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German Pilsner (Partial Mash)

Style Name: German Pils
Style Category: Pale Bitter European Beer
Estimated Original Gravity: 1.048 SG
Estimated Final Gravity: 1.014 SG
Estimated Alcohol by Vol: 4.4 %
Estimated Calories: 0.0 kcal/12oz
Batch Size: 5.00 gal
Bitterness: 28.9 IBUs
Description: The Pilsner beer was first brewed in Bohemia, a German-speaking province in the old Austrian Empire. Pilsner is one of the most popular styles of lager beers in Germany, and in many other countries. It’s often spelled as "Pilsener", and often times abbreviated, or spoken in slang, as "Pils." Classic German Pilsners are very light straw to golden in color. Head should be dense and rich. They are also well-hopped, brewed using Noble hops. These varieties exhibit a spicy herbal or floral aroma and flavor, often times a bit coarse on the palate, and distribute a flash of citrus-like zest.

Amt Name Type # %/IBU
4.50 lb Pilsner; German (2.0 SRM) Grain 1 57.7 %
3.30 lb LME Pilsen Light (2.3 SRM) Extract 2 42.3 %
3.00 oz Saaz [3.00 %] - Boil 60.0 min Hop 3 26.7 IBUs
1.00 Items Whirlfloc Tablet (Boil 15.0 mins) Fining 4 -
0.50 tsp Yeast Nutrient (Wyeast) (Boil 10.0 mins) Other 5 -
1.25 oz Saaz [3.00 %] - Boil 5.0 min Hop 6 2.2 IBUs
3.0 pkg Bohemian Lager (Wyeast Labs #2124) [124.21 ml] Yeast 7 -

Note: SafLager West European Lager S-23 may be used as a dry yeast alternative.

Brewing The Beer

1. Read

Read all of the recommended procedures before you begin.

This recipe assumes the following:

  1. You have a boil pot large enough to boil 4.46 gal of wort.
  2. 72.00% brewhouse efficiency.

2. Sanitize

Thoroughly clean and sanitize ALL brewing equipment and utensils that will come in contact with any ingredients, wort or beer.

3. Mash The Grains

Add the specified amount of clean water to your brew pot and heat it to the temperature indicated in the Description of the "Mash In" step.

Mash Steps
Name Description Step Temperature Step Time
Mash In Add 6.63 qt of water at 157.4 F 148.0 F 75 min

Add the grain to your grain bag:
Mash Ingredients
Amt Name Type # %/IBU
4.50 lb Pilsner; German (2.0 SRM) Grain 1 57.7 %

Place the bag of grain into the brew pot. Using a thermometer, maintain the temperature specified in the Step Temperature as closely as you can for the specified Step Time. Stir and agitate the grain bag occasionally to make sure that the grains are fully saturated.

4. Sparging The Grains

Heat 3.59 gal of water to 168.0 F to prepare the sparge. Lift the bag of grain out of the water and hold it over your brew pot. A Large Strainer helps with this. Slowly pour the sparge water over the bag of grain. Once completed, your brew pot should contain approximately 4.46 gal . Discard grains.

5. Add The Malt Extract

Add the malt extract. Once all the malt extract is in the pot add enough water to reach 4.46 gal . Make sure all of the malt extract is fully disolved before turning the heat back on.

6. Start The Boil

Bring your wort to a vigorous rolling boil. Right before the sweet wort begins to boil, break material will form a foam that can boil over quickly and unexpectedly. Spray some water on it to break up the foam or use a anti-foaming agent like Fermcap-S. Continue the vigorous rolling boil for 90 minutes.

7. Add Ingredients According To The Schedule

For any LME or DME additions that were not added earlier turn off the heat and make sure the extract is fully dissolved before turning the heat back on. If there are steeping hops add them after flameout.

Boil Ingredients
Amt Name Type # %/IBU
3.30 lb LME Pilsen Light (2.3 SRM) Extract 2 42.3 %
3.00 oz Saaz [3.00 %] - Boil 60.0 min Hop 3 26.7 IBUs
1.00 Items Whirlfloc Tablet (Boil 15.0 mins) Fining 4 -
0.50 tsp Yeast Nutrient (Wyeast) (Boil 10.0 mins) Other 5 -
1.25 oz Saaz [3.00 %] - Boil 5.0 min Hop 6 2.2 IBUs

8. Cool Wort And Transfer

Cool the wort down to approximately 54.0 F by placing the brew pot in a sink filled with ice water or by using a wort chiller. Pour or siphon the wort into a sanitized fermentor.

9. Add Water

Add enough clean water to the fermentor to bring your wort to 5.00 gal . Thoroughly stir the water into the wort. Once you are satisfied your wort is at the proper volume and close to the estimated OG, record the OG on this sheet. It should be approximately 1.048 SG .

