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General Category => All Grain Brewing => Topic started by: Bel Air Brewing on November 25, 2021, 05:16:10 am

Title: Perfect Pils - Classic German
Post by: Bel Air Brewing on November 25, 2021, 05:16:10 am
Well...the results are in.
Invited my neighbor (Dave) over to be a judge of my most recent attempt at a classic German Pilsner.
The grain bill was a 50/50 split, Weyermann Floor Malted Bohemian Pilsner and Avangard Premium Pilsner Malt.

Hops = Tettnanger & Hallertau.
Yeast = Diamond Lager (harvested yeast slurry)
Original Brix = 12.4
Final Brix     =   7.0
ABV            =   4.73%
IBU            =   32
SRM           =   3
Boil Time    =   90 minutes
Mash          =   Multi-Step Infusion

Dave's background is a multi award winning home brewer, plus he worked for a craft brewery in Austin, Texas, for a number of years. About 3 years ago he moved up to the North Texas area, locating in my neighborhood.

Dave is brutally honest. He told me a Festbier that I had brewed was seriously flawed (diacetyl). He seems to have a highly trained (and hyper sensitive) sense of taste, and is able to pick up more "off flavors" than most people I know.

So here is the result - He said this is one of the best Pils he has ever had. Better than most commercial examples. I told him to find a flaw with it. He said he looked high and low, but there are no flaws that he could detect.

This beer will be brewed again, in a day or two. This time I will treat the water will Gypsum / Sulfates. Note that I have never treated the brewing water before, but will do this next German Pilsner as an experiment now that we have established a baseline with the current recipe.

My personal opinion? The Pils is good. Very good. It is probably my best effort to date for this style. Next time the bittering hops will be increased to give a little more "up front" hop bitterness.

Using the two Pils malts did give this beer a little more depth of character.
Title: Re: Perfect Pils - Classic German
Post by: lupulus on November 25, 2021, 07:13:38 am
Congratulations!
FG 3.5 Plato? 1.014?

Sent from my SM-G981U1 using Tapatalk

Title: Re: Perfect Pils - Classic German
Post by: Saccharomyces on November 25, 2021, 08:29:46 am
Did you use a refractometer?  While refractometers are convenient and use little wort, nothing beats a well-calibrated hydrometer for simplicity and accuracy.  Unlike a hydrometer, a refractometer does not test the density of a liquid.  It test for the amount of sugar in a solution. The problem with small batch brewing and the hydrometer is that the average brewing hydrometer jar is too large; therefore, it is wasteful with wort and product (even the glass cylinder/plastic base hydrometer jars sold in the home brewing trade require a 200ml sample), which is almost seven ounces of liquid for each test.  I am thinking about going back to using a 100ml graduated cylinder as a hydrometer jar.  However, it is difficult to find a full-scale hydrometer that will work in a 100ml graduated cylinder without bottoming out on final gravities.
Title: Re: Perfect Pils - Classic German
Post by: Bel Air Brewing on November 25, 2021, 08:32:29 am
Congratulations!
FG 3.5 Plato? 1.014?

Sent from my SM-G981U1 using Tapatalk

OG = 1.052
FG = 1.014
ABV = 4.73%

However, Brewer's Friend calculates the ABV at 5.1%.

Yes, all measurements taken with a refractometer. Northern Brewer & Brewer's Friend is used to do the gravity calculations with alcohol present.
Title: Re: Perfect Pils - Classic German
Post by: tommymorris on November 25, 2021, 09:50:17 am
Are you willing to share you hop schedule?
Title: Re: Perfect Pils - Classic German
Post by: lupulus on November 25, 2021, 10:45:33 am
Did you use a refractometer?  While refractometers are convenient and use little wort, nothing beats a well-calibrated hydrometer for simplicity and accuracy.  Unlike a hydrometer, a refractometer does not test the density of a liquid.  It test for the amount of sugar in a solution. The problem with small batch brewing and the hydrometer is that the average brewing hydrometer jar is too large; therefore, it is wasteful with wort and product (even the glass cylinder/plastic base hydrometer jars sold in the home brewing trade require a 200ml sample), which is almost seven ounces of liquid for each test.  I am thinking about going back to using a 100ml graduated cylinder as a hydrometer jar.  However, it is difficult to find a full-scale hydrometer that will work in a 100ml graduated cylinder without bottoming out on final gravities.
There's always EasyDens.

Sent from my SM-G981U1 using Tapatalk

Title: Re: Perfect Pils - Classic German
Post by: Bel Air Brewing on November 25, 2021, 11:47:13 am
Are you willing to share you hop schedule?

