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Phoney Peroni No.3

For the last lager of the year I've decided to return to an old favourite - Phoney Peroni. This will be my third brew of this light lager (the second write-up is here.

The main difference with this brew will be that I'm only using 500g of flaked maize instead of the 1kg I normally use. This isn't by design, it's because I forgot to order 1kg in my last order.

Brew day

I made a 2 litre starter of Wyeast 2278 Czech Pilsner Lager yeast using the 500ml of overbuilt starter that I saved from my previous Austrian Pilsner brew with the intention of using it all in this brew because I'll be switching back to ales after this one.

Recipe Specifications
Recipe: Phoney Peroni No.3
Date: 10 September 2023
Batch Size (fermenter): 24.00 L
Estimated OG: 1.047 SG
Estimated Color: 6.5 EBC
Estimated IBU: 32.2 IBUs
Brewhouse Efficiency: 75.00 %
Est Mash Efficiency: 75.6 %
Boil Time: 60 Minutes
Finished water profile: Ca:28, Mg:3, Na:9, SO4:10, Cl:44

Amt         Name                                        Type          %/IBU         Volume
29.78 L     Tesco Ashbeck                               Water        
3.60 ml     Lactic Acid (Mash)                          Water Agent   80%           -     
1.20 g      Calcium Chloride (Mash)                     Water Agent   -             -     
4.35 kg     Weyermann Bohemian Pilsner (4.0 EBC)        Grain         89.7 %        2.84 L
0.500 kg    Crisp Flaked Torrefied Maize (1.3 EBC)      Grain         10.3 %        0.33 L
0.30 g      Calcium Chloride (Sparge)                   Water Agent   -             -     
0.20 ml     Lactic Acid (Sparge)                        Water Agent   80%           -     

25.00 g     Hallertau Magnum [10.00 %] - Boil 60.0 min  Hop           27.8 IBUs     -     
10.00 g     Saaz [2.60 %] - Boil 15.0 min               Hop           1.4 IBUs      -     
15.00 g     Saaz [2.60 %] - Boil 10.0 min               Hop           1.6 IBUs      -     
1.00 Items  Whirlfloc Tablet (Boil 7.0 mins)            Fining        -             -     
25.00 g     Saaz [2.60 %] - Boil 5.0 min                Hop           1.4 IBUs      -     

1.0 pkg     Czech Pilsner Lager (Wyeast Labs #2278)     Yeast         

Mash Schedule: Single Infusion, Medium Body, Batch Sparge
Total Grain Weight: 4.85 kg
Name              Description                             Step Temperat Step Time  
Mash In           Add 24.78 L of water at 71.9 C          66.0 C        60 min    

Sparge: Dunk sparge with 5L of 75C water.

The brew-day went according to plan and I actually hit the target OG of 1.047 on the nose. I'm predicting an ABV of 5.2% or 5.3% based on the past performance of this yeast in the worts that I produce.


It's an unseasonably hot September here at the moment and I was only able to get the wort down to 22.7 with the immersion chiller. I then placed the fermenter in the brew fridge and set it to 12.5C with the intention of pitching the yeast the following morning (+24 hours) when it should have chilled to pitching temperature.

The next day

At 7:00am the next day the wort was only down to 14.5C which I think is too warm to pitch this lager yeast so I decided to give it another few hours. By 12:00pm it was down to 13.5C and I decided that was close enough and so I decanted the spent wort from the starter and pitched the yeast.

The next, next day

I have to admit I was a bit concerned that at 9:00am, 21 hours after pitching there was no activity in the blow-off tube. However my anxiety was to be short-lived because just an hour later fermentation had definitely started. Now I plan to to leave it for the next week or so until it starts to visibly slow down and then I'll let the temperate rise gently from 12.5C to 16C for an extended diacetyl rest. Kegging will be after a full 3 weeks.

Kegging day

The fermentation went well. It was about a week at 12.5C before I let it free-rise to 16.5C for a couple of weeks to finish off. After the full three weeks all activity ceased so I kegged it.

Final gravity, adjusted for my hydrometer scale, was 1.006 for an ABV of 5.3%. Personally I would have preferred 5.0% but this is fine. The well-rested lager was extremely clear in the sample jar. I kegged a fully corny and got two bottles from the remainder. The keg was fined with gelatine, headspace purged with 5x15psi bursts of CO2 and left to carbonate and condition at 20psi and 6C. I have a feeling this will be another good one.

Tasting notes

I'll be honest, this isn't my best attempt at Peroni and it's all down to not having enough flaked maize in the ingredients. Don't get me wrong, this is a fine lager in its own right that tastes malty and saazy. And it's that maltiness that's the problem. Weyermann Bohemian Pilsner malt has a sweet honey malt flavour that makes an excellent German or Czech Pils but for a Peroni clone you really must have 20-25% flaked maize in the ingredients list to lighten the body and deliver that distinctive quaffable, moreish flavour.

So I've made a decent lager, but it wasn't what I was trying to brew. That's it for lagers for this year so it'll be next year before I get my next shot at Peroni, and next time I'll remember to order enough flaked maize!