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1st AG pilsner planned

Real simple question is a decoction mash needed or can one get away with a single infusion mash?

With most modern malts, you can do an infusion mash and skip the decoction. You do want a little bit of caramelization though, so using some small amounts of munich or melanoidin malt might be useful to get the color and flavor you want without a decoction. You may need to use a little phosphoric acid or acid malt to get your mash pH low enough as well. Both answers depend on exactly which malt you are using and your water supply though. If you are using one of the typical domestic or german/belgian pilsner malts, infusion is fine, maybe the “moravian” pils from weyerman is not as modified though and a decoction would be better.

For a pislner, no. I’d consider a protein rest though. I’ve had some issues with clarity.

Thanks DVM and Tom.

I think I am going to go with the step mash with the protein rest (as Tom suggested).

I will follow up and post my results.

Thanks again

:cheers:

No decoction is necessary. A protein rest depends on the malt you use. With Durst or Best malts, I get brilliantly clear beers with a single infusion, no protein rest. If you do the p rest, keep it at 131 for no more than 15 minutes.

I agree fully with Best pils all beers have been super clear without a protein rest. 131 for 15 sounds prudent if ness.

Tom, what malts have you typically had issue with? Best and Dingeman is all I have ever used.
Still haven’t tried any Weyemann malts.

DVMK, Which malt was the lower modified “Morvarian”? The Weyeman Bohemian pils?
AFAIK, this malt is closely aligned with the original but not actually the true “Hanna/ Morvarian” malt available in market some years ago. Also like you stated a P rest and/ or step-decoction mash might be warranted with lower modified malts.

ITsPossible-yeah that’s right, the “bohemian” haven’t used it myself, but remember reading somewhere that it might not be as well modified. I have gotten nice clear beers without a protein rest from Best Malz and Weyerman pilsner malts, but then again My garage gets down into the mid 30’s for about 3-4 months in the winter, which makes it really easy to lager as many beers as I want during the winter.

^^ This ^^ except I would cut back the protein rest to between 0 and 10 minutes – no more than 10.

With modern fully modified malts, there is no need for a protein rest - and doing one can have negative impact on beer foam. I mostly use fully modified Viking pilsner malt for lagers, and it gets brilliantly clear with single infusions mashes. I made a BoPils this spring using the Weyermanns Bohemian Pilsner malt (less modified), and went with the full 4x decoction step mash regiment. It came out great - solid malt base, good foam and eventually great clarity (took a long time), but it was a four hour mash session.

Next Q regarding this AG Pils. My water profile is pretty spot on and from running some calculations I may need to add about 7g of Gypsum to sharpen it up a bit on the pallet.

This may be overkill, or trying over think it, but would be unnecessary to add 3 oz of acidulated malt (9.75 lb grain bill) to get my pH down to about 5.4?

Acidulated malt is a great idea. Yes, do it.

Don’t add any gypsum unless you are making the German pilsner style. If you want a traditional Bohemian pilsner, then don’t add any.

I’ve used Weyermann and Best and had some clarity issues. Maybe this is coming from water issues though, if people are using Best and getting clear beers. I don’t brew that many pilsners anyway so this is from limited experience (4 or 5 in the last couple of years).

Thanks Dave!

I am attempting a Urquell clone:

14 lb Weyerman Bohemian Pilsner Malt
12 oz CaraPils Malt
3 oz Acidulated Malt

skip the gypsum

If I am using BoPils, it looks like the consensus may be to do a p-rest, correct? It doesn’t appear to be as modified as my LHBS’s other option Dingemans Pilsner malt. The Lovibond is pretty much the same, but the price is way different.

If I can go with the BoPils I save $8.40, but it looks like there is an extra step. If I go with Dingemans and I do not have to do an extra step and spend a little more, I may go that route.

Any and all input is well received

You really don’t need to do a protein rest. I wouldn’t. It is highly questionable whether there is any value at all, and it might even harm your head retention. So if you don’t feel the bother of doing one, or you don’t understand whether you need to do one, then my advice is, don’t. I’m sure you will be perfectly happy with the result without a protein rest. I know I love my lagers without doing a protein rest.

Definitely wise advice on the gypsum Dave.
In addition to this advice, many times if you use too much sulfate it can clash with noble hops used in a pils. A little possibly is justified at times, which I do use as my water would leave beers far too malty so I add around a gram only just to find balance per my flavor preference. So the plan to avoid its use is prudent. Its good that you posted your original intention as 7-8 grams of gypsum sounds like an unusually high addition.

Even for IPA’s I find I am only adding around 2 grams to the mash and 3-4 grams to sparge water and my base water is far to the extremely malty side as mentioned above.

