I am having trouble brewing a Bo Pils that tastes anything like a Pilsner Urquell.
My darker lagers (Vienna Lagers, Oktoberfests, Schwarzbiers) have worked well, & taste close to what they should, and have placed (and won) in some local contests. Even my most recent Helles (brewed to Kai’s Edel Hell recipe) was very nice and quite close to Hacker-Pschorr Munich Gold in a side-by-side tasting.
So I think my process is good for lagers in general, but obviously I’m missing something, because I can’t get a nice crisp Urquell-ish beer. Urquell has way better hop aroma, flavor and bitterness. It just tastes like it has more “pop and zing”. Mine is a nice smooth lager but lacks the bite of the Urquell. Mine actually tastes pretty close to a canned Heineken, oddly enough. Mine is also a lighter pale yellow compared to Urquell’s rich gold. My buddies all love it (reminds them of Heineken, I guess ) but it disappoints me.
Here is my 10 gallon recipe: (scaled from Jamil’s book)
18.80 lbs Best Malz Pils
1.15 lbs Weyermann CaraPils
0.20 lbs Acidulated Malt (this is 1% of the total grain bill)
Single infusion mash at 155F for 90mins. For mash and sparge, I used 100% distilled water with additions of gypsum, Epsom salts, and CaCl2 to get the following profile: 58ppm Ca, 8ppm Mg, 0ppm Na, 89ppm SO4, 63ppm Cl, RA of -47.
My mash pH was 5.2 to 5.3 (I was still figuring out my new Milwaukee meter but I am confident this is a decent reading). Collected 16gals to boil down to 11gals.
Did a 60min boil with Saaz additions at 60min (2.20oz), 30min (3.00oz), 10min (1.50oz) and flameout (1.50oz). 60min addition was 5.5% AA, the rest were 4.0% AA. Hops were all pellets, tossed loose into the boil.
Used a huge immersion chiller to get all 11 gals of wort below 100F in 3.5mins. So I’m confident I shut down pretty much all DMS/SMM stuff (not sure I have all the acronyms correct) and captured that late hop flavor and aroma. Entire batch chilled to 48F in 11mins. OG of 1.059. Possibly I boiled it down a little too hard here, 1.055 was what I was shooting for.
Pitched 22 grams of dry S-189 yeast into each 5 gal fermenter at 48F. Fermentation was active within 28hrs (good airlock activity). Fermented at 48F-50F for 23 days. Then raised temp to 65F for 48hrs (a maturation or diacetyl rest), then crash cooled at 34F for 48hrs, then racked into kegs, and lagered under 10psi CO2 for 5wks, at 34F. FG of 1.014.
One possible thing is that I was travelling between day 10 and day 23 of fermentation, and there was no visible airlock activity when I got back, so it’s possible that the yeast was done prior to that, and that the maturation rest didn’t really do anything if the yeast was done…
Any obvious flaws in this thing? Or subtle hints for next time?
Thanks (and sorry for the long post)