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Keith Ciani of Olympia, WA, member of the South Sound Suds Society, won a gold medal in Category #2: Pilsner during the 2015 National Homebrew Competition Final Round in San Diego, CA. Ciani’s Pilsner was chosen as the best among 193 final round entries in the category.

To see other winning homebrew recipes from the 2015 National Homebrew Competition, visit our archive of National Homebrew Competition winners.

Gold | German Pilsner (Pils)


  • For 10 Gallons
    • 20.0 lb (9.07 kg) Pilsner malt
    • 6.0 oz (170 g) whole Hallertau, 3.4% a.a. (90 min)
    • 1.5 oz (42 g) whole Hallertau, 3.4% a.a. (15 min)
    • 1.5 oz (42 g) whole Hallertau, 3.4% a.a. (1 min)
    • White Labs WLP830 German Lager yeast (starter)
    • 2 tablets Servomyces
    • 2 tablets Whirlfloc
    • Untreated Olympia artesian well water—“It’s the water!”


    • Original Gravity: 1.054
    • Final Gravity: 1.010
    • ABV: 5.78%
    • SRM: 3.5


    Use a decoction mash schedule with an initial rest at 147°F (64°C) for 90 minutes. Pull 15 quarts thick mash, with five minute rests at 148°F (64°C) and 158°F (70°C). Boil thick mash for 10 minutes and remix to achieve mashout at 170°F (77°C).

    Primary fermentation for 27 days at 52°F (11°C).

    Extract Option

    Want to convert this all-grain recipe to extract or partial mash? Check out these 3 simple steps to convert homebrew recipes.