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Czech Pilsner

Saturday was brewday for my Czech Pilsner. I faffed around with the recipe a little bit during the week and eventually settled on what's basically a lager SMASH for a 22 litre batch.

I really want to taste that Saaz so there's plenty going in during the last 15 minutes. Water is Tesco Ashbeck with just a little calcium chloride to get to the profile that I want.

Brew day

Recipe Specifications
Date: 3 March 2019
Batch Size (fermenter): 21.00 L 
Estimated OG: 1.045 SG
Estimated Color: 5.7 EBC
Estimated IBU: 39.0 IBUs
Brewhouse Efficiency: 80.00 %
Est Mash Efficiency: 81.9 %
Boil Time: 75 Minutes
Water profile: Ca: 24, Mg: 3, Na: 9, SO4: 10, Cl: 38

Amt              Name                                             Type          #          %/IBU         Volume     
27.44 L          Tesco Ashbeck                                    Water         1          -             -           
3.00 ml          80% Lactic Acid (Mash)                           Water Agent   2          -             -           
0.90 g           Calcium Chloride (Mash)                          Water Agent   3          -             -           

3.80 kg          IREKS Pilsner Malt (3.5 EBC)                     Grain         4          100.0 %       2.48 L     

0.20 g           Calcium Chloride (Sparge)                        Water Agent   5          -             -           
0.20 ml          80% Lactic Acid (Sparge)                         Water Agent   6          -             -           

45.00 g          Saaz [4.70 %] - Boil 60.0 min                    Hop           7          28.2 IBUs     -           
12.00 g          Saaz [4.70 %] - Boil 15.0 min                    Hop           8          3.7 IBUs      -           
17.00 g          Saaz [4.70 %] - Boil 10.0 min                    Hop           9          3.9 IBUs      -           
26.00 g          Saaz [4.70 %] - Boil 5.0 min                     Hop           10         3.2 IBUs      -           

1.0 pkg          Czech Pilsner Lager (Wyeast Labs #2278) [124.21  Yeast         11         -             -           

Mash Schedule: Single Infusion, Light Body, No Mash Out
Total Grain Weight: 3.80 kg
Name              Description                             Step Temperat Step Time   
Mash In           Add 22.44 L of water at 68.2 C          65.0 C        75 min     

Sparge: BIAB Batch sparge with 5 L water at 75.6 C

Brew day went very smoothly, nothing much to report as far as process goes. I mashed for an hour at 65-66C in water acidified with lactic acid to get to a predicted pH 5.3.

Hops used were Crossmyloof Saaz at 4.7% AA.

About 22 litres of 1.042 wort was collected into the fermenter. If the Wyeast 2278 finishes at around 1.007 like every other yeast I use then I can expect a 4.7% dry pilsner as my reward for waiting.

I chilled to 24C with the immersion chiller then put the FV in the fridge. Nearly 24 hours later it's at 10.5C. When it's stabilised in a few hours at 10C I'll pitch the decanted 2 litre starter of Wyeast 2278.

The fermentation schedule will be the Brulosophy quick lager method. I'll keep an eye out for the slow-down in fermentation vigour that indicates we are past the stage where the flavour compounds are created and will then slowly raise the fridge temperature to 20C for a 5 day diacetyl rest before transferring to a keg for lagering.


I kegged my Czech Pilsner yesterday afternoon after 20 days in the fermenter. It had the first 5 or so days at 10C until I noticed the fermentation was starting to slow then I slowly raised it up to about 18C at about a degree or so a day and left it until yesterday when there had been no signs of activity for a good few days. FG is 1.005 for an ABV of 4.9%.

Tasting notes

After 2 weeks at 1C I could wait no longer and I tapped the keg on Friday night. After the first cloudy pour pulled up the sediment the lager underneath is really, really good. Loads of warm, spicy Saaz flavour blending perfectly with the German Ireks pilsner malt. There's more flavour than your average lager drinker on the clapham omnibus would be happy with but perfect for me.

This one's definitely on the brew-again list and now the keezer's up and running I'm loving doing European lagers this year. Next up is a Munich Festbier, Wyeast 2308 is on its way from the Malt Miller as I speak.