2C Classic American Pilsner advice

I’m brewing a few beers to contribute to my clubs showing at NHC. Among others I volunteered for 2C: Classic American Pilsner. Yeah, I know… “Just bring a keg of some American swill”… yadda, yadda, yadda. I also have Belgian Specialty Ale and Witbier. So I volunteered for a less than sexy style as well. I’ve brewed a few German Pils, but never an American. After doing some reading, here’s what I came up with. Any suggestions (especially about the yeast) I’m all ears.

Thanks in advance for your input.

5.25 gal
OG 1.054
FG 1.014 (going to mash around 148-149F, so I would expect this to be lower, under 1.010)
IBU 34
BU:GU 0.63
ABV 5.3% (again, depending on FG, this may be a little higher, but hoping to stay under 6%)

90min mash 148-149F
15min batch sparge 168F
90min boil

7lbs Pils
2lbs Flaked corn
1lb Carapils

FWH 90min 1.5oz Hallertau Mittelfruh
20min 1/2oz Czech Saaz
10min 1/2oz Czech Saaz
5min 1/2oz Czech Saaz
1min 1/2oz Czech Saaz

Wyeast 2001 Urquell, 2007 Pilsen Lager, 2035 American Lager, 2124 Bohemian Lager, 2278 Czech Pils

Leaning towards Urquell or Czech Pils due to their dry finish.

The carapils seems unusual. The CAP style was “rediscovered” and popularized by Jeff Renner. Here’s a fairly current version if his recipe. I can tell you from tasting it that it’s absolutely fantastic!

2011 Jeff’s CAP

A ProMash Recipe Report

Recipe Specifics

Batch Size (Gal): 10.50 Wort Size (Gal): 10.50
Total Grain (Lbs): 20.00
Anticipated OG: 1.055 Plato: 13.62
Anticipated SRM: 3.0
Anticipated IBU: 34.2
Brewhouse Efficiency: 80 %
Wort Boil Time: 70 Minutes

Pre-Boil Amounts

Evaporation Rate: 12.00 Percent Per Hour
Pre-Boil Wort Size: 12.21 Gal
Pre-Boil Gravity: 1.048 SG 11.79 Plato

Formulas Used

Color Formula Used: Morey
Hop IBU Formula Used: Tinseth
Tinseth Concentration Factor: 1.00

Additional Utilization Used For First Wort Hops: -10 %


% Amount Name Origin Potential SRM

75.0 15.00 lbs. Pale Malt(6-row) America 1.035 2
25.0 5.00 lbs. Corn Meal America 1.040 1

Potential represented as SG per pound per gallon.


Amount Name Form Alpha IBU Boil Time

1.50 oz. Cluster Whole 8.30 19.5 60 min.
1.00 oz. Czech Saaz Whole 5.50 8.0 First WH
1.00 oz. Czech Saaz Whole 5.50 4.3 15 min.
1.00 oz. Czech Saaz Whole 5.50 2.3 7 min.
1.00 oz. Czech Saaz Whole 5.50 0.0 0 min.


White Labs WLP830 German Lager

Mash was a cereal mash

I agree with Mr. Denny, CAP’s are not typical American swill, I make a similar recipe every year. If you do a preprohibition version with an O.G. of about 1.055 I personally think you can jack up the bitterness to about 40IBU’s or so. I also like to dry hop so as to get the nice hop aroma. I am however not a big Cluster fan and usually use something like Magnium for bittering (not traditional but personal preference). Also, I think the beer is better if you cereal mash some grists as versus using flaked corn (we did a blind tasting once to determine that) although the beer will still be good with the flaked product. If you look at the BJCP guidelines for the style you’ll see that the beer is supposed to be as substantial as the European pils so it’s not wimpy beer. :smiley:

I’ve got a strange obsession with this style (strangest largely because I’ve never had one). I’ve read the Jeff Renner article a few times, and I believe George Fix did a googleable piece on the style too.

Also google “Your Father’s Moustache” which is also published in “How to Brew”

I am planning on doing one in a month or so, but in the meantime, did a faux version with US-05 fermented @ 60 degrees and a single decoction to raise to mash out. Its only been in the primary for 10 days, and I’m currently raised up to 65 to hopefully get rid of a touch of diacetyl I am picking up, but otherwise, this is an awesome beer. Just awesome. The one I did is Jamil’s recipe, published in BCS, with US-05 @ 60 degrees.

+1 on the hopping levels. Especially with something like Saaz, it should be nicely balanced.

I’ve heard that Clusters are pretty gnarly as well. I should have tried those in the S-05 batch since it would be a ‘lager-level-commitment!’

I’ve brewed a couple of these. The first was 6-row and quick grits from Walmart. The second was 6 row and flaked maize. Both used Saaz exclusively. The first one used 2035 (which had a little acetaldehyde as it warmed up) and the second was 2124, which attenuated like crazy and was really more of an imperial CAP. Both turned out excellent. CAP is definitely not American swill. I think if you use corn meal/polenta/grits, you need to do a cereal mash. I just cooked the grits the night before (not a cereal mash) and they converted fine. The flaked maize is pre-gelatinized so no cereal mash necessary. The 6-row will aid in the conversion of whatever corn source you use.

I wasn’t calling all CAP swill. I was referring to some of the more popular and cheaper beers you would find at the end of the cooler case in your nearest beer store.

I think those would technically be classified as lite american lager, BJCP category 1A.

I’ve also heard flaked maize goes stale REALLY easily. In the two beers I’ve brewed with it (cream ale and the faux CAP), it hasn’t seemed to be a problem, potentially a testament to my LHBS.

I think those would technically be classified as lite american lager, BJCP category 1A.[/quote]

Meh… tomato tomoto.

Meh… tomato tomoto.[/quote]
I guess if you are comparing a fresh garden tomato to a grown in Mexico, picked green, ripened with ethylene gas supermarket tomato.

I brewed a dark American lager 2 days ago made with 23% stone ground grits. Quite possibly the most interesting brew in some time doing the cereal mash.
One big giant pot of sweet grits.

The wort going into the fermenter smelled very corny, so hopefully this drops some.

Just an update FYI on my faux CAP. Kegged and carbed it up on Saturday/Sunday. I had about 4 of these while watching Walking Dead last night (good thing the beer was GREAT, because the episode was NOT!).

It really has a great balance of malt/slight corn sweetness and dryness/crispness, with a great floral aroma. The S-05 might have kicked up a SLIGHT fruit ester, but its pretty darned clean. I can imagine this beer would benefit GREATLY from some time in a lager tank and a slight sulphur kick of a lager yeast.

I did 4 days at 60* then another 10 days at 65 degrees. It cleaned up a slight diacetyl note I was detecting.

I guess I’m not sure what style this beer is, I guess a Blonde…whatever it is, it is awesome!

One more FYI, I bought a lb of Saaz for $16 a few months back, and used a 4th generation of S-05. All in for ingredients, 5 gallons of this beer cost about $25!

Maybe you should have had the beer before you turned on the TV. :slight_smile: