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Old 11-30-2012, 01:18 AM   #1
iowabrewgirl
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Default Czech Pilsner Question

I got a really late start for Christmas but am wondering if there is any way I could get this in bottles in time for gifts (it's okay if it still needs to carbonate).

I went to my local homebrew shop and he put together the following for me:

6.6# Pilsen Light LME
1# Cara Pils 8
Hops
1oz Traditional
1 oz Saaz
Clarifier
1 Whirlfloc Tablet

Instructions say primary ferment 2 weeks at 58 degrees
Secondary 4 weeks at 35-40
2 weeks in bottles

Do you think a 2 week secondary would be ok? I'm a newbie so I'm not sure if its okay or not. I've seen Pilsner kits that can be done at room temp and no secondary. Just wondering what I would be missing out on by shortening the secondary ferment.

Thanks!!

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Old 11-30-2012, 01:25 AM   #2
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No! Lagers need time. Brew an ale and you have a chance.

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Old 11-30-2012, 03:30 PM   #3
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Agreed. A pilsner won't be a pilsner if you don't lager it. You will end up with more of a light cream ale kinda beer. The long, cold conditioning of the lager process clears that beer and adds the crisp aftertaste that defines the style.

You can brew that grain bill and have it ready for Xmas and it still be a good beer, but don't expect it to have the characteristics of a Pilsner.

If I were you, I'd brew with the same grain/hop schedule, but go get some S-05 yeast and change the fermentation schedule as follows:

1) Two week primary at 60-62F.
2) Bottle and carb/condition at room temp until the week of Xmas.
3) Put them in the fridge about 3 days before Xmas if you intend to give them cold. If you give them warm, make sure the recipients know they need to chill them for a good 48 hours before serving
4) Remind anyone you are giving bottles of beer to as gifts that they should only pour to the elbow and leave the yeast behind!! You don't want them thinking your beer sucks because they didn't know any better and poured the yeast and other protein chunks.

Good luck!

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Old 11-30-2012, 04:06 PM   #4
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Thanks TopherM! I think I will give that a shot. I'm not so much worried about the Pilsner characteristics- was just looking for something lighter that the family will like. Thanks!

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