I brew this recipe from time to time, and have enjoyed it pretty well so far. It’s a nice German pils to have around, and has a wonderfully simple approach. This year’s edition is generally the same as in past years, although I used all-Sterling as the hop, rather than a mix of Mt. Hood and Sterling, and I have a different brand of base malt.
Schell’s Pilsner Clone 2021
- 11 lb. Viking 2-row Xtra Pale Malt
- 0.25 lb. Carapils (Briess)
- 0.75 oz. Sterling hop pellets (7.4% alpha), 60 minute boil
- 0.5 oz. Sterling hop pellets (7.4% alpha), 20 minute boil
- 1 g BruTanB, 10 minute boil
- 1.3 oz. Sterling hop pellets (7.4% alpha), 5 minute boil
- 1 Whirlfloc tablet, 5 minute boil
- 1 pkg. German Lager yeast (WLP830), in 2L starter
- 1.25 oz. Sterling hop pellets (7.4% alpha), 3 day dry hop
- 1.050 o.g., 1.006 f.g., 5.9% abv, 35 IBU, 4 SRM
- 60 minute full volume mash, with 40 minutes at 144° and 10 minutes at 158°
- Claremont tap water
- I mashed in with 7.3 gallons of water at 150°, adding 7 mL of 88% lactic acid, and recirculated at a mash temperature of 144° for 40 minutes.
- Next, I raised the mash temperature to 158°, holding it there for 10 minutes.
- Finally, I raised the mash to 168° for 10 minutes, before removing the grains.
- In total, I collected 6.4 gallons of runnings with a gravity of 1.044, for 68% mash efficiency.
- I brought the kettle to a boil, adding hops and finings per the schedule. After 60 minutes, I turned off the heat and chilled, transferred, and finished chilling to 48°. I oxygenated with pure O2 for 40 seconds before pitching the yeast.
- I started with ~5.25 gallons of beer in the fermenter and an original gravity of 1.050.
- I brewed the beer on 1 May 2021.
- I began fermentation at 50°, and raised the temperature to 52° on 8 May 2021. I raised the temperature to 60° on 26 May 2021, and cold crashed on 26 May 2021. My fermentation chamber broke(!) on 1 June 2021, so the beer was at ~65° for around 24 hours. I got it back cold on 2 June 2021, and added the dry hops on 5 June 2021.
- I kegged the beer on 12 June 2021, adding 1 tsp. of gelatin heated to 156° in 3/4 cup of water.
- Final gravity was 1.010, which works out to 5.2% abv.
- This is a light gold/yellow beer that pours brilliantly clear, with a persistent creamy head.
- The beer has a light, spicy hop note, and a crackery malt note.
- It has a prominent bitterness, with a crisp and clean hop character. The bitterness is a bit over the top, and the water has a mineral-type (almost salty) character. Paired with the right food it does OK, but it is a bit too bitter on its own. The malt is light and crackery; very simple, but nice. Yeast profile is quite clean.
- Medium-light body, moderate carbonation, slightly dry finish.
- Would I brew this again?
- Yes, but next time I’m going to do better on the water profile. I think using tap water was a mistake here, especially without more adjustments to knock out carbonates, etc. The bitterness is just too much, which is unfortunate! In going back through my notes, all past iterations have built up from RO water, and I think I’ll do that again next time. Everything else works pretty well, and I suppose the bitterness is within the upper bounds of a German pils, so I can’t ding it too much. I might also try going back to the Mt. Hood+Sterling hop combo, just to give it a touch more interest in the hops.