But I will mention The Trub:

Solid like school dinner custard

Solid like school dinner custard

Blimey. First time to use pellets last night – and it’s not an experience I want to repeat. I had to leave behind at least a litre of solid trub, and what was poured into the primary didn’t look too clean. A little extra boiled off, a litre+ left behind and I was short at under 10L.

I added some ice to make it up to about 11L and bring down the temp for the lager yeast. Here’s the lager yeast waiting to be added:

Hello active lager yeast!

Hello active lager yeast!

Strange shape, eh?

OG ended up around 1.056 with a little ice left to melt, probably around 1.053 – but the hydrometer sample was so full of gunk – I’d been shaking to aerate – that gawd knows how reliable that is. Target was 1.047 so I’m leaving as is. There’s not even 11L left now.

This morning the hydrometer sample looked like this:

Yikes!

Yikes!

Yikes indeed.

The primary looks just as yikey – the trub level is halfway up the tap:

The level this morning

The level this morning

I’ve never seen that before. Of course if I had a weldless kit on my boiling pot (ie a tap) then I could have avoided most of this trub – but not even a sanitised sieve caught it.

With such activity from the yeast before pitching, I felt sure I’d see activity this morning. But zero. Zilch. Nada.

Yeast instructions

Yeast instructions

The “ideal” range for this yeast is 11-15 degrees, going up to 24 degrees at a stretch. My fridge is currently 9-10 degrees. Since lager yeast takes longer to become active anyway, I’m hoping that it will still work at this temperature, just more slowly.

The first picture in this post shows my newest equipment purchase – a thermometer from Ikea. Unlike the glass thermometer I was using before, I can leave this one in the wort when mashing. That should make things more convenient, but I found the sensitivity to be far less accurate than an old skool thermometer I was using before. For example, there was one point during mashing when I added heat and the readout just didn’t budge from 65, despite wiggling about, mixing water, etc – then after about 2 minutes, it suddenly shot up to 70. That contributed to my rather erratic temperature range. Still, at least the “alarm” function is good for telling me when mash and sparge temp is reached.

A number of craft pilsners I’ve tasted have been too sweet for my liking, so I’ve kept my crystal to the lightest possible, and used a full pack of yeast for the 10.75L of wort. I’ve also kept the IBUs quite high at 43 – max recommended is 45; Pilsner Urquell is 40. Hopefully that will increase the chances of this having a nice bitter and non-sweet bite.

Don’t Mention The War Pilsner

All grain

Boil volume: 14L
Estimated batch size: 12L (ha ha ha ha ha!)
Actual batch size: 11L + a whole load of gunk (see above)

Predicted OG: 1.047
Actual OG: Around 1.053

Predicted IBU: 43 (calculated for pellets, no hop bag)

Mash schedule: 9L at 66-70 degrees 60m, 7L at 75-81 degrees 20m(!)
Cooling: IC to approx 24 degrees; ice added to make 11L

Grain:
1.5kg Pilsner
750g 2-row (Didn’t have enough Pilsner malt, sadly)
114g Munich
28g Crystal 15L

Hops:
Saaz pellets 3.1% (no hop bag used)
50g for FWH + 60m, 16g 15m, 16g 3m.
Dry hopping: Saaz 8g

Yeast: Saflager S-23

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