Bohemian pilsner

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A classic Czech pilsner: dry, very bitter, with floral hints of Saaz and the slightly sweet contribution of Pilsner malt.

GENERAL IDEA

I wanted to make a representative example of the Bohemian Pilsner style.

RECIPE

Here is the exact recipe I used for a 6-gallon (22.7 L) batch. The exact amounts vary depending on the efficiency of your brewhouse and your brewing techniques. For this reason, I also specify the percentage of the total for grains and the number of IBUs for hops.

Style: Bohemian Pilsner
Original gravity: 
1,050
Final gravity:  1,007
IBU: 33
ABV:  5,7 %
SRM:  3
Relative bitterness: 0,72

Grains

  • 10 lbs (4,54 kg) Pilsner malt (100%)

Hops

  • 1,75 oz (50g) Saaz – 60 min – 17 IBU
  • 1.75 oz (50g) Saaz – 30 min – 13 IBU
  • 1 oz (28g) Saaz – 10 min – 3 IBU
  • 1 oz (28g) Saaz – 0 min

Mash

Since it’s  pretty easy to do with the Grainfather, I opted for a Hockurz style mash regime. That said, it is quite likely that a single step at 150 °F would work as well.

  • 145 °F (62,7 °C) for 45 minutes
  • 158 °F (70 °C) for 20 minutes
  • 167 °F (75 °C) for 10 minutes

Water profile

I tried to have the softest water profile possible. So I used water from the aqueduct of my municipality as is. If you use osmosis-treated water and use salts to adjust the mineral content, you can aim for a very soft profile, like that of the city of Pilsen:

Calcium : 7 ppm
Magnesium : 3 ppm
Sodium : 2 ppm
Sulfate : 5 ppm
Chloride : 5 ppm

Fermentation

Yeast strain : Saflager W-34/70

Several other lager yeast strains would work just as well.

Fermentation  shedule:

  • 50 °F (10 °C) at  inoculation, maintained for 5 days
  • Gradual increase to 65 °F (18 °C) for about a week, and hold at this temperature for a few days
  • Cold crash at very low temperatures (near freezing point) for at least two weeks (more if possible)

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