Sierra Nevada / Russian River Brux
A: Brilliantly crystal clear dark straw color. Two finger head dissipates in seconds leaves no lacing on glass. Consistent bubbles from the carbonation give it an appearance similar to a darker champagne.
S: Light citrus / white grape aroma, probably from the hops and wild yeast. Maybe Sorachi hops? Some sour background notes and a bit of a flour or bread smell. Slight funkiness from the wild yeast.
T: Carbonation attacks the tongue. Bubbles dance across the palate. Strangely there is a mild alcohol hotness, even though the beer is only 8.3% alcohol. The beer is very dry, though. Almost no malt back bone and low bitterness, which makes it difficult for the alcohol to hide. Slight breadiness in the middle and ends on a low acidic sour note. Not a lip puckering sour, just a pleasant sour aftertaste.
Overall: To borrow a phrase from a well-known macrobrewery I would call this the champagne of beers. If you enjoy a nice dry champagne with that bit of a sour kick at the end then you’ll enjoy this beer. If you don’t like dry champagnes - or dry beer for that matter - then stay away. This isn’t my particular cup of tea, but I can see how some might enjoy it. If this beer had a thicker mouthfeel and more brett character it would be a lot better.
First tasting of my Pretend Pilsner. Tastes great! A wonderful session beer. It looks a little hazier than it actually is from the condensation on the glass.
Yesterday I brewed my Pretend Pilsner and I thought I would share the details right here. As I pointed out, my goal was to brew a pilsner beer (or something close) without going through the lagering process. This also meant I wasn’t able to use the preferred White Labs German Lager Yeast.
Here’s the recipe copied from my Hopville page:
4.5% ABV / 4% ABW
144 per 12 oz.
Batch size: 5.5 gallons
% LB OZ MALT OR FERMENTABLE PPG °L
- 70% 7 0 German Two-row Pils 36 2 ~
- 15% 1 8 Flaked Corn (Maize) 40 1 ~
- 10% 1 0 Carafoam 33 2 ~
- 5% 0 8 Victory Malt 34 25 ~
USE TIME OZ VARIETY FORM AA
- boil 60 mins 1.0 Hallertau pellet 4.6
- boil 30 mins 1.0 Motueka pellet 6.7
- boil 1 min 1.0 Hallertau pellet 4.6
- boil 1 min 1.0 Motueka pellet 6.7
Boil: 4.0 avg gallons for 90 minutes
USE TIME AMOUNT INGREDIENT
boil 10 min 1 tsp Irish Moss
Ferment with White Labs WLP060 American Ale Blend. This yeast choice is very important. Apparently this yeast is a combination clean fermenting ale yeast with a small amount of lager yeast. This allows the beer to get some of the lager characteristics without the overwhelming sulfur aroma that would be present if the beer was fermented using a 100% lager yeast at ale temperatures.
I used an all grain brew in a bag method. I chose a mash temperature of 150 to get a light-medium body.
To do this I brought 5 gallons of water up to 164 degrees. I put a spaghetti strainer at the bottom to prevent the bag from touching the bottom of the pot. I then added the bag to the pot, pushing it down wit my mash paddle (picture here).
Adding the ten pounds of grain brought the temperature down to my 150 target.
The next step is to let the grains sit in the hot water for 90 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes. This is a good time to sit around and have a beer or two. You also want to heat two gallons of water to 170 degrees. This will be needed after the 90 minutes.
Once the 90 minutes is up pull the bag out and do something like this to allow excess water to drip from the grains. You also want to take those two gallons of 170 degree water and use it to rinse the grains. This helps to get any left over sugars back into wort.
Now you should have about 6.5 gallons of wort ready to be boiled.
For a beer with such a large amount of pilsner malt we are going to do a 90 minute boil. Add the hops at the times mentioned above, add one tsp of Irish Moss with ten minutes left to help clarify the beer, cool the wort, then pitch your yeast.
I’ll post an update once the beer is finished to let you all know how it turned out.
This is how I sparge / rinse my grains when I brew in a bag.