Port Road Pilsner - NZ Pilsner

>> Sunday, October 27, 2019

I had two kegs kick in the past week and haven't brewed since before Beehive Brew-off, so it's time to get a batch going. Today I'm brewing another New Zealand Pilsner, but this one is based on a recipe I found on a New Zealand homebrew site. This recipe is a clone attempt for Panhead Port Road Pilsner which is cited as one of the commercial examples that defines the NZ Pilsner style in the BJCP Guidelines.

Here's the description of the beer from the brewery:

Pilsner is famously Czech in origin, but here we've gone for a South Pacific hop profile in keeping with the people who brew it and drink it. Passionfruit, grapefruit and sauvignon blanc characters abound, stacked up on a robust malt base that's partly German, partly Kiwi.
Key to this recipe is the Riwaka hops. Judging by my perusing of NZ homebrew sites, Riwaka hops are readily available in their home country, but they reportedly just made their first ever appearance in the U.S. homebrew market, and I recently order a bunch from Yakima Valley Hops. I'd been stalking the YVH site for weeks, and literally bought the hops minutes after they were listed in stock, so it's safe to say I was anxiously awaiting their release in the U.S. and I'm super excited to try them out in this beer.

The recipe for this beer is a bit different than the one I've been tweaking and refining. The last couple versions of mine have incorporated varying amounts of Weyermann Cara Red to give it a deep golden color. Color-wise, this recipe today is going to be at the lighter end of the spectrum based on the BJCP Guidelines. The base malt for this beer is Root Shoot Pilsner Malt from neighboring Colorado. Here's the recipe as I'm brewing it today:

7# 7oz - Root Shoot Pilsner Malt (93.7%)
6oz - Weyermann Carahell Malt (4.7%)
2oz - Weyermann Acidulated Malt (1.6 %)
3ml Hopshot (60 min)
10g - NZ Motueka (10 min)
20g - NZ Nelson Sauvin (10 min)
30g - NZ Riwaka (10 min)
20g - NZ Motueka Pallet (Flame Out)
30g - NZ Nelson Sauvin (Flame Out)
30g - NZ Riwaka (FlameOut)
40g - NZ Riwaka (Dry Hop)
Wyeast Nutrient
4.66g BCAA (Dissolved in water or wort, 5 min)
S04 or Saflager W-34/70

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
To 11 gallons of distilled water, add:
4.0g Gypsum
2.8g Epsom Salt
4.8g Calcium Chloride

Brewing Notes
I collected a bit more mash liquor than I was planning on. Usually I shoot for about 6.75 gallons per-boil volume, and I ended up with a little more than 7.25. In cases like this, I'll tend to boil a little harder. No other issues. OG came in ~11.8 brix (1.046). I was able to chill down to about 58F, so the beer will chill overnight before pitching yeast.
L to R, 1st runnings, pre-boil, post-boil
Update 10/28/2019
Temps were down to ~46.5F this morning, so I was able to aerate and pitch before heading into work this morning.

Update 10/29/2019
Gravity is down to 1.039 this morning.

Update 10/30/2019
Things seem to be rolling right along this morning with readings varying between 1.034 and 1.038. this is a sign that the fermentation is active enough that it's causing the Tilt to rock back and forth a bit, so while it's hard to get an accurate gravity measurement, it's a good thing because it implies there's a good healthy fermentation taking place.

Update 10/31/2019
Gravity is down to ~1.028 this morning. 

Update 11/4/2019
I forgot to log it, but gravity was down to 1.018 on Friday 11/1, so I started ramping the temp up to 63F for the diacetyl rest. Gravity is down to 1.014 today.

Update 11/6/2019
Dry hops were added today. I'll let these go until probably 11/10, then start cold crashing in preparation of kegging.

Update 11/10/2019
I started cold crashing today. 

Update 11/15/2019
I kegged this beer tonight. Gravity was down from 1.046 to 1.011, for an ABV ~4.6%.

Update 12/26/2019
This beer recently took a bronze medal at the 2019 Utah Brewfest competition (small local comp). I really like the way it turned out. Next time I'll increase the malt bill a little bit to get it a hair over 5%.