Friday, August 13, 2010

Classic American Pilsner

Here's a style I've never brewed before and have only had one example of from Lighting Brewery, their Ionizer Lager.  Lightning's brewer, Jim Crute, brought this lager to one of our QUAFF meetings quite some time ago and brewing a similar beer was since slated on my to-do list.  Ionizer Lager is a bit out of style for a Classic American Pilsner and so is this recipe.  Instead of sticking with either corn or rice, I decided to use both (simply out of excitement).  Like Ionizer, I also decided to exceed the defined limit of a 6% ABV to shoot for something a bit more on the stronger side.

Classic American Pilsner, August 12 2010
BJCP Category 2C. Classic American Pilsner
5 Gallons, Grain/Extract, Single Infusion Mash, 90 Minute Boil

4 lbs. Domestic 2-Row
3 lbs. German Pilsner
3 lbs. Flaked Maize

30 Minute Corn Steep at 160°F
90 Minute Single Infusion Mash 148°F

1 lb. Dried Rice Extract

1 oz. Northern Brewer 8.8% 60 min.
1 Whirlfloc tab 20 min.

White Labs WLP830 German Lager Yeast (thanks, Kara!), Vial to 900ml Starter
Fermented at 52°F primary for over 2 weeks then racked to secondary (with a diacetyl rest) for another 3 weeks before stepping down to 40°F for lagering.

OG: 1.060 @ 76°F
FG: 1.009 @ 44°F
ABV: 7.1%

Tapped and bottled out a few on 10/21.  Very clean tasting with subtle hints of corn, mostly dry.  Hops are nicely balanced and the increased ABV is hidden fairly well.

Evaluation: I brought this beer to QUAFF's evaluation panel on November 17th. Clarity was brilliant and many thought the flavor was great.  Harold suggested to try a cereal mash with corn meal to truly achieve the aroma and flavor profile that is often a signature of the style.

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