Keller-rado Kellerbier

>> Saturday, July 27, 2019

First runnings - Pre-boil - Post-boil
Today I'm brewing a Pale Kellerbier, first time brewing the style. We recently went to Denver for my youngest daughter's grad trip, and while there, I picked up some Pilsner Malt from Root Shoot Malting. I think it's fun to mix in unique ingredients when I can get my hands on them, so this malt will be the basis for my Kellerbier.

The BJCP guidelines describe the style as follows:
A very common seasonal summer beer brewed by many of the Munich area breweries and served in the beer gardens, where they are very popular 
A young, fresh Helles, so while still a malty, fully-attenuated Pils malt showcase, the hop character (aroma, flavor and bitterness) is more pronounced, and the beer is cloudy, often with some level of diacetyl, and possibly has some green apple and/or other yeast-derived notes. As with the traditional Helles, the Keller version is still a beer intended to be drunk by the liter, so overall it should remain a light, refreshing, easy drinking golden lager
Most Pale Kellerbiers are young, unfiltered, unpasteurized versions of Munich Helles beer, although Pils or a different, custom golden lager beer designed specifically for serving young could also be used. The best examples are served only on tap at many of the Munich area breweries. Bottled versions are not likely to have the freshness, hop character and young beer notes exhibited by the draft versions.
Here's the recipe as I'm brewing it today, which is based on Homebrewer Chris Allen's award-winning recipe. I'm upping the hops a bit by adding a 0 minute addition, hoping it comes out close to STS Pils from Russian River.

OG: 1.048
IBU: 17

8.70# Root Shoot Pilsner
0.25# Weyermann Munich I
1g BrewTan B in mash
17g Hallertauer Mittelfruh (FWH)
11g Blend of Aramis and Saphir (60 min)
17g Blend of Aramis and Saphir (0 min)
Wyeast 2124 Bohemian Lager
Wyeast Nutrient
4.66g BCAA (Dissolved in water or wort, 5 min)

Single Decoction Mash - Decoction mashes add a level of complexity to the brew day. Fortunately, this recipe only employs a single Decoction.
  1. Mash in at 132°F and hold for 10 minutes.
  2. Increase mash temps to 147°F, then pull 1/3 of mash for decoction. 
  3. Heat the decoction to 156–158°F, hold for 10 minutes.
  4. Bring Decoction to a boil, and boil for 10 minutes
  5. Raise mash to 156–158°F.
  6. Return decoction to mash and mashout at 168F.
90 minute boil, ferment at 49°F

Water Recipe
This is a very soft profile. To 10 gallons of distilled water, add:
3g Epsom Salts
3g Calcium Chloride

Brewing Notes
No major issues. Similar to when we brewed with Solstice Malt, the Root Shoot malt seemed a little smaller or less plump, so I had to tighten up my mill gap. I didn't adjust the grain bill for my efficiency, so my OG came in a bit high at 1.056.

The BCAA was hard to dissolve the first time I used it in the Czech Pils so, this time i dissolved it in warm RO water in a coffee mug. It was still kind of a bitch, but it was better than trying to dissolve it on the fly in the boil kettle.I

Wort was chilled to ~62F and will continue to chill down to 49F before the yeast will be pitched. I'm essentially pitching the whole yeast cake from the Czech Pils.

Update 7/28/2019
Temps were down to 49F this morning, so I went ahead and aerated then pitched the yeast.

Update 7/29/2019
As I mentioned above, I pitched the yeast cake from my Czech Pils for this beer. Because of the high cell count, there really wasn't much of a lag phase. Per Tilt, my gravity is down to 1.039 this morning.

Update 7/31/2019
Per Tilt, gravity is down to 1.022 this morning. I'll begin ramping the temps up to mid-60s for the diacetyl rest. Even the the style guidelines indicate a bit of diacetyl and acetaldehyde are ok for the style, I prefer my beers without either. Here's a screen capture of the fermentation graph so far.
Update 8/7/2019
I've started cold crashing to get as much yeast to drop out as possible. Some haze is appropriate for the style, so I'm not too concerned about clarity. Gravity is down to 1.010 (from 1.056) putting this beer at ~6.17% ABV.

Update 10/14/2019
Just a quick note, this beer took 3rd place Amber Bitter European Lager in the 2019 Beehive Brew-off.