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Old 01-22-2012, 03:46 PM   #1
Patrick604
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Apr 2011
, MI
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Hi all -

It is cold here in Michigan right now, and my basement will be at the perfect temp for a lager for about the next 2 months, time to try something new.

Please take a look at my German Pils and let me know what you think. I plan to brew this tomorrow night if all goes according to plan.

My efficiency is only at 60 %, mostly because my LHBS does not get a very fine crush on the grains. This is for a 5 gallon final batch size.

10.5 lbs German pilsner
1 lbs Cara-Pils / Dextrine
Mash at 153 degrees
90 Minute boil
1.25 oz Saaz for 60 min
1.0 oz Saaz for 15 min
1.0 Saaz for 2 min

White Labs 838 Southern German Lager

Water will be distilled with additions to get close to Munich.

Estimated OG 1.048
Estimated FG 1.013
Estimated IBU's 27 (25-45 per style guidelines) I am shooting for the low end as the last couple of beers I have made were excessively bitter.

Any thoughts, pointers, suggestions?

Thanks!
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Old 01-22-2012, 04:25 PM   #2
BigEd
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Patrick604 View Post
Hi all -

It is cold here in Michigan right now, and my basement will be at the perfect temp for a lager for about the next 2 months, time to try something new.

Please take a look at my German Pils and let me know what you think. I plan to brew this tomorrow night if all goes according to plan.

My efficiency is only at 60 %, mostly because my LHBS does not get a very fine crush on the grains. This is for a 5 gallon final batch size.

10.5 lbs German pilsner
1 lbs Cara-Pils / Dextrine
Mash at 153 degrees
90 Minute boil
1.25 oz Saaz for 60 min
1.0 oz Saaz for 15 min
1.0 Saaz for 2 min

White Labs 838 Southern German Lager

Water will be distilled with additions to get close to Munich.

Estimated OG 1.048
Estimated FG 1.013
Estimated IBU's 27 (25-45 per style guidelines) I am shooting for the low end as the last couple of beers I have made were excessively bitter.

Any thoughts, pointers, suggestions?

Thanks!
It will work the way it is but if you want thoughts, suggestions and opinions, here they are.

I love Saaz hops but would not use them exclusively in a German pils. Spalt and members of the Hallertau family make the beer taste more "German". I would back off to no more than a half pound of CaraPils and lower the mash temperature. A German pils should have a clean, dry finish and my mash temp suggestion is 148-150F. While the overall IBU number seems to be fine most of them should be coming from the first addition and 1.5 oz of Saaz doesn't seem to be able to contribute much more than ~15 IBU to the beer. I would arrange the hop schedule to get about 75% of the bittering from the first addition and then most of the rest from a middle addition of 20-30 minutes. Keep the knockout addition for aroma if you like.

 
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Old 01-22-2012, 04:36 PM   #3
Yooper
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigEd View Post
It will work the way it is but if you want thoughts, suggestions and opinions, here they are.

I love Saaz hops but would not use them exclusively in a German pils. Spalt and members of the Hallertau family make the beer taste more "German". I would back off to no more than a half pound of CaraPils and lower the mash temperature. A German pils should have a clean, dry finish and my mash temp suggestion is 148-150F. While the overall IBU number seems to be fine most of them should be coming from the first addition and 1.5 oz of Saaz doesn't seem to be able to contribute much more than ~15 IBU to the beer. I would arrange the hop schedule to get about 75% of the bittering from the first addition and then most of the rest from a middle addition of 20-30 minutes. Keep the knockout addition for aroma if you like.
I agree- Saaz screams "Bohemian Pilsner" to me! I'd use hallertauer for all the hops, or a halletauer derivative.

I would use a whole pound of carapils, as I like it with all the rest being German pilsner malt. I do a decoction for my pilsners, but a single infusion at 150-152 is fine. I also agree with using the bittering hops for the majority of IBUs, with additions at 15 and 0 for flavor and aroma.

