Does my 1st SMaSH pilsner recipe look okay?

Homebrew Talk - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Forum

Help Support Homebrew Talk - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Forum:

Iowa Brewer

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Sep 14, 2018
Messages
432
Reaction score
182
Hey all,
I'm hoping to do my first SMaSH recipe and my first pilsner. Since this is part of a learning process, I'm making it as center of the ranges for OG, IBUs, & color that I can on Beersmith 3. I figure this gives me a good starting base from which to compare future experiments.

Do you see any glaring errors I'm making? Thanks for any and all advice!
Feel free to ignore the H2O if that's not your bag :)

I'm making it in my 20gal eBIAB system, built by Bobby from BrewHardware.com

Volume to Enter Fermenter: 5.5gal

Ingredients & Hop Schedule
Malt: 9.9# 2-row (I have tons on hand and will save a bottle to compare to a future pilsner-malt version)
Yeast: 2 packs of Saflager w-34/70 (rehydrated)
Hops Schedule
- Mash: 1oz Saaz
- 90min: 1oz Saaz
- 60min: 1oz Saaz
- 30min: 0.5oz Saaz

Mash
5min @ 97F
15min @ 125F
45min @ 145F
30min @ 161F
10min @ 172F

Boil: 90min

Water profile: Drawn from Beersmith 3's Pilsen profile, built from distilled water
Calcium: 7.5ppm
Mag: 1.3ppm
Sodium: 2.8ppm
Sulfate: 5.2ppm
Chloride: 4.7ppm
Bicarbonate: 14.7ppm
 

Sammy86

Still thirsty
HBT Supporter
Joined
Jan 28, 2013
Messages
3,445
Reaction score
2,381
Hey all,
I'm hoping to do my first SMaSH recipe and my first pilsner. Since this is part of a learning process, I'm making it as center of the ranges for OG, IBUs, & color that I can on Beersmith 3. I figure this gives me a good starting base from which to compare future experiments.

Do you see any glaring errors I'm making? Thanks for any and all advice!
Feel free to ignore the H2O if that's not your bag :)

I'm making it in my 20gal eBIAB system, built by Bobby from BrewHardware.com

Volume to Enter Fermenter: 5.5gal

Ingredients & Hop Schedule
Malt:
9.9# 2-row (I have tons on hand and will save a bottle to compare to a future pilsner-malt version)
Yeast: 2 packs of Saflager w-34/70 (rehydrated)
Hops Schedule
- Mash: 1oz Saaz
- 90min: 1oz Saaz
- 60min: 1oz Saaz
- 30min: 0.5oz Saaz

Mash
5min @ 97F
15min @ 125F
45min @ 145F
30min @ 161F
10min @ 172F

Boil: 90min

Water profile: Drawn from Beersmith 3's Pilsen profile, built from distilled water
Calcium: 7.5ppm
Mag: 1.3ppm
Sodium: 2.8ppm
Sulfate: 5.2ppm
Chloride: 4.7ppm
Bicarbonate: 14.7ppm

A few thoughts:

1. It's not really a Pilsner if you're not using Pilsner malt...you'll definitely get a good idea of the hops though.

2. Why the crazy step mashes? IMO you really only need the 2-3. 145° and 161° and the mashout of you really want to, personally I stopped doing them and haven't seen any drawbacks.

3. I was taught that noble hops don't necessarily play very nicely with all the salt additions to the water. For mine i use acid to bring down PH and a touch of gypsum thats it.

4. You don't need to rehydrate 34/70. Ive been using it for years by sprinkling it in and you're good to go.

Good luck!
 
OP
OP
Iowa Brewer

Iowa Brewer

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Sep 14, 2018
Messages
432
Reaction score
182
A few thoughts:

1. It's not really a Pilsner if you're not using Pilsner malt...you'll definitely get a good idea of the hops though.

2. Why the crazy step mashes? IMO you really only need the 2-3. 145° and 161° and the mashout of you really want to, personally I stopped doing them and haven't seen any drawbacks.

3. I was taught that noble hops don't necessarily play very nicely with all the salt additions to the water. For mine i use acid to bring down PH and a touch of gypsum thats it.

4. You don't need to rehydrate 34/70. Ive been using it for years by sprinkling it in and you're good to go.

Good luck!
[Moderator's Note: Original thread was moved to the appropriate forum]

Hey, this is great stuff, Sammy86. Thank you!
The complex step mashes was what BeerSmith pointed out for me. Again, cheers!
 
