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Brews & Views Bulletin Board Service * Brews and Views Archive 2008 * Archive through January 07, 2008 * Pilsner Urquell Clone ?? < Previous Next >

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Ron Siddall
Advanced Member
Username: El_cid

Post Number: 514
Registered: 12-2005
Posted From: 198.135.241.18
Posted on Thursday, December 20, 2007 - 05:03 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I was reading about Pilsner Urquell and their mashing techniques and found two different mash temps as follows:

- BT 1997 in an article by Peter Ensminger says a temp of 143 F

- BYO 2000 in an article by Mikoli Weaver says a temp of 149 F

Quite a difference there.

The reason I point this out is that I was going to make this style at two different mash temps.

The first was going to be a batch at 155 F like Jack Schmidling does and the other at the 143 F temp as outlined in the BT article.

However, the article in BYO has thrown my 143 F temp into question.

Any thoughts?

I do not want to do three different batchs at three different temps at this point in time.

Thanks.
 

Chumley
Senior Member
Username: Chumley

Post Number: 5205
Registered: 02-2003
Posted From: 63.118.227.254
Posted on Thursday, December 20, 2007 - 05:44 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hmmm...given that Pilsner Urquell is triple decocted, I would think I would step mash. Maybe 143°F for 45 min, raise to 155°F for another 45 min? Then for a second batch, try 149°F for 90 min.

From PU's website:

Pilsner Urquell gets its unique flavor from triple decoction.

Triple decoction is what makes the Pilsner Urquell brewing process different from all others. It is based on principles developed over a hundred years ago and is at the heart of our beer's taste characteristics.

Triple decoction is a crucial step during the second brewing phase called mashing. Malted barley grains are taken from the malthouse, crushed and prepared in a 'mash' made of malt and the soft water characteristic of Pilsner Urquell. Part of the mash is separated from the whole and heated in copper pans before being returned to the main mash.

Triple decoction
While other brewers heat the mash only once, or twice at most, Pilsner Urquell is the only beer to be brewed by heating the mash three times - a process known as 'triple decoction'. Complex, slow and costly we insist on retaining this process, which Josef Groll introduced in 1842. It is crucial in maintaining Pilsner Urquell's unique aromatic flavor and unique softness.

Open flame heating
We insist on direct flame, or "fire-brewing", during decoction, whilst most brewers employ electric or steam-coiled heating devices. This helps develop the golden color, the toasted grain bouquet and the balanced caramel flavor which distinguishes Pilsner Urquell from all other beers.

Noble wort hopping
The mixture of malt and water, known as the sweet wort, is separated from the spent grains and moved to the brew kettle. It is here that the noble Saaz hops are added to create hop wort. This is also boiled three separate times to extract Pilsner Urquell’s distinctive hoppy flavor.
 

Ron Siddall
Advanced Member
Username: El_cid

Post Number: 515
Registered: 12-2005
Posted From: 198.135.241.18
Posted on Thursday, December 20, 2007 - 06:50 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Chumley, they do tripple decoction but they go from Acid Rest to Protein Rest (127F), from Protein Rest to Starch Coversion (143F) and from Starch to Mash Out (163).

I am using well modified malt so the decoctions from acid to protein are not needed. Just infuse to the conversion temp.

I am not trying for an exact clone. Rather I want to test the affect of a lower mashing temp versus the 155F that Jack uses. I am just trying to decide which lower temp to use.
 

Chris Colby
Advanced Member
Username: Chriscolby

Post Number: 501
Registered: 03-2003
Posted From: 66.68.184.29
Posted on Thursday, December 20, 2007 - 08:00 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hey Ron,
If I recall correctly, Pilsner Urquell malts their own grain. They then do a triple decoction on this (presumably undermodified) malt. As per their website quoted above, they use a direct fired decoction vessel, where they imply that some color is developed. (They also say their wort is boiled three separate times, whatever that means.)

To try to mimic all this with a single infusion mash, I would add a little dose of a "malty malt" (such as Vienna or Munich) -- and maybe even a hint of caramel malt or CaraPils -- along with the Pilsner base malt and mash somewhere in the 148-152 °F range. (We have a clone along these lines in BYO's "150 Classic Clones" book.)

