It’s been a pretty crazy start to 2013 with very little time for brewing. In a previous post I mentioned that my brewing goals for the year were to brew more than 2012, brew a lager and brew flavorful session beer. I did manage to meet one of those goals (and hopefully a second). I snuck in a brew session on my birthday and brewed my first lager. I brewed a pseudo-Bohemian Pilsner a couple years ago with Kolsch (ale) yeast and it was great. This was a natural starting point for my first real lager. I took this recipe and tweaked down the grain due to improved efficiency, but basically brewed the exact same beer.
Brew Date: 3/1/2013
Beer Number: B29
Beer Name: “Redczech Pilsner”
Type: Bohemian Pilsner
Primary Fermenter: 5 gal. glass carboy (28 days)
Secondary Fermenter: N/A (lagering in keg)
Volume: @ 4.5 gal into fermenter
Expected IBU: 39
Expected SRM: 4
6 lbs. 5 oz. Weyerman Pilsner Malt
6.5 oz. Carapils malt
21 g. Saaz pellet hops (3.0% AA) FWH
36 g. Saaz pellet hops (3.0% AA) 90 min.
21 g. Saaz pellet hops (3.0% AA) 15 min.
WLP830 German Lager Yeast
Step by Step Process:
- Crushed grain in Barley Crusher
- Heated 8.4 qt. strike water to @135F and poured into mash tun
- Added grains to tun and stirred – temp. settled at @127F
- mashed open @ 20 min. where temp. settled to 122F
- Pulled 3.5 qt. decoction and brought to a boil, missing the conversion rest
- Added back to the mash which brought the temperature to 155F
- Mashed open for @35 min. dropping to 151F
- Added 3.5 qt. boiling water to mash tun for mash out – temp settled at 164F
- Added 1 gal. @150F water to mash tun
- Recirculated @ 2 qt.
- 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 3 gal. of 160F water, stirred mash, recirculated and drained
- Collected a total of @ 6.5 gal. wort
- Brought to a boil
- Pitched bittering hops and boiled for 90 minutes, added hops at 15 min
- inserted wort chiller at 15 min.
- Using wort chiller, cooled to 70F in @ 20 minutes
- Covered kettle and left outside in ambient air of @30F for @ 1 hour while cleaning
- Transferred to sanitized carboy in fermentation chamber temp. 58F
- OG was 1.054 on @4.0 gal. so added ½ gal. distilled water to bring down to 1.048
- Allowed to cool overnight with frozen water bottles
- @7AM 3/2/13 pitched yeast directly from vial – temp. 50F
- Temperature dropped to 45F throughout the day – no visible activity
- @ 12 hours removed all frozen water bottles and top
- @48 hours temp. 50F with no activity; removed airlock and shook carboy then replaced airlock
- @108 hours – first signs of fermentation activity with a few fine bubbles on surface; temp. 54F; added 1 12 oz. and 1 20 oz. frozen bottle
- @120 hours (5 days) krausen had formed and periodic bubbles in airlock; temp. 53F; replaced water bottles
- Transferred into cleaned/sanitized/CO2 flushed keg and placed in 33F kegerator
- Yield @ 4 gallons
I was a little concerned about it taking 5 days to show signs of fermentation but I know I underpitched the yeast. I sampled a few times and did not detect diacetyl so I elected not to do a diacetyl rest (I have heard that a diacetyl rest can have negative effects so I didn’t want to do one unless it was necessary). I plan to carb it to 2.5 volumes of CO2 and hopefully I’ll have a tasty session lager. I harvested 4 mason jars of yeast to be used in my next lager project.