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German Pils Bo Berry Pils (West Coast Pilsner)

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deadwolfbones

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Last fall when I was at HPB I wasn't nearly as floored by their more “traditional” Pilsners. I think they had 4 or 5 on tap including Timbo. One was an Allagash colab.
Agreed, all of their pilsners/lagers are good, but Timbo and the others of its ilk (Robo Pils, etc) are on another level. I also had that Allagash collab and it was a perfectly easy-drinking lager but definitely nothing wildly outstanding.
 

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Lager X comes up quite often in the rotation, the whitelabs website has it coming back in oct/nov/dec release.

I start it at 50 and bump a couple degrees every few days and it finishes up quick and clean.
 
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deadwolfbones

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Somewhat on-topic, drinking my own Italian pilsner alongside Highland Park Brewery's Pleasant Pils and happy to say mine compares favorably!



Mine left, HPB right. Mine is a bit more malt forward (probably because of the 5% Mecca Grade Munich malt), theirs slightly hoppier. I'd happily drink both all summer long.
 

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Just heard about these ‘american noble’ hops from ych.

Anyone try them in a pils? Sounds like a good option. I would think some larger breweries have already had access.
 

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Been using them for a little while now. Maybe 6-7 different beers. They’re sort of hard to find. Bought a ton from Rite Brew on sale this past winter.

They’re very interesting and unique. They come through incredibly floral in the beer. It’s honestly amazing how much impact even an ounce at 10 minutes can have. It’s very easy to pick out.

There isn’t a huge difference between all the varieties. I’ve used em all I think and there might be slight differences but the over riding floral character is very similar.

That being said they’re rather one dimensional. Very floral, touch of fruit, zero “hop stank” or pungent notes that would be found in the regular pellets. They lack any sort of spice or real depth however. I wouldn’t use them on their own but pairing them with something spicier is in my mind the way to go. I’ve got a few beers recently that I used them on. One was a more traditional pils where I paired them with Zuper Saazer from MI and this latest “modern pils” with some Calista in the kettle then the Ekuanot DH. I think Sterling could be a good pair as well, I just can’t seem to find any Sterling that’s any good. I’ve never dry hopped sign them cause they come through fermentation so strong I never really felt the need.

I have made a couple IPAs with them where I was trying to add every available product of one variety. Leaf, pellet, Cryo, and American Noble. They could be interesting to add to the fermenter right at the beginning as a lot of the compounds In hops that get biotransformed by yeast are actually in the leaf material and not in the oil itself. You also don’t get the potential negative side effects of adding a ton of alpha acids to the fermenter cause thyme I’ve virtually been removed.
 

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So I've kegged it. Lagered it for 4 weeks. And I'm now sipping it.

The sample right at the start of lagering was horrible. After two weeks of lagering it was much nicer, very big hop presence with clean finish. And now it's... I'm not sure. There's a weird mouthfeel thing going on. Polyphenols? The hops also do not present themselves like you're used to, especially with Citra Mosaic. Aroma is there. Not as big as on a hazy/NEIPA and oddly kind of more dank than you might expect for Citra Mosaic. I actually don't think mine is bitter enough to be a "pilsner" if that word still means anything for this beer and I wish it was more bitter.

Gonna give it another few weeks in the kegerator before I pass judgement, but right now, maybe looking like a flop.

Still hazy AF, no picture required.

For those of you that might not brew a bunch of lager or even for those that do I can’t recommend the Andechs strain of lager yeast enough.
Interesting. I'll have to add that one to the list to try. Which one is it for the commercial pitches? I'm trying to settle on my go-to lager strain. I'm currently experimenting with L17 Harvest after seeing someone else highly recommend it. Have you tried it? Also known as WY2352 aka WLP686 aka Augustiner. It sounds similar in behavior. I made a starter and like you mentioned it was going in a couple hours after sitting in the fridge for a decent amount of time.
 

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Somewhat on-topic, drinking my own Italian pilsner alongside Highland Park Brewery's Pleasant Pils and happy to say mine compares favorably!



Mine left, HPB right. Mine is a bit more malt forward (probably because of the 5% Mecca Grade Munich malt), theirs slightly hoppier. I'd happily drink both all summer long.
Looks fantastic! What was your hop schedule? Would you change it?
 

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Interesting. I'll have to add that one to the list to try. Which one is it for the commercial pitches? I'm trying to settle on my go-to lager strain. I'm currently experimenting with L17 Harvest after seeing someone else highly recommend it. Have you tried it? Also known as WY2352 aka WLP686 aka Augustiner. It sounds similar in behavior. I made a starter and like you mentioned it was going in a couple hours after sitting in the fridge for a decent amount of time.
I don’t know what it is about the Augustiner strain but I have made the worst lagers with that yeast. I’ve used the Wyeast, White Labs, and Inperial versions and they’ve all produced terrible beers. That being said a ton of people use and love it and it’s probably the 2nd most popular commercial lager strain for craft breweries in the US so I don’t really know what to say. I pitch a ton of yeast, oxygenate with a stone, add yeast nutrient, pitch cold and let warm slightly, have dialed water profiles, step mash, blah blah blah. Gotta have close to 40 lager brews by now. I get lots of sulfur every time. Never had sulfur issues with any other yeast. I don’t ever warm my lager fermentation’s past 54 other than Augustiner. It definitely likes it warmer than most strains which is why a lot of craft breweries use it.

Imperial sells the Andechs strain for pros as Pilgrimage I believe.

I can’t say enough good things about it. I don’t really have a big desire to try many more. I just put some East Coast Yeast Kellbier on a stir plate but after that I probably will just go back to using the Andechs strain. Just found a Homebrew shop in CO that had three vials of Inland Islands version of it so I nabbed them.

Gave a pitch to a buddy who was headed brewer at a top 50 US craft brewery. Moved on and starting his own place. Was set on Augustiner until he tried the pitch I gave him on a small pilot batch. Was blown away with how clean and soft and balanced it was and how fast it cleared.
 
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Looks fantastic! What was your hop schedule? Would you change it?
I followed Jeff Alworth's advice, which he got from the brewer at Birrificio Italiano, and kept the dry hop additions very small, in two stages.

I bittered with Magnum to 27 IBU at 90 minutes, then hit it with another 8 IBU of Tettnang at 10 minutes.

Dry hop (in a 4 gal batch) was 7g in primary and 14g during a long cold crash, all Tettnang.

I don't know if I'd change it much. Maybe just a touch more dry hopping at each stage (10/20g?) and maybe 5 IBU less in the kettle. But it's pretty well-balanced as is. If anything I'll probably play with different noble hops. I know HPB uses Saphir in theirs.

Alworth's article is worth a read: There’s More to Italian Pilsners Than Dry-Hopping — Beervana
 

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I followed Jeff Alworth's advice, which he got from the brewer at Birrificio Italiano, and kept the dry hop additions very small, in two stages.

I bittered with Magnum to 27 IBU at 90 minutes, then hit it with another 8 IBU of Tettnang at 10 minutes.

Dry hop (in a 4 gal batch) was 7g in primary and 14g during a long cold crash, all Tettnang.

I don't know if I'd change it much. Maybe just a touch more dry hopping at each stage (10/20g?) and maybe 5 IBU less in the kettle. But it's pretty well-balanced as is. If anything I'll probably play with different noble hops. I know HPB uses Saphir in theirs.

Alworth's article is worth a read: There’s More to Italian Pilsners Than Dry-Hopping — Beervana

Have you seen the Pivo Pils recipe that Brynildson made available? I attempted a batch not long ago, with a couple substitutions, and it was outstanding. I highly recommend getting your hands on some Saphir hops. They’re delicious imo!

