I had wanted to brew a pilsner for a while. I discovered Pilsner Urquell & Budvar when we visited the Czech Republic a few years back. It’s the most popular form of beer in the world, and even though it’s been abused and watered down by the big mega-swill breweries, it’s a beautiful beer when brewed right. I wanted to use one of New Zealand’s iconic aroma hops, Motueka, and show it off in a light, crisp Pilsner. This was originally a pre-Grainfather recipe, brewed using my trusty Brew in a Bag rig. It’s more of a Kiwi Pilsner than a real Bohemian one, but it’s a tasty beer!
Pre-Boil Gravity: 1.054 SG
Original Gravity: 1.050 SG (I added some water to hit my numbers)
Final Gravity: 1.014 SG
IBU: 45 IBU
Colour: 9 EBC
BU:GU Ratio: 0.85
Mash water: 20.5L
Sparge water: 12.5L
Grain (total: 6.32kg):
Pilsner Malt 5.8 kg (91.8%)
Wheat Malt 400g (6.4%)
Aurora Malt (Melanoiden) 120g (1.9%)
30g Motueka 6.9% (28 IBU) @ 60 min
25g Motueka 6.9% (13 IBU) @ 30 min
25g Motueka 6.9% (5 IBU) @ 10 min
21g Motueka 6.9% At flame out
Mash in at 40°C and rest for for 20 mins
Raise temperature to 60°C and rest for 20 mins
Raise temperature to 70°C and rest for 40mins
Raise to 75°C, hold for 10 mins and mash out.
Sparge and boil for 60 mins
Ferment at 9°C with Saflager S-23, or Mangrove Jack’s M84 (Bohemian Lager). Use Marshall Schott’s Quick Lager schedule on your upgraded STC-1000, or give it a week and a half (or until a gravity measurement shows that you’re halfway to your final gravity). Slowly raise the temperature over 5 days until you hit 18ºC to fix any diacetyl and to dry out the lager and hit your final gravity. Leave it for 3 days at 18°C then slowly bring the beer back to 0–1°C and hold for 3 days. The lagering process comes from the rather excellent Brulosophy blog. I know it’s not a traditional lagering technique, but it works superbly. I added 1 tsp of gelatine when the beer hit 10°C on it’s way down. This also helped to clear to near commercial levels!
I based this recipe on the one from Jamil Zainasheff’s excellent book Brewing Classic Styles.