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Better German Pilsner

 

This recipe from Josh Weikert, author of the Beer: Simple blog is for a bare-bones, but crisp and flavorful, German Pils. The grist is simplicity itself, all Pils with just a touch of Victory to bring out a rich grainy malt flavor, and it has plenty of IBUs and hops flavor to keep it firmly in the Pilsner family. He says that the key is fermentation: use any and all tricks in your arsenal to dry this one out, with effective temperature control during fermentation being key.

ALL-GRAIN
Brewhouse efficiency: 72%
OG: 1.049
FG: 1.010
IBUs: 41
ABV: 4.9%

MALT/GRAIN BILL

9 lb (4.8 kg) German Pilsner malt
0.25 lb (113 g) Victory malt

HOPS SCHEDULE

0.5 oz (14 g) Warrior [15% AA] at
60 minutes
0.5 oz (14 g) Hallertau [4% AA] at
10 minutes
0.5 oz (14 g) Hallertau [4% AA] at
flame out

YEAST

Wyeast 2124 Bohemian Lager

DIRECTIONS

Mill the grains and mix them with 3.2 gallons (12.1 liters) of 164°F (73°C) strike water to reach a mash temperature of 152°F (67°C). Hold this temperature for 60 minutes; if your water is soft to slightly hard, you may consider adding 1/4 teaspoon of gypsum to the mash.

Vorlauf until your runnings are clear. Sparge the grains with 3.8 gallons (14.4 liters) and top up as necessary to obtain 6 gallons (23 liters) of wort. Boil for 60 minutes, following the hops schedule and adding Irish Moss as desired.

After the boil, chill the wort, aerate, and pitch the yeast.

Ferment at 50°F (10°C) until final gravity is reached; increase the temperature by a few degrees at the latter stages of fermentation to aid in diacetyl cleanup. Once the beer completes fermentation, but before packaging, you may want to cold crash it to 35°F (2°C) for 48 hours to improve clarity. Bottle or keg the beer and carbonate to approximately 2.5 volumes. Store carbonated beer at near-freezing temperatures for at least 4 weeks before drinking.

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Run to the Pils Recipe

Jeremy Myers, head brewer and co-owner of Neshaminy Creek Brewing Company (Croydon, Massachusetts) notes that there are no brewing salts added for mash pH adjustment. This recipe follows the Reinheitsgebot, so he uses acidulated malt.

ALL-GRAIN

Batch size: 5 gallons (19 liters)
Efficiency: 83%
Attenuation: 83%
OG: 1.049 (12.17°P)
FG: 1.009 (2.14°P)
IBUs: 36
ABV: 5.34%

MALT/GRAIN BILL

6.83 lb (3.1 kg) Weyermann Pilsen Malt
0.57 lb (258 g) Acidulated Malt
1.08 lb (490 g) Cara-Pils Malt

HOPS SCHEDULE

0.44 oz (12.5 g) Herkules [15.% AA] at 60 minutes
0.26 oz (7.4 g) Spalter Select [4.8% AA] at 45 minutes
0.44 oz (12.5 g) Spalter Select [4.8% AA] at 15 minutes
0.2 oz (5.7 g) Spalter Select [4.8% AA] at 10 minutes
0.2 oz (5.7 g) Mandarina Bavaria [6.0% AA] at 10 minutes
0.88 oz (25.1 g) Mandarina Bavaria [6.0% AA] at flameout

YEAST

Jeremy highly suggests White Labs WLP802 Czech Budejovice Lager strain for dry, hop assertive Pilsners. For something in a more traditional German direction that shows a bit more malt character but still lets the hops character shine through, try Hessian Pils from The Yeast Bay.

DIRECTIONS

Mash the grains for 60 minutes at 148°F (64°C). Boil for 75 minutes following the hops schedule. Ferment at 55°F (13°C) for 2 or 3 days. Once you hit a gravity of 1.034 (8.5°P), ramp the temperature to 65°F (18°C). Hold at final gravity for 5 days and then do a forced diacetyl test. If there is no perceived diacetyl, cold crash to 40°F (4°C) and lager for at least 3 weeks—the longer the better

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Breakside Liquid Sunshine Pilsner Recipe

Ben Edmunds, head brewer for Breakside Brewery in Portland, Oregon, shared this recipe for their classic German Pilsner with an emphasis on late-kettle hops.

ALL-GRAIN

Brewhouse efficiency: 88%
OG: 1.049 (11.5°P)
FG: 1.010 (2.6°P)
IBUs: 26
ABV: 5%

MALT/GRAIN BILL

7 lbs 6 oz (3.35 kg) German Pilsner malt

HOPS SCHEDULE

0.4 oz (11 g) Opal [8.7% AA] at 60 minutes
0.8 oz (23 g) Opal [8.7% AA] at 10 minutes
3.2 oz (91 g) mixed low-alpha German hops (Hersbrucker, Tettnanger, Mittelfruh) at the end of boil/whirlpool

YEAST

Augustiner yeast—Ben suggests White Labs WLP838 Southern German Lager.