E5B701ED-E3F1-43C2-AB81-E975A5F2D368.jpeg
 
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deadwolfbones

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I followed Jeff Alworth's advice, which he got from the brewer at Birrificio Italiano, and kept the dry hop additions very small, in two stages.

I bittered with Magnum to 27 IBU at 90 minutes, then hit it with another 8 IBU of Tettnang at 10 minutes.

Dry hop (in a 4 gal batch) was 7g in primary and 14g during a long cold crash, all Tettnang.
Have you seen the Pivo Pils recipe that Brynildson made available? I attempted a batch not long ago, with a couple substitutions, and it was outstanding. I highly recommend getting your hands on some Saphir hops. They’re delicious imo!

View attachment 692463
Haven't seen the Pivo recipe, no. Got a link? I'd love to try it.
 
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Yep, that more or less matches what Alworth said about Birificio Italiano's methods. :)
 
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So I've kegged it. Lagered it for 4 weeks. And I'm now sipping it.

The sample right at the start of lagering was horrible. After two weeks of lagering it was much nicer, very big hop presence with clean finish. And now it's... I'm not sure. There's a weird mouthfeel thing going on. Polyphenols? The hops also do not present themselves like you're used to, especially with Citra Mosaic. Aroma is there. Not as big as on a hazy/NEIPA and oddly kind of more dank than you might expect for Citra Mosaic. I actually don't think mine is bitter enough to be a "pilsner" if that word still means anything for this beer and I wish it was more bitter.

Gonna give it another few weeks in the kegerator before I pass judgement, but right now, maybe looking like a flop.

Still hazy AF, no picture required.
Just saw this, btw. Sorry to hear it! I'd give it some more time—up to a month—to see if additional lagering has an effect. My most recent attempt changed continuously up until it kicked.
 

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Biggest surprise for me with this latest lager dry hopped with Ekuanot is the bitterness pickup from the Dry Hop. I must say I’ve never experienced quite this big of a difference between pre and post DH. Definitely going to have to alter the hotside hops a bit next time.
 

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Brewing round 2 of this. Virtually the same as last time (except blending Floor malted Pils with some Golden Promise) on the hotside but 4oz Strata dry hop this time. The Ekuanot version is almost crystal clear and really needs no more lagering time. 21 days and it never got above 52*. Crazy how good this yeasts tastes right away. Hands down the best lager yeast I’ve ever used. Can’t recommend it enough.

I might brew a lot more of these beers now that I know I can turn them injust a few more days than the same beer brewed with Ale yeast.
 

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I've brewed this twice now, with pretty different results, 10gal batches.

Same grist for both:
90% Pils
10% Chit

First batch:
30min 1oz Wakatu (10 IBU)
0 - WP for 15min (From flameout to 185F)- 4oz Wakatu, 1oz Citra cryo, 1oz Mosaic cryo (35 IBU per Beersmith 3)
Ferment with Oslo @ 85F for 4 days
Soft crash to 60 and drop yeast on day 5
Day 6 DH with 3oz Citra cryo, 1oz Mosaic cryo
Day 8 Cold crash to 42F for 48 hours and package (Starsan filled CO2 purged kegs)
FG - 1.011
RO water (Ca 50, Mg 7, Na 20, SO4 75, Cl 75)

This batch held onto it's haze completely even with gelatin in one keg and a floating dip tube in the other. Much softer NEIPA-like fruitiness. I used a hop spider for this and even with whirpooling through a chugger pump the spider seemed fairly clogged with the excessive protein from the Chit which I think hurt utilization.

