I’ve got a bunch of lager recipes lined up for this year, and having very little experience with lagers, I thought brewing a SMaSH lager would be a good place to start.
This recipe is directly inspired by Urban Chestnut’s Hop Switch Pils. http://urbanchestnut.com/our-beers/hopswitch-pils-hersbrucker/
I’ve been very impressed with those beers every time I’ve had them. Hop Switch is a German Pilsner, but single hopped with a noble hop.
I was debating in my mind on whether to use a Pilsen style water (ie something very soft), or a Pale Ale style water. So I emailed the Brewmaster at Urban Chestnut, Florian Kuplent, asking about what they’re doing with their water profile. Here’s his response:
“We just add a little bit of lactic acid and calcium chloride to the mash and wort but don’t do any other water treatments. Water here in St. Louis is pretty good for brewing. I would target a mash pH of 5.4 and a wort pH of 5.2”
Big thanks to Florian. I looked up what the water is in St. Louis and found this 2016 report:
I’m going to build up from DI water as always, and make some slight modifications to the above profile. The Magnesium and Sodium levels are a little high for my taste, so I’ll tone those down a little bit. With an addition of Calcium Chloride to the profile above, I think I’m aiming for around 50 in both Calcium and Chloride, which is OK, and gets me Cl:SO4 ratio of 50:130. Here’s the resulting target profile:
Salt additions for that:
|Lactic Acid (88%)||2.0g|
Mash pH target: 5.33
Now to the recipe:
|Method||Style||Boil Size||Batch Size||Efficiency|
|BIAB||Hoppy German Pils||3 gal||2.5 gal||70%|
|14º P||2.3º P||6.45%||32.36||3.44|
|5 lbs||Weyermann Pilsner|
|100g||Pilsen DME (1 liter starter)|
I decided to take away ALL boil hop additions. My initial thought was to boil 4oz of hops, 1oz each at 60, 15, 5, and 0 min, but now I’ve decided to throw in all 4oz of hops in the whirlpool instead.
|4 oz||Mittelfrüh (2.7% AA)||Whirlpool 15 min @ 200ºF||32.36 IBUs|
|1 oz||Mittelfrüh (2.7% AA)||Dry Hop for 4 days|
|1 oz||Mittelfrüh (2.7% AA)||Dry Hop for 2 days|
Fermentis Saflager S-23, built on a 1 liter starter, and pitched into wort at 55ºF.
I’m choosing this yeast over W-34/70, WLP800, and WLP830 for two reasons. One, I like the way it attenuates, and two, I’ve pitched this yeast once in the past into an IPA recipe and really enjoyed how clean of a beer it produced.
Brewing my first beer in my new house today, and got my brew shelf all set up.
As usual, I am going to mash at 150ºF for 90 min… Hit my temperature spot on.
Temperature during the mashing process jumped up to 154 with the lid on, which I don’t foresee as being an issue.
I only had to sparge 3 quarts through the grains with an ample amount of bag squeezing.
My efficiencies are higher than I anticipated, probably because I didn’t need to add the fourth quart of sparge water while still hitting my volumes. The preboil gravity was overshot and hit ~12.4ºP.
Zero hop additions are going into the boil, I’m saving all hop additions for the whirlpool. Four 1oz bags ended up being 3.99oz.
These were whirlpooled on the hot side for 15 min after the boil.
Gravity readings were taken:
Ending Kettle (hot): 17º P of 9 qt wort
Ending Kettle (cooled): 16.4º P of 9 qt wort
When the beer was fully cooled down, it was filtered through a nylon bag going into the fermenter.
I pitched my 1 liter starter into the fermenter, and a final gravity reading was taken.
Brew Day Complete: 15.7ºP of ~10 qt wort
I carried the fermenter to my chest freezer, where it will ferment at 55ºF.
I ramped fermentation temperature as I noticed the carboy slowing down, and within a day of increased temperatures, it looks like fermentation has finished. I’m going to let it rest at the higher temperature for a couple days to get a full 7 days of fermentation, and then begin a short lagering period.
I got around to bottling this beer after a short lagering period.
Very leafy dry hops floating in the bottom.
8 liters total were packaged into four 1 liter bottles, and eight 500ml bottles.
And the beer finished out close to 1.012.
The beer had a slight haze on it, and was a very pale yellow color.
And the final stat line on this beer….
|15.7º P||3.1º P||7.11%||32.36||3.44|