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German Pilsner

 
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kal
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Drinking: German Lager, Electric Hop Candy Jr, Scottish 70/-, Cali Common, Maibock, Helles, Russian Imperial Stout, Black Butte Porter

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PostLink    Posted: Sun Jan 24, 2016 1:01 am    Post subject: German Pilsner Reply with quote


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Recipe is here: https://shop.theelectricbrewery.com/pages/german-pilsner

Questions? Ask below. Cheers!

Kal

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Last edited by kal on Wed Nov 13, 2019 8:58 pm; edited 28 times in total
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stickyfinger



Joined: 04 May 2014
Posts: 172
Location: hudson valley, NY


PostLink    Posted: Sun Jan 24, 2016 3:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice write up! You might try just adding the gelatin to the primary so you don't have to rack to secondary. It works fine in my experience.

Also, do you routinely use plastic buckets to ferment? Are the stories of infections all myth?

Aaron
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kal
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Drinking: German Lager, Electric Hop Candy Jr, Scottish 70/-, Cali Common, Maibock, Helles, Russian Imperial Stout, Black Butte Porter

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PostLink    Posted: Sun Jan 24, 2016 5:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Aaron,

stickyfinger wrote:
Nice write up! You might try just adding the gelatin to the primary so you don't have to rack to secondary. It works fine in my experience.

Sure - that'll work too. In a brite tank (my 5 gallon glass carboys) there will be less yeast. If someone wants to save the yeast for the next batch and is using buckets or carboys then I wouldn't recommend adding gelatine to the primary however.

Quote:
Also, do you routinely use plastic buckets to ferment?

Sometimes. I also ferment in stainless.

I find them the easiest in terms of process for me. (Easier to clean, less hassle). I talk about it here in my BREW DAY STEP BY STEP article: http://www.theelectricbrewery.com/brew-day-step-by-step?page=11

Per my article, there's no "best" fermenter. (I get asked this all the time). People should not blindly use what I use. They should use what works best for their process, how they like to brew. This includes things like how they like to (if they like to) harvest yeast.

Plastic buckets (I find for me) are the easiest to clean. They are also inexpensive and sturdy. They do not provide a good oxygen barrier for long term storage, and easily scratched and therefore more difficult to sanitize.

For cleaning I use my spray air and spin them in the sink. I find it quick/easy and don't worry about banging things around.

I don't care about the good oxygen barrier issue as I only ferment in them. As soon as the yeast is 100% done (often including some cleanup time at the end) I rack out of the bucket into glass. During fermentation CO2 is being expelled so there's always outgassing and O2 can't affect your beer. Some commercial breweries do completely open vessel fermentation and this works for the same reason.

Quote:
Are the stories of infections all myth?

You can get an infection with any sort of fermentation vessel if you're not careful about sanitation.
If your cut deep grooves or have deep scratches in your bucket then this could possibly be an issue. Because of this plastic buckets can be harder to keep sanitary than something that doesn't scrach as easily (like stainless or glass).

Clean your cold side equipment (like buckets) immediately after use, practice good sanitation, and most importantly: Always pitch lots of healthy yeast.

One thing that people forget is that there's always "something" nasty in the air trying to get into your beer, wanting to infect it, wanting to spoil it. It's simply a race between that small amount of airborne stuff and the large amount of healthy yeast - which will get a foothold first?

Nobody brews in sterile conditions. The moment your wort exits your chiller hose it hits the air where thousands of small microbes/bacteria/etc are floating around in the air and get in contact with your wort. They start working right away on your beer, trying to infect it, trying to turn it sour. There's no avoiding this. This trick is to overpower these nasties with 1000x more healthy yeast so that it takes over and we control what happens to the wort.

I've been using buckets since the late 1980's and some of the ones I have are 20+ years old.

Kal

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Last edited by kal on Wed Nov 13, 2019 8:45 pm; edited 3 times in total
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sandovalch



Joined: 29 Jul 2015
Posts: 41
Location: Guatemala

Working on: Irish Red Ale, American Amber Ale


PostLink    Posted: Mon Jan 25, 2016 7:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kal, do you know if it can be fermented with dry yeast?
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kal
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Joined: 12 Dec 2010
Posts: 10191
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Drinking: German Lager, Electric Hop Candy Jr, Scottish 70/-, Cali Common, Maibock, Helles, Russian Imperial Stout, Black Butte Porter

Working on: Weizen


PostLink    Posted: Mon Jan 25, 2016 8:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

sandovalch wrote:
Kal, do you know if it can be fermented with dry yeast?


This one is probably the closest:

http://www.theelectricbrewery.com/Fermentis-Saflager-W-34-70-dry-yeast

I would use ~48 grams.

EDIT: Or possibly even more, as much as 72g. You want this to ferment clean and fast.

Kal

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Last edited by kal on Mon Jan 09, 2017 9:51 pm; edited 2 times in total
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stickyfinger



Joined: 04 May 2014
Posts: 172
Location: hudson valley, NY


PostLink    Posted: Mon Jan 25, 2016 8:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

sandovalch wrote:
Kal, do you know if it can be fermented with dry yeast?


