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Old 05-05-2013, 05:39 PM   #1
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Default Czech Lagers

I'm sitting here watching Anthony Bordain's No Reservations. He's in Prague and they're drinking a lot of delicious looking pale lagers. It's making me want to brew up a lager or two.

What are some good styles and good commercial examples of such pale lagers?

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Old 05-05-2013, 05:53 PM   #2
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Budvar, (or Czechvar in the US) is a pretty good one. Pilsner Urquell is kind of the standard.

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Old 05-05-2013, 05:56 PM   #3
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Budvar, (or Czechvar in the US) is a pretty good one. Pilsner Urquell is kind of the standard.
Yeah, Pilsner Urquell is a given. It's probably the only Czech beer I've had.

What about other styles aside from Czech Pilsner? A few of the lagers they were drinking were more around 8-9 SRM.

I just read the Budvar is darker but I've never seen it on the shelf.
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Old 05-05-2013, 06:43 PM   #4
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I'm actually working on two extract versions of the Czech Budvar now. I have my first in lagering that my LHBS owner designed and the second I plugged into Beersmith and raised the IBU's a little that is in primary. The first is about two weeks from bottling. I can't wait to see how these turn out. My next will be a Samuel Adams Noble Pils clone. I have 4lbs of noble hops on order that should be here this week.

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Old 05-05-2013, 06:51 PM   #5
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Staropramen is another nice one from Pilsen. It's a bit maltier in balance than the Urquel. Both are quite a challenge for a home brewer to make well.

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Old 05-05-2013, 07:00 PM   #6
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Staropramen is another nice one from Pilsen. It's a bit maltier in balance than the Urquel. Both are quite a challenge for a home brewer to make well.
I tend to prefer Staropramen over Urquel, but love them both. They are definitely a challenge to make, totally in agreement there. IMO, if you want to see how skilled a brewer is, ask to taste their Pilsner or their Helles...
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Old 05-06-2013, 02:31 AM   #7
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Staropramen is another nice one from Pilsen. It's a bit maltier in balance than the Urquel. Both are quite a challenge for a home brewer to make well.
Thanks for the info. I'm off to try to find some to taste.

I've never really brewed any lagers but went on a big Kolsch kick with WLP029. Fermentation and lager times/temps were well in the realm of the lager spectrum.

What do you think is the biggest challenge, process-wise, for home brewers when it comes to Czech lagers? What flavors and/or aspects do home brewers fall short of achieving?
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Old 05-06-2013, 02:36 AM   #8
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What do you think is the biggest challenge, process-wise, for home brewers when it comes to Czech lagers? What flavors and/or aspects do home brewers fall short of achieving?
I think it's a couple of things. One is the balance. So many brewers go too malty or too hoppy- Czech lagers are a great balance. Water can be problematic for some brewers, so I use RO water for my Bohemian pilsners. Temperature control is important, of course.

I usually do a decoction on my BoPils and many other lagers. It's probably not necessary, but I think it really does improve the beer.
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Old 05-06-2013, 02:38 AM   #9
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I think it's a couple of things. One is the balance. So many brewers go too malty or too hoppy- Czech lagers are a great balance. Water can be problematic for some brewers, so I use RO water for my Bohemian pilsners. Temperature control is important, of course.

I usually do a decoction on my BoPils and many other lagers. It's probably not necessary, but I think it really does improve the beer.
I use RO for all my brews as well.

Care to share your water profile?
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Old 05-06-2013, 02:39 AM   #10
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I use RO for all my brews as well.

Care to share your water profile?
For RO water? Well...........it's RO water.

For a few lagers, I'll had some gypsum or calcium chloride. But not BoPils. Even if the Calcium is under 50 ppm, it seems to be fine. I usually do the protein rest at 131-133 degrees, and a very short one.
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