Bohemian Pilsener – All Grain

Statistics

General Info

Dilute 50/50 with deionized water (only for Highlands Ranch profile) to approximate the Pilzen water.

A great article regarding the brewing techniques of Pilsener Urquell was invaluable in my formulating the recipe, brewing technique, and fermentation conditions of this brew.

Comments

Made a starter 7 days before brew day. Fed it with fresh wort three times to build cell count.

Checked on the carboy today (March 31, 2010) - it's happily chugging away in the fermenting fridge at 48°F (should be since I had at least a thumbs-worth of yeast goodness at the bottom of the starter).

Two weeks in and the primary is still bubbling steadily - one bubble every one to two seconds. Nice. I'll keep an eye on it for any slowing in the next couple of days. Temperatures have been a steady 48°F since pitch thanks to the two temp controllers - one for cooling and one for heating - used for the first time for fermentation (April 10, 2010).

Keeping on primary for another week to eek out those pesky last two FG points. Plan is to rack to kegs and secondary ferment for at least a week at 48°F and then to lager for at least three weeks at 34°F. Sampled from the hydrometer vial - clean and spicy, and a bit sweet. No diacetyl. (April 11, 2010).

Plan altered. FG achieved at 2.5 weeks in primary. Crash cooling to lagering temperature to prevent it from going too dry. Will rack to kegs and continue lagering in a couple of days. Tasted the sample from the hydrometer reading - frigging awesome. Can't wait to lager it and drink it (April 15, 2010).

Force carbonated one of the kegs after transfer. Took a sample. Nice, Saaz flavor and aroma. There's a bit of a sharp edge in the bitterness that should mellow with continued lagering. The plan is to lager at 34°F for at least four weeks, adding gelatin to the kegs with one week left. Should be clear as a bell and ready for consumption then (April 20, 2010).

See tasting notes below. VERY drinkable: slightly sweet, slightly spicy, clean lager characteristics with grainy Pils malt taste. No off flavors, no diacetyl, no acetyladehyde, no esters.

The kicker: Paula took a taste and said, "I could drink that." Fizzy, yellow beer brewing, here I come (May 13, 2010).

Malts and Grains

Amount Malt/Grain %
19.00 pounds German Pilsen Malt (2-Row) 90.5%
1.50 pounds American Dextrin (Cara-Pils) Malt 7.1%
0.50 pounds German Acidulated (Sauer) Malt 2.4%
21.00 pounds Total Grain Weight 100%

Hops

Amount Hop Time AA
1.00 ounces Saaz 120 min 5.1%
1.50 ounces Saaz 80 min 5.1%
2.50 ounces Saaz 25 min 5.1%
1.50 ounces Saaz 10 min 5.1%
1.50 ounces Saaz 0 min 5.1%
8.00 ounces Total Hop Weight

Yeasts

Name Lab/Manufacturer Product ID Amount
Urquell Lager Wyeast 2001 3000 ml

Equipment Profile Converted Keg, 10 Gallon/38 Liter Cooler Mash Tun

Notes:

Converted 15.5 gallon/59 liter keg boil kettle for full boil with a 10 gallon/38 liter cooler as a mash/lauter tun.

Mash Profile Double Decoction

Notes:

Draw some of the mash, rest, and boil. Add back to main mash.

Mash Steps

# Name Time Temp. Description
1 Protein Rest 35 min. 122°F

Add water at 126° F / 52° C

2 Saccharification 20 min. 147°F

Decoct 30% of mash, rest for at least 10 minutes, and boil

3 Saccharification 20 min. 158°F

Decoct 15% of mash, rest for at least 10 minutes, and boil

4 Mash Out 10 min. 168°F

Heat to 168° F / 75° C for at least 10 minutes

Water Profile Pilsen, Czech Republic

Procedure

Mash Options:

  • Single infusion at 154°F.
  • Single or double decoction

Fermentation and Aging

Primary:
24 days @ 48° F
Lager:
28 days @ 34° F

Czechmate

Date Brewed: __________________________________
Brewer/Assistant: __________________________________



Brew Day Data

  Target Actual Notes
Str Water Amt: 7                                                                                                                 
Str Water Temp:      
Mash Temp:      
Mash Time:      
Sp Water Amt: 11.6    
Sp Water Temp:      
Pre-Boil Grav:      
Pre-Boil Amt: 13.1    
Post-Boil Amt: 10    
Boil Time: 120    
O.G.:      
Mash PH:      
Boil PH: