Sunday, April 28, 2013

Durstlöscher - German Pilsner

This is my second time brewing a lager.  I made a munich helles last year, which came out ok - there was just something off about it.  Given the simplicity of the ingredients in these styles, I knew I needed to focus more on my water.  I scoured forums and decided that using 50% distilled water for my mash and adding just a little bit of minerals to achieve an estimated 5.4 pH would produce a better beer.  Additionally, my parents bought me a stirplate for my birthday, which allowed me to more efficiently propogate the yeast for this batch.
(Filling the Fermenter with as much trub-free wort as possible)

Durstlöscher - German Pilsner Brewed On: February 18, 2013
Kegged On: 4/6/2013
Style: 2A -German Pilsner
Batch Size: 6 gallons (5 gal into fermenter)
Efficiency: 83%
OG: 1.048
FG: 1.009
IBU: 36 calculated (Rager) 
ABV: 5.1%
Yeast: WLP830 German Lager from Starter ~400 billion cells .  Fermented at 50° 

Grist Mashed at 147 for 60 minutes
97% - Weyermann Pilsner - 9.5 lbs
3% - Acidulated Malt - 4.5 oz

Hop Additions (90 minute boil)
.55 oz - Magnum - 60 min - 30 IBUs
.50 oz - Hallertau - 20 min - 6 IBUs
.50 oz - Hallertau - 0 min

Water Adjustments
Mash - 4 gallons Montgomery County, MD Water consisting of 50% distilled with 
3 grams Gypsum
2 grams CaCL
Sparge - Montgomery County, MD Water (treated with campden tablet)

This lager pours a nice deep straw color with a frothy white head.  The aroma is a strong, crisp and clean smell of malt with some slight yeast character - touch of sulfur.  It has medium body with medium carbonation.  The beer really showcases the continental pilsner malt, and washing it over your tongue you can pick up a grainy sweetness.  The sweetness is really more "maltiness" which is a compliment to the extreme crispness and lack of esters left by the lager yeast.  The firm, but pleasant bitterness from the hallertau hops helps the beer finish dry.  A real thirst quencher perfect for spring!

I left this one in the fermenter a little longer than I would have liked due to my keg issues.  It could have a little more fresh hop character, but overall it is pretty tasty.  Being my second lager, I am greatly pleased with the outcome.  Two big differences between this lager and my first. 1) I used liquid yeast this time, and did a double step starter on my stir plate (used dry the first time) 2) I cut my mash water with 50% distilled water. After writing my tasting notes I decided to go to the BJCP guidelines and see how I was doing.  Pretty much falls right in line with the guidelines - I just entered this in two competitions, so hopefully my palate is tasting accurately!