German Pilsner

CrealCritter

Super Self-Sufficient
Joined
Jul 17, 2017
Messages
5,182
Reaction score
5,537
Points
297
Location
Zone 6B or 7 can't decide
There are so many different takes on pilsner recipes that it's mind boggling. As a matter of fact many commerical American beers have a pilsner backbone. American Pilsners often contain adjucts like rice or and or corn. I am not at all interested in America Pilsners. And will continue to focus my attention on German brews.

After much research I settled in on about a simple as it gets German Pilsner recipe. I'm pretty sure this will make a decent brew as it has all ingredients I'm already familiar with.
IMG_20200215_154541.jpg
 

CrealCritter

Super Self-Sufficient
Joined
Jul 17, 2017
Messages
5,182
Reaction score
5,537
Points
297
Location
Zone 6B or 7 can't decide
After more study... I revised my recipe, for kettle additions. To be a little more authentic. Basicly a German pilsner, ain't a German pilsner without Saaz noble hops. Being a pilsner it will be very sweet, so I also bumped up the bittering hops to hopefully ballance out some of the sweetness.
IMG_20200227_155910.jpg
 

CrealCritter

Super Self-Sufficient
Joined
Jul 17, 2017
Messages
5,182
Reaction score
5,537
Points
297
Location
Zone 6B or 7 can't decide
Horray for beer!

I plan on brewing this German Pilsner Saturday morning :) I'm shooting for a nice refreshingly light bodied and dry summer thirst quencher. Something like a michelob ultra but still staying true to the German purity law. So no adjucts like corn and rice found in American beers.

I'll be mashing this at a lower temperature for more beta ensyme starch conversion. Which will result in a thinner bodied, higher alcohol content and dryer beer (less carbs) when finished.

I decided to call this one Bare Bones Pilsner because their ain't much to it.
IMG_20200304_151857416.jpg
 

CrealCritter

Super Self-Sufficient
Joined
Jul 17, 2017
Messages
5,182
Reaction score
5,537
Points
297
Location
Zone 6B or 7 can't decide
I ended up brewing a little different with the hops. When I opened the first package and got a smell of German Saaz I really enjoyed it arroma. I tasted the wort as it was boiling with 2 ounces Saaz hops and I enjoyed the way it tasted also. So I added a ounce 10 minutes minute before flame out and 1 more ounce at 1 minute before flame out.

The Saaz hops I received had a super low 2.6% alpha acid content. So they were super mild. Dispite even after I added 4 ounces of hops my IBU is only 22.4 which is on the low end of bitterness for a German pilsner style of beer.

Still at 78% brewhouse efficiency :)

IMG_20200307_171253.jpg


Pre fermention, it should turn out a straw color.
IMG_20200307_195754.jpg
 
Last edited:

CrealCritter

Super Self-Sufficient
Joined
Jul 17, 2017
Messages
5,182
Reaction score
5,537
Points
297
Location
Zone 6B or 7 can't decide
First time using Fermentis Saflager S-189. I've read it ferments a fine tasting Pilsen, so I decided what the heck, i'll try it...

It has a Looooong lag time. Lag is the amount of time from when you sprinkle (pitch) the dry yeast over top of the wort, until it wakes up and starts eating and reproducing. It's been about 30 hours, which is a crazy long lag.

Not all Lager yeast are created equal... According to the manufacturer, S-189 was sourced from the Hürlimann Brewery out of Zürich, Switzerland. It can ferment well within the temperature range of 48-72° F, but is ideally fermented between the tighter range of 53-59° F.

My plan is to let it get fired up real strong then move it into the basement where it's cooler to finish. You can see the S-189 starting to bud in the 1gallon glass jug. Hopefully it will take off soon. It sure does take it's sweet time, even at the high end of the recommended range at 59 degrees.
IMG_20200308_211900.jpg


Lager yeasts are so interesting to me, maybe I'm just amused easily... But I find them fascinating.
 

