#8 Bavarian Pilsner

Eureka, todays post is about my first attempt to brew a Pilsner style beer. Unfortunately, another recipe from the dark ages without useful tasting notes… Anyway, the following recipe is a straight forward approach for a Pilsner recipe. I went with Wyeast’s #2206 Bavarian Lager yeast and did the fermentation a bit higher than usual bottom fermenting temperatures. I brewed this particular batch in winter of 2007 when my cellar was at around 14°C (57°F). Today I know that the yeast I chose can be indeed used at higher temperatures without any inappropriate esters and such. But back then, just a lucky guess. Lets go through the recipe.

Recipe: Bavarian Pilsner
Numbers: Volume [L] 27 (7.1 gal)
Original gravity 12°P
Terminal gravity 3.3°P
Color Around 8 EBC
ABV 4.7 %
Grains: Pilsner malt (4 EBC) 4.65 kg
Carapils (4 EBC) 0.2 kg
Acidified malt (5 EBC) 0.14 kg
Hops: Tettnanger (5.2% AA) 17 g and boil for 70 min
Magnum (14.8% AA) 17 g and boil for 70 min
Tettnanger (4.1% AA) 17 g and boil for 3 min
Yeast: #2006 Bavarian Lager
Water: Burgdorf Mash: 18 L (4.8 gal), sparge: 18 L (4.8 gal) @78°C (172°F)
Rest: Mash in @45°C (113°F), 20 min @ 43°C (109°F), 30 min @ 63°C (145°F), 30 min @ 71°C (160°F), 10 min @ 78°C (172°F)
Boil: Total 70 min
Fermentation: Primary 7 days @ 14°C (57°F) in plastic fermenter
Secondary None
Maturation: Carbonation (CO2 vol) 2.5 (bottled at 4.5°P)
Maturation time > 3 weeks

02/17/07: Brew day number eight begins. All went according to the protocol above. I had nearly 27 L at the end of the brew day and pitched a package of Wyeast’s #2006 Bavarian Lager in there.

Sparging process

Looking back, this was probably a underpitched wort for sure. Anyway, I then left the fermenter at 14°C (57°C) and then bottled the beer with a gravity of 4.5°P to have just enough sugars for the carbonation. The forced fermentation test finished at a gravity of 3.3°P. This technique is called “Grünschlauchen” in German. It means that you bottle the beer at the exact moment where there is just enough sugars left for the carbonation process. In my case, bottled the beer with a gravity of 4.5°P. The remaining 1.2°P (4.5°P minus the gravity of the forced fermentation test) would be enough for the carbonation. There are several reasons why I do not use this Grünschlauchen method anymore. One difficulty here is to catch the right moment to bottle the beer. Another one is the lacking secondary fermentation or maturation process. Nowadays, I alway go through a secondary fermentation and bottle with either an addition of sugar or use wort. Way easier!

After bottling the beer, I stored it for several weeks before I tasted it for the first time. This time, I have some tasting notes. What a treat! Not the bests, but at least some notes. The beer had a nice white head and a yellow color. Light haziness. The aroma was very hoppy and nice. The flavor was again hoppy and some bitterness detectable. All in all a very easy drinkable beer.

Unfortunately, I have no idea how old the beer was as I did the tasting. As I read through the tasting notes now, the descriptions I made are very typical for a Pilsner beer. I therefore assume that this beer tasted like a typical Pilsner beer indeed. Cheers!