10. Aerate The Wort

During the boiling process most of the oxygen is removed from the wort. In order to provide our wort with healthy yeast we must add oxygen back into the wort. The yeast will use the oxygen to build healthy cell walls resulting in greater attenuation and an overall healthier fermentation. To aerate the wort you can shake your carboy back and forth or stir the wort vigorously. Some people use pure oxygen and a diffusion stone to add the maximum amount of oxygen.

11. Pitch Yeast

If you are using liquid yeast open the pack and pour the yeast into the wort. If you are using dry yeast, open the pack and sprinkle the yeast onto the top of the wort. There is no need to stir. Firmly secure the lid/stopper/bung onto the fermentor. Fill your airlock halfway with water and gently twist the airlock into the lid/stopper/bung. Move fermentor to a dark, cool, temperature stable area at 54.0 F .

Fermentation Ingredients
Amt Name Type # %/IBU
3.0 pkg Bohemian Lager (Wyeast Labs #2124) [124.21 ml] Yeast 7 -

Fermenting The Beer

12. Fermentation

The wort will begin to ferment within 24-72 hours and you will notice CO2 releasing (bubbling) out of the airlock. Airlock activity will be slower at 54.0 F then an ale fermentation. If you do not see any activity and you are fermenting in a bucket, spray sanitizer on the airlock and around the grommet. Gently twist the airlock out of the grommet and peek inside. If you see a foam also called "krausen" then fermentation is active. There may be a ring of dried krausen around the edge of the bucket right above the beer. This is normal and means that fermentation is working. Replace the airlock gently twisting it back into the grommet.

When the bubbling slows significantly or when the fermentation is 3/4 of the way done (measure with a hydrometer) move on to the next step.

13. Diacetyl Rest

Lager yeast tend to produce large amounts of diacetyl during fermentation. Diacetyl is a buttery flavored compound and must go. Fortunatly yeast will absorb it we just need to warm the beer slightly. Raise the temperature of the fermenting beer to 64.0 F and let it rest for 2.00 days.

14. Lager

Lower the temperature to 34.0 F and wait 48 hours. Then rack your beer into a cleaned and sanitized secondary fermentor, avoid transferring any sediment (trub), wait 30.00 more days and your beer will be ready for bottling*. Take a FG reading with a cleaned and sanitized hydrometer and record it on this sheet. It should be approximately 1.014 SG .

*If you are not going to use a secondary fermentor then simply let the beer sit in one fermentor for the entire duration.

Bottling The Beer

15. Sanitize

Thoroughly clean and sanitize ALL brewing equipment and utensils that will come in contact with any ingredients, wort or beer.

16. Prepare Priming Sugar

In a small saucepan dissolve 4.35 oz of priming sugar into enough boiling water to dissolve the sugar. Cool and pour this mixture into a cleaned and sanitized bottling bucket. Carefully siphon beer from the fermentor to the bottling bucket. Avoid transferring any sediment (trub). As the beer is being transfered over pour in your hydrated yeast mixture. After the beer is in the bottling bucket, cover it and let it sit and mix for 5 minutes. By siphoning your beer onto the priming sugar stirring is not necessary.

17. Bottle

Connect a hose and bottling wand to the spigot on your bottling bucket. Fill the bottles to the top of the bottle. When the bottling wand is removed the perfect amount of head space will be left in the bottle. Use a bottle capper to apply sanitized crown caps.

18. Bottle Condition

Move the bottles to a dark, cool, temperature-stable area (approx. 67.0 F). Over the next 21.00 days, the bottles will naturally carbonate. Carbonation times vary depending on the temperature and beer style, so be patient if it takes a week or so longer.

Drink, share and enjoy!

Tips and Suggestions

  1. The volume of wort boiled affects hop utilization. Boiling more than 4.46 gal gallons will increase the IBU’s and they will decrease if wort volume is less than 4.46 gal gallons. IBU’s for this recipe are calculated for a 4.46 gal gallon boil.
  2. The grains should not be compacted inside the bag. Grains should steep loosely allowing the hot water to soak into all of the grain evenly.
  3. Consider turning your spent grain into bread or dog treats. http://blog.bullcityhomebrew.com/?p=242
  4. Run canisters of LME under hot water to allow the extract to pour easier.
  5. Pay careful attention that the extract does not accumulate and caramelize on the bottom of your brew pot.
  6. When consumed, hops can cause malignant hyperthermia in dogs, sometimes with fatal results.
  7. To avoid bacteria growth do this as rapidly as possible. Do not add ice directly to the wort. Alternatively, you can use a brewing accessory like a Wort Chiller.
  8. Use a sanitized hydrometer while adding water to monitor the gravity.
  9. Use standard crown bottles, preferably amber color. Make sure bottles are thoroughly clean. Use a bottle brush if necessary to remove stubborn deposits. Bottles should be sanitized prior to filling.
Bull City Homebrew
1906 E. NC Hwy 54, Suite 200-B
Durham, NC 27713