The Beer Alchemist

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'Pretend Pilsner' Recipe, or the ever elusive Pilsner Ale

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

Calories

144 per 12 oz.

33 IBU 

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. 

Process:

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.

Filed under Ale BIAB Beer Brew in a bag Brewing Craft Beer Home Brew Home Brewing Homebrew Lager Pilsner Pretend Pilsner Recipe Pilsner Ale