I would use very little salts in this- 100% RO water is great, and you want to keep the sulfate pretty low (but can add some if you want).
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Old 01-22-2012, 04:37 PM   #4
ChillWill
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I wouldn't use straight up distilled water as that could contribute to the 'hash' bitterness you've experienced. You want some chloride and sulphate in there to round it off.

 
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Old 01-22-2012, 05:14 PM   #5
BigEd
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yooper View Post
I would use very little salts in this- 100% RO water is great, and you want to keep the sulfate pretty low (but can add some if you want).
Keeping the sulfate low is a good thing here, however, calcium is required. An addition of calcium chloride to bring the Ca+ to 50-75 ppm is highly recommended.

 
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Old 01-22-2012, 05:24 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yooper View Post
I agree- Saaz screams "Bohemian Pilsner" to me! I'd use hallertauer for all the hops, or a halletauer derivative.

I would use a whole pound of carapils, as I like it with all the rest being German pilsner malt. I do a decoction for my pilsners, but a single infusion at 150-152 is fine. I also agree with using the bittering hops for the majority of IBUs, with additions at 15 and 0 for flavor and aroma.

I would use very little salts in this- 100% RO water is great, and you want to keep the sulfate pretty low (but can add some if you want).
Won't he have trouble hitting a good mash pH with no calcium?

 
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Old 01-22-2012, 05:26 PM   #7
Yooper
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigEd View Post
Keeping the sulfate low is a good thing here, however, calcium is required. An addition of calcium chloride to bring the Ca+ to 50-75 ppm is highly recommended.
Yes, that's what I was thinking and apparently neglected to type!

Adding enouch CaCl2 to get you to 50 ppm of Calcium is about perfect. I know some brewers like to add a bit of gypsum to get there, but I"m finding that sulfate (while it does enhance hops bitterness) is pretty harsh with noble hops. I like the "soft" but firm bitterness that comes with lower sulfate in German lagers, if that makes sense.
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Old 01-22-2012, 10:50 PM   #8
Patrick604
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Apr 2011
, MI
Posts: 50

Thanks for the help guys. I was planning on using the Saaz because I like the flavor and aroma and I have some on hand. I will check my fridge and see if I have some German noble hops instead.

As for the water, I was planning on going with distilled as I do not have an RO filter, and my city water is very hard, which didn't seem to fit the profile. I have not played around with water much and wanted to keep this first time water adjustment fairly simple, I will go with the calcium addition recommended.

I guess the other thing is to drop the mash temp a couple of degrees. So, it looks like I was pretty close, but need to dial in a few more adjustments before I get the mash going. Thanks for your help!
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Old 01-22-2012, 10:57 PM   #9
Patrick604
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Apr 2011
, MI
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Okay, a quick hop inventory shows I have 2 ounces of Tettnang in addition to the Saaz. Unless I wan't to get totally stupid and use EK Goldings.

So, what should I expect if I use the Tettnang instead of the Saaz, or should I use one for bittering and one for flavor/aroma?

Also, Yooper, I see you recommend a hop schedule of 15 min and 0 min. If I understand this correctly, most of the bittering would come from the 60 min, the 15 would be for flavor and almost no bittering, and the 0 would be for aroma? I have usually looked at 2 min for the aroma hops, will there be a significant difference between 2 min and 0 min?

Thanks again for your help everyone!
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Old 01-24-2012, 04:11 PM   #10
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I don't like to do 0 min additions in lagers. My reasoning is purely anecdotal so keep that in mind. My personal belief is that by undergoing a short boil (I add at 5 min), I do loose some aroma, but I find that the aroma I do get lasts longer as the beer ages. I assume some sort of reaction is occurring to somehow stabilize the aroma. With a 0 min addition, I find there is more aroma initially, but then it fades too much over time. Again, this is purely anecdotal.

Now a pale ale or IPA that won't be aged, and typically consumed quickly, 0 min. works well.

I never use more than 1 oz of flavor hops and 1/2 oz of aroma hops when I am making a stylistically accurate European lager.
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