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Old 02-05-2010, 03:22 PM   #1
Bosium
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Default All-Grain - Export Strength Bohemian Pilsner

Recipe Type: All Grain
Yeast: Wyeast 2001 Urquell
Yeast Starter: Massive! Grew up 3x.
Batch Size (Gallons): 6
Original Gravity: 1.054
Final Gravity: 1.012
IBU: 41
Boiling Time (Minutes): 90
Color: 4.5
Primary Fermentation (# of Days & Temp): 28 days at 10C (50F)
Secondary Fermentation (# of Days & Temp): None
Tasting Notes: Delicious! Soft and gentle bitterness, clean malt flavour with no off-flavours.

82% Weyermann Extra Pale Pilsener Malt
7.3% Munich Malt
6.7% CaraPils
2% Melanoidin Malt
2% Flaked Barley

18 IBU - Czech Saaz - 100Mins First Wort Hopped
6.6 IBU - Czech Saaz - 70Mins
5.5 IBU - East Kent Goldings* - 65 Mins
7.0 IBU - Czech Saaz - 30 Mins
4.5 IBU - Czech Saaz - 15 Mins
0 IBU - Czech Saaz - 30g added at flame-out (3.3% AA)

Mash for 70 minutes at 154 deg F, mash-out by means of kettle denaturing.
Whirlfloc tabled added at 10 mins left of boil.


This is my crack at a Pilsner, a recipe I've been working on for some time. I started by reading the section on pilseners in Designing Great Beers, Radical Brewing and Brewing Classic Styles, and listening to the Jamil podcast on Bohemian Pilseners. I decided to forgo the decoction mash and have instead boosted the maltiness by additions of Melanoidin and Munich. Foam retention is boosted by CaraPils, and a 2% addition of flaked barley. In future, I'll drop the cara pils and just mash hotter, the flaked barley sorts out the head retention perfectly on its own.

I actually ended up with 84% efficiency on this one, single infusion, single batch sparge. I always seem to get unprecedented high efficiencies when I use Weyermann extra pale pilsener malt. I usually get about 78% efficiency on my system.

I had two different strength packets of Saaz hops, one that has been in the freezer for some months at 5.1% AA originally, and some fresher 3.3% stuff. *I had such unexpectedly high efficiency that I had to use 10g of 6.8% AA EKGs as well just to get the bitterness back up to where I wanted it, as I ended up with more beer than I had anticipated.Next time I'll use all Saaz as originally intended and skip this addition, but it has had no discernable effect on flavour. I ended up with 26L of wort post-boil. 22L in my fermenter, 1L in my fast-ferment test, 2x 1L bottles frozen for making starters with and 1L lost to trub.

I used the Pilsener Urquell strain - Wyeast 2001. I made a 2L starter, then stepped it up by another 2L a few days later, then decanted the spent beer and added a new 4L of fresh wort a fews days after that. There was quite a bit of slurry, although I didn't measure it, but it must have been several hundred ml's. I held a small amount back to use for a fast-ferment test, so that I can get some sort of idea of my limit of attenuation. I pitched cold at 6 degrees C, set the fermentation temp to 7degC, and 12 hours later, stepped it up to 8C. I increment the temperature by a degree every 12 hours until it reached 10degrees C (50F), and then held it there until fermentation completed. I did not do a diacetyl rest with this beer, there was none to very little thanks to the cold pitching technique, and a small amount is actually present in Pilsener Urquell anyway.

For water, I used store-bought Tesco Ashbeck Mountain Spring water, as it is nice and soft. I have had problems before with high mash pH's due to pale malts and alkaline water and I was taking no chances this time. Also, I wanted the softer water profile as it is typical of a Czech Pils. Again, with a bit of research, prompted by my previous problems, I made some salt additions to change the profile slightly - to boost Calcium levels and to reduce Residual Alkalinity. I used Calcium Chloride mainly, with a very small Gypsum addition to try and keep the Sulphate / Chloride ratio slightly more balanced. I used Palmer's mash spreadsheet to work out the figures. I managed to get around pH 5.3 in the mash.

Ashbeck Water:
Bicarbonate (Alkalinity) - 25ppm
Calcium - 10ppm
Magnesium - 2.5ppm
Sodium - 9ppm
Chloride - 12ppm
Sulphate - 10ppm

After additions:
Bicarbonate (Alkalinity) - 16.4ppm
Calcium - 76ppm
Magnesium - 2.5ppm
Sodium - 9ppm
Chloride - 109ppm
Sulphate - 38ppm

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Old 02-05-2010, 03:35 PM   #2
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A couple of things:

I lagered this beer in the keg for a month or two at -2C. It cleared up to absolutely crystal clear without any finings after a few weeks at that low temperature.

