Note: disregard the above stats. I have edited this recipe to reflect my latest award winning recipe. This took 1st place in the 2014 Brew Master's Competition in the "light lagers and hybrid ales" category.
This is for an 11 gallon batch at about 94% efficiency. Adjust for your batch size and efficiency if necessary. This recipe took me countless iterations to get it how I want it. Here it is:
2.9 (2.5 w/out melanoidin malt)
14.5 lbs. German Pils malt
.25 lbs. Melanoidin malt*
5 oz. Sauermalz (for mash pH adjustment)
*Optional. I used melanoidin in the award winning beer to help emulate a decoction, but have since left it out. I now prefer this recipe without the melanoidin malt.
Aim for a mash pH of about 5.49
Below is a snapshot from my spreadsheet showing the step mash I use. For single infusion, mash at 147F for 90 minutes and mash out as usual
Fly sparge with 170F water for 40 - 50 minutes.
Acidify sparge water with Lactic Acid to prevent mash pH exceeding 5.8 during sparge.
For Pilsners, I sometimes use my buddy's artesian well water or build my own water from RO. On average, this is my Ger Pils water profile:
Ca - 54 ppm
Mg - 4 ppm
Na - 11 ppm
Cl - 44 ppm
SO4 - 59 ppm
HCO3 - 93 ppm
3.6 oz. Hallertau Mittelfruh (4.0% aa)...90 min (First Wort Hop)
1.25 oz. Hallterau Mittelfruh.................30 min
1 oz. Hallertau Mittelfruh.....................15 min
Irish Moss & yeast nutrient...................10 min
.5 oz. Hallertau Mittelfruh.....................5 min
WLP833 Bock Lager - about 1 gallon starter, or as close to 330 billion cells per 5 gal (I'm lucky enough to be able order a specific pitchable cell count from a local laboratory)
The Bock lager yeast with this recipe and water profile produces the best tasting Pilsner I've ever made. I've tried just about everything available - dry and liquid - and WLP833 is my favorite for this particular recipe.
6 days @ 50F
5 days @ 54F
2 weeks @ 66F (includes diacetyl rest + warm conditioning + carbonation time)
Lager for 2 months @ 35F
Grainy Pilsner malt, with faint spicy hop nose. Not so much a floral aroma of hops, but a pleasant spicy balance. No noticeable DMS, some very minor yet pleasant esters.
Bright yellow and brilliantly clear with two finger white head that thins to about half a centimeter over time. Adequate lacing. See picture above.
Grainy malty flavor acts as a backbone for the hops, whose presence balance very nicely. The bitterness and dry crisp finish compliment the malt perfectly. Some minor esters on the finish, reminiscent of sipping Pils in a Bavarian biergarten. The delicate balance and noble European character is unlike any American made Pils I've ever had.
Medium to medium-light in body. Medium-high carbonation. Crisp, dry, pleasant throughout the profile.
Very well balanced, crisp pleasing Pilsner that showcases Pilsner malt and noble hops. A very inviting and approachable beer, easily sessionable.
I've been inspired ever since I got back from Germany in '09 to brew a good German style Pils at home. I strongly recommend this recipe (and process) if you like German style Pilsners.
If you brew it, please give me your feedback