Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Czech Pilsner - Recipe & Brewday Stats

My good friend and long time brewing comrade, Brian Mateja, dropped by a little after 10 am. Everything was pretty much ready to go. Water was adjusted the night before and the infusion volumes were measured and preheating. While waiting for dough-in, we smelled and tasted the blend of malts. The Durst pilsner had a very mild aroma and taste, while the Vienna held a deeper smooth malt character (not nearly as aromatic as Munich malt). The CaraFoam is a very crunchy/hard malt with an interesting "nutty" taste. It's the first time I've used Acid malt, which has an intense sour bite.

We began with a thick protein rest at 131*F for 30 minutes. At 11:30 we added the second infusion of boiling water for the saccharification rest and hit our target of 153*F perfectly. Everything was going well...until...it was time to check the mash Ph and starch conversion at about 30 minutes in. So I went looking for the Ph papers and iodine. I looked and looked and looked...and couldn't find them anywhere. Knowing the PH would have informed me if the Acid malt in fact kept it low. So I got a little frustrated, but we had to move on.

Sparging revealed its true color, a very pale golden hue. After getting 7.5 gallons of wort to a boil, we got some great hot break material, and then the foam subsided. In went the first dose of bittering hops...3.25 ounces. A half hour later the second big dose of flavor hops...another 3.25 ounces. Fifteen more minutes go by and another dose of aroma hops...another 3.25 ounces. At this point we're thinking it's getting pretty thick and crazy. Now it was time to add the Irish Moss for added clarity in the finished beer, but misplaced it with the Ph papers. But then it was time to cut off the heat and start cooling the wort...and in went a last 3.25 ounces of fresh Saaz finishing hops. That's a total of 13 ounces! I've never done that before, and may never do that again. I thought we'd run into big problems pouring the cooled wort into the fermenter, but it was actually a bit easier than using a lot of pellets. No clogged funnel screen. As we pressed out all the liquid, we just had to make sure the huge pile of hops wouldn't avalanche all over the floor. Luckily, no mess.

After it was all over we checked the original gravity (OG). To my surprise, we hit it perfectly at 1.056. I gotta say that using all the brewing calculators on the Tastybrew site has been working out great. After tasting the gravity sample, I got the feeling that it will turn out to be a very good beer. I think it'll be very distinguished from all my prior beers.

Thank you Brian for all your help. I couldn't have gotten through it without you. I really appreciate you coming down so early on a Sunday morning. I usually have a brewday checklist, but now it's like second nature. In the very end I happened to find all the missing materials (Ph papaers, iodine, irish moss) in a bag with my all my equipment. The funny thing is that I actually searched in that bag a couple times earlier. As a result, some of the stats are missing, and the finished beer might end up being a little cloudy.

Czech Pilsner - Recipe

8 lb. Durst Pilsner Malt
3 lb. Durst Vienna Malt
.5 lb. Weyermann CaraFoam
.5 lb. Weyerman Acidulated Malt

Hops (Whole Saaz - 2% AA):
3.25 oz. 60min.
3.25 oz. 30min.
3.25 oz. 15min.
3.25 oz. 1min.

Wyeast 2278 - Czech Pils (1 gallon starter)

Czech Pilsner - Brewday Stats:

Water Adjustment: 3 parts Distilled to 1 part Chicago (carbon filtered)

Protein Rest Temp/Duration: 131*F/30min.
H2O/Grain Ratio: 1qt/1lb

Sacch Rest Temp/Duration: 153*F/60min.
H2O/Grain Ratio: 1.5qt/1lb

Mash Ph: missed
Sparge Vol./Temp : 4.32gal/170* (had to add a bit more)

Pre-boil SG: missed
Length of boil: 1.5 hours
Post-boil OG: 1.056

Post-boil Ph: missed

Brewhouse Efficency: approx. 75%
Approx. IBU: 45

Please read on to the final results post...Czech Pilsner - Final Results
Also refer back to its conception...Czech Pilsner - Conception

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