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Old 08-28-2012, 03:08 AM   #1
Paniller
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Default Pilsner came out bitter. Related to low hops, long boil?

My recipe came out closer to an IPA than a Pilsner, despite only 30 IBU. Any suggestions on why? Is it related to trying to "stretch" my hops and get more IBU's per oz by boiling longer?

--------------------------------

Basic recipe:
4.6gal, 1.5gal boil
60% eff
3.9% ABV, FG 1.01 SRM 6 IBU(rager):30

Grains:
3.5lb Pilsen Light LME
1lb American 2 row pale
1lb Pilsen Light DME
4oz Carawheat

.75oz challenger for 75min
.25 challenger for 15min

WLP800 Pilsner Lager

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Old 08-28-2012, 04:39 PM   #2
NasteeBrew
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Default Pilsner

Well for a Pils you need a BU:GU ratio between 0.5 and 0.7. So an IBU of 30 is on the high end of bittering. Next time try a lower IBU perhaps 20 or 25. I am sure it will make a difference. Also try to boost the OG a little from 1.040 to about a minimum of 1.044.

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Old 08-28-2012, 08:44 PM   #3
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I use challenger a lot and it can really harsh. I don't think the 75 minute is your problem, its the 15 minute addition, even at 1/4 ounce. A 1/2 ounce of goldings or fuggles in place of challenger would calm it down a lot and maintain an english profile.

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Old 08-29-2012, 06:27 AM   #4
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Assuming that by pilsner, you mean the beer from Pilsn (which is also the beer that WLP800 is used for), the bitterness is not at all the problem. I've brewed several czech style pilsners with BU/GU of 0.8 (40 IBU for a 1.050 beer) and its fine.

I think there are two issues. One as noted above is using Challenger. Saaz (Czech, not domestic) is fairly typical. I've used it well on my Pilsners. For a 5 gallon batch I use about 4oz of 3.5%, 2/3 bittering and 1/3 flavor.

Other issue is that pilsners (either Czech or German) don't have much hop aroma. This might be what you're thinking is like an IPA. I add my flavoring with 30 min to go in the boil.

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Old 09-01-2012, 08:28 PM   #5
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It could be your water, hard water can make the hops feel sharp or harsh. I have very hard water and depending on the style have to dilute it with RO water. A czech pilsner should have very soft water to start with.

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Old 09-03-2012, 10:01 PM   #6
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German pilsners are fairly bitter. Have you had any other examples of the style?

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Old 09-04-2012, 04:35 PM   #7
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I'm still learning the difference in hops, I guess. Any recommendations for learning quickly? It seems like I'd have to make the same recipe several times with different hops, to compare the difference. But, at 5gal a batch, I'd have to be quite the alcoholic or stockpile massive quantities of the same beer. How did you guys learn your hops?

Aside from that, it sounds like I should have reviewed the pilsner requirements better. I shouldn't have dry hopped, and my OG was off a bit. I basically just grabbed Pilsner-esc ingredients and threw it together. I tried for a lighter beer to see how it comes out. Kinda a light beer, pils mix.

Oh, and BU:GU is new to me. Makes sense though. Basically perceived bitterness vs actual bitterness.

Great info, learned a lot. Thanks everyone. My beers are improving rapidly since I joined this forum.

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German pilsners are fairly bitter. Have you had any other examples of the style?
Not so much. I'm a noob. I've tried many different beers, but haven't payed enough attention to what style each one was. Some aren't clearly labeled, they just have their own names with overly generic description.
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Old 09-04-2012, 04:50 PM   #8
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If you want to learn about hops you can always just get a few different kinds, I'd probably have to go with cascade, saaz, east Kent goldings, and fuggles for variety, put a couple pellets in your hand and rub it to warm up the oils. You can also boil some water for a few minutes with a couple pellets to make a hop tea.

Other than that just get your alpha acid percentages worked out for ibu calculation and research bu:gu ratios

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Old 09-04-2012, 05:07 PM   #9
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Default Age or Lager it

Quote:
Originally Posted by JRems View Post
It could be your water, hard water can make the hops feel sharp or harsh. I have very hard water and depending on the style have to dilute it with RO water. A czech pilsner should have very soft water to start with.
All are good points but this is the one that I first thought of.

It could just be a water chemisty issue.

BUT other things it could be:

To hoppy as noted.

Maybe it just needs a bit more time to lager or age... I find that if I put my harsh beers off the the side (even in the Keezer they mellow.)

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