Saturday, July 10, 2010

Brewing a Classic American Pilsner

This is my lawnmower beer. I've been mowing the lawn for several months, so I guess should have started brewing this earlier, but the really hot weather held off, so the timing worked out OK. I was originally hoping to put it on tap for the 4th to be all patriotic and stuff, but other work came up, so today is the day.

I was aiming for the pre-Prohibition lager as an essentially Czech style brewed by German immigrants using available American ingredients. This meant that adjuncts were pretty much required. I went for the "Bob's Redmill Grits."

On the down side, I probably should have used some 6-row barley, but I had the 2-row 'in stock'. I used Czech hops, although my brewing forefathers probably used Cluster. The color final product turned out to be a pale yellow. I was expecting a mid-yellow.

On the up side, it turned out pretty good! (Probably despite my various tweaks rather than because of them!)

Classic American Pilsner
Expected Original Gravity: 1.047
Expected Final Gravity: 1.013
Calculated Alcohol: 4.5% A.B.V.
Calculated Bitterness: 32.8 IBU (Tinsleth)
Calculated Color 3° SRM (Yellow)

Malt Bill
5 lbs. / 2.26 Kg Pilsner
2.5 lbs. / 1.14 Kg Pale 2-row
1.5 lbs. / 0.68 Kg Corn grits

Hop Bill
1.00 oz / 28g Perle First Wort 8.0 AA
0.50 oz / 14g Saaz Boil - 30 3.3 AA
0.50 oz / 14g Saaz Boil - 1 3.3 AA

Wyeast 2278 Czech Pils or White Labs WLP800 Pilsner Lager

½ teaspoon lactic acid in sparge
Volumes of CO2: 2.5

1. Cereal cooker: Boil the Corn grits in two gallons of water for 30 minutes.
2. Protein Rest: Heat about 9 quarts of water to 146°F to strike at 133°F for 20 minutes.
3. Bring about 3 quarts of water to boil, add to mash to reach 150°F for 60 minutes.
4. Heat to mash out at 167°F and sparge to collect 6 gallons of wort.
5. Boil 75 minutes, adding hops at times indicated.
6. Chill to 60°F, oxygenate well, pitch and ferment for ten hours.
7. Chill to 50°F and primary ferment for three weeks.
8. Transfer to secondary fermentor and lager at 40°F.

Initial Water Profile: Seattle/Tolt
Alkalinity, Total (as CaCO3) mg/L 20.2
Hardness, (as CaCO3) mg/L 26.9
Magnesium mg/L 0.36
Potassium mg/L 0.23
Sodium mg/L 1.83

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