CrealCritter

Super Self-Sufficient
Joined
Jul 17, 2017
Messages
5,182
Reaction score
5,537
Points
297
Location
Zone 6B or 7 can't decide
It took a while to get started, but S-189 is rolling along nicely @ 57degrees in the basement.
IMG_20200309_142434852.jpg


The 6 1/2 gallon bucket fermenter done went crazy, blowing Startsan sanitizer bubbles out of the air lock. It's got to be a feeding frenzy going on in there.
IMG_20200309_142458748.jpg


Fermentis Saflager S-189 is a nice lager yeast. But man does it take it's sweet time getting going.

Horray for beer 👍
 
Last edited:

CrealCritter

Super Self-Sufficient
Joined
Jul 17, 2017
Messages
5,182
Reaction score
5,537
Points
297
Location
Zone 6B or 7 can't decide
Fermentis Saflager S-189 is wrapping up it's krauesening phase and starting flocculation. flocculation is the clumping of yeast cells into clusters. The rate of flocculation determines how quickly the beer will clear. High flocculating yeasts sink to the bottom of the fermenter more quickly and produce a clearer beer. According to Fermentis, S-189 is highly flocculant and falls out of suspension easy, resulting in brilliantly clear beer. <--- that's some fine marketing speak.

It's interesting for me to observe the beer clearing from the top down (flocculation). Since I get my first peek at what the true color of the finished beer will be. I calculated a SRM (Standard Reference Method) color of 2 for my recipe. It starting to look like the beer is going to finish pretty close, maybe 3?

IMG_20200312_121828042.jpg


SRM values
9953607462eefc9d759a24c9c9b9c866.jpg


Dispite the long lag time, I'm really happy with the way Saflager S-189 is behaving. I believe I chose a good lager strain for this beer style and for fermenting at the time of the year. This time of the year, my basement has been holding steady at 57 degrees which falls into the recommended range of 53 to 59 degrees for the yeast.

A lot of planning and work goes into crafting, brewing, fermenting and finishing a beer. So it's nice to see everything going well up unto this point.

So far so good 👌
 

CrealCritter

Super Self-Sufficient
Joined
Jul 17, 2017
Messages
5,182
Reaction score
5,537
Points
297
Location
Zone 6B or 7 can't decide
Primary fermention is pretty much wrapped up. So I decided to taste a sample. The little bit I poured from the gallon jug into the glass, is a lot lighter colored than what's in the jug.

I taste a slight bit of diacetyl (butter flavor) but other than that it's going to be an easy drinking beer. It's really well ballanced and Saaz hops have delicate tangerine type flavor, spicy aroma and a unbelievable smooth bittering effect on the Pilsen malt.

I'll throw in a diacetyl rest at a higher temperature to allow the yeast to clean up the diacetyl before I rack the beer into a secondary to lager. I'll probably use a some finings in this batch, so it's drops clear instead of leaving it cloudy, just to be true to the German Pilsner style.

It's still got a ways to go before it's finished and ready to drink. but I am very encouraged by what I'm seeing and tasting so far.

The more beers I brew, the better I'm getting at brewing beer. Experience is a strange thing... You get it, right after you needed it
IMG_20200318_222635556.jpg
 
Last edited:

flowerbug

Almost Self-Reliant
Joined
Oct 24, 2019
Messages
1,072
Reaction score
983
Points
157
Location
mid-Michigan, USoA
Primary fermention is pretty much wrapped up. So I decided to taste a sample. The little bit I poured from the gallon jug into the glass, is a lot lighter colored than what's in the jug.

I taste a slight bit of diacetyl (butter flavor) but other than that it's going to be an easy drinking beer. It's really well ballanced and Saaz hops have delicate tangerine type flavor, spicy aroma and a unbelievable smooth bittering effect on the Pilsen malt.

I'll throw in a diacetyl rest at a higher temperature to allow the yeast to clean up the diacetyl before I rack the beer into a secondary to lager. I'll probably use a some finings in this batch, so it's drops clear instead of leaving it cloudy, just to be true to the German Pilsner style.

It's still got a ways to go before it's finished and ready to drink. but I am very encouraged by what I'm seeing and tasting so far.

The more beers I brew, the better I'm getting at brewing beer. Experience is a strange thing... You get it, right after you needed it
View attachment 13403
most of my better experiences for story telling are those that start with, "Well I didn't die that time, but..."
 
Top