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Old 01-14-2013, 07:36 PM   #1
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Default American Pilsner - Boil Process, Pitching, Flavoring!

Hello all!

I'm returning to the brewing scene after a long hiatus and in the past, I've always brewed ales, porters, and stouts. Now, for my return, I decided to brew a Pilsner because I really wanted to get my technique down and Pilsner is quite unforgiving with off-tastes. I'm still extract-brewing until I can get the all-grain equipment setup.

I'm in Portland, Oregon and right now, the temps are in the 30s and I have a cold room that is in the high 40s. Perfect for fermentation and lagering.

My questions (and I've searched in a lot of places but no straight answers):

1) The extract kit I got for the American Pilsner only came with LME, Malt Extract, hops, and yeast. No grains. How do I initiate the boil? Get the water up to 155 degrees and then add the LME and extract and then start the hop boils at 60/10/2 minutes? I'm used to adding the LME in the beginning of the boil and then the malt in the last 15 minutes. I've searched everywhere for the exact steps because I want this to be right.

2) I've read that due to the Lager yeast, I need to add more. I got that part but I've read that i need to get the yeast starter at the same temperature as the wort before pitching. So I take the temp of the starter and get the wort to that temp, pitch? Or get the wort down to 45 degrees and ice the starter down to 45 and pitch?

3) Flavoring - I plan to split the 5 gal batch to 2 3-gallon secondaries for the conditioning phase. The first 3-gal will be a pure Pilsner. The second one, I'm toying with the idea to flavor it with coriander and sweet orange peel. The amounts I've read, 1oz for each so if I'm doing a 2.5 gal batch for the flavor, means .5oz for each ingredient? Any issues with doing this when the conditioning phase starts?

Many thanks! I know there's many questions but I just want to make sure I got everything thought out so my brew day is stressfree and fun. Thanks!

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Old 01-14-2013, 07:43 PM   #2
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Hello all!

I'm returning to the brewing scene after a long hiatus and in the past, I've always brewed ales, porters, and stouts. Now, for my return, I decided to brew a Pilsner because I really wanted to get my technique down and Pilsner is quite unforgiving with off-tastes. I'm still extract-brewing until I can get the all-grain equipment setup.

I'm in Portland, Oregon and right now, the temps are in the 30s and I have a cold room that is in the high 40s. Perfect for fermentation and lagering.

My questions (and I've searched in a lot of places but no straight answers):

1) The extract kit I got for the American Pilsner only came with LME, Malt Extract, hops, and yeast. No grains. How do I initiate the boil? Get the water up to 155 degrees and then add the LME and extract and then start the hop boils at 60/10/2 minutes? I'm used to adding the LME in the beginning of the boil and then the malt in the last 15 minutes. I've searched everywhere for the exact steps because I want this to be right.

2) I've read that due to the Lager yeast, I need to add more. I got that part but I've read that i need to get the yeast starter at the same temperature as the wort before pitching. So I take the temp of the starter and get the wort to that temp, pitch? Or get the wort down to 45 degrees and ice the starter down to 45 and pitch?

3) Flavoring - I plan to split the 5 gal batch to 2 3-gallon secondaries for the conditioning phase. The first 3-gal will be a pure Pilsner. The second one, I'm toying with the idea to flavor it with coriander and sweet orange peel. The amounts I've read, 1oz for each so if I'm doing a 2.5 gal batch for the flavor, means .5oz for each ingredient? Any issues with doing this when the conditioning phase starts?

Many thanks! I know there's many questions but I just want to make sure I got everything thought out so my brew day is stressfree and fun. Thanks!
1. If you post your recipe, we can help more, but in general you probably will want to add the bulk of the extract at flame out to keep the color lighter and the flavor from tasting like "cooked extract".
2. You will want to make a HUGE starter for your yeast. I like mrmalty.com or yeastcalc.com to calculate the size of your starter. Then, when the starter is done, put it in the fridge for at least 3-4 days so you can decant the spent wort before pitching. On brewday, chill the wort to 45-48 degrees, then put the yeast in it and ferment at 50 degrees. Fifty degrees may be hard for you to hold, though.
3. No idea. I've never spiced a nice pilsner.
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Old 01-14-2013, 07:53 PM   #3
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1. If you post your recipe, we can help more
6 lbs Extra Light DME
1 lb Rice Syrup Solids
1 oz Hallertau Loose leaves - 60 min
.5 oz Hallertau Loose leaves - 10 min
.5 oz Hallertau Loose leaves - 2 min
White Labs American Pilsner Liquid Yeast WLP840

That's all the local shop gave me.

So after the 60 minute boil with the hops in the water, remove from heat and then add the extracts?
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Old 01-15-2013, 12:28 PM   #4
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6 lbs Extra Light DME
1 lb Rice Syrup Solids
1 oz Hallertau Loose leaves - 60 min
.5 oz Hallertau Loose leaves - 10 min
.5 oz Hallertau Loose leaves - 2 min
White Labs American Pilsner Liquid Yeast WLP840

That's all the local shop gave me.

So after the 60 minute boil with the hops in the water, remove from heat and then add the extracts?
I'd use 1 pound of extract per gallon of water boiled in the boil. So, if you're doing a 2 gallon boil, for example, use 2 pounds of the extract. After the boil, add the extract when you kill the heat.

Make sure you make a starter with the yeast, or use two or three packages.

Cool the beer to 45-50 degrees, and then add the yeast from the fridge at roughly the same temperature. Allow it to ferment at 50 degrees for about 10 days, or until nearly done. Then raise it to 60-65 degrees for 2 days, and then you can rack it and begin lagering.
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Old 01-15-2013, 02:42 PM   #5
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Great, many thanks! That definitely helps

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Old 01-31-2013, 11:48 PM   #6
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Just an update - my pilsner is now lagering, everything went off without any problems. I split the 5Gal batch to 2 smaller carboys. One is natural pilsner, the other one, I boiled, pureed, and cooled 2# of frozen peaches, added it to the carboy and racked on top of it. Now the waiting game begins!

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