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Latest Czech Pilsner

Here’s my latest Czech Pils recipe. I brewed my typical batch aiming for 11 gallons split into two fermenters. I kegged one fermenter after about a month on the cake and the second after 2 months. The second has been cold conditioning with lots of tastings (starting at 2 weeks lagering) for about 6 weeks now. It’s probably the best and one of the best looking pils I’ve made so far. Great pils and saaz spicy floral aroma and good bite on the tongue from the magnum, good color, nice white foamy head that sticks around, great lacing, light but grainy body and crusty bread taste with spicy dry hop finish. I love this one and it’s still getting better. I think I’ll brew another batch right away so I can leave it all on the cake for about 2 months then lager it as long as pissible.

I think water is very important in this style. I use the Brunwater Pilsen profile as a target. A bunch of lactic acid gets me close and with even lower bicarb. I’ve tried both 50 and 100% distiled and this works better for my taste. It leaves the beer more bitter and dry with a little twang which is what I want in this style.

Mashed in at 149 BIAB, 5.4 pH. Rested 60 mins then pulled bag and sparged with 190F water until I got my preboil volume. Adjust kettle pH as necessary for 5.2. Boiled 60 mins. Chilled through the plate chiller to high 50s, chilled to 52 and pitched. The only aeration was from the wort splashing from the hose into the buckets. About 2 inches of foam on the top after buckets were full.

If you like Urquell try this recipe. If you decoct then maybe eliminate the carafa and carapils. I haven’t tried decocting this one but may soon since my decocted helles turned out so good.

Boil Size: 13.25 gal
Post Boil Volume: 11.25 gal
Batch Size (fermenter): 11.00 gal
Estimated OG: 1.046 SG
Measured OG: 1.052
Measured FG: 1.011
Estimated Color: 6.1 SRM
Estimated IBU: 45.4 IBUs
Brewhouse Efficiency: 80.00 %
Est Mash Efficiency: 81.5 %
Boil Time: 60 Minutes

Ingredients:

18 lbs Avangard Best Malz Pilsner Malt (1.9 SRM Grain 98.0 %
4.0 oz Carapils (Briess) (1.5 SRM) Grain 1.4 %
2.0 oz Carafa Special II (Weyermann) (415.0 SRM Grain 0.7 %
1.25 oz German Magnum [13.00 %] - Boil 60.0 min Hop 29.9 IBUs
3.00 oz CZ Saaz [2.60 %] - Boil 30.0 min Hop 11.0 IBUs
1.00 Items Whirlfloc Tablet (Boil 15.0 mins) Fining -
2.00 oz CZ Saaz [3.40 %] - Boil 10.0 min Hop 4.5 IBUs
1.0 pkg Pilsner Lager (White Labs #WLP800) [35.4 Yeast 8 -

Mash Schedule: BIAB - Danny’s
Total Grain Weight: 18 lbs 6.0 oz

I think the skull bottle opener my oldest son brought me from Mexico makes a nice clarity gauge.

4 Likes

VND! Very Nicely Done! I would like to visit this this late fall, when I try my hand at layering… Looks very tasty! Sneezles61

Does look good! Not sure if I have the Pilsner profile on Bru’n water and I have the paid version. I think water is very detrimental in Lager beers, more so than ales.

Sorry it’s the Pilsen, as in the city, profile.

Just tapped a keg of pilsner I brewed early Nov, lagering since Dec 3. I fermented it with Wy Bavarian lager yeast which is more malt focused so I wondered what i’d get. Man it’s really good. Got that awesome grainy pils malt taste and pretty good bitterness considering the yeast. Very happy with this one.

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This pils just gets better every day in the keg. Great bitterness and pils grain flavor.
I had attributed the flavor enhancement in this pils to the bavarian lager yeast. In reviewing the recipe this morning prior to brewing a pils I realized I had also experimented with CZ Saaz FWH for 11IBU. Now wondering if that is where the extra punch came from?

I’m brewing 10 gals of pils today but I’ll ferment with WY2278 czech pils yeast because WY2001 Urquell is unavailable and I bought the 2278 before tasting this last pils that used bav lager yeast. I think I’ll FWH this one with saaz too.

