg is almost kicked, but I've taken the other off tap for a LOOOOONG lagering period. I will be entering this one in my local brew club competition coming up next month.

Changes for next time:
-Drop the Munich (can't notice it anyways)
-Add 1# more of Carapils to keep the gravity the same
-Drop bittering hops from 2oz of Northern Brewer to 1.5oz

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