Dickie’s Pilsner Ale I

-Huck posting for Dickie.

Dickie’s Pilsner Ale I

Slowly I have been gathering equipment and supplies to brew beers at my house without relying too heavily on the AGU for support. First of all, it is nice to have a personal system to whip out a brew whenever you feel like it. Secondly this will help me learn and grow as a brewer.

The time was right to start brewing. I decided to keep things as simple as possible since this was the first time brewing in this system. This is a SMaSH beer using dry yeast.

I did run into several issues along the way and I have detailed them below.

 July 11, 2015


  • Dickie

Pilsner Ale – 5 gallon

Grain Bill

  • 9 lbs Pilsner malt

Notes: Pilsner malts are typically higher in SMM (S-Methylmethionine) than other 2-row malts. SMM is the precursor to DMS (Dimethyl Sulfide) which gives beer the flavor and aroma of cooked or creamed corn. To reduce this flavor it is suggested to boil for 90 minutes when using Pilsner as a base malt.

Hop Bill

  • 3 oz Czech Saaz – 20 mins.
  • 1 oz Czech Saaz – 10 mins.

Notes: Stumbled across a recently revived hopping method called All-Late Hopping. This method introduces the hops into the boil at 20 minutes or less to produce a cleaner, crisper bitterness and fuller flavor and aroma. This method is especially good for more highly hopped beer than a typical Pilsner. The drawbacks are that you get a “greener” flavor from the hops and you need to use more hops than normal to produce the same results.


  • Safale-05 (dry yeast)

Mash Schedule

  • Strike temp – 164˚ F
  • 7:35 PM
  • Mash In – 4 gallons water – temp 159˚ – Hold 60 mins.

Notes: Target mash temp was 148˚ – 153˚ – was over calculated temp. Also should have held the mash for longer than 60 minutes in my opinion. Would benefit from a Mash out as well.

  • Collect 7.5 gallons.

Notes: Miscalculated sparge water, ended up collecting slighty over 5 gallons


  • 9:10 PM Boil begins boil 90 minutes
  • First hop addition @ 10:20 PM
  • Added Irish moss and Wort Chiller @ 10:25 PM
  • Second hop addition @ 10:30 PM

Notes: With a 90 minute boil I needed to collect more wort than normal as there is more evaporation. In addition, I let the boil continue raging at high heats before I came to the realization that I should turn down the fire. I believe I scorched the wort somewhat as it ended up being darker than it should have been. My miscalculations could end up making this beer “funky”.

Wort & Yeast

  • Ended with a little over three gallons of wort in the fermenter due to my miscalculations and poor heat management.
  • OG 1.070 which was way higher than my target of 1.051
  • Decided to boil additional water and it to add to the wort
  • After adding water I ended up with slightly over 5 gallons of liquid in the fermenter. The gravity dropped from 1.070 to 1.040. I am now under my original gravity target of 1.051.
  • Sprinkled one packet of Safale-05 dry yeast into the carboy and shook shook shook.


  • This was a lesson in adaptation. It also highlighted the differences in learning and utilization of new techniques and equipment.
  • The sample tasted decent. The hops really stood out. I have been drinking Pilsners for a while now and really like the flavor. The whole time I thought the yeast profile was the main driver in that flavor. After sampling this brew, I think it is more the hops than the yeast. I can’t wait to see how this beer turns out. Good or bad, I will have a better understanding of the Czech Saaz.
  • If my estimated assumptions on the gravity are correct, and they hardly ever are, this beer should turn out to be in the 4-4.5% ABV range.Accidental Sour
  • During the fermentation process the beer soured. I am not sure how or why. The obvious conclusion would be a wild yeast took over. I am not entirely sure about that though. I would love to do more exbeeriments to determine the cause.


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