The beer had a strong fruity taste. At first I panicked that this was some off-flavour but I soon realised that it was a strong green hop taste from all the late Saaz. It mellowed out hugely after a month or so of lagering, much to my relief. All the same, I will probably cut the flavour additions a bit next time and compensate with some early hopping to keep the bitterness the same.

Next time, I will lose the carapils and just mash hotter. The beer has fantastic head already from the flaked barley. Also, I will double the munich malt percentage to give it a slightly less sweet and more toasty / grainy flavour.

All in all, I am really happy with this beer, it turned out fantastic and proved to me that lagers really need patience!

Picture: (a little hard to get the glass totally condensation free)

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Old 06-17-2011, 04:19 PM   #3
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i going to give this recipe a try this weekend.

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Old 06-20-2011, 08:22 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eastoak View Post
i going to give this recipe a try this weekend.
Great news, how did you get along? I posted this recipe years ago, but it's still probably the best lager I've ever made.

If I brewed it again, I'd lose the carapils and flaked barley entirely and just go pils / munich / melanoiden. I actually used UK munich malt in this originally, which has a richer flavour than german munich, gave the beer a great nuttiness along with the sweetness from the premium pilsner malt.

My advice would also be to tread carefully with the FWH addition, possibly dial it back a bit as the flavour could be a little too strong when combined with all the late hops.

I remember this beer taking about 8 weeks to mellow out and really be at its best, hope you can wait that long!

Please be sure to post your experience with this recipe. I may actually brew it myself this coming weekend
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Old 06-21-2011, 09:40 PM   #5
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i left out the carapils and the melaniodin and upped the flaked barley because i love the big rocky heads i get with it. i pitched a pretty big starter, 1 gal decanted, and started to see activity within 3 hrs. i plan on 8 weeks minimum, 4 at 50 degrees and 4 at 40 degrees. i detected a bit of a tannin flavor in the fresh wort but i'm not worried in the long run.

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Old 06-22-2011, 08:23 AM   #6
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Hmm, well the melanoiden really does bring quite a lot to the beer. The carapils isn't particularly important from a flavour perspective, but I'm kinda going back to it these days to try and get my beers to attenuate less when using large amounts of pilsner malt. It seems that with an attenuative yeast and lots of pils malt in the grist, even a high mash temp is sometimes not enough to get the FG where I want it.

I know it's a bit late, but I'd tread with caution when it comes to the flaked barley. It can have the unfortunate effect of causing haze in your beer and haze is your enemy when it comes to pilsners. I've also found that it is really not needed in this beer as an all-malt pilsner should have a great head on it without you needing to add anything. It does add a certain flavour and mouthfeel though.

If you have excessive tannins in the beer, you will probably have a bit of haze further down the line (as well as a taste impact), but you can probably fine it out later if need be.

I think 4 weeks at 50 will be fine for your primary, probably overkill though as fermentation should be done in 10 days to 2 weeks if you pitch enough healthy yeast. Also, if you pitch cold, say 45F and let it rise to 50, you shouldn't need a diacetyl rest at the end of primary.

See when the krausen dies down and the beer starts to clear, then leave it an extra week just to be sure and then keg and lager for 6-8 weeks if you can wait that long. If you can lager the beer colder, say 32, that would be much better but I realise this isn't possible for everyone. Saaz tastes terrible when green, like ripe fruit, but it dies down eventually and leaves that delicious, gentle spice.

Good luck, and keep us posted! I just ordered the ingredients for a 10 gallon batch of my own to brew on Saturday. I'll be using WLP815 (Belgian Lager), as I have a big pitch of it from my last run of lagers.

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Old 09-11-2011, 09:06 AM   #7
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hey guys
Flaked barley is all good for head retention but you should try add 2 to 3 weetbix
With that amount the 2% of other crap is not noticable
I thought some mates were having me on but its true.
Also maybe a nz motueka hop and an nz cascade will give a good flavour for
anyhow im doing a smililar recipe next week so was wondering how you got on with that yeast strain? would you change it and did you use any finings at all if not that is bloody clear especially using barley seems to promote chill haze alot.
1/2c of rice bubbles would help the head 2

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