Recipe Type: All Grain
Yeast: WhiteLabs 800,802,or 810
Yeast Starter: You Betcha
Additional Yeast or Yeast Starter: Make a second batch two weeks later to pitch on the yeast cake
Batch Size (Gallons): 5
Original Gravity: 1.056
Final Gravity: 1.012
Boiling Time (Minutes): 90
Color: 3.1 SRM
Primary Fermentation (# of Days & Temp): 10 Days - Mid To Low 50s
Additional Fermentation: Give the beer a week at room temps to carbonate then lager for 4-6 weeks or more
Secondary Fermentation (# of Days & Temp): 2-3 Days Diacetyl Rest up to mid 60s then bottle
Tasting Notes: Pretty Standard Pilsener Recipe, you'll like it better than Pilsener Urquell
9 & 3/4 Pounds Continental Pilsener 2-Row
1/4 Pound Carapils
3/4oz Sterling 7.9%A @ 60 Minutes ( Bittering - 26 IBU )
3/4oz Sterling 7.9%A @ 30 Minutes ( Bittering/Flavor - 13 IBU )
1/2oz Sazz 3.5%A @10 Minutes ( Flavor - 1 IBU )
1/2oz Sazz 3.5%A @ 5 Minutes ( Aroma - 1 IBU )
Since this beer is just a basic Bohemian style Lager, you should probably stick to WPL800 or a Pilsener style yeast, but I've also made this beer with WLP802, WLP810, and Saflager S-23 and it turned out really well. If you use one of the liquid yeasts then make a starter or pitch the yeast from your last batch, if you use the dry yeast - just pitch 2 packs.
Mash with 3.25 gallons of water at 150F for 60 minutes. Our local water is really good, but I'm finding the best results come with using about 1/2 local tap water and 1/2 filtered water. Make it a few times and see whats best for you, you want the water to be fairly soft because you can really taste the difference when its done.
Sparge with 175F water till you come to nearly 7 gallons in the brew pot. Get the burner going and bring it to a rolling boil. We're going for a 90 minute boil, the first 30 minutes don't add anything, just watch to make sure it doesn't boil over and get a kitchen strainer and scoop as much of the big clumps of hot break that form out of the beer that you can. You don't have to boil the entire 90 minutes, but don't start the timer on your hop additions till you've already come to a rolling boil and removed the hot break.
Once you're not seeing the large clumps of hot break forming anymore, then start your timer and add your hops according to schedule. The first couple of times I made this, I used Sazz hops only but I've finally decided that Sterling Hops for the bittering tastes best to me, not to mention is a bit more cost effective than 6 ounces of Sazz.
At the end of your boil, cool it down as quickly as you can and pitch your yeast. I usually expect to have about 5.5 gallons in the fermenter.
Try and ferment about 50F or cooler if possible. Usually the beer has reached its final gravity in about 10-12 days, once its got to the final gravity let it warm up to the mid-60s or even room temperature for a day or two for a Diacetyl rest. If you were very careful with keeping your temps low during the ferment, the diacetyl rest probably isn't necessary but I usually do it anyway.
You can rack it to a secondary at this point if you want to and put it back in the fridge to lager for a few weeks, or you can just go ahead and bottle it and lager it in the bottles. I don't really see the point in using a secondary with this beer so I'm inclined to just skip it, if you like to use a secondary then go for it, my beer tastes fantastic without it so there you go.
Bottle it as you normally would, and give it at least a week or two to carbonate and then lager it in the fridge for several weeks before sampling. The beer may have some chill haze before 8 weeks, but if you lager it long enough it will be crystal clear.
If you can wait that long, give it at least 8 weeks in the fridge before you start sampling, the longer you let the beer condition the clearer the beer will pour and the better carbonated the beer will be.