Bryan Brews A Pilsner

I know a lot of what I blog about is weird/experimental beers, often brewed with weird organisms. But once in a while I do brew something normal. Like this German-style Pilsner that I am currently enjoying. Dry, crisp and refreshing, but with a little more in the “undercarriage” than you’d get with a light American lager. Also a dead-simple beer to brew, and utterly enjoyable in the heat of early summer. I’ve named this recipe after my favorite episode of the X-Files – Season 2, Episode 14 Die Hand Die Verletzt. Classic X-files “monster of the week” format, before they went all weird. As to why I named this beer after this episode…I was watching it while I created the recipe.

Recipe – Die Hand Die Verletzt Pilsner

Yep, this Pilsner is a SMaSH (single-malt and single-hop) beer, making it dead-easy to brew.

Stats:

  • Volume: 20 L
  • IBU: 30
  • SRM: 3
  • OG: 1.049
  • FG: 1.010
  • ABV: 4.7%

Ingredients:

AmountIngredient%/IBU
4.75 kgPilsner Malt100%
55 gHallertauer Mittelfrueh, 4.40%, 60 min27.2 IBU
15 gHallertauer Mittelfrueh, 4.40%, 10 min2.4 IBU
15 gHallertauer Mittelfrueh, 4.40%, 0 min0 IBU
1 packetW-34/70 Saflager yeast

Brewing:

  1. Water was adjusted to 60 PPM Calcium, 100 PPM Sulfate, 45 PPM Chloride.
  2. Beer was mashed for 75 min at 65.0 C, and sparged to collect 32.5 L of pre-boil wort.
  3. Wort was boiled for 60 min, with Hallertauer Mittelfrueh added at 60 min, 15 min, and at flame-out. Whirflock was added alongside the 15 min hop addition.
  4. After the boil the wort was chilled to cellar temperature (~15 C) and the yeast pitched.
  5. The beer was fermented for 5 weeks at cellar temperature (15 C), swapping the blow-off tube for an airlock after ~1 week of fermentation.
  6. The beer was kegged and carbonated at 30 PSI for 24 hours, for ~2.4 volumes of CO2.

Tasting Notes – Die Hand Die Verletzt Pilsner

Die Hand Die Verletzt Pilsner in a glass
Die Hand Die Verletzt Pilsner In a “Glass”. Note, the haze is condensation – the beer is crystal clear!

Appearance: This beer pours pale straw in colour, effervescent, and with a creamy white head.

Aroma: Smells like beer – barley and traditional Germanic hops.

Flavour: Simple, crisp and clean. The main feature is a simple but full white-bread like malt note. The hop bitterness is present, but not as prominent as I would have preferred. The hop character is likewise present, but also subdued – earthy, herbal, and with a finish bordering on floral. The aftertaste is a bit of malt sweetness with hints of hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Dry, crisp and easily drinkable.

Overall: I will admit that while the malt-note is on-point, the hop character is not as strong as I had hoped for. This is closer to a helles, or even a light American lager (sans adjuncts) than a Bitburger or Lowenbrau. I would rebrew this recipe, but instead of doing SMaSH, I’d bitter with Warrior to 35-40 IBU, and increase the flavour and aroma hop additions by 5 to 10 g. That said, a major goal with this beer was to have a lower-ABV, easily drinkable beer for the early hot days of summer, and this beer fits that goal quite nicely.

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