DIRECTIONS

Mash Temperature: 151°F (66°C), then mash out to 165°F (74°C).

Adjust water to hit a mash pH of 5.4.

Boil for 75 minutes (to drive off DMS) following the hops schedule.

Pitch the yeast at 52°F (11°C) and ferment at 54°F (12°C) for 5 days before raising the temperature slowly to clean up any diacetyl. Rack to secondary day 18 and allow at least 7–10 days of cold lagering time before packaging.

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brown ale

Your Father’s Mustache Pre-Prohibition Lager Recipe

Jeff Renner, a founding member of the Ann Arbor Brewers Guild, began a successful campaign in the 1990s to get Classic American Pilsner recognized as a style in homebrewing competitions. In 2015, the new BJCP Style Guidelines recategorized it as a Historic Beer and a Pre-Prohibition Lager. Renner first brewed “Your Father’s Mustache” when he began his own investigation into what is now called pre-Prohibition lager. We’ve scaled it for a 5-gallon (19-liter) batch.

ALL-GRAIN

Batch size: 5 gallons (19 liters)
Brewhouse efficiency: 80%
OG: 1.050 (12.5° P)
FG: 1.010 (2.5° P)
IBUs: 35
ABV: 5.2%

MALT/GRAIN BILL

8 lb (3.6 kg) 6-row malt
2.25 lb (1.02 kg) flaked corn, separately mashed with a portion of the malt and boiled in a cereal mash, then added to main mash (see “Directions,” below)

HOPS SCHEDULE

1 oz (28 g) Mt. Hood [5% AA] at first wort (12 IBU)
0.75 oz (21 g) Cluster [7% AA] at 60 minutes (20 IBU)
0.5 oz (14 g) Mt. Hood [5% AA] at 10 minutes (3 IBU)

MASH DIRECTIONS

Schedule for 95-minute American Double Mash (times are listed in countdown format)
95 minutes: In a separate pot, mash in the flaked corn and one-third of the malt to hit 153°F (67°C).
80 minutes: Mash in the main mash 104°F (40°C).
75 minutes: Bring the cereal mash to a boil.
65 minutes: Cereal mash boiling.
60 minutes: Add boiling water and/or a burner with recirculation to ramp up the main mash to 144–146°F (62–63°C).
30 minutes: Add the cereal mash to the main mash and adjust temperature as needed to 158°F (70°C).
0 minutes: Ramp the temperature to 170°F (76°C).
Mash out, maintaining the wort temperature at 170°F (76°C).

YEAST & FERMENTATION

Any lager yeast will do. Renner prefers White Labs WLP833 German Bock, originally from the Ayinger Brewery in -Germany.

Ferment at 48–50°F (9–10°C) for about ten days until fermentation slows, then rack to a keg and drop the temperature to 32°F (0°C). “When I do it right, the remaining malt sugars perfectly carbonate the beer in the keg,” Renner says. He lagers for six weeks.

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Mom & Pop’s Wet Hops Lager Recipe

The recipe for this wet-hops lager from Jack’s Abby changes every year because they use 10 percent local unmalted grain (whatever is available that year) and add as many wet hops as they can fit into the kettle. Says Sonia Friedman, marketing manager for Jack’s Abby, “[The approach] isn’t particularly scientific, but it delivers a truly unique flavor that can’t be replicated.”

ALL-GRAIN

OG: 1.054
FG: 1.015
IBUs: Varies
ABV: 5.2%

MALT/GRAIN BILL

9.5 lb (4.3 kg) locally sourced pale malt
1 lb (454 g) locally sourced unmalted rye, wheat, spelt, or triticale

HOPS SCHEDULE

Hops and schedule vary, but add as many local wet hops as can fit into the kettle and hopback.

YEAST

Choose your favorite lager yeast. Weihenstephan 34/70 is a worldwide favorite among lager brewers and will deliver outstanding results.

DIRECTIONS

Each batch of this beer is meant to be fresh, local, and unique! Follow your usual mash, boil, and lager fermentation regimen. For sample regimens, see the recipes for Jack’s Abby Brewing’s Framinghammer, You Can Do It! Dunkel, Helles I Know, and The Invigilator

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brown ale

Make Your Finest Kellerbier

Kellerbier is a beer that merges the very best of British cask ale with German malts and hops in a novel lager type. It has an atypical taste profile that, relying in your ending steps, can symbolize itself as a type of German ESB or a Continental IPA. As a result of it’s a comparatively new type to the U.S. craft and homebrewing market, you might need hassle discovering industrial or homebrewed variations to match yours to, however this model ought to get you fairly near the mark!