Last edited by a moderator:

AlexKay

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Jan 18, 2020
Messages
1,002
Reaction score
2,300
Location
South Bend
I would stick with a 60-minute boil (especially if you're using pale malt instead of pilsner.) Combine all the hops into a 60-minute addition -- all they're going to contribute is bitterness. If you'd like to taste the Saaz, put it in at 10 minutes or less (I would do less.)

And I'd add a pound of Munich. Sure, it won't be a SMaSH anymore, but it'll taste better!
 
OP
OP
Iowa Brewer

Iowa Brewer

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Sep 14, 2018
Messages
432
Reaction score
182
I would stick with a 60-minute boil (especially if you're using pale malt instead of pilsner.) Combine all the hops into a 60-minute addition -- all they're going to contribute is bitterness. If you'd like to taste the Saaz, put it in at 10 minutes or less (I would do less.)

And I'd add a pound of Munich. Sure, it won't be a SMaSH anymore, but it'll taste better!

Cheers, AlexKay!
How will the Munich change the flavor?
 

couchsending

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Jun 21, 2016
Messages
3,008
Reaction score
2,066
Ditch the first two steps of your step mash. There’s zero reason to do them with modern American 2 row. The 145 is even debatable.

The hop schedule is perfect. If you think you only get flavor/aroma from additions past 10 you need to brew more lager beer. Most traditional Czech Pilsners won’t have an addition past 20 minutes left in the boil and often it’s no later than 30.

You get plenty of flavor and aroma from hop additions at all times during the boil. Noble hops tend to benefit from extended boiling times.
 

AlexKay

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Jan 18, 2020
Messages
1,002
Reaction score
2,300
Location
South Bend
I’m certainly guilty of making a lot of smack-you-in-the-face recipes. I guess it gets back to why you’re making the SMaSH … if your goal is to get a clear idea of what Saaz tastes like, I think it helps to add it later.

I used to do my German beers (including a lot of lagers) with 20-minute additions, and have been shifting those later, to 15 or 10, and been happy with the results. I’ll be the first to admit to a somewhat coarse palate, though.

You should try my DDH Helles. ;)
 
OP
OP
Iowa Brewer

Iowa Brewer

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Sep 14, 2018
Messages
432
Reaction score
182
Ditch the first two steps of your step mash. There’s zero reason to do them with modern American 2 row. The 145 is even debatable.

The hop schedule is perfect. If you think you only get flavor/aroma from additions past 10 you need to brew more lager beer. Most traditional Czech Pilsners won’t have an addition past 20 minutes left in the boil and often it’s no later than 30.

You get plenty of flavor and aroma from hop additions at all times during the boil. Noble hops tend to benefit from extended boiling times.
Thanks, couchsending!
 
OP
OP
Iowa Brewer

Iowa Brewer

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Sep 14, 2018
Messages
432
Reaction score
182
I’m certainly guilty of making a lot of smack-you-in-the-face recipes. I guess it gets back to why you’re making the SMaSH … if your goal is to get a clear idea of what Saaz tastes like, I think it helps to add it later.

I used to do my German beers (including a lot of lagers) with 20-minute additions, and have been shifting those later, to 15 or 10, and been happy with the results. I’ll be the first to admit to a somewhat coarse palate, though.

You should try my DDH Helles. ;)
I'd love to give it a go, AlexKay!
 

kevin58

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Sep 4, 2017
Messages
1,319
Reaction score
955
[Moderator's Note: Original thread was moved to the appropriate forum]

Hey, this is great stuff, Sammy86. Thank you!
The complex step mashes was what BeerSmith pointed out for me. Again, cheers!

If Beersmith suggests that mash schedule it's because you either chose to use it or because you didn't bother changing it to suit your needs. Beersmith isn't a magic wand that will give you the correct answers. You need to customize and tweak it to match your brewing process. Choose a mash profile that comes closest to what you want to do. Then you can go to the mash tab and add, delete or modify steps to make it reflect exactly what you want the mash schedule to do. If it is a mash schedule you think you will end up using often then save it with a new name.
 

