June 2014


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Two weeks in and China Pils is moving along very slowly. I remember my first fridge Pils took about a month but I still expected this one to be further along than it is.

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Seems Genki enough though – although I suspect those yeast clumps on top really should have absorbed into the wort as it is supposed to be bottom fermenting yeast.

I brewed another pale ale tonight. It’s a variation of 507 Back to All Grain Pale Ale but with a bit more malt and a slightly different hop schedule (though the same hops). I’ll write the details sometime, but not tonight as I am cream-crackered.

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It’s the beer that almost started a war. It’s incursion into friendly territory – the house fridge – sparked tensions.

The first pils I ever brewed was amazing – 18 Don’t Mention The War Pils. It actually started me liking the style as I wasn’t a huge fan before; it tasted like Pilsner Urquell and encouraged me to explore the more bitter, hoppy pils.

But try as I might, I have never been able to replicate it. I suddenly realised why the other day – I have been following the recipe as written ignoring all the mistakes I made. For example, I was trying to match the OG of the recipe rather than match the OG of the resultant beer. Additionally, I had used 1 pack of S23 for the half batch but never scaled up to 2 packs for the full batch, which is the recommended amount for fermenting at 9 degrees with S23. Nor did I always keep the fermentation temperature and time the same as the first beer.

China Pils started as an exact adjustment of that original #18 recipe, adjusting for strength and IBU to the resultant beer. At the last minute I changed it – switching in 1kg of MO which I had ready milled and didn’t want to go off, and adding a 30m hop addition. So maybe it won’t be quite the same as the original, but I am hoping that matching the strength and IBU along with the slightly maltier MO and additional flavour hop addition, plus good temp control and adequate yeast, will give me close to the taste I want. I will be gutted if I come out with yet another batch of meh-pils.

China Pils

Boil 27L

Collection (after boil off, trub, hops, etc) 19.5L at 1.055

FG of 1.013 will give around 5.4%

Bitterness: 61 IBU (Beer Recipator), 51 IBU (Brew Pal iPhone)

Grain:
240g Munich
60g Carared 20L
1kg Maris Otter
3.5kg German Pilsner

1 hour at 67-65 degrees
Batch sparge at 73 degrees

75g Saaz (Leaf 4.2% AA, 60 min.)
30g Saaz (Leaf 4.2% AA, 30 min.)
30g Saaz (Leaf 4.2% AA, 15 min.)
30g Saaz (Leaf 4.2% AA, 3 min.)
15g Saaz (Leaf, aroma)

2 x S23 pitched dry at 19 (Recommended is to pitch or hydrate at room temp). Will cool and ferment in 9 degree fridge.