I’m craving a good Bohemian pilsner…especially that nice flavor and aroma of Saaz. My last effort was fairly disastrous, thanks to a bum batch of hops. Pro-tip: if it smells way too grassy before throwing them into the wort, throwing them into the wort won’t improve things.
In any case, I’ve got new hops, new grains, and a new recipe. I’ve cheated a bit with the grain bill, kicking in some melanoidin and Carafa III for a bit of extra malt flavor and color, respectively. For my interpretation I’ve amped up the Saaz a bit on the late-hop side, too.
Try Again Bohemian Pilsner
- 10 lbs. Barke Pilsner malt (Weyermann)
- 0.25 lb. Melanoidin malt (Weyermann)
- 0.2 oz. Carafa III malt (Weyermann)
- 2 oz. Saaz hop pellets (3.0% alpha), 60 minute boil
- 1 oz. Saaz hop pellets (2.2% alpha), 20 minute boil
- 2 oz. Saaz hop pellets (3.0% alpha), 10 minute boil
- 1 oz. Saaz hop pellets (3.0% alpha), 5 minute whirlpool
- 1 Whirlfloc tablet, 10 minute boil
- 1 tsp. Fermax, 10 minute boil
- 2 pkg. Bohemian lager dry yeast (Mangrove Jack’s M84)
- Infusion mash to hit target of 149°, 60 minutes, batch sparge.
- 1.052 o.g., 1.011 f.g., 5.5% abv, 36 IBU, 5 SRM
- Water built from RO with 0.5 g CaCl, 0.5 g epsom salts, with 6.5 mL of 88% lactic acid added to mash to adjust pH
- I mashed in with 3.5 gallons of water at 160°, to hit a mash temperature of 150°. The mash was down to 145° after 65 minutes. I added 1.25 gallons of water at 185°, let sit for 10 minutes, vorlaufed, and collected the first runnings. I then added 3.5 gallons of water, let sit for 10 minutes, vorlaufed, and collected the remainder of the runnings.
- In total, I collected 6.8 gallons of runnings with a gravity of 1.046, for 83% mash efficiency!
- I started the boil, adding hops and various finings and nutrients per the schedule above. After 60 minutes of boiling, I turned off the flame and added the final charge of hops.
- After 5 minutes of whirlpooling, I chilled down to 75° or so. Then, I transferred the wort to the fermenter, and let it chill overnight (~10 hours), down to 48°.
- I brewed the beer on 12 May 2018. On the morning of 13 May 2018, I oxygenated the wort for 45 seconds and pitched the yeast (rehydrated in 1 cup of boiled and cooled water).
- Starting gravity was 1.053, nearly exactly on target.
- After pitching, I set the temperature on the fermentation chamber to 52°, letting the beer free-rise from 48°.
- One day after pitching (14 May 2018), no fermentation activity was yet visible, but the fermenter gave off bubbles when I agitated it gently. By the morning of 15 May 2018 (48 hours post-pitching), visible krausen was forming.
- On 20 May (7 days after pitching the yeast), I raised the fermentation temperature to 54°.
- On 23 May, I raised the fermentation temperature to 56°.
- On 25 May, I raised the fermentation temperature to 58°.
- On 27 May, I raised the fermentation temperature to 60°. At this point, the gravity was 1.014.
- On 2 June, I cold crashed down to 33°.