The W-34/70 will make an awesome Pils. Do it!
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kal
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Joined: 12 Dec 2010
Posts: 10191
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Drinking: German Lager, Electric Hop Candy Jr, Scottish 70/-, Cali Common, Maibock, Helles, Russian Imperial Stout, Black Butte Porter

Working on: Weizen


PostLink    Posted: Fri Apr 29, 2016 12:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wonderful frothy head after 2 months of lagering near freezing and beer is crystal clear. Delicious!



Kal

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stickyfinger



Joined: 04 May 2014
Posts: 172
Location: hudson valley, NY


PostLink    Posted: Fri Apr 29, 2016 2:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The last time I brewed a German Pils, my brewing liquor had Ca=65, Cl=34, SO4=102. I really liked the crispness that it gave to the beer. I see that it is similar to your profile, except that your chloride is a bit higher. In addition, I found that most of my friends enjoy this beer most when I use domestic Pils malt rather than German Pils malt! Most of them find the stronger flavor of the German Pils malt to be too much! I can see what they mean to an extent. I like the malty flavor, but I also enjoy this with the less malty flavor of domestic Pils malt.
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kal
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Joined: 12 Dec 2010
Posts: 10191
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Drinking: German Lager, Electric Hop Candy Jr, Scottish 70/-, Cali Common, Maibock, Helles, Russian Imperial Stout, Black Butte Porter

Working on: Weizen


PostLink    Posted: Fri Apr 29, 2016 2:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sure! That's the beauty of brewing. You can make it to suite whatever style you're going after. Use north american malts and call it an American Pils.

I should try that myself. I've always used Weyermann Organic Pils but it would be interesting to try something more north american too.

Kal

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stickyfinger



Joined: 04 May 2014
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Location: hudson valley, NY


PostLink    Posted: Tue May 03, 2016 3:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm drinking down a nice glass of German Pils right now, brewed on my E-HERMS. It tastes really nice, but the head retention is pretty bad I'd say. It has a decent head at first but then quickly dissipates. I'm wondering if I shouldn't add a dextrin malt at maybe 5% from now on? Also, Kal, is there a reason you don't use W-34/70 on this? I use that yeast on all of my lagers, and they always turn out fantastic. And, it's so easy to get a huge pitch of yeast by rehydrating more dry yeast!
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kal
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Joined: 12 Dec 2010
Posts: 10191
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Drinking: German Lager, Electric Hop Candy Jr, Scottish 70/-, Cali Common, Maibock, Helles, Russian Imperial Stout, Black Butte Porter

Working on: Weizen


PostLink    Posted: Tue May 03, 2016 1:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

stickyfinger wrote:
I'm drinking down a nice glass of German Pils right now, brewed on my E-HERMS. It tastes really nice, but the head retention is pretty bad I'd say. It has a decent head at first but then quickly dissipates. I'm wondering if I shouldn't add a dextrin malt at maybe 5% from now on?

I would go to the source and fix the issue. Adding something like dextrin malt is a crutch.

Quote:
Also, Kal, is there a reason you don't use W-34/70 on this?

You could certainly use W-34/70 instead of WLP-830. I haven't done any direct comparisons.

Kal

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stickyfinger



Joined: 04 May 2014
Posts: 172
Location: hudson valley, NY


PostLink    Posted: Tue May 03, 2016 1:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kal wrote:
stickyfinger wrote:
I'm drinking down a nice glass of German Pils right now, brewed on my E-HERMS. It tastes really nice, but the head retention is pretty bad I'd say. It has a decent head at first but then quickly dissipates. I'm wondering if I shouldn't add a dextrin malt at maybe 5% from now on?

I would go to the source and fix the issue. Adding something like dextrin malt is a crutch.

Quote:
Also, Kal, is there a reason you don't use W-34/70 on this?

You could certainly use W-34/70 instead of WLP-830. I haven't done any direct comparisons.

Kal


I don't see dextrin malt as a "crutch." It's just a way to boost head retention and maybe provides a touch of mouthfeel. It's a lot easier than trying to modify any other number of variables in the brewing process to increase head retention. For example, i could do a lower temperature rest to get more protein modification to increase head retention, but that takes more time.
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kal
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Joined: 12 Dec 2010
Posts: 10191
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Drinking: German Lager, Electric Hop Candy Jr, Scottish 70/-, Cali Common, Maibock, Helles, Russian Imperial Stout, Black Butte Porter

Working on: Weizen


PostLink    Posted: Tue May 03, 2016 2:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

stickyfinger wrote:
I don't see dextrin malt as a "crutch." It's just a way to boost head retention and maybe provides a touch of mouthfeel.

Mouthfeel sure, but if one brewer's adding dextrin malt like Carapils/Carafoam it to fix head retention issues they're having while others don't find the need then I'd definitely call it a bandaid fix or crutch as it really shouldn't be needed for head retention. Check out some of the videos at the end of the recipe for the thick persistent head you can get (I only use 100% pils malt).