MaxStout

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Mar 29, 2013
Messages
13,625
Reaction score
14,255
Location
Inside a Klein Bottle
Since you're not making an authentic pilsner with that 2-row, it seems silly to go to all the trouble of a step mash, when a single-infusion will get you where you want to go. Like someone else noted, add some Munich (it will be a DMaSH). The Munich will give it some malty dimension. Alternatively, you could add 1/2 lb. or so of melanoidin malt to give it some flavor, though it will bump up the color a few SRM.

Even if the brew doesn't fit the guidelines of a particular type of beer, it's YOUR beer, so who cares? Homebrewing lets us paint outside the lines.
 

Holden Caulfield

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 21, 2020
Messages
301
Reaction score
302
I'm hoping to do my first SMaSH recipe and my first pilsner. Since this is part of a learning process

If the pursuit of knowledge is your objective, read this great article from Morebeer, which is how Pilsner Urquell is made - the grand daddy of all Pilsners. Just two ingredients - Pilsner malt and Saaz. It will shed light on the history behind the temperatures in your mash schedule. The article also provides hopping rates and water profile direction.

Pilsner Urquell uses a triple decoction mash to hit the temperatures in your schedule. This was important back in the day when malts were less modified and temp and PH instrumentation and science not as advanced. Decoctions make for a long brew day, so most homebrewers (and even German breweries) just do a Hochkurz step mash. Adding a little Melanoidin malt supposedly provides the flavor created by decoctions although this is often debated.

 
OP
OP
Iowa Brewer

Iowa Brewer

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Sep 14, 2018
Messages
432
Reaction score
182
If Beersmith suggests that mash schedule it's because you either chose to use it or because you didn't bother changing it to suit your needs. Beersmith isn't a magic wand that will give you the correct answers. You need to customize and tweak it to match your brewing process. Choose a mash profile that comes closest to what you want to do. Then you can go to the mash tab and add, delete or modify steps to make it reflect exactly what you want the mash schedule to do. If it is a mash schedule you think you will end up using often then save it with a new name.

Thanks for the reply and help, Kevin58.
Not using Beersmith as a magic wand, nor have I ever seen it as one (well... all computer programing looks a bit magic to me 🤪); this was the schedule given for my own equipment, using the profiles that I tweaked and matched. I'd be happy carrying out this mash schedule as given (my system allows for it), but also happy to skip steps, as suggested. But that's a very good point.

Very good idea saving those go-to schedules under different names! I'm going to do that from now on 👍 Cheers!
 
OP
OP
Iowa Brewer

Iowa Brewer

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Sep 14, 2018
Messages
432
Reaction score
182
Since you're not making an authentic pilsner with that 2-row, it seems silly to go to all the trouble of a step mash, when a single-infusion will get you where you want to go. Like someone else noted, add some Munich (it will be a DMaSH). The Munich will give it some malty dimension. Alternatively, you could add 1/2 lb. or so of melanoidin malt to give it some flavor, though it will bump up the color a few SRM.

Even if the brew doesn't fit the guidelines of a particular type of beer, it's YOUR beer, so who cares? Homebrewing lets us paint outside the lines.

Fantastic point on painting outside the lines, MaxStout! For this one I think I'm going to head to the LHBS and get me some Pilsner malt. In the end, I have a better grasp on what 2-row tastes like and this will be better for the SMaSH. HOWEVER, my next brew is going to do the same thing with 2-row and I think I'll try that Munich addition, as a DMaSH and compare. Dang I love this hobby!
 
OP
OP
Iowa Brewer

Iowa Brewer

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Sep 14, 2018
Messages
432
Reaction score
182
If the pursuit of knowledge is your objective, read this great article from Morebeer, which is how Pilsner Urquell is made - the grand daddy of all Pilsners. Just two ingredients - Pilsner malt and Saaz. It will shed light on the history behind the temperatures in your mash schedule. The article also provides hopping rates and water profile direction.

Pilsner Urquell uses a triple decoction mash to hit the temperatures in your schedule. This was important back in the day when malts were less modified and temp and PH instrumentation and science not as advanced. Decoctions make for a long brew day, so most homebrewers (and even German breweries) just do a Hochkurz step mash. Adding a little Melanoidin malt supposedly provides the flavor created by decoctions although this is often debated.


Thanks, Holden Caulfield. This is super helpful! Love reading about stuff like this. I'm a university professor who takes students over to Prague every 2-3 years, so my next Pilsner Urquell, there, is going to be enjoyed so much more! Cheers!
 
Top