Second batch:
60min 1oz Pekko (28 IBU)
0 - drop to 165F and WP for 15 min - 2oz Mosaic cryo, 2oz Mosaic pellet (10 IBU per Beersmith 3)
Ferment with 34/70 at 59F, rise to 68F on day 5
Day 8 Slow drop to 56F over 2 days
Day 10 dump yeast and DH with 3 oz Citra cryo
Day 12 cold rash at 42F for 48 hours and package (Starsan filled CO2 purged kegs)
FG - 1.009
RO Water (Ca 35, Mg 0, Na 8, SO4 36, CL 38)

I did not use a hop spider for this batch and I think utilization increased quite a bit due to it. Despite using all cryo the DH hops have quite a bitter/aggressive taste to them, without as much aroma as the first batch. Current keg on tap has been at 38F for 3.5 weeks with a floating dip tube to avoid any cryo burn. It seems to be cleaning up slightly vs when first tapped, but I think still might be too bitter. Surprised at how the hop flavor/aroma came out on this vs the first batch. This one is also very clear vs the first batch.
 
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I've brewed this twice now, with pretty different results, 10gal batches.

Same grist for both:
90% Pils
10% Chit

First batch:
30min 1oz Wakatu (10 IBU)
0 - WP for 15min (From flameout to 185F)- 4oz Wakatu, 1oz Citra cryo, 1oz Mosaic cryo (35 IBU per Beersmith 3)
Ferment with Oslo @ 85F for 4 days
Soft crash to 60 and drop yeast on day 5
Day 6 DH with 3oz Citra cryo, 1oz Mosaic cryo
Day 8 Cold crash to 42F for 48 hours and package (Starsan filled CO2 purged kegs)
FG - 1.011
RO water (Ca 50, Mg 7, Na 20, SO4 75, Cl 75)

This batch held onto it's haze completely even with gelatin in one keg and a floating dip tube in the other. Much softer NEIPA-like fruitiness. I used a hop spider for this and even with whirpooling through a chugger pump the spider seemed fairly clogged with the excessive protein from the Chit which I think hurt utilization.

Second batch:
60min 1oz Pekko (28 IBU)
0 - drop to 165F and WP for 15 min - 2oz Mosaic cryo, 2oz Mosaic pellet (10 IBU per Beersmith 3)
Ferment with 34/70 at 59F, rise to 68F on day 5
Day 8 Slow drop to 56F over 2 days
Day 10 dump yeast and DH with 3 oz Citra cryo
Day 12 cold rash at 42F for 48 hours and package (Starsan filled CO2 purged kegs)
FG - 1.009
RO Water (Ca 35, Mg 0, Na 8, SO4 36, CL 38)

I did not use a hop spider for this batch and I think utilization increased quite a bit due to it. Despite using all cryo the DH hops have quite a bitter/aggressive taste to them, without as much aroma as the first batch. Current keg on tap has been at 38F for 3.5 weeks with a floating dip tube to avoid any cryo burn. It seems to be cleaning up slightly vs when first tapped, but I think still might be too bitter. Surprised at how the hop flavor/aroma came out on this vs the first batch. This one is also very clear vs the first batch.
Wow two radically different methods. Which one did you prefer? I just got some Lutra which is supposedly Oslo. Interested to try it but I'm trying to nail my basic pilsner method before I attempt this recipe again.
 

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I prefered the first version. I was pretty surprised how different they turned out despite being fairly similar in grist, water profile, hops used in WP/DH. Really the biggest difference was the yeast used, the bittering hops being shifted back, and hop spider usage.

On the second attempt my goal was just to increase the bittering, and try an actual lager yeast with it.
 

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Grain Bill was a blend of Weyermann Floor Malted Pils and Rahr 2 Row with some Chit malt for foam purposes.

This one is Perle at 70 and 40 then a blend of Calista and American Noble Cascade at 10 and WP. DH was 4oz of Ekuanot. Honestly my first time using Ekuanot.
What did you target for ibus bittering? What was your late hop quantity? How did it turn out!?

have you needed to oxygenate later generations of the yeast? I’ve also been really enjoying 34/70 but open to trying others.
 

