Friday, January 16, 2009

German Pils

One of the most refreshing beers is a bright & hoppy pilsner. German style pilsners are lighter and dryer than bohemian styles and can have a fairly sharp and clean bitterness.

The recipe is very simple. Pilsner malt and a little Carahell for rounding out the malt flavor a bit. Some recipes have other German malts like Vienna & Munich, but I wanted mine super clean, pale and dry. Hops were selected for clean bitterness, and a smooth hop flavor. I haven't used Tettnanger in a long time, in fact, I can't remember using them ever before. They smelled really fresh in the package, and while in the boil they gave off a bold and pleasant scent of fresh squeezed lemon and/or lemongrass. The Hallertau Select really has a smooth scent all around.

This should be the palest brew to date, second to last year's Belgian Tripel or Quinoa Lager. For some reason boiling these pale simple worts are much more satisfying. They give off a super clean and light malty aroma. After fermentation, these pale brews really highlight yeasty characters. I'm excited to see how this Pilsen Lager strain attenuates, and if it provides enough dryness for this style.

Lastly, this one goes out to my Mom, which happens to be her birthday today. Happy Birthday Mom! I know it seems impossible at this point in time, but imagine a late Spring BBQ with a tall pint of Ted brewed German Pils on the side. Mmmmm! Lets plan on it...shall we?

German Pils

9.0 lb. German Pilsner Malt
0.5 lb. German Carahell

1.25 oz. Tettnanger, 4.4%, pellet, 60min
1.25 oz. Tettnanger, 4.4%, pellet, 30min
1.00 oz. Hallertau Select, 1.5%, pellet, 10min

Wyeast 2007: Pilsen Lager
decanted 1.5qt starter & revitalized w/ pint wort

Brew Day Stats

Brewed: 1/16/09
Racked: 1/30/09
Bottled & Kegged: 3/13/09

Water Adjustment:
Strike: .5 tsp CaCl, .75 tsp Acid Blend
2nd Sparge: .25 tsp Kosher Salt, .25 tsp Epsom Salt

H2O/Grain Ratio: 1.4 qt/lb
Mash Ph: 5.3-5.4
Sacch. Rest Temp/Time: 151°F/60min
Mash Out Temp: 166°F
1st Batch Vol/SG: 3.75gal/1.058

2nd Batch Sparge H2OTemp/MashTemp: 184°F/171°F
2nd Batch Vol/SG: 3.75gal/1.024

Pre-Boil Vol: 7.5 gallons
Pre-Boil SG: 1.040
Boil Time: 100min
Post-Boil Vol: 5.75 gallons
Mash Efficiency: 80% lowerOG + more sparge h2o = higher %

OG: 1.050
IBU: 36
Color/SRM: Pale Straw Yellow/3
Ferment Temp: 50°F

FG: 1.014
ABW: 3.8%
ABV: 4.73%

Cost: $27.70, .48¢/12oz, $2.88/6-pack


1. The wort had an interesting cloudy/milky appearance from lautering to pitching. First, it occurred to me that a protein rest may have been useful in breaking down haze, but the Rhino Rye had a very similar viscous/hazy wort while undergoing this protein rest. I'm confused. Go figure.
2. The wort was just about to boil before taking my daughter to school. Yes, this means I get it all started at around 5am. Upon getting back (about 20min.) there was some excellent hot break (coagulated proteins) material floating around. This always seems to happen when I cut off the heat to run an errand or grab a coffee when there's none left in the house, and then return to proceed with the boil.
3. Fermentation temperature have been held very constant at 50°F.
4. Slight sulfuric scents after a few days of fermentation. Overall it smells clean.
5. At racking, it was very bright and clear. Three bottles capped, with a very small tasting (pretty clean). Can't wait to pour a pint of this.


Hunington said...

Ted, why did you go with the American lager yeast rather than 2124/Bohemian?

Ben said...

Looks good! You will have to post a picture of it when it's ready!

Ted Danyluk said...

Hunington Sachs,
I chose the Pilsen Lager strain because of its description. I wanted a strain that would ferment this beer and the upcoming Golden Rauchbier on the clean and dryer side. Plus, since I don't ferment lagers throughout the year its nice to try something new.

Used Czech Pils before and it made some fantastic beers. The Bohemian strain makes a good beer, but I'd have to agree with it's description that it puts out some esters, which I don't want in this Pils.

At, under German Pils, they don't have the 2124 listed as a choice yeast, and under the 2124 yeast strain the German Pils doesn't show up as a suitable style. I guess, I'm following these guidelines.

Have you had any outstanding issues with this the Pilsen Lager yeast?

Ben, I will. But we'll have to wait quite a while.

Vivek said...


How do you lager your beer? Do you have a fridge for it, or do you just go with fermentation temperatures?

Ted Danyluk said...


I think certain yeast strains & volumes of yeast inform the need to lager at all. A super healthy amount of Wyeast Bavarian Lager yeast ferments a beer so clean, lagering really isn't necessary. But if I'm going to lager, I use a couple methods. I think using a secondary at lagering temps should work just fine if you are starting out...see the results and decide if you want to do anything different.

With a space heater thermostat controller, I'll simply use the indoor porch set at about 40-45*F, which also works well for actively fermenting lagers which warm in the carboy to about 50*F. Or I'll use the Styro-Igloo fixed around a couple carboys that are sitting half on a windowsill in the porch (see this post about it... Sometimes the Styro-Igloo brings the temp a bit too far down, but I'm okay with that. Lagering takes about 2 weeks to 2 be the judge.

Thanks for the inquiry. Let me know if you need anything else.