I would be primarily concerned that it may hurt the dryness/crispness of the beer which to me is more critical than head retention (IMHO). Dextrin malts add unfermentable sugars to beer which increase sweetness (raise final gravity). It really needs to attenuate low. To quote Brewing Classic Styles:

"The key to making a great German-style Pilsener is ensuring that the beer attenuates enough to make a crisp, dry beer. If there is too much residual malt sweetness, it is going to be too sweet and heavy for a good representation of the style. It is important to avoid crystal malts or any other speciality grain that adds non-fermentable sugars to the beer, which will work against the desired crisp, dry results."

YMMV. You can make it any way you like of course!

Kal

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Last edited by kal on Wed Nov 13, 2019 8:47 pm; edited 1 time in total
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stickyfinger



Joined: 04 May 2014
Posts: 172
Location: hudson valley, NY


PostLink    Posted: Tue May 03, 2016 2:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kal wrote:
Mouthfeel sure, but if one brewer's adding dextrin malt like Carapils/Carafoam it to fix head retention issues they're having while others don't find the need then I'd definitely call it a bandaid fix or crutch as it really shouldn't be needed for head retention.


I guess it depends on a lot of factors and carapils could be a way to level the playing field. Sometimes different batches of malt are better or worse at providing head retention proteins as well. Who knows.


kal wrote:

I would be primarily concerned that it may hurt the dryness/crispness of the beer which to me is more critical than head retention (IMHO). Dextrin malts add unfermentable sugars to beer which increase sweetness (raise final gravity). It really needs to attenuate low.


You might run into a fuller mouthfeel, but the sweetness is a non-issue. I haven't really found carapils at 5% to give much of a mouthfeel though, mostly just foam. I have tried going over 10% carapils in session IPAs, and it's not like they turned into this super thick beer. I'm not even sure it impacted the mouthfeel that much. I was using pretty high gypsum in those beers though, which I now realize was a mistake for session IPAs, but my point is that I wouldn't be afraid of 5% carapils. I doubt anyone would even know it was in there.

As long as the yeast ferment all of the simple sugars, it won't be sweet. I mashed this last Pils I did at 165F, and it certainly is not sweet. I just do it so that I can put in more malt but still get the same ABV on my beers. I am wondering if I might lose some head retention by mashing so high though. I'll have to see if that seems to be a re-occurring theme. I haven't made a Pils for several years, so I don't have much to compare it with.
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sandovalch



Joined: 29 Jul 2015
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Location: Guatemala

Working on: Irish Red Ale, American Amber Ale


PostLink    Posted: Fri May 06, 2016 12:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I made this recipe some 3 months ago. Two 5gal kegs I filled. The first keg I opened one month after lagering and conditioning, the hops was off, I must say, I did not like the flavour. Now, 3 months after I opened the second keg and the taste is absolutely wonderfull. It changed a lot. Now I am sure I will make another batch.
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dp Brewing Company



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PostLink    Posted: Mon Jan 09, 2017 9:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm going to have to give this one a try soon!
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kal
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Joined: 12 Dec 2010
Posts: 10191
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Drinking: German Lager, Electric Hop Candy Jr, Scottish 70/-, Cali Common, Maibock, Helles, Russian Imperial Stout, Black Butte Porter

Working on: Weizen


PostLink    Posted: Thu Jun 15, 2017 3:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just finished kegging another batch of this great beer tonight ... the sample tasted great!

A video: https://www.instagram.com/p/BVWBZgoAczb/?taken-by=theelectricbrewery

Kal

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champ



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PostLink    Posted: Mon Mar 25, 2019 2:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kai, Brewing this next Saturday. Curious as to why the 2 qt/lb mash thickness and why a two hour mash? Thanks.
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kal
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Joined: 12 Dec 2010
Posts: 10191
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Drinking: German Lager, Electric Hop Candy Jr, Scottish 70/-, Cali Common, Maibock, Helles, Russian Imperial Stout, Black Butte Porter

Working on: Weizen


PostLink    Posted: Mon Mar 25, 2019 2:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For greater attenuation.

Generally speaking, a thicker mash (less water) produces a beer that is fuller/sweeter as it creates more unfermentable sugars while a thinner mash (more water) produces a thinner/dryer beer as it creates more fermentable sugars.

While most of the starch to sugar conversion will take place in the first 30-60 minutes, a longer mash maximizes conversion as the mash temperature is low (conversion takes longer at lower temperatures). Don't be afraid to go to even 3 hours on this beer. You want it dry.

More info on process and why: http://www.theelectricbrewery.com/brew-day-step-by-step

Kal

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kal
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Joined: 12 Dec 2010
Posts: 10191
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Drinking: German Lager, Electric Hop Candy Jr, Scottish 70/-, Cali Common, Maibock, Helles, Russian Imperial Stout, Black Butte Porter

Working on: Weizen


PostLink    Posted: Wed Nov 13, 2019 8:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Recipe has been re-written and moved to our new site.

See: https://shop.theelectricbrewery.com/pages/german-pilsner

This thread will remain open for questions. Cheers!

Kal

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