NZ Pilsner 2020

>> Sunday, July 26, 2020

I'm breaking in my new 15 gallon Spike Brew Kettle by brewing another New Zealand Pilsner. This one uses a bit of Maris Otter in place of German Pale (because that's what I had on hand). I'm trying out Saflager S-189 on this batch, and I'm also using a little less Loral than I did the last time I brewed this beer. Here's the recipe as I'm brewing it today:

6.75# Viking Pilsner Malt
0.75# Crisp Maris Otter
0.3125# Weyermann Cara Red
0.25# Pale Wheat Malt
1.0g BrewTan B
3ml Hopshot (60 min)
4.66g BCAA
14g Motueka (1 min)
14g Rakau (1 min)
14g Waimea (1 min)
4g Loral Cryohops (1 min)
21g Motueka (Whirlpool @170F)
21g Rakau (Whirlpool @170F)
21g Waimea (Whirlpool @170F)
4g Loral Cryohops (Whirlpool @170F)
(2) Saflager S-189
Yeast Nutrient
28g Motueka (Dryhop)
28g Rakau (Dryhop)
28g Waimea (Dryhop)
7g Loral Cryohops (Dryhop)

Mash at 150F, 90 minute boil, start fermentation at 47F then ramp up to 52F over a few days.

Water Profile - To 10 gallons of distilled water, add:
4.0g Gypsum
2.8g Epsom Salt
4.8g Calcium Chloride

Brewing Notes
No issues. I was a little worried that I might have a different boil off rate compared to my keggle, but it wasn't too different. OG came in at 1.052 which is exactly the same as the last time I brewed this recipe.

Update 7/27/2020
I had to let the wort chill overnight to get it down to 47F, so the yeast wasn't pitched until this afternoon. The wort was aerated at 0.5L/minute for 2 minutes. The yeast was rehydrated before pitching.

Update 7/29/2020
Fermentation is a little slower starting than I'm used to, and/or than I prefer. The Tilt started out bouncing back and forth between 1.052 and 1.053, so the actual gravity was likely right on the cusp. It held pretty constant at 1.052 most of yesterday then started reading 1.051 early evening yesterday. I started fermentation out fairly cold for this strain so I've been allowing the temp to slowly rise. Hopefully it'll take off soon. 

Update 7/30/2020
Per the Tilt, gravity is down to 1.048 this morning and I'm hearing a glug, glug, glug sound coming out of my fermentation chamber, so activity has definitely picked up. Temp is set at 52F right now and I'll likely keep it there until the diacetyl rest.

Update 7/31/2020
Things are really moving along this morning with gravity readings down to 1.038.

Update 8/2/2020
Gravity is down to 1.020 this morning. I went ahead and dropped the dry hops and started raising the temps for the diacetyl rest. Normally I'd wait to dry hop until after the d-rest, but there's been a be lot of talk about yeast biotransformation lately, usually more related to brewing hazy IPAs. My understanding is not all yeast are capable of biotransformation, or at least they're not all equal in their capability. It's a fairly complex process that's been studied quite a bit recently, likely due to the popularity of hazy IPAs. Long story short, some yeast are capable of transforming hop compounds into different compounds, adding complexity to the finished beer. I've brewed this beer several times, so I thought I'd see if I notice any difference by dry hopping a little earlier than "normal". Here's a link to a Lallemand article on the subject.

Update 8/3/2020
Tilt is currently reading 1.015, but has read as low as 1.012. Current temp is 65F. I'll let fermentation finish out then hook up my cold-crash assembly and dropping the temps in order to get as much yeast and hop debris to drop out of suspension.