Of course! For a 10 gallon batch.

Amount   
2.50 oz    Tettnanger US.  Leaf/Whole   5.9   Boil   90 min   26.11   45.5%
3 oz            Mittelfruh      Leaf/Whole   3.75   Boil   10 min   6.75   54.5%



Title: Re: Perfect Pils - Classic German
Post by: fredthecat on November 25, 2021, 11:51:04 am
https://www.bjcp.org/style/2015/5/5D/german-pils/

out of specs for OG and FG, and despite the BJCP ranging from "22 to 40" IBU. I cannot recall having a ger pils i would differentiate from a german basic pale lager/"helles" with anything less than mid 30s IBU. im aiming for 45 IBU with a IBU:OG ratio of 0.89 for the one im about to do.

Title: Re: Perfect Pils - Classic German
Post by: Bel Air Brewing on November 25, 2021, 11:56:44 am
https://www.bjcp.org/style/2015/5/5D/german-pils/

out of specs for OG and FG, and despite the BJCP ranging from "22 to 40" IBU. I cannot recall having a ger pils i would differentiate from a german basic pale lager/"helles" with anything less than mid 30s IBU. im aiming for 45 IBU with a IBU:OG ratio of 0.89 for the one im about to do.

From BJCP =

Vital Statistics
IBUs    25 – 45
SRM    2 – 5
OG    1.044 – 1.050
FG    1.008 – 1.013
ABV    4.4 – 5.2%

Note above, IBU’s 32.

Yes…I totally blew it on the FG, coming in way high at 1.014.
Title: Re: Perfect Pils - Classic German
Post by: tommymorris on November 25, 2021, 12:00:03 pm
https://www.bjcp.org/style/2015/5/5D/german-pils/

out of specs for OG and FG, and despite the BJCP ranging from "22 to 40" IBU. I cannot recall having a ger pils i would differentiate from a german basic pale lager/"helles" with anything less than mid 30s IBU. im aiming for 45 IBU with a IBU:OG ratio of 0.89 for the one im about to do.
Specs are numbers. Taste is whole other thing.
Title: Re: Perfect Pils - Classic German
Post by: tommymorris on November 25, 2021, 12:00:26 pm
https://www.bjcp.org/style/2015/5/5D/german-pils/

out of specs for OG and FG, and despite the BJCP ranging from "22 to 40" IBU. I cannot recall having a ger pils i would differentiate from a german basic pale lager/"helles" with anything less than mid 30s IBU. im aiming for 45 IBU with a IBU:OG ratio of 0.89 for the one im about to do.

From BJCP =

Vital Statistics
IBUs    25 – 45
SRM    2 – 5
OG    1.044 – 1.050
FG    1.008 – 1.013
ABV    4.4 – 5.2%

Note above, IBU’s 32.
Thanks!
Title: Re: Perfect Pils - Classic German
Post by: nateo on November 25, 2021, 12:11:32 pm
Agreed on bumping up the ibus vs a Helles. Prost in Denver makes one of my favorite pilsners. They were 43ibu for a long time but they've dialed it back to 35 recently.
Title: Re: Perfect Pils - Classic German
Post by: Bel Air Brewing on November 25, 2021, 12:24:44 pm
Munich Helles
BJCP Guideline
IBU = 16 to 22
Title: Re: Perfect Pils - Classic German
Post by: denny on November 25, 2021, 12:45:35 pm
IMO, BJCP guidelines only matter for comps
Title: Re: Perfect Pils - Classic German
Post by: Bel Air Brewing on November 25, 2021, 12:59:48 pm
IMO, BJCP guidelines only matter for comps

And this beer was brewed specifically for competition.
Title: Re: Perfect Pils - Classic German
Post by: ynotbrusum on November 25, 2021, 01:03:16 pm
IMO, BJCP guidelines only matter for comps

And even then, I have never heard a judge ding anyone when they don’t have access to the vitals on a beer such as Pilsner or Helles.  And as to the OP’s grist - for sure on mixing it up.   I jut brewed a Pils with Best Pils and Proximity Base malt that a friend called my best German Pils.  I’ve done the same on Helles - using Wyermann Barke and Continental 2 row Pale malt - with great results.  A bit more character than one malt gives.  Best of luck with your prospective entry!
Title: Re: Perfect Pils - Classic German
Post by: Bel Air Brewing on November 25, 2021, 01:32:18 pm
Thanks! Going to brew this again, but with water adjustments…oh no!
The plan is to enter both in an upcoming competition.

