New Zealand Pilsner 2019

>> Saturday, February 02, 2019

I loved the way my first take on a New Zealand Pilsner turned out, enough to brew another one. I'm making a couple tweaks to try to get it closer to the BJCP style description. The first version's color was a bit on the light side, and I felt it could definitely use more of the classic NZ hop flavor and aroma characteristics. The bitterness seemed pretty much on point, so the only thing I'm going different there is to swap out pellet hops for hop resin. This gives you bitterness without adding a bunch of debris to the boil. I'm switching up the late addition hops to try to get more of the fruity, citrusy, flavors and aromas associated with NZ hops. Here's the recipe as I'm making it today:

6.75# Weyermann Bohemian Floor Malted Pilsner
0.75# Avangard German Pale
0.3125# Weyermann Cara Red
0.25# Pale Wheat Malt
3ml Hopshot (60 min)
21g Motueka (1 min)
21g Rakau (1 min)
21g Waimea (1 min)
14g Motueka (Whirlpool @170F)
14g Rakau (Whirlpool @170F)
14g Waimea (Whirlpool @170F)
Imperial Global Yeast - I got my hands on a very fresh pack. I decided to try splitting it in half and doing (2) 1L starters on my shaker table. On the first round, I pitched two packs.
Yeast Nutrient
28g Motueka (Dryhop)
28g Rakau (Dryhop)
28g Waimea (Dryhop)

Mash at 151F, 90 min boil, start fermentation at 46F, ramp up to 52F over 6 days, diacetyl rest when gravity ~1.016.

Water Profile
I'm using the same ratio of salts as last time, but slightly more diluted. To 11 gallons of distilled water, add:

  • 4.0g Gypsum
  • 2.8g Epsom Salt
  • 4.8g Calcium Chloride

Brewing Notes
No issues. This beer is the first one to go into my new ferm chamber. OG came in at 13.9 brix (1.055). I was able to chill down to about 51F before moving it into the ferm chamber.

Update 2/5/2019
Fermentation was fairly active the morning after pitching and is still chugging along. As of this evening, the gravity is down to ~1.027. I may be ramping the temp up for the diacetyl rest in the next 24-ish hours.

Update 2/6/2019
Gravity is down to 1.019 tonight, so I'm starting to ramp the temp up for the diacetyl rest.

Update 2/10/2019
Dry hops went in this morning. I'll leave them in for a few days before cold crashing, then kegging and fining.

Update 2/13/2019
I started cold crashing tonight. I'm not sure how fast these new ferm fridges will be able to chill, so this is a little bit of an experiment. I usually prefer to drop the temps, maybe 5F at a time, over a few days time. This is based on advice from Jamil, I believe in either a Brew Strong or Brewing With Style podcast. Regardless, Jamil indicated the yeast will sometimes release compounds that can lead to off flavors and flaws in the finished beer if the temps drop too rapidly. I'm also using the Mylar balloon filled with CO2 as it should help reduce the amount of dissolved oxygen in the finished beer.

Update 2/19/2019
I kegged this beer tonight. Gelatin was added to the keg, then the beer was racked on top. I have a low O2 transfer kit I've assembled that I'm using for the first time. I also tried a small sample and it definitely seems to have noticeably more hop flavor and aroma than batch #1 ever did.

Update 5/20/2019
This keg kicked last night. It's so nice and easy drinking, that it's turned into a favorite if mine. I submitted this one to NHC and it scored well including going to Mini-BOS for experimental beers, although it didn't advance to the final round of the competition. This beer is definitely going into my standard rotation and I'm interested to see how it will do once NZ Pils is a recognized category.