Its been a while, but I think their “regular” pils malt and the Bo-pils malt are pretty close to one another regarding protein content. So this makes me think in unison to your statement Dave that a P rest could easily be skipped on either.

FWIW, I have a tripel made from Best pils (and sugar) on tap at the moment. It’s crystal clear. Single infusion.

Thank you Dave, ItsPossible, and Denny.

I am going to go with my original grain bill, no P-rest, and no gypsum. I am new to water treatment and try and avoid it when possible. I did Denny’s Vanilla Bourbon Porter and added a little gypsum (4 grams I believe) and it came out fantastic!

In any case I am of the understanding that lighter colored beers tend to get a minerally flavor if to much water treatment is performed. When I did an EZ_Water calculation I see I can achieve my pH with a little acidulated malt. Surprisingly my muni water is pretty decent for brewing.

I have the fermenting temp and DA temps under control, but how in the heck does one lager at 35 degrees F?

My brew fridge can get me in the low 40’s on a good day. Maybe I can wait to brew this till after the holidays when my garage will be running in the mid to high 30s.

Any suggestions?

[quote=“andymag”]Thank you Dave, ItsPossible, and Denny.

I am going to go with my original grain bill, no P-rest, and no gypsum. I am new to water treatment and try and avoid it when possible. I did Denny’s Vanilla Bourbon Porter and added a little gypsum (4 grams I believe) and it came out fantastic!
Very nice, glad to hear it. I have been meaning to get a porter or bock going for the winter and this beer does sound awful tempting.

In any case I am of the understanding that lighter colored beers tend to get a minerally flavor if to much water treatment is performed. When I did an EZ_Water calculation I see I can achieve my pH with a little acidulated malt. Surprisingly my muni water is pretty decent for brewing.
Sure your right. Any over the top mineral additions may be overemphasized in very light brews like this. A dash of acidulated will probably do the trick. Yes, I find my muni is outstading also.
I have the fermenting temp and DA temps under control, but how in the heck does one lager at 35 degrees F?

My brew fridge can get me in the low 40’s on a good day. Maybe I can wait to brew this till after the holidays when my garage will be running in the mid to high 30s.

Any suggestions?[/quote]

When I don’t have other beers to rotate through my ferment chest I can ferment around 48f and then raise for a D rest and then lower to around freezing and leave for a month or two. But if I have other beers to rotate into the ferment chest I usaully rack to a secondary or keg and place in the back of the keg fridge as the temps will vary. The front of my tap fridge is set around 38F but I find that the back naturally sits around 32-34F So I lager in the back of the tap fridge if I have room.

So this weekend I am getting my grains, I have my freezer and external thermostat, everything is lining up nicely.

I am torn between a German Pils (Bitburger clone), Bohemian (Urquell clone).

I guess I have to venture out and have PU and a Bitburger some point this weekend to make up my mind.

I do have one final question for the community, what a good representation of the fermentation schedule?

Assuming I go with the BoPils and use wy2278 (Czech Pils) I read that it may be best to ferment on the higher end of the temp scale to avoid sulfer byproducts from the yeast.

My schedule:
-aerate and pitch yeast starter at 65 degrees F
-drop down to 44 degrees F for 2 days
-bring back up to 55 degrees F for 10 days
-rack to a clean carboy and drop to 35 degrees F (2 degrees a day taking 10 days to reach 35 degrees F) store for 40 days.

Does this seem appropriate to those that have done a BoPils in the past?

I plan to use one wy2278 yeast packet and making a 2L starter with 201 g of DME. Should be around 1.037 for the starter. I plan to pitch at 65 degrees, so there is minimal temperature variations between the starter and the wort.

*** edit*** Another point, but not to do too much with fermentation. I am using 100% distilled water and plan to add a little (<3g) of CaCl just to get the calcium levels up to support yeast health. The reason behind the 100% distilled H20 is I want to limit the minerals that may seep through into the final flavor. However, if I am using yeast nutrient in my starter, can I skip the addition of CaCl in my mash?

Thanks all for the help. This is my first attempt at this style of beer or lagering in general, so I want to be sure it is a pleasant one :cheers:

I love German Pilsners. But I LOOOOOVE Bo Pilsners. Saaz it to me.

I’ve only brewed a handful of lagers, but with your warm-pitch, I would tend to leave it at 44-46 for a week, then up to 50 for a week, then up to 55-60 for a week.

I typically cold pitch around 46 and let it raise up to 48 and hold there for 2.5 weeks.

You may want to PM Ken Lenard. He brews these often.

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