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thdewitt

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Hello,

I am trying to make a good Czechvar clone. Please give me some feedback on this recipe for 7.5 gallon AG Recipe.

Water is number one. I am going to use Distilled water and add
2.6 g gypsum, 3 g calcium chloride, 1 g Epsom salt, and .3 g baking soda.

According to Palmers spreadsheet that gives me:
CA 62, mg 4, alk 8, na 4, cl 64, sulfate 81, ra-39,chloride/sulfate balanced

Recipe
15 pounds weyerman pilsner
1 pound carapils

I will infuse with 6 gallons of water to rest at 133 degrees for 20 minutes.
Then I will recirculate mash water thru heat exxchager to step up to 157 for 60 minutes.
Then recirculate to get temp up to 168 for mash out.
Sparge with 5.8 gallons of treated pilsner water same as above.

Chill to 50 degrees, areate, nutrient, then pitch 4 vials of White Labs Bohemian Lager Yeast

Any suggestions????

Thanks,
Tom
 

Malticulous

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You shouldn't need the carapils. I don't think I've had Czechvar but most pilsner's heads fall fairly quick.
 

BigEd

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Any suggestions????

Thanks,
Tom
A couple:

For the water I wouldn't use any gypsum. You don't need or want any extra sulphates in a pilsner IMO. Get your calcium to something close to 50ppm with calcium chloride and call it a day. If you want to add those tiny amounts of Epsom salt and baking soda then go for it but I would suggest calcium carbonate instead of sodium bicarbonate.

For the grain I would tweak the ratio to 15.5 lbs pils and .5 lbs CaraPils.

For the mash I would bring the temp down from 157F to 152F. Consider doing a decoction mash sometime. Pils is a classic style for that method.

Yeast: FOUR VIALS OF YEAST!! Dude, make a big, active starter with one vial. You will save a bunch of $$ and have yeast that is ready to go.

Pilsner is a great beer to homebrew. Have fun. :mug:
 
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thdewitt

thdewitt

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A couple:

For the water I wouldn't use any gypsum. You don't need or want any extra sulphates in a pilsner IMO. Get your calcium to something close to 50ppm with calcium chloride and call it a day. If you want to add those tiny amounts of Epsom salt and baking soda then go for it but I would suggest calcium carbonate instead of sodium bicarbonate.
Ok, I actually changed my profile after reading a post from Kaiser. What do you think about this modification from Distilled for my pilsner.
.8 g Calcium Chloride .8 Epson Salt

This ends up like this
CA 10, m 3, alkalinity 8, sodium 4, chloride 17, sulfate 14
Effective hardness 9, RA -6, chloride to sulfate ratio balanced.

For the grain I would tweak the ratio to 15.5 lbs pils and .5 lbs CaraPils.
You know I was thinking of reducing the carapils also.

For the mash I would bring the temp down from 157F to 152F. Consider doing a decoction mash sometime. Pils is a classic style for that method.
Will the decoction drastically change the flavor. Can I make a good pilsner without decoction. I am going to decoction in the future but I wanted to make sure the recipe and the volumnes were good on the recipes first.

Yeast: FOUR VIALS OF YEAST!! Dude, make a big, active starter with one vial. You will save a bunch of $$ and have yeast that is ready to go.

Pilsner is a great beer to homebrew. Have fun. :mug:
 

Mutilated1

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I would also omit the Carapils or cut way back on it. Also, I would go even lower than 152 - try 147F.

What are you thinking for hops ?

Good choice on the Bohemian Lager yeast. You might also consider w34/70 - I think its very similar, but its much more cost effective.
 
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thdewitt

thdewitt

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I knew I forgot something, yes I am using SAAZ hops
1.75 oz 4% at 60
.75 oz 4% at 30
.50 oz 4% at 10
.75 oz 4% at 0

This is only 25 IBU. This is lower than my last batch. It had way too much hop. The Budvar website says that it is 25 IBU. This is below style. the hop flavor on my last batch could have been a water problem.

Have you tried the w34/70 yeast. I have a few packets and I would like to use it but I have heard complaints about this yeast. Is it appropriate for a bohemian pilsners.

Thanks,
Tom
 

Mutilated1

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yeah I've tried the w34/70 - I have no complaints about it

and this is just me, but I'd go 2oz @ 60 and 1oz @ 20 with the hops - I really have no idea if that is more authentic or not, just personal preference really - it tastes better to me. @ 20 will give you flavor and aroma and won't overdo it. You know what else might be worth considering ? Maybe cutting the 60 minute addition down and using a higher AA hop
 
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thdewitt

thdewitt

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So are you saying to only do two hop additions.

2 oz at 60
1 oz at 20

and that's it. Im not real good with hop additions and how they change the beer. I think I need to use SAAZ for this style. I only have 4% or lower SAAZ. They are usually pretty low on the AA. Why would higher AA be better. I thought if the AA was lower you just add more hops and then it would be the same. Is that not true for flavor.

I think I will try the dry yeast. I have been wanting to try dry. I heard you can just pitch it right in.
 

Mutilated1

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Yeah I would only do two additions @ 60 and @ 20. Your mileage may vary - but I think for Pilsner and Lager beers that works better. If you make an IPA or something then yeah you might do late additions and all that - Lagers don't need that - not supposed to have a lot of hop aroma. 20 minutes and you'll get some hop flavor and some aroma and it will be subtle and restrained, not overpowering.

I might even do like 1 & 1/4 @ 60 and 1 @ 20, either that or switch the 60 minute addition to a higher AA hop like a Magnum and cut way back. But thats just because I don't like to do much more than 1/2 oz of hops for bittering - makes it have a grass/hay taste when you get that much in there.