Kind of confused why you use carafa II in a pils

Don’t get me wrong I’m not a style judge by any means. I actually use a little Munich in mine probably for the same reason

Just to give it a little more color. Without it’s 3.2 srm with it’s close to 6 srm. I like the color to be a little more like the golden color of urquell and prefer not to have to decoct or boil for 90 minutes to get it.

It’s carafa special so it really doesn’t impart any flavor.

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So Danny, do you get a spicy extra from the Saaz? Reason I ask, is trying some different hops for my Miabock… I’ve got some Tettnang thats stated as being spicy… Maybe you could give your opinion… Sneezles61

I don’t believe I’ve used Tettnang so I can’t say but yes the saaz gives that kind of spicy bitterness. I get that from Hallertauer Hursbrucker as well. I’ve used that for pils and vienna.

For this last pils which i really like, I think it’s the FWH. I did that again today but will ferment on 2278. So will be interesting to see how it compares to the pils fermented on 2206. Everything else about the recipe and process was the same.

I also think adjusting the kettle pH down to 5.2 from mash pH of 5.4 helps give it that extra crisp bite I like.

Here’s the pils in a glass my wife brought me from Munich a few weeks ago. Another week or so and it will be clear.

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If it lasts another week or two!!

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good point…luckily i have another keg still lagering…

eRecipe looks solid. I’ve been trying to really nail down the Czech pilsner for about 20 years now, and my latest attempt I think has brought me to the Pearly Gates, or Golden Gates I should say. I tried a couple of newer Czech malts to the US from Chicago Brew Works, Prostejov pilsner (10 lbs) and Prostejov Munich (1 lbs), double decoction mashed, with 1 oz of Saaz as FWH, about 2/3 oz of Czech Premiant boiled for 60 min, 1/3 oz Premiant for the last 15 min, then is where I really made the change: I punched in 1,5 oz of Saaz about 10 min after flame-out for 10 min whirlpool, then another 2 oz of Saaz for a 15 min whirlpool. Much like a New England IPA recipe but not quite as heavy on the lupulin. I pitched the seasonal Gambrinus Wyeast 2002 Lager Yeast, and the flavor was what I’ve been after for 19 years. That spicy, loamy, herbal, almost skunky but in a good way ozone like Saaz character I could never get before. It’s been in the keg for only 1 week, but is drinkable already. Part of that is thanks to the Clear Beer Draught System tubing and screen that floats on top, but I thankfully harvested the yeast for another batch.
For the past umpteen batches of Czech lagers, I’ve always followed the “rules” of adding the last addition 15-20 min before flame out. Maybe that works on a commercial system, but not at home. I’m sticking with this whirlpool addition for future batches. I do use a hop spider and that helps with minimizing trub in the fermenter, as well as racking from the kettle to my BrewBucket for 12 hours before racking again off the top into my conical.

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Good stuff @1pivoman. I’ve never used Premiant. I just sampled the pils from Jan that was fermented with the 2278. I used the same hops schedule on it that I did the most recent one I liked. FWH, bittering, 10 min.

It’s still early for this one but I think I like the one fermented on the bavarian lager yeast best. I think because it brings out more of the pilsner malt flavor. maybe I’ll give the 2002 a run.

Really liked the Premiant. It was a whopping 10,6% AA, and had a nice herbal, floral character that didn’t detract at all from Saaz. Can’t get over the malt character from this batch, using only pilsner and a bit of light munich. It’s like taking the volume knob of a good, fresh, imported Czech lager and turning it up a couple notches, both in terms of hops and malt.

I have yet to try a decoction for the pilsner. It’s been so good without it I just haven’t made the effort. I’ll have to give it a try soon. I’m beginning to believe the elusive flavor I’m looking for may come more from the grain than the hops. So decoction may make the difference. It made a big difference in the maltiness and body of my helles.

I swear by decoction, although it makes for a very long brew day. In the end, it’s worth it both in the result and the true hand-crafted character it gives. The interplay between the malt and hops in my latest batch is just stellar, it’s one of those beers you brew that you can just drink one after another and the flavor never gets old nor do any offages detract from what you work hard at putting into it. The result is well worth the effort.

My LHBS doesn’t have premiant and not sure they can get them. The sources for them online aren’t places I’ve ordere hops from before. Walmart sells hops???

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