A single infusion mash of Pilsner malt and a smidgen of other malts is not going to exactly replicate the flavor of "thermally abused" undermodified malt, but it does make a pretty decent clone.

PS Sterling is fairly good Saaz substitute.


Chris Colby (Editor BYO)
Bastrop, TX
 

Brewzz
Intermediate Member
Username: Brewzz

Post Number: 384
Registered: 03-2003
Posted From: 70.112.116.217
Posted on Friday, December 21, 2007 - 12:02 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hey Chris,you're finally an Advanced Member.....
 

Steve Ruch
Member
Username: Rookie

Post Number: 166
Registered: 03-2003
Posted From: 209.240.206.210
Posted on Saturday, December 22, 2007 - 03:56 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

PS Sterling is fairly good Saaz substitute.
Chris Colby (Editor BYO)


I wholeheartedly agree. I have sterlngs growing in my backyard mainly to use in pilsner.
 

pilznbeenthere
Junior Member
Username: Pilznbeenthere

Post Number: 32
Registered: 12-2002
Posted From: 71.92.119.178
Posted on Tuesday, December 25, 2007 - 12:40 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

If you ever get the chance to visit Pilzn, by all means go. It isn't your usual brew tour.

What I have found useful in getting close to PU is:

1. Single decoction. I'm lazy, but it does help add color and maltiness.

2. Cool ferments (46-48 deg F. would be ideal)

3. Don't worry about diacetyl.

4. Saaz!

4. Most important thing...soft water. I don't have RO, but do have a local inexpensive distilled water outlet. So for 10 gallon brewdays, will purchase 15 gallons of distilled water, and typically add 3 gallons of my (ph 8.5) water to the boiler after the mash is begun.

Is it perfect? No, but it's darn close. And in the land of IPA, I take great pride in my Pils, with lessons learned from all of you, over the years.
 

Tex Brewer
Member
Username: Texbrewer

Post Number: 230
Registered: 03-2004
Posted From: 216.203.59.252
Posted on Monday, December 31, 2007 - 07:08 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

pilzn,
1. When you say single decoction, is that 122 - 150, or 150 - 170 (mash out)?

2. Why ferment so cool? I have WY22278 Czech Pils and they recommend 50-58, noting that sulfur production is reduced at the higher temps.

3. Why not worry about diacetyl? It's no problem to bring the temp up at the end for a D-rest.

How long do you recommend for primary fermentation? 14 days? How long at secondary and what temp? 6 weeks @ 34 deg.?
 

pilznbeenthere
Junior Member
Username: Pilznbeenthere

Post Number: 35
Registered: 12-2002
Posted From: 71.92.108.196
Posted on Monday, January 07, 2008 - 01:16 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Sorry for the delay.

I typically mash in at 122, bump to 140 for 10 min, 156 for 1 hr...then remove 1/2 of grain for simple 20 minute decoction (heat to boil for 20 min, no temp ramps). Then return to main kettle, let rest for 30 minutes, raise to 165,sparge.

I use the WL yeasts, they all seem to love 46-48, especially when using the yeast cake. Also, I live in the desert. Which means my garage is 90 deg in summer. Have a nice chest freezer, but why fight mother nature. I brew my lagers in the fall, lager over the winter.

One of the original thoughts on good beer was that if your pants stuck to the bench, it was good (paraphrasing). Think that interpretation meant leaving some residual sugar, as opposed to letting the yeast ferment to complete dryness. That seems to by my preference, as well. So, what I do is ferment slow, then transfer to secondary at about 1.015, then lager. This takes about 10-13 days to ferment. Lager 2-3 months, the colder the better, 32-34 deg. You will have an extremely clean, clear beer this way.

I'm not the diacetyl expert. However,
it's my understanding a hint of diacetyl is actually a desirable feature in PU. Correct me if I'm wrong. Regardless, my readings suggest long, cool lagering will take care of this, anyway. It's hard to make up for a nice long lagering time.

That said, I'm no expert. It's just what I like, and most likely not what the beer judge would appreciate. If I didn't quote Noonan correctly,...Don't Taz me, bro.