Saaz will be "authentic", but I get better results with a higher AA hop for the bittering like a sterling or vanguard, maybe even a magnum and just using less.

Here's a good Pilsner recipe I make quite a bit ( https://www.homebrewtalk.com/f58/alabama-pilsener-74219/ ) when I make it now I cut back on the late additions a lot though.

I'm sure you're beer will be good though, Pilsner is pretty easy to make. The only thing thats a bit difficult about it is keeping the temps under control - other than that the rest is a piece of cake. Once you've made it a few times you'll get the hang of what times on the hops and how much work best for you - honestly a few minutes either way doesn't make all that much difference. 60 and 20 works plenty well enough for me.
 
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thdewitt

thdewitt

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No, thanks for the advice, last month I was only doing a 60 minute boil. Now I am doing 90 on my Pilsner.
 

BigEd

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You might want to consider adding a pound or so of Vienna malt to up the maltiness a little.
I've seen a number of folks do this but IMO good pilsner malt doesn't need any help.
 

BigEd

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Ok, I actually changed my profile after reading a post from Kaiser. What do you think about this modification from Distilled for my pilsner.
.8 g Calcium Chloride .8 Epson Salt

This ends up like this
CA 10, m 3, alkalinity 8, sodium 4, chloride 17, sulfate 14
Effective hardness 9, RA -6, chloride to sulfate ratio balanced.
You are worrying too much about that chloride/sulphate ratio. Add more calcium chloride to get that Ca number up. 10ppm isn't enough IMO. :mug:
 
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thdewitt

thdewitt

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Big Ed,

Maybe this is where I am screwing it up. When I put Pilsen water in Palmers spreadsheet it comes out as having a balanced Chloride/Sulfate ratio. When I read about Palmers spreadsheet it said that the harshness and bitterness are determined by this ratio. So if I have a lot of Calcium (by adding Calcium Chloride, I would need to add Gypsum or something else to balance the chloride with the sulfate). If I add 4 grams of Calcium Chloride I get 49 ppm of Calcium, but the chloride goes to 85 ppm. Since the sulphate remains at 14. The spreadsheet says that I will have a Very Malty beer. Do you think this is OK, I mean Calcium at 49 with Chloride and sulphates at 85 and 14 respectively.

I have made 3 pilsners recently and all don't really taste anything like a stella, budvar, or urquell. They taste more like Budweiser.

Thanks,
Tom
 

BigEd

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Big Ed,

If I add 4 grams of Calcium Chloride I get 49 ppm of Calcium, but the chloride goes to 85 ppm.
That will be just fine.

I have made 3 pilsners recently and all don't really taste anything like a stella, budvar, or urquell. They taste more like Budweiser.

Thanks,
Tom
If your previous attempts tasted like Budweiser I'm guessing they were deficient in the ingredient list. A good pilsner in the Czech style needs good malt, good hops ( maybe more than you think) and good yeast. It may look a little like Budweiser but a Czech pils is no wimpy, tasteless beer. A real pils will have a great body & flavor from the pilsner malt. It will also have deep bitterness, good hop flavor and and a spicy/floral nose from the Saaz hops. Both the Budvar and Urquell yeast strains are good although I prefer the Urquell. IMO it is richer and more complex than the Budvar. It will also give you that great rocky head.
 
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thdewitt

thdewitt

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Thanks, this has been a big help. I am not sure why my last few tasted like bud. I used 100% weyerman Pisner malt, a small amount of carapils. I think it was the water. I used a large portion of distilled with tap water. I hit 1.055 on my starting gravity, but the beer is very light, no aroma, little body, very dry, almost watery. I used Urquell yeast. It has some harsh bitterness also. Used Saaz hops. The AA was only 2.8 so I had to use a lot.

Thanks for the help. I will let you know how it turns out.
 

BigEd

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Thanks, this has been a big help. I am not sure why my last few tasted like bud. I used 100% weyerman Pisner malt, a small amount of carapils. I think it was the water. I used a large portion of distilled with tap water. I hit 1.055 on my starting gravity, but the beer is very light, no aroma, little body, very dry, almost watery. I used Urquell yeast. It has some harsh bitterness also. Used Saaz hops. The AA was only 2.8 so I had to use a lot.

Thanks for the help. I will let you know how it turns out.
Check your mash schedule on those beers and the accuracy of your thermometers. The dry, light bodied description suggests that the beer was mashed at too low a temp. If you want to save a little $ and Saaz hops too you can use some other hops for base bittering. I generally mix Saaz and Northern Brewer hops for the bittering addition. Magnum is another type to try. Both of these hops are pretty neutral as bittering hops, blend well with the Saaz and will save using a ton of low alpha Saaz as the sole bittering hop.
 
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thdewitt

thdewitt

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Hey BigEd,

Thanks for all the help. I have a pound of Mt Hood in my freezer, do you know anything about these. Isn't Northern Brewer mostly used for CA common. It has a woody taste. I am not sure about that in my pilsner. I will try the Magnum. I have heard the Mt Hood may be good but have not tried. I just bought a pound of American SAAZ that are 6.5%. These should work well.

About the temps, I have 3 thermometers on my Mash all reading the same temps. My system does struggle sometime to keep constant temps on the mash. I will keep a closer eye on that next time.

Thanks for all the great advice. I looked at your profile and liked the recipes. I may just try your recipe next time.
 
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thdewitt

thdewitt

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Oops strike that on the recipes. I saw those on Mutilated1's profile. They looked pretty tasty.

Tom
 

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