2016 German Pils -Small Batch

>> Friday, February 05, 2016

I think I've brewed more lagers in the past year than I have in all my previous years of homebrewing combined. Today is a double batch brew day with a couple of small batch lagers (2.5 gallon).  First up is a German Pils. Per the 2015 BJCP Guidelines, here are some of the vital stats for the style:

History: Adapted from Czech Pilsner to suit brewing conditions in Germany, particularly water with higher mineral content and domestic hop varieties. First brewed in Germany in the early 1870s. Became more popular after WWII as German brewing schools emphasized modern techniques. Along with its sister beer, Czech Pilsner, is the ancestor of the most widely produced beer styles today. Average IBUs of many well-regarded commercial examples have dropped over time.
Overall Impression: A light-bodied, highly-attenuated, gold-colored, bottom-fermented bitter German beer showing excellent head retention and an elegant, floral hop aroma. Crisp, clean, and refreshing, a German Pils showcases the finest quality German malt and hops.
Comments: Modern examples of Pils tend to become paler in color, drier in finish, and more bitter as you move from South to North in Germany, often mirroring the increase in sulfate in the water. The Pils found in Bavaria tend to be a bit softer in bitterness with more malt flavor and late hop character, yet still with sufficient hops and crispness of finish to differentiate itself from a Helles. The use of the term ‘Pils’ is more common in Germany than ‘Pilsner’ to differentiate it from the Czech style, and (some say) to show respect.
And the recipe as I'm brewing it today:

4.25# German Pilsner
14g Perle (60 min)
7g Hersbrucker (15 min)
7g Hersbrucker (1 min)
.25 Whirlfloc
.25t Wyeast Yeast Nutrient
WLP830 German Lager

To 6.0 gallons of RO water:
2.4g Gypsum
1.7g Epsom Salts
2.9g Calcium Chloride

Mash at 147F, 90 minute boil, chill to 50F, raise ferm temp to 55F over 5 days

Update 2/29/2016
I took this beer up to 65F for a diacetyl rest for a couple days and have been ramping it down to lagering temps over the past week. Quite a bit of the yeast has dropped out and it's pretty bright right now. I'm going to try to get it kegged and fined this week. That should give it almost a month to condition before I have to drop it off for Lagerpalooza 2.

Update 2/29/2016
I managed to get this beer kegged after work tonight. Fined in the keg with gelatin, it'll sit cold and under CO2 pressure until I'm ready to bottle my entries.

Update 3/11/2016
I pulled a sample today. It has dropped very clear. Compared to the Munich Helles, it's definitely more hop focused than the more malt focused Helles. Very nice beer, but I'm glad I only made a small batch.

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