Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Triple Barrel part 2 – Bohemian “Pilsner”

The second part of my triple brew weekend was a Bohemian pPilsner. At the time I brewed it, I wasn’t confident in my ability to maintain appropriate lager fermentation and lagering temperatures, so I decided to brew a Bohemian Pilsner as an ale. It was a simple recipe of 94% Pilsner malt and 6% Carapils and a heap of Saaz hops. To keep this as clean and lager-like as I could, I decided to use Kolsch yeast (WLP029) and ferment it as low as possible (@50F) and then to lager for quite a while (7 weeks).

I have an ice cube cooler that I use to try to maintain my fermentation temperatures. I placed the carboy in the cooler and added a bit of ice and in the morning the fermenter was sitting at 32F – OOPS! I finally got it warmed back up to about 50F and fermentation took off. This was my third pitch of the Kolsch yeast (previously brewed a Kolsch and Dusseldorf Altbier) and it really works well in the high 40s and low 50s. I was able to maintain a steady 50-52F temperature in the ice cube by changing frozen water bottles every day. To lager, I kept it in the ice cube and loaded it with frozen water bottles until I got down to 33F. I then settled on 1 2 liter and 5 smaller frozen bottles that I changed out every day. All in all, this came out very good. Certainly not a true pilsner, a little too fruity, but a good effort, and now I know that I can control my temperatures well enough to do a lager, which I will plan to do this winter.

Brew Date: 8/6/2001
Beer Number: B19
Beer Name: “Redneck in Prague”
Type: Bohemian Pilsner (done as an ale)
Primary Fermenter: 6 gal. glass carboy (14 days)
Secondary Fermenter: 5 gal. glass carboy (49 Days)
Volume: 5.5 gal into fermenter
OG: 1.046
FG: 1.010
Expected IBU: 39
Expected SRM: 4

9.25 lbs. Weyerman Pilsner Malt
9.6 oz. Carapils malt
65 g. Saaz pellet hops (4.4% AA – estimate 2.5%) FWH
34 g. Saaz pellet hops (4.4% AA – estimate 2.5%) 90 min.
32 g. Saaz pellet hops (4.4% AA – estimate 2.5%) 30 min.
30 g. Saaz pellet hops (4.4% AA – estimate 2.5%) 15 min.
1 Whirfloc tablet

Step by Step Process:
Yeast Starter (8/2/2011)
Made 2L starter with 200g pilsner malt extract
boiled for 15 minutes
pitched WLP029 Kolsch yeast from B-13 (Alt)
swirled when walking by
Krausen began to form at @48 hours
Pitched the bulk of the starter into B-19 (Bo-Pils) reserving @250 ml for B-18 (Berliner Weisse)
Crushed grain in Barley Crusher
Heated 12.31 qts. strike water to @170F and poured into mash tun allowing temperature to settle to 166F
Added grains to tun and stirred – temp. settled at @154F at top of mash
mashed @ 1 hrs, ending mash temp. in middle of grain bed was 154F
Pulled 1.75 qt. decoction and boiled for 15 minutes
Added back to the mash which brought the temperature to 160F
Allowed to mash for 15 minutes
Recirculated @ 2 qts.
Opened valve slowly and then wide open and drained into kettle
While draining, fired burner and set heat on med and added first wort hops.
When empty, filled with 2.75 gal. of 168F water, stirred mash, recirculated and drained
When empty, filled with 2.75 gal. of 168F water, stirred mash, recirculated and drained
Collected a total of @ 6.5 gal. wort and pitched first wort hops
Brought to a boil
Pitched bittering hops and boiled for 90 minutes, added hops at 30 min and 15 min
Added 1 whirfloc tablet and inserted wort chiller at 15 min.
Using wort chiller, cooled to 120F in @ 15 minutes
Placed kettle in ice bath and cooled @ F 80F
Transferred to sanitized carboy in fermentation chamber and added ice
Experienced a higher boil-off rate – collected @ 4.5 gal. in fermenter, so added 1 gal. distilled water to fermenter
Pitched starter
Temperature dropped to 32F overnight – no visible activity
At 36 hours, still no visible activity as temp. is still 32F
At 72 hours, first signs of fermentation (small amount of foam on surface – temp 52F
8/10 (7AM) @80 hrs – more foam visible on surface temp. 52 – (removed 2 water bottles and added 3 frozen)
Changed 3-4 frozen water bottles daily, maintaining temp 48F – 52F
8/19/11 – removed from fermentation chamber for diacetyl rest and allowed temperature to rise to @70F
8/20/11 – transferred to 5 gallon secondary fermenter SG=1.014
8/21/11 – returned to fermentation chamber with ice bottles
8/22/11 – fermenter temperature dropped to 50F
8/23/11 – temperature maintained 33F-34F by changing out frozen water bottles daily (1-2 liter, 2-20 oz. and 3-16 oz.)

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