Recently, I’ve noticed that I’ve been craving more lagers than hoppy ales. I’ve been making short work of the keg of Plaza Azul and have picked up the occasional six pack of the Deschutes and Ninkasi lagers. Wanting to have something similar on tap at home it seemed like the perfect time to get version 2 of my German Pilsner brewed. Last years beer was a good start and a nice beer but I’m hoping to improve on it a little bit. Malt and gravity are the same as last year expect I dropped the floor malted bo-pils mat and just went fully with standard Weyermann Pils malt (with a little bit of Briess pils to reach the desired gravity). Last years version was missing the bitterness and overall hop flavors that a good german pilsner has and honestly drank a little closer to a helles than a pilsner. This year I changed out the hops with some new varieties – Loral and Saphir and used my usual bittering hop, Nugget at 60 mins. Loral is a newer hop with higher than normal alpha acids for a noble-type hop but is getting really great reviews from brewers and saphir is a german noble hop that has a spicy, floral and a little bit citrus note (tangerine is the most common flavor noted). I went with my go to lager strain, Imperial L17 Harvest and I’m hoping this dries the beer out enough, but every other aspect of this strain is great for really any lager.
Mash: 148 (65 min.), 161 (15 min.)
Boil: 75 min.
Mash pH: 5.4
90.9% Weyermann Pilsner Malt
6.8% Briess Pilsen Malt
2.3% Acid Malt
8g Nugget – 60 min.
1.50 oz Saphir – 10 min.
2.00 oz Loral – 0 min.*
3.00 oz Saphir – 0 min. *
2.00 oz Loral – Dry Hop
2.00 oz Saphir – Dry Hop
*Hop steep of 30 mins, temperature down to 180 when started to cool.
Imperial L17 – Harvest
Yeast pitched at 53 and fermented at 54 before raising up the temperature for the d-rest and dry hopping.
Kegged on 5.14, finished same as last years batch at 1.010 and 80% attenuation. Sample had a nice little bit of hop aroma in the nose and was a little hazy, but I’m sure it will clear up in the keg.
Tasting notes – 7.3.17
Aroma: Light lemon and tangerine with some traditional noble spicy notes, pretty strong aroma for a pilsner. Some malt notes come through as pint warms and no dms.
Appearance: Pale yellow with just a hint of hop haze with a nice white head.
Taste: Hops are little more dominant that the malt, citrus notes up front and some earthy spice rounding out the taste. Malt come through but is secondary to the hops. Very clean fermentation with minimal esters.
Mouthfeel: Medium low with medium carbonation.
Overall: A pretty solid little pilsner! Hops kind of stole the thunder on this one but the malt backbone does make its presence know as you sip on the pint. The hops give some nice lemon and tangerine flavors and still having a little bit of the traditional spicy and floral notes with a classic German Noble hop. Fermentation was super clean with no dms or any other issues. When drinking this one side by side with other pilsners it is hoppier and a little more interesting than most but getting a little bit more malt character to come through will be the goal for next time around. Overall this has been a good beer and have enjoyed drinking it as the weather has been warming up. Cheers!