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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Techniques > "Bohemian Pilsner" with an Ale Yeast
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Old 09-03-2012, 03:34 PM   #1
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Default "Bohemian Pilsner" with an Ale Yeast

Hello, everybody. After doing ciders for some time I'm back to doing a beer, my first in years. It's a Bohemian Pilsner Recipe and due to lack of temp control I'm using an Ale Yeast. I've got my wort in the primary fermenter - about 12 hours now. Anybody have convictions/tips - anything outside the norm - on my proceedings from here on out? I'm hoping I don't get some generic, nondescript final product as a punishment for pitching ale yeast into a pilsner recipe.

recipe FYI:
vienna 12 oz.
pilsner 8 oz.
german light crystal 4 oz.
light malt extract 6 pounds
saaz hops 1.5 oz. at 60 mins
saaz hops 0.5 oz. at 30 mins
saaz hops 1.0 oz. at 02 mins
cold crash
gravity 1.4
pitched safale us-05 dry ale yeast
primary is a 5 gallon food safe "kit" bucket (ale pail)

any comments are a help to me as i am a lone brewer!
thanks!
ted

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Old 09-03-2012, 03:57 PM   #2
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The lagering process itself and lager yeast (different flavor profile) are key to making a true pilsner. So, this will probably be a tasty light ale, but it wont really be a Pils.

What temps are realistic for you to maintain?

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Old 09-03-2012, 05:39 PM   #3
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I follow you on the yeast selection and style.

As for temps in the basement (where I have the primary now): I'm at a steady 70 presently. This winter, 55-60 F in the basement. I have a back porch also that will be btwn 32 and 40 through the winter months (Vermont).

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Old 09-04-2012, 02:45 PM   #4
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Have you researched swamp coolers? With one of those, you should have no trouble fermenting in the low 60s, even in the warmer months. That way you could use something like a kolsch yeast to get you closer to a true pilsner.

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Old 09-05-2012, 12:20 AM   #5
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i knew of swamp coolers but not the physics behind them. at a glance it seems they work best in a dry climate - something we don't have in vermont. tons of humidity and precipitation here. i appreciate the idea but for now will just wait for winter -we have such a long winter here. i'm going to try this coming season. a carboy with a blanket or two on the back porch should be near perfect

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Old 09-05-2012, 02:14 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skone View Post
i knew of swamp coolers but not the physics behind them. at a glance it seems they work best in a dry climate...
Yes, they are most effective in low humidity, but you might get some cooling effect from one if you have cold cooling water.

I just use a small chest freezer with an external thermostat. I can't even do ale temps here w/out temp control.

Attached is an example lagering profile from Beer Smith. Looks like in the winter months you could do the primary and secondary stages in the basement and then move it out to the porch for longer term lagering/conditioning. Maybe just need a warming belt for secondary and to help keep the temp stable and avoid getting it below freezing when outside lagering.

Note: the long lagering process really does make a big qualitative difference in a lager.
lager-profile-clipboard01.jpg  
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Old 09-05-2012, 12:57 PM   #7
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You're making a blonde ale, and at 70F with S-05, it will be a somewhat estery blonde ale. Not even in the same ballpark as a true Bo pils.

If you want to do a pseudo-lager, best to wait until late fall when you can maintain temps in the 55-60F range and use something like WLP810 (San Francisco Lager yeast).

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Old 09-05-2012, 10:41 PM   #8
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IIRC Basic Brewing and/or Brew Your Own did an episode/article on 'pseudo-lager' beer as this thread is discussing. The consensus was the best yeast choice for ale temp fermented pseudo-lager is Steam Beer/Cal Common yeast. IIRC US-05/Cal Ale 001 finished last with perhaps Kolsch yeast finishing in the middle.

Many pro-breweries have one english ale yeast as their house yeast and use it when making American styled ales such as pale ale and IPA. They simply over pitch by a large volume. Most of the esters and yeast character produced by yeast comes from the ramping up of yeast count. By over pitching one takes the ramping up stage away and produces a cleaner beer. Thus if you go with something like US-05, Kolsch, or even Nottingham which I'd be tempted to do it with over US-05, just pitch 2-3 pouches of the dry yeast or do a huge yeast starter for liquid yeast. OVERPITCH with a clean yeast, ferment as cool as you can, and lager the bier as cold as you can, you'll be close.

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Old 09-06-2012, 01:56 AM   #9
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Thank you guys very, very much. Those last 3 posts give me great information as a jumping off point. The specifics are obviously of grave importance when you're doing something like brewing -- and i'm a person who needs to hear them. I'll update on this ale and hopefully in the future a plan for a closer-to-proper lager. Thanks!

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Old 09-06-2012, 02:15 AM   #10
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Quote:
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...The specifics are obviously of grave importance...
And, that's especially true when brewing a proper Pils.

The first one I did I was very careful and did every thing exactly by the numbers -- it was awesome -- easily the highest quality beer I have every brewed. The next couple, I was not quite as careful -- they were still good beers, but nothing like the first one. I have a couple more very careful proper Pils planned for this season -- they are definitely worth the wait.

Good luck.
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