Thursday, February 15, 2007

Czech Pilsner - Conception

On Feb. 18, I'll be brewing the beer I wanted to make from the very beginning...a pale-gold hoppy Czech/Bohemian pilsner! I remember standing in front of all the malt extract kits over at the Brew & Grow a number of years ago. My attention was drawn to a can of pilsner extract. To be honest, back then I really didn't know the difference between ales and lagers. I think the people over there advised I stick with ales. Thinking about it now, I'm glad I went with their advice because it probably wouldn't have turned out any good.

I've been thinking of this beer for quite some time now. The recipe has gone through a few permutations. After a lot of reading and research, I settled on a recipe of my own. More than anything else, it has to be fairly authentic. Five main variables will help give it authenticity: 1. German malts, 2. Saaz hops, 3. Czech Pils yeast, 4. Soft water (3 parts distilled to 1 part Chicago water), 5. Long cold lager phase. Since I haven't found decoction mashing to be conclusively better, I'm sticking with double infusion mashing and fly sparging.

I usually buy my base ingredients from the Brew & Grow, but this time I wanted to get indiginous ingredients. A new brewing friend (Russ) suggested I give Northern Brewer a try. The selection and people over at NB are great, and it got here in two days. I'm glad I ordered a full pound of Czech Saaz hops, because the Alpha Acids are only 2%. After adjusting the recipe, it turns out I need 13 ounces! That's alotta hops!

This one is simply called "Czech Pilsner." I'm hoping for some classic taste and character. The hops are bit aggressive on the aroma/finish side, but I'm also going for a hoppy quality. Saaz hops are new to me so I'm looking forward to tasting and smelling their effects. Going with all imported grains (mostly pilsner) may give this beer a differentiated taste over all my previous beers. The mash temperature for starch converion will be held at about 150*F for a more fermentable wort and dryer finish. This one will be sealed in my converted cooler/icebox for a month and a half. Since there's a good IBU level, this one will be able to age a little longer than say...a Helles or Dunkel. Since this one is hopped well, lagered long, and brewed 4th out of 4 lagers this winter season, I expect to make it last into the warmer months for a nice cold, refreshing beverage.

Please read further into the progress post...Czech Pilsner - Recipe & Brewday Stats
See also the final results post...Czech Pilsner - Final Results


Unknown said...

i think we should call this one the modra jozka in honor of our jozka.

Anonymous said...

Looking forward to following the progress of this recipe. Being fairly new to the homebrewing hobby I've only come up with 2 IPA's, and two Stouts (the second being the cherry/vanilla). Whats really been interesting me lately is learning more about making lagers and I do credit your blog for alot of that Ted. Cheers!

Ted Danyluk said...

Thank you for your support. Lagers are definitely worth trying out. You might be able to get one in before winter is over. If you have some time on Sunday (brewday), and want to talk more, feel free to stop by. I'd like to hear more about the beers you've made. Just shoot me an email...redted8 at

Anonymous said...

Awesome Pilsner post. I'm brewing a Bo-Pils in the next week, and was searching the internet and found your blog. I'm glad your brew turned out good! I'm just waiting for my Kolsch to finish up in my freezer to make room for the Pilsner.