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Time Machine

Posted 2011/12/12

Homebrew - King George Pilsner

After nearly a year of making beer and ~ 15 years of drinking it, with a bit of prodding from the wife I decided it was time to completely make up my own recipe. Using BeerSmith I created a German style pilsner that was made with English hops. BeerSmith is a bit of software that makes you feel like a mad scientist, you plug in your ideas and it can predict what you are going to get. This lets you target a style of beer while playing with the ingredients. Just making the making the recipe was great fun, the only way to know if you are making something that you want to drink though is to brew it!

Ingredients

  • 1lb German Pilsen Malt
  • 8oz Carapils (Dextrine Malt)
  • 3lb Light Dry Malt Extract
  • 3lb Amber Liquid Malt Extract
  • 0.5oz Northern Brewer Pellet Hops
  • 0.75oz Kent Golding Pellet Hops
  • 0.25oz Fuggle Pellet Hops
  • 2 x Fermentis Saflager S-23 Dry Lager Yeast

Method

  • Boil 1 pint of water in a kettle and put it in a pint glass to cool.
  • Start with 2.5 gallons of tap water in a 5 gallon pot and heat to 160.
  • Steep 1lb German Pilsen Malt and 8oz Carapils (Dextrine Malt) for 20 minutes using a grain bag.
  • Add 1 gallon of tap water and bring wort to the boil.
    • Once boiling add 3lb Amber Liquid Malt Extract and 0.5oz Northern Brewer Pellet Hops.
    • Boil for 20 minutes.
    • Add 0.75oz Kent Golding Pellet Hops.
    • Boil for 25 minutes.
    • Add 3lb Light Dry Malt Extract.
    • Boil for 5 minutes.
    • 0.25oz Fuggle Pellet Hops.
    • Boil for 10 minutes.
  • Cool to 65 degrees and pour through a strainer into a fermenting bucket.
  • Top off the fermenter to 5 gallons using tap water.
  • Hydrate your 2 packets of Fermentis Saflage S-23 Dry Lager Yeast by putting it in your pint of (room temperature) sterile water, give it a good stir.
  • Pitch your rehydrated yeast into the fermenter, add the bung and airlock and ferment at 55 degrees for 2 weeks.
  • After 2 weeks rack into a secondary and lager at a temperature controlled 45 degrees for 60 days.
  • On bottling day dissolve 5oz of dextrose in some boiling water and add it to the bottling bucket for carbonation.
  • Store at 55 degrees in the dark and drink after 21 days.

On brew day I printed out the brewing steps from BeerSmith and if you are picky there are a few things missing from the print out. Things like how long to steep the grains, which I had obviously done before but wanted a reminder of the times that worked. I added all the missing info as I went. Having the brew sheet is a very good idea, even if you think you know what you are doing, because quite frankly I can end up getting pretty wankered while brewing. The sheet stops me losing the plot and it's a nice record of what went down if you keep writing on it as you go.

The only new thing I tried was adding a sterile block of ice to the wort to help cool it. I had read about people boiling and freezing water to do this and so I thought I would give it a go. It was a pain to get the big cube out of the tupperware and into the pot and I ended up with the tupperware itself in the wort. Sterile water - yes, sterile tupperware - no. It turned out fine but if I do it again I will get the block out away from the wort and drop it in by hand.

Brew:        11 Dec 2011, OG 1.052
Rack+Lager:  27 Dec 2011 (16) 
Bottle:      25 Feb 2012 (60), FG 1.009, ABV 5.75%
Ready:       25 Mar 2012 (29)
Summary:     Primary 16 days, Secondary 60 days, Condition 29 days

I tried one after 10 days in the bottle to see how it was coming. Was quite flat (to be expected) but tasted pretty good. After 20 days it had carbonated but still less than I wanted, I decided to leave them another 10 days before trying another.

After 29 days in the bottle I had another go. It was properly carbonated, very clear with a good head. It tasted quite sweet and malty but had a dry lager after taste. I can't think of another beer that tastes like it to compare to. The fact that it is unique makes me quite proud since that's sort of the point of making up your own recipe. There is very little homebrew flavor which I think the lagering helps get rid of. I'll be interested to find out what other people think of it.

Brew

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Rack

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Bottle

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Ready

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