Here is the mash schedule, for those interested:

140-144 30 minute rest.
154-156 30 minute rest.
162        30 minute rest.

Mash out at 170 F.
Title: Re: Perfect Pils - Classic German
Post by: Bel Air Brewing on November 26, 2021, 08:22:40 am
IMO, BJCP guidelines only matter for comps

As we most often brew to a certain style and category of beer, the BJCP guidelines are very useful in achieving our goal.

I am no longer at a point in my brewing hobby where just "winging it" is an option.

In the end, it is all about flavor. If we hit the correct numbers, odds are we will hit the flavor profile we are seeking.
Title: Re: Perfect Pils - Classic German
Post by: goose on November 26, 2021, 08:54:26 am
Just to add to this thread on BJCP Guidelines.  I normally try to get close to the suggested ranges when I brew various styles of beer.  However, I made an American Brown Ale that was higher in OG, IBU's and ABV than  the guidelines state.   It tasted really amazing so I entered it in a recent competition.  It won a gold medal with a score of 43 even though it was a bit big for the style.  Aroma, taste, and mouthfeel are what made that beer a winner.  Pushing the style guidelines a bit is not always a bad thing!
Title: Re: Perfect Pils - Classic German
Post by: Saccharomyces on November 26, 2021, 01:13:40 pm
IMO, BJCP guidelines only matter for comps

Not to mention that most winning beers are brewed to the upper edge of the range!  Anyone who has judged a contest can relate to the fatigue that sets in while judging large flights.  More often than not, the biggest beer with no other technical flaws wins.
Title: Re: Perfect Pils - Classic German
Post by: Bel Air Brewing on November 26, 2021, 02:20:43 pm
IMO, BJCP guidelines only matter for comps

Not to mention that most winning beers are brewed to the upper edge of the range!  Anyone who has judged a contest can relate to the fatigue that sets in while judging large flights.  More often than not, the biggest beer with no other technical flaws wins.

That is a sad truth. Equally good, and correct-to-style beers, will be pushed aside for the one that is over the top.
Title: Re: Perfect Pils - Classic German
Post by: denny on November 26, 2021, 02:51:16 pm
IMO, BJCP guidelines only matter for comps

Not to mention that most winning beers are brewed to the upper edge of the range!  Anyone who has judged a contest can relate to the fatigue that sets in while judging large flights.  More often than not, the biggest beer with no other technical flaws wins.

That is a sad truth. Equally good, and correct-to-style beers, will be pushed aside for the one that is over the top.

Sometimes, but not always by any means
Title: Re: Perfect Pils - Classic German
Post by: Bel Air Brewing on November 26, 2021, 02:55:19 pm
IMO, BJCP guidelines only matter for comps

Not to mention that most winning beers are brewed to the upper edge of the range!  Anyone who has judged a contest can relate to the fatigue that sets in while judging large flights.  More often than not, the biggest beer with no other technical flaws wins.

That is a sad truth. Equally good, and correct-to-style beers, will be pushed aside for the one that is over the top.

Sometimes, but not always by any means

That is my experience. The beers we medaled with this year were right down the middle of the road. In fact, I did not care for my Munich Helles, but my friend insisted that it be entered. Glad I listened to him!
Title: Re: Perfect Pils - Classic German
Post by: Saccharomyces on November 26, 2021, 07:03:15 pm

Sometimes, but not always by any means

The problem with most competitions is that they struggle to find enough ranked judges, which results in large flights and fatigue. That is one of the reasons I stopped judging. My tastebuds were often blown out by the end of a flight.
Title: Re: Perfect Pils - Classic German
Post by: Bel Air Brewing on November 27, 2021, 08:12:18 am

Sometimes, but not always by any means

The problem with most competitions is that they struggle to find enough ranked judges, which results in large flights and fatigue. That is one of the reasons I stopped judging. My tastebuds were often blown out by the end of a flight.

Last time each of our beers had one BJCP certified judge, and one trained novice. They are already asking for volunteers for next February.

Having a drink of RO water (between tastes) will cleanse the palate, making for a better experience when switching from beer to beer.
Title: Re: Perfect Pils - Classic German
Post by: Saccharomyces on November 29, 2021, 02:54:37 pm
Last time each of our beers had one BJCP certified judge, and one trained novice. They are already asking for volunteers for next February.

Having a drink of RO water (between tastes) will cleanse the palate, making for a better experience when switching from beer to beer.

Trust me, that approach does not work on a flight of 14+ IPAs and DIPAs, nothing works.