October 17, 2017

How to Brew A Czech Pilsner

The beer type Czech pilsner originates from the city of Pilsen.

The beer is characterized by its use of light and pale malts, that gives the beer its distinctive yellow to golden color and its malty taste, with a good sweetness. The hops used for brewing pilsner is Saaz. This hop gives the beer a mild taste, and a spicy and herbal aroma. A pilsner is cool fermented at 8 °C to 12 °C. This gives the beer a dry and crisp taste.

The Target Values For A Czech Pilsner

When you are brewing a pilsner, you must be within the values in the style guide you see below. These are your target values when you are designing a recipe.
OG: 1.046 - 1.052
FG: 1.012 - 1.017
Color (EBC): 7 - 14
Bitterness (IBU): 35 - 45
Alcohol (Vol%): 4.1 - 4.7

A Czech Pilsner Recipe To Begin With

I have made a simple pilsner recipe for you. The amount of ingredients in the recipe is for one liter of water. This means, that if you have 20 liters of water in your kettle, then you must multiply with 20. The Ingredients are as follows;

  • Pilsner Malt (3 EBC): 140 grams/liter
  • Munich Malt (20 EBC): 40 grams/liter
  • Dry Light Extract (8 EBC): 14 grams/liter
  • Saaz hops (2.8 Alpha%): 8 grams/liter
  • Yeast: You can pick any pilsner yeast suitable

The brewing process is as follows;

  • Heat the water to 68 °C and add all the malt
  • Stir and maintain the temperature at 68 °C for 60 minutes
  • Raise the temperature to 73 °C and keep it at 73 °C for 20 minutes
  • Seperate the mash from the wort with your strainer
  • Sparge the mash with 73 °C water untill you have the equivalent volume of wort in the kettle as you had water to beginwith (1 liter in this case)
  • Raise the temperature to 100 °C - boiling
  • The total boiling time is 60 minutes from you add the first wort to you begin cooling the wort
  • First add 2 grams/liter Saaz for 60 minutes total boil time
  • Then add 2 grams/liter Saaz for 45 minutes total boil time
  • Then add 2 grams/liter Saaz for 30 minutes total boil time
  • Then add 2 grams/liter Saaz for 10 minutes total boil time
  • After 60 minutes of hopping the beer, start chilling the wort When the wort is 10 °C pour it to the sanitized fermenter bucket
  • Add the yeast and keep the fermenter bucket at fermentation temperature
  • When the fermentation has stopped, transfer the beer to a sanitized fermenter bucket for secondary fermentation
  • Add sugar to carbonate the beer to get the desired CO2 pressure and then bottle the beer
  • These ingredients, and this process of brewing Czech pilsner, gives you these values;
    OG: 1048
    FG: 1012
    Color (EBC): 10
    Bitterness (IBU): 40
    Alcohol (Vol%): 4.7

As you can see, these values fits perfectly within the target values for brewing a Czech pilsner.


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