Last year, one of my favorite recipes was a clone of Schell’s Pils, a German-style pilsner from Minnesota using 2-row malt rather than pilsner malt. I decided to have another go at this recipe, but with a few minor modifications in the ingredients.
Schell’s Pils Clone 1.1
- 11.5 lb. 2-row malt (Great Western)
- 0.25 lb. Carapils malt (Briess)
- 1 oz. Mt. Hood hop pellets (4.6% alpha), first wort hopping and 60 minute boil
- 0.75 oz. Mt. Hood hop pellets (4.6% alpha), 60 minute boil
- 0.75 oz. Mt. Hood hop pellets (4.6% alpha), 20 minute boil
- 0.5 oz. Sterling hop pellets (7.4% alpha), 5 minute boil
- 1 tsp. Fermax yeast nutrient, 10 minute boil
- 1 Whirlfloc tablet, 5 minute boil
- 1 repitch of German lager yeast (White Labs WLP830)
- 1.052 o.g., 1.011 f.g., 5.4% abv, 38 IBU, 4 SRM
- 60 minute infusion mash, 152°, batch sparge
- Water built up from RO, to hit target water profile of 59 ppm Ca, 8 ppm Mg, 89 ppm SO4, 63 ppm Cl; RA=-47ppm
- I built up my RO water with 1.86 g CaCl, 1.45 g gypsum, and 1.2 g Epsom salt in total with 8.5 gallons of RO water.
- I mashed in with 4 gallons of water at 163.5°, to hit a mash temperature of around 152°. After 60 minutes, I added 1.1 gallons of water at ~185°, let sit for 10 minutes, vorlaufed, and collected the first runnings.
- I next added ~3.6 gallons of water, let sit for 10 minutes, vorlaufed, and collected the second runnings.
- In total, I collected 7.25 gallons of runnings with a graviy of 1.045, for 77% mash efficiency.
- I brought the kettle to a boil, adding the hops, nutrient, and finings per the schedule.
- After a 60 minute boil, I chilled the wort down to ~75°, and transferred to the fermenter.
- I chilled the wort in my fermentation chamber down to 49°, oxygenated with 30 seconds of pure O2, and pitched a culture of yeast from a previous batch (my Crystal Pils, harvested about 6 weeks prior).
- I fermented at 52°, for just under a month.
- Starting gravity was 1.053, on 7 March 2020.
- I didn’t change the temperature at all during the duration of fermentation, figuring that any lingering off-flavors would be cleaned up during this time.
- I kegged the beer on 4 April 2020. Final gravity was 1.010, for 5.7% abv.
- Thick white head, pretty persistent. It pours well, and sticks around, too. The beer itself is light yellow and pretty clear (but not quite brilliant).
- Lightly spicy hop character, slight grainy-sweet malt character.
- Definitely hop dominant, with an assertive hop presence that is on the tongue well after finishing the sip. Malt character is smooth and slightly doughy, but definitely in the background…almost too much so.
- Off-dry, moderately high carbonation, with a lingering bitter finish.
- Would I brew this again?
- For my tastes, I liked the first batch much better. This version is still a pretty good German pils, but definitely a touch more bitter than I care for in this style. It just overwhelms the malt too much. I think I’ll go back to my hopping schedule from the previous version. The hop/malt balance was just better in that one. I’ll still keep the dry-hop out, though. I also wonder if changing from Rahr to Great Western for the malt made a difference?
- Overall: 6.5/10