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Any special considerations brewing with Pilsner malt?

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Alex4mula

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I have done lots of all grain brews but all with 2-row, Maris Otter, and Munich as base malt. I'm brewing this simple recipe using Pilsner for the 1st time. My equipment is a Mash & Boil (+/- 75% eff) and I use RO water and Brun Water to calculate salts. I heard about boiling for 90 minutes. Is this needed?. So what special considerations are really needed to brew this properly? Thanks.

10# German Pilsner
1# Munich

1oz Perle - 60min
0.5oz Tettnag - 15min
0.5oz Tettnang - 5min

Wyeast1007 German Ale yeast
 

VikeMan

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I heard about boiling for 90 minutes. Is this needed?.
Some will say you absolutely need to do 90 minutes. Some will say you absolutely don't. But YMMV.

It depends on the malt (i.e. how much SMM (DMS precursor) is in it), boil vigor, kettle geometry (surface area), and probably more.
 

Sammy86

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Like @VikeMan said there are alot of different opinions...the old school crew will say you have to boil 90 mins...new school will say no.

In my experience 90 minutes is not needed but I do boil pretty hard and get about a gallon/hour of loss. Recipe looks solid and delicious! I'm a big fan of tettnang in my lagers but also will use spalt.
 
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Alex4mula

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Ok. So other than the boil controversy the rest is just normal? No special crush like wheat? Ok to do a simple 152°F 60min mash? Thanks for the replies.
 

VikeMan

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Recipe says OG: 1.056 and FG: 1.012
I'd say 152F for 60 minutes, for that grain bill and yeast, should get you very close, possibly right on the mark.
 

cubalz

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I brew 100% Pilsners and Helles recipes with 70% Pilsner in the grist and I only employ a 60 minute boil. The beers always taste great. Legal disclaimer: my boils are VERY aggressive.
 

VikeMan

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So if ones not able to produce an aggressive boil should the boil be for 90?
That would be my recommendation, at least as a starting point, for anyone who hasn't used pils malts before. But as mentioned, there are multiple factors.

I'd add that a longer boil (even if it turns out to be just for "insurance") comes with a side benefit, i.e. better mash efficiency, because more water/wort is needed for the longer boil.

That said, I tend to favor relatively short boils with most malts, generally going beyond 60 minutes only when using very large amounts of pils malts.

One final thought... people have different thresholds for detecting DMS. All beer has some. It's just a question of whether it's below the threshold of the taster.
 

Beermeister32

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I vote for the 90 minute Pilsner boil. I did a batch once using somebody else's 60 minute boil procedure and ended up with a batch of Bavarian Pilsner with DMS, kind of a vegetal cabbage taste. Never again!
 
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Alex4mula

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I usually end up with more water than needed so most of the time I need to boil off before adding the 60min hops to get to my final volume to transfer. So I guess I should be fine. Thanks all. Now I'll search for water as the Pilsen profile in Burn Water seems impossible for me to achieve.
 

Reneauj62

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I have two Grainfathers and neither one boils... at all, unless the lid is on which defeats the purpose of releasing DMS .... so, when using Pilsner malts, it is mandatory to try to boil minimum of 90 minutes, sometimes 120....
 

Immocles

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I have done lots of all grain brews but all with 2-row, Maris Otter, and Munich as base malt. I'm brewing this simple recipe using Pilsner for the 1st time. My equipment is a Mash & Boil (+/- 75% eff) and I use RO water and Brun Water to calculate salts. I heard about boiling for 90 minutes. Is this needed?. So what special considerations are really needed to brew this properly? Thanks.

10# German Pilsner
1# Munich

1oz Perle - 60min
0.5oz Tettnag - 15min
0.5oz Tettnang - 5min

Wyeast1007 German Ale yeast
With my Mash & Boil, I find that I need a bit more than 60m for pilsner boils. I had zero problems with 60m on the stovetop, but when I started using that as my main system, I had two pilsner brews with DMS. It just doesn't seem to boil quite as hard as I was used to. I don't always boil 90m with pilsner malt, but I do give it some extra time. Maybe 75-80.

I vote for the 90 minute Pilsner boil. I did a batch once using somebody else's 60 minute boil procedure and ended up with a batch of Bavarian Pilsner with DMS, kind of a vegetal cabbage taste. Never again!
That is precisely how I have described one of the kolsch I made earlier this year. Super disappointing!
 

BucksIPA

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You can add lactic acid or acidulated malt which is done with german pilsner

Dms can be an issue and so can longer boil times with a light pilsner malt. You always see people doing really timely and rough boils . Your kinda destroying the beer to prevent somethibg destroying the beer. The longer boil is going to kill the pilsner malt flavor. Its going to create a malt sweetness too from this vigourous boil that is too sweet.

Dms is broken down by a boiling temp. You can do this in a decoction mash and pre convert to dms in the mash. More decoction the more conversion. Then when you go to boil you will boil off this dms fairly quickl as its already converted , off course not a closed system

A shorter boil time is good for the preservation of the malt flavor. A 5-6% boil off is a good range.
 

Lefou

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A thread topic like this is good information.
There are variables you have to take into account and one of them is the grain itself. Not all Pilsner grain is the same. The best stuff is low protein, well-converted malt. I rarely argue about or recommend which brand is best, but if I find a good malt I'll stick with it - like Weyermann.
Weyermann distributes an under-modified, floor malted Bohemian Pilsner grain that would make a good boil necessary. I typically use slightly cheaper Avangard or Dingemans and err to the safe side with a longer boil when using Pilsner malt.
A good boil with a thoroughly aerated wort would be a good idea, too. Don't underpitch the yeast and keep the fermentation cool. What works for a good Pils generally works for a kolsch-style brew, too.
 

jrgtr42

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From what I gather, there's well converted pilsner malt, and not-so-well converted.
The not so well you need to mash longer and especially boil longer to drive off those DMS precursors.
I have a couple recipes that I use pilsner for, I usually split the difference and boil for 75 minutes or so.
(I typically use Rarh or Breiss malt; those are what my LHBS has, though once I work through my current stock I'll have to look into online or driving an hour to the next closest, since the close one closed.
 

VikeMan

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Just to add/clarify... the major factor in determining final SMM (DMS precursor) in finished malt is kilning temperature, and not modification (i.e. not the length of germination). That's why the lightest malts (like pilsner) have more SMM.
 
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Alex4mula

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I'm using Weyermann malt. Planning to boil 75 minutes. Bought some acidulated malt to bring PH down (adding 3oz). Right now only planning to add 1.8G of calcium chloride to mash water (4.4g RO). Brun Water estimated PH 5.41.
 

kartracer2

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Insert dumb extract brewer question here...
Do these factors apply to DME / LME also and need to be treated the same?
Why or why not.
Thanks
Cheers, :mug: ,
Joel B.
 
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Alex4mula

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Currently brewing. PH came out at 5.33 so I guess the acid malt did it’s job.
 
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Alex4mula

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Got OG 1.059. Wort taste good. Great brew day :)
 

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