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What did you target for ibus bittering? What was your late hop quantity? How did it turn out!?

have you needed to oxygenate later generations of the yeast? I’ve also been really enjoying 34/70 but open to trying others.
I believe it was close to 50 theoretical IBUs. I’m at 7000 feet though so my utilization is much worse. IBUs are a complete crap shoot for me.

I did 1oz each of American Noble cascade and Grungeist at 10 and WP. The alpha is super low. Grungeist might be 2.9 and Am Noble Cascade is 1.1.

I oxygenate every beer where I’m using liquid yeast, never for dry yeast. For lagers it’s 4 minutes at .25L/min at 46* with a .5 micron stone and pure o2.

If you have good temp control I would use this Andech’s strain of yeast over any other strain personally. It’s fast and so crazy clean and drops clear much faster than any lager yeast I’ve used. This last beer with Ekuanot I didn’t even lager just stuck it in the keezer on gas at 35* and in 10 days it was carbed and crystal clear. I’m not usually a proponent of quick turn lagers. Prolly made close to 50 over the last four years and I always pitch and ferment cold with only a very modest increase to maybe 54 at the end of fermentation and then slowly cooling to 39 for a week and then slowly downs to 30 for a month. However with this yeast and a heavy dry hop that pretty much covers any sort of delicate nuance there’s no need to be that slow.

It definitely doesn’t attenuate as much as 34/70 so you need to plan for that but for these beers I’m not as worried about getting below 1.010. Little extra body helps to carry the hops.
 

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I believe it was close to 50 theoretical IBUs. I’m at 7000 feet though so my utilization is much worse. IBUs are a complete crap shoot for me.

I did 1oz each of American Noble cascade and Grungeist at 10 and WP. The alpha is super low. Grungeist might be 2.9 and Am Noble Cascade is 1.1.

I oxygenate every beer where I’m using liquid yeast, never for dry yeast. For lagers it’s 4 minutes at .25L/min at 46* with a .5 micron stone and pure o2.

If you have good temp control I would use this Andech’s strain of yeast over any other strain personally. It’s fast and so crazy clean and drops clear much faster than any lager yeast I’ve used. This last beer with Ekuanot I didn’t even lager just stuck it in the keezer on gas at 35* and in 10 days it was carbed and crystal clear. I’m not usually a proponent of quick turn lagers. Prolly made close to 50 over the last four years and I always pitch and ferment cold with only a very modest increase to maybe 54 at the end of fermentation and then slowly cooling to 39 for a week and then slowly downs to 30 for a month. However with this yeast and a heavy dry hop that pretty much covers any sort of delicate nuance there’s no need to be that slow.

It definitely doesn’t attenuate as much as 34/70 so you need to plan for that but for these beers I’m not as worried about getting below 1.010. Little extra body helps to carry the hops.
Do any other yeast mfg's offer the Andech's strain other than the seasonal WLP835/German Lager X for homebrewers? I would like to get ahold of a pitch of it to try with some Italian-style Pils and WCP. I tried it once a looooong time ago and don't think I did it justice.
 

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Do any other yeast mfg's offer the Andech's strain other than the seasonal WLP835/German Lager X for homebrewers? I would like to get ahold of a pitch of it to try with some Italian-style Pils and WCP. I tried it once a looooong time ago and don't think I did it justice.
I believe that's it. WLP will be releasing in the Oct-Nov-Dec rotation. I'm going to try it as well.
 

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Do any other yeast mfg's offer the Andech's strain other than the seasonal WLP835/German Lager X for homebrewers? I would like to get ahold of a pitch of it to try with some Italian-style Pils and WCP. I tried it once a looooong time ago and don't think I did it justice.
Rocky Mtn Lager from Wyeast is the same. Imperial offers it as Pilgrimage but I believe it’s for pros only. I got some through Inland Island in CO. They randomly package some for homebrewers and sell it to a local shop.

