German Pilsner - recipe advice needed

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TwoHeadsBrewing

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For my first lager, I'd like to brew up a German Pilsner. I didn't see very many recipes in the database, so I figured I'd throw one together and see what you all think. Please take a look and let me know what I should change about this, or send me a link to a recipe you've already tried and liked. Thanks in advance!

All-grain 11 gallon batch - German Pilsner (2A)
OG: 1.048
FG: 1.012
ABV: 4.7%
Color: 3.9 SRM
IBU: 32.5

Grain and Hops
18.00 lb Pilsner (2 Row) Ger (2.0 SRM)
1.00 lb Munich Malt (9.0 SRM)

1.00 oz Magnum [14.00 %] (60 min) Hops 23.5 IBU
1.00 oz Select Spalt [4.75 %] (30 min) Hops 6.1 IBU
1.00 oz Select Spalt [4.75 %] (10 min) Hops 2.9 IBU

0.55 tsp Irish Moss (Boil 10.0 min) Misc
2 Pkgs SafLager West European Lager (DCL Yeast #S-23) Yeast-Lager

Mash and Boil
Mash for 75 minutes @ 150F
Boil for 90 minutes to prevent DMS

Fermentation and Lagering
21 days @ 50F
28 days @ 35F
(probably will tap the first keg after 28 days of lagering, and let the other lager for an additional 4 weeks)
 
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TwoHeadsBrewing

TwoHeadsBrewing

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I've never had Bitburger, but I suppose I need to do some "research" :D. Thanks for the link, that looks like a very tasty recipe as well. I initially forgot to put fermentation and lagering times on my first post, but I edited it to include them.
 

BigEd

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THB have you used the dry lager yeast before? The dry lager yeasts seem to get decidedly mixed reviews. I would suggest a liquid yeast unless you are already happy with the dry. German pils to me are dry so I would not use any Munich malt but that's just me. :mug:
 
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TwoHeadsBrewing

TwoHeadsBrewing

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THB have you used the dry lager yeast before? The dry lager yeasts seem to get decidedly mixed reviews. I would suggest a liquid yeast unless you are already happy with the dry. German pils to me are dry so I would not use any Munich malt but that's just me. :mug:
I've never brewed a lager before, so I know nothing about the yeast strains available. However, I've seen many recipes in the database and elsewhere online use the SafLager US-23. Have you used this yeast with poor results? And if so, what was wrong with it?
 

-Dan-

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Sounds interesting ... let us know how it turns out!
 

BigEd

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I've never brewed a lager before, so I know nothing about the yeast strains available. However, I've seen many recipes in the database and elsewhere online use the SafLager US-23. Have you used this yeast with poor results? And if so, what was wrong with it?
I have never used it but there just seems to be an extremely wide range of opinion on the dry lager yeast as opposed to almost all thumbs up for the liquids. Both Wyeast and White Labs make excellent liquid lager strains and I have used a number of them. If you have used any of the liquid cultures for ale I would strongly recommend using one for your lager. For a German pils the Wyeast 2042 Danish, White Labs 802 Budvar, or White Labs 830 German would be my choices.
 

giligson

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If you absolutely can't get a hold of liquid yeast then use a good dry ale yeast at its minimum (absolute minimum) temperature to try and limit higher order ester etc production. Otherwise the recipe looks reasonable although you might want the mash for as much beta amylase activity as possible to "thin" the mouthfeel.
 
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TwoHeadsBrewing

TwoHeadsBrewing

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I was looking in my fridge and apparently I do have a vial of the white labs 830. I was going to save that for my vienna lager, but maybe I'll use it for this recipe. Thanks for the input.
 

SpanishCastleAle

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If you plan it right you could use the cake from the Pils for your Vienna. You could also harvest some of that in mason jars and still have enough to pitch the Vienna. I've been trying to plan my brews like this.

I agree with the mashing for fermentability comment...but you are resting @ 150 F so that looks good to me.

I would probably skip the Munich too. But I might sneak a tiny bit of Carapils/Carafoam in there for great head.

From what I can tell...the German Pils is more attenuated than a Bohemian Pils and about the same as Munich Helles/Dortmunder Export. EDIT: So I would shoot for a slightly lower FG...like 1.010.

TBH, several times I've set out to make a Bohemian Pils and the brew ended up being closer to a Munich Helles or Dortmunder Export or German Pils (notice my sig:p). So after you've brewed it, if it misses the mark by a tiny bit...you probably just brewed a perfect example of one of the other ones.:)
 
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TwoHeadsBrewing

TwoHeadsBrewing

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So, I have another question about starters. I've used starters for some of my bigger ales, but never for lager since I haven't made one yet. How big of a starter should I make for this beer (1.048)? I have one 2L flask, but is that enough to split between two 6 gallon carboys? I've heard it's important to pitch a large amount of yeast with lagers due to the low fermentation temperature, but I've seen a lot of recipes on here with no starter. Is a starter even necessary for a normal gravity lager like this one?
 

SpanishCastleAle

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Read Kaiser Brau's Fermenting Lagers page...good stuff there.

You def need more yeast than an ale of similar gravity (edit: imo, about twice as much)...even if you pitch warm. If you pitch cold you'll need even more. IMO, that 2L starter would just barely be OK for ONE 6-gal. batch IF you pitch warm. Nowhere close to enough for TWO batches. It will still make beer and will work but imo if you're gonna take the time to do a lager...I'd try like hell to pitch the proper amount.
 

remilard

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I don't pitch warm and I need two steps in a 2L flask to pitch a 12 Plato or so lager. Then I make a couple more after that and reuse the yeast. That way I only have to make lager starters 1-2 times a year.
 
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