Czech Premium Pale Lager 2024

>> Sunday, January 07, 2024

First beer of 2024, and first brew in quite a long time. I've been wanting an easy drinking lager, so today I'm brewing a Czech Premium Pale Lager  inspired by Pilsner Urquell. This recipe employs a double-decoction mash. Water is especially important with this style; you want a very soft water profile so you’ll notice below that there are only very small salt additions. Here's the recipe as I'm brewing it today.

Target OG 1.051
Target FG: 1.013
IBU: 35
ABV: 5.0

8.375# Weyermann Barke Pilsner
1g BrewTan B in mash
2.75ml HopShot (90 min)
56.7 Saaz (20 min)
28.3g Saaz (10 min)
4.66g BCAA (10 min)
28.3g Saaz (0 min)
Yeast nutrient
Wyeast 2001-PC Pilsner Urquell H Strain

Decoction Mash
  1. Protein rest at 125F for 15 min
  2. Pull first 1/3 decoction and heat to 158F and hold for 15 min. 
  3. Proceed to boil and hold for 10 min.
  4. Return decoction to main mash and hold at 148F for 30 min.
  5. Pull second 1/6 decoction and heat to a boil.
  6. Proceed to boil for 10 min.
  7. Return second decoction to main mash and hold at 158F for 30 min.
  8. Mash out at 168F
90 min boil, chill to 48F.  Raise temp 1F over 6 days to 54F. 

Water Profile
Target Water Profile
 7.0  1.0  8.0  9.0  11.0  1.0 

To 10 gallons RO water, add:
  • 0.7g Gypsum (CaSO4)
  • 0.6g Pickling Salt (NaCl)
  • 0.1g Calcium Chloride (CaCl)
  • 0.1g Chalk (CaCO3)
Brewing Notes
I’m definitely a little rusty having not brewed since July, so I’m glad that there weren’t any crazy issues. I fly sparge and I definitely collected the 6.75 gallons much quicker than I normally would. I may have miscalculated the efficiency and grain bill as I came in 8 points under target. Kind of a bummer, but I’ll still have beer in the end. This is closer to a Czech Pale Lager than a Czech Premium Pale Lager. Also, I thought I had more Saaz on hand than I actually did. I ended up doing about 30g at 7 minutes, instead of 28g at 10 and 0 minutes. I’m toying with the idea of dry hopping with some Saaz…TBD. Long story short, not the ideal brew session but it still felt good to finally brew a batch again. I’m propping up more yeast so I’ll probably give this beer another shot in the not too distant future.

Session Readings
Beginning mash pH  5.52 
Ending mash pH  5.44 
1st running gravity  22.8 (1.093) 
Pre-Boil gravity  8.0 (1.031) 
Pre-Boil pH  5.58 
Post-Boil gravity  11.0 (1.043)
Post-Boil pH  5.58

Update 1/21/2024
I transferred this beer to a corny keg fitted with a dip tube screen on top of 28g of Saaz. I’m planning on dry hopping in this keg for about 48 hours then I’ll transfer off the hops to a serving keg.

Update 1/23/2024
This beer got transferred to the serving keg along with some finings today.