I recently bought a Foundry brewing system, and chose a German pils as my first brew. First off, I really like this style. Importantly for a first spin on the Foundry, it gave me a chance to try out a step mash. The recipe is from Dave Carpenter’s Lager book, modified slightly for hop varieties. Otherwise, it’s pretty much as advertised.
- 9.5 lb. Pilsner malt (Weyermann)
- 7 oz. Carafoam malt (Weyermann)
- 3 oz. acidulated malt (Weyermann)
- 0.6 oz. Perle hop pellets (7.1% alpha), 60 minute boil
- 1 oz. Crystal hop pellets (4.5% alpha), 10 minute boil
- 0.5 oz. Spalt Spalter hop pellets (3.0% alpha), 10 minute boil
- 0.5 oz. Vanguard hop pellets (6.5% alpha), 10 minute boil
- 1 oz. Crystal hop pellets (4.5% alpha), 10 minute whirlpool
- 0.5 oz. Spalt Spalter hop pellets (3.0% alpha), 10 minute whirlpool
- 0.5 oz. Vanguard hop pellets (6.5% alpha), 10 minute whirlpool
- 2 pkg. Saflager Lager Yeast (W34/070)
- 1.046 s.g., 1.006 f.g., 5.2% abv, 3 SRM, 35 IBU, 5.25 gallon batch
- Full volume step mash, with 40 minutes at 142°, 40 minutes at 156°, and 10 minutes at 168°; 70 minute boil
- Claremont water with carbonates knocked out via lactic acid and Campden tablet to remove chloramines.
- While the 7.25 gallons of water were heating, I added 6 mL of 88% lactic acid to neutralize the carbonate load, in addition to adding a Campden tablet. No other minerals were added.
- It took 29 minutes to heat up from tap water temperature (~115°) to 146° for the mash-in temperature. I also added 5 mL of 88% lactic acid (but realized I had the wrong settings, and this was probably too much). I hit an initial mash temperature of 142°, and held it there for 40 minutes. 10 minutes into the mash, I started recirculating. Then, I raised the temperature to 158°, which took around 20 minutes (I started at 75% power, and then upped it to 100% power for the last 10 minutes). To raise to 168° for mash-out, it took ~7 minutes at 100% power. To get boiling temperatures, it took around 50 minutes. I noted that it was boiling (bubbling) before the panel actually showed 212° (~207°).
- The post-mash volume was 6.4 gallons, with a gravity of 1.043, for 72% mash efficiency.
- I boiled for 70 minutes, adding hops and finings per the recipe.
- After the boil, I chilled and transferred to the fermenter. In the fermenter, I continued the chill, down to 52°. Then, I pitched the yeast.
- I brewed this beer on 17 October 2020, and it had a starting gravity of 1.049.
- I raised the beer to 60° on 30 October 2020.
- I lowered the beer to 55° on 1 November 2020, and down to 33° on 6 November 2020.
- I kegged using semi-closed transfer on 30 November 2020.
- Final gravity was 1.013, for 4.7% abv.
- The beer pours with a persistent, thick, and white head–absolutely gorgeous! This is a true slow-pour beer. I am so pleased with the heading I’ve been getting from my pilsners. In the glass, the beer has a light gold color, with a very slight haze.
- Light grainy malt note, with a low level of spicy hop character. Very clean yeast character.
- Moderately low grainy-sweet malt character. The hops are more prominent, with a slight herbal character and clean bitterness that is pretty strong, almost approaching a level of harshness. Yeast flavor is very clean.
- Moderate/moderate-low level of carbonation, due to the high head on the pour that drives off some of the CO2. The finish is off-dry, with a light and crisp body.
- Would I brew this again?
- Yes? I really need to take a look at my hopping levels, and perhaps consider going with American hops rather than European ones to get a better aroma. The persistent haze is annoying, but I also misjudged the lactic acid addition, which I suspect might be a factor, as well as the whirlpool. I’ll dial back the hops in my next batch and avoid the whirlpool, because this is more bitter than I really like for a pils. Once I’m buying RO water again, I’ll definitely be building up my water profile, rather than augmenting the rather over-mineralized tap water. So, there are things I like about the recipe, but I think I can continue to adjust for improvements.