Blows my mind that it’s so hard to find. I’ve used a lot of lager strains and this one seems to be by far the best.
 

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Got ahold of some INIS-711 German Monk Lager from The Brew Hut. Called them up and they were about to place a large order of HB vials and tacked my order onto theirs. 6 vials should be arriving today. Planning on brewing up a Helles and then racking onto that cake for a West Coast Pils. Debating since it's so fresh whether to pitch 4 vials direct (800b cells, ~1.050SG), or to do a proper 3L starter with 2 vials. Excited to try this strain out as it's been about 4 years and I don't think I gave it a fair shot. I'll follow couch's recommendation and pitch around 46, ferment and 50, and rise to 54-58 toward tail end of fermentation.

Also, for those with larger setups. You can order a 1bbl pitch for about $75 from Inland Island. They only ship overnight which for me was around $70, but looking back now I should have just ordered the 1bbl pitch, split it between both batches, and harvested the remainder rest for future use (I do 11g batches). I hate making starters :p
 

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To reduce DMS, collect only 4.5 gallons (17 l) in your kettle. Boil down to about 4 gallons (15 l) and then at knock out (with flame off), top up with 1 gallon (3.8 l) of chilled sterile water (a gallon jug of grocery-store water is best). This should bring your wort to 185°–195°F (85–90°C) and will get your wort out of the temperature danger zone where DMS precursors can redevelop.
Going off the original Highland Park recipe, are you guys all boiling for 90 minutes? Also is anyone topping off with cold water to get out of DMS zone?
 

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I think it mostly depends on your setup. If your setup allows quick chilling and high boil-off rate, you should be fine with 60min boil and chill to 185F before whirlpooling. I have a 10% boil-off rate and have done plenty of 60min 100% pilsner brews without any DMS issues.
 

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I think it mostly depends on your setup. If your setup allows quick chilling and high boil-off rate, you should be fine with 60min boil and chill to 185F before whirlpooling. I have a 10% boil-off rate and have done plenty of 60min 100% pilsner brews without any DMS issues.
I use a wort chiller so I think it's about 10 minutes until I'm at around 185F?
 

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For those that have done a few iterations of this recipe, or similar. Where have you landed on hotside bittering charges for amounts/time, if any?

Based on my experience of the second batch, the intense bitterness pickup from the DH on top of the 28IBU charge at the beginning was unexpected with 34/70 vs ale yeast. Debating whether to do a small 10IBU noble-ish charge with 10 or 20min left, or just do all WP/DH. Or maybe use some American Noble hops to blend in a bit of lager character with the citra/mosaic WP and DH bomb? Will be using Andech's this third time around.
 
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Both batches I've done were all WP/DH and I still had bitterness issues. Next time I'm going to shift more to the DH from the WP and hop less overall.
 

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I wonder what the connection is between the lager yeast and large DH charge bitterness pickup, as compared to say a Hazy Pale? I would think with the higher finishing pH of lagers vs ales that you would actually get less bitterness pickup from the DH? Obviously the water profile is quite different as well.

Maybe I'll lower the WP charge temp and/or sub in some citra/mosaic American Noble as well. Planning on this one being all Citra/Mosaic Lupomax and American Noble.
 

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How much do you guys throw in at WP and DH? The SoCal Pils recipe recommends a pretty significant whirlpool of 4oz but no bittering charges.

It could be the water profile as well, in my case the water profile for pilsners is a little heavier on sulfate than chloride.
 

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The DH from the OP/SoCal recipe isn't really that big, at least compared to modern hazies. But several of us have noticed a significant increase in bitterness post-DH.

I've used fairly soft "standard" lager profiles for both of my attempts. I wonder how HPB treats their water for this beer? My next attempt I'm going to keep to a similar profile to see where it lands with the Andech's strain. May be worth doing a second attempt with a slightly higher chloride/sulfate ratio, but not to hazy levels, if the bitterness is still too pronounced.
 
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