Experimental Pilsner

I’ve only ever brewed ales as I do not have anywhere that remains at a consistently cool temperature enough to brew a lager or pils. I have a shed and also a fridge big enough to lager the beer once fermentation has taken place – it’s just that initial couple of weeks that’s the problem.

The spot I usually use to ferment beer stays at a consistent 21-22° all year round. I’d rather it was a little cooler but the beer turns out fine. I believe a constant temperature is key.

I’ve found another spot in the house that seems to be about 18° which is still too warm for an authentic pils, but I thought I’d give it a go regardless.

I’m using SAFLAGER S-23 which, according to the Fermentis website, the fermentation temp should be between 9-22°C and ideally 12-15°C. So although my 18° is above the ‘ideal’ range, it still sits easily within the tolerable range for this strain.

Regardless, I’m sure I’ll end up with a tasty beer, but it will be interesting to see how the slightly higher fermentation temp affects the authenticity of the pilsner. I’m expecting a less crisp beer with a few fruity, ale-like esters.

Once brewed, I will crash cool for a week in a secondary and then rack into a corny keg and lager it in under pressure in the fridge for four weeks

The recipe I put together is a German/Bohemian pils style and as follows:

Batch Size: 23.02 l Style: German Pilsner (Pils) ( 2A)
Boil Size: 35.98 l Style Guide: BJCP 2008
Color: 5.7 EBC Equipment: Pot (13 Gal/50 L) – BIAB
Bitterness: 24.1 IBUs Boil Time: 90 min
Est OG: 1.044 (10.9° P) Mash Profile: Single Infusion, Light Body, No Mash Out
Est FG: 1.009 SG (2.4° P) Fermentation: Ale, Two Stage
ABV: 4.5% Taste Rating: 30.0


Amount Name Type #
4.25 kg Lager Malt (3.9 EBC) Grain 1
40.0 g Tettnang [3.8%] – Boil 60 min Hops 2
30.0 g Saaz [2.9%] – Boil 30 min Hops 3
0.25 tsp Irish Moss (Boil 10 min) Misc 4
15.0 g Saaz [2.9%] – Boil 10 min Hops 5
10.0 g Saaz [2.9%] – Steep 60 min Hops 6
1 pkgs SafLager West European Lager (DCL/Fermentis #S-23) Yeast 7