Fashion

There’s some dispute over whether or not Kellerbier is an precise type of beer or a manufacturing/serving technique. Strictly talking, Kellerbiers are cold-fermented (in cellars), bottom-fermenting beers which can be typically served younger and unfiltered. Many are additionally served with low ranges of residual CO2, having been matured in vented casks that retain little or no carbonation within the beer. For our functions, although, you’ll be able to check with the “Amber Kellerbier” descriptions within the 2015 BJCP tips for a way of the goal taste profile. It’s primarily an amber lager that differs from Oktoberfest within the relative depth of its hops character throughout all fronts—bittering, taste, and aroma. Additionally it is distinctive in contact of acetaldehyde and different “inexperienced” beer flavors aren’t essentially thought of a fault (although we’re going to keep away from them right here).

A strict studying of the rules additionally means that the beer ought to have average carbonation, however we’re going to deviate from that (within the curiosity of historic authenticity, and, I believe, enjoyability). When you plan to enter this beer in competitors, you’ll need to carbonate to a full 2.5 volumes, at the very least for the bottles to be entered!

Components

There’s a trick to this type in that you really want a wealthy, apparent malt-forward character and a pleasant amber coloration—however you don’t need any caramel or roasty flavors. Dialing within the grist is important (although it needs to be famous that this entire recipe/course of is a bit difficult—there received’t be any “straightforward” components of this journey!). As a way to get a pleasant, bready, non-caramel malt character, I take advantage of Vienna and Pilsner as a base, in a 2:1 ratio. Any greater than that, and the beer might come throughout as being too apparently candy, despite the fact that it can nonetheless ferment out totally. However to deepen the colour (with out including roast) and the flavour (with out including caramel) I add hint quantities of Carafa II and Melanoidin Malt—three ounces (85 g) of every. That ought to get you to a beginning gravity of about 1.050.

You additionally have to get aggressive together with your hops, at the very least in comparison with different European lagers. The objective is about 35 IBUs, together with medium-high ranges of hops taste and aroma. To get there, I take advantage of a 1:1 mix of Hallertau (four.5% AA) and Northern Brewer (eight% AA), three ounces (85 g) complete, with 1 oz (28 g) at 60 minutes, 1 oz (28 g) at 30 minutes, and 1 oz (28 g) at 10 minutes. I’ve discovered that the mix of German noble hops leads to a wholesome dose of floral hops taste whereas the Northern Brewer provides a wild, dry-bark observe. In amber beers, it imparts an autumnal character that’s exhausting to beat!

For yeast, you have got a couple of choices. Those that expect my outdated standby Wyeast 1007 German Ale are going to be upset; it’s an amazing yeast, however for this beer I like a real lager pressure to keep away from the impression of sweetness that esters can impart, so it’s Wyeast 2206 Bavarian Lager. When you’re going to go ale yeast, although, that is one time once I suggest the cleanest one you will discover: White Labs WLP001 California Ale yeast—it’s a suitable various, although I nonetheless assume the lager yeast is the best way to go.

Course of

Mash as typical at 152°F (67°C), and boil away—those that insist on doing so might boil for 90 minutes, however remember to modify your recipe to account for the upper degree of evaporation (individually, I’ve by no means performed something however 60-minute boils and have by no means had any points with DMS). Pay specific consideration to your late hops timing—you need to guarantee a noticeable degree of hops taste and aroma, so in the event you’ll be doing a whirlpool, remember to issue that point in. You need 30 minutes of contact time on the flavour hops and 10 on the aroma hops.

In fermentation, pitch and maintain at a gradual 50°F (10°C) for the primary 5 days, then begin rising the temperature. When you’ve reached terminal gravity (about 1.011), get it packaged up and able to drink! Ordinarily, you’d let it relaxation for some time to permit the yeast to wash up and filter out, however for Kellerbier you need that little bit of yeasty breadiness and “younger” taste. And in the event you’ve pitched a wholesome and correctly sized slug of yeast, there needs to be solely a touch of that “inexperienced” beer taste (any greater than that and…nicely, it simply begins to style like a fault to my palate, however be happy to present it a strive!).

I serve this beer at a British-cask-like-just-less-than-one quantity of CO2. When you can serve it in a cask and off a real hand pump, then all the higher. The outcome needs to be an eminently drinkable amber lager that has a tender, rounded mouthfeel and a ton of light-malt taste, accentuated by floral-spicy hops taste and aroma. It’s a novel beer, and I extremely suggest making an attempt it this fashion at the very least as soon as!

When you’re extra typical, although, you’ll be able to bundle as regular and carbonate to about 2 volumes of CO2 (any greater than that wrecks the fragile flavors, in my view), and doing so offers it a taste akin to a German model of English IPA. Nonetheless fascinating, however not fairly distinct sufficient from a conventional altbier to make it price your whereas, although. If you wish to make a correct German IPA, double the hopping throughout with this similar grist, and also you’ll be heading in the right direction!

In Closing

Kellerbier (pale or amber, however I believe you’ll get pleasure from this amber model extra, particularly as we transfer into fall!) is a enjoyable beer so as to add to your repertoire, and likewise makes for an excellent “transition” beer in your “heavy” macro ingesting family and friends. Go the low/no-carbonation route and see what you assume—you could by no means return to full carbonation once more.