Dickie’s Pilsner 2016

Tom posting for Dickie

Here are the notes for my latest version of Dickie’s Pilsner. This is/will be an ongoing experiment and trial. So I am not sure if we need to keep putting notes on the beerbook for basically the same recipe repeatedly. Maybe this should just be general beer talk between us. Either way I am ok with it.  However, I think it has been a fun process and interesting to see the evolution of this beer up to this point.

I racked into secondary on Wednesday and took a sample. The sample was a little hoppy but was real good. That was ten days on primary so there is still a lot of time before the beer is done. I racked into a keg and will let it lager in there until the weekend of the 18th. Maybe I take samples here and there for, as Kyle likes to say, science.
A couple of things that are interesting to me and that maybe I was not too well prepared for were the handling and performance of the lager yeast and the hop pellets.
The gravity reading when I racked to secondary was 1.030. I expected it to be lower, or at least closer to the target of 1.008. The original started at 1.050. I think the yeast will continue to work on the sugars and the gravity will get lower. Perhaps not all the way to the target but lower. Maybe I shouldn’t have racked it so soon. Most of the yeast cake had fallen to the bottom of the carboy and I took that as a sign to move to the next phase.
The pellet hops caused issues for me. I did not have an effective way to strain them off the beer and so the vast majority of the sludge got racked into the primary with the wort after the boil. I am sure this influenced the stronger hop flavor than I anticipated. It also caused me to lose a couple gallons of beer. I did not want to rack the sludge off the bottom into the keg. So I ended up leaving a lot of beer behind in the carboy. This makes me sad, especially after I tasted the sample.
This beer ended up being darker than the previous “ale” versions. I am not sure what the reasoning for that is. Perhaps the yeast? I boiled for 90 minutes just like last time. Anyway, the flavor and color are promising to me at this point. I am still holding judgement on the fermentation and hops.

Date: 05/15/2016 

Brewers:

  • Dickie

Pilsner  – 5 Gallon

Grain Bill:

  • 10.0 lbs Pilsner malt

Hop Bill:

    • 2oz Czech Saaz (Pellets) – 60 mins.
    • 1oz Hallertau (Pellets) – 60 mins.

Yeast:

  • WLP830 – German Lager Yeast

Mash Schedule:

  • Strike Volume – 6.5 Gallons
  • Strike Temp – 172°
  • 4:30 PM – Mash in, hold temp 156° – 160°
  • 5:35 PM – Mash finished

Boil:

  • 6:00 PM boil begins – 90 minute boil
  • 6:30 PM – added 2oz Saaz, 1oz Hallertau
  • 7:30 PM – boil finished

Wort & Yeast

  • Collected approximately 5 gallons of wort.
  • OG 1.050
  • 8:10 PM – pitched yeast.

Summary

  • The Brew day went smoother than normal. There were a couple concerning things though.
  • My Strike temp was too high and therefore my mash temp was too high. It ended up not being a significant factor as my OG measured 1.050 and my target was 1.057.
  • Using pellet hops sucks! I must devise a method for straining them. I think all 3oz of hops ended up in the fermenter.
  • I am using lager yeast for the very first time on my very own! This will go smooth!
  • 05/25/16 I racked the beer to secondary. Gravity read 1.030. I expected it to be lower. The yeast still has work to do. The sample tasted great, but a bit hoppy. I have high expectations.
  • I lost a lot of beer racking from primary to secondary. I left the hop sludge and yeast cake on the bottom of the carboy. I have right around 3 gallons of beer lagering at this point.
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