11 July 2015

posted by benjy edwards

It has been a couple of months since the last brew, and we have accumulated quite a few empty kegs, so it is time to make beer again.  I was quite pleased with how my first lager turned out, and since it’s been going quickly, I wanted to brew more, but without the added work and time of using a lager yeast, so this batch is a hybrid of sorts.  Basically it is the Bohemian Pils recipe but fermented with our house strain of ale yeast, the Fuller’s (Wyeast 1968).

Some may be horrified by the notion of trying to make a lager with ale yeast, but I think it is worth a try.  The initial idea came from a brewer on SoCal, Noble Ale Works, who brew their “Pilsnear” with the Chico ale strain.  As they have said, there are many brewpubs around the US that make what they call a lager or pilsner, but use their house ale strain.  Noble doesn’t pretend that their beer is a lager, though, so in that vein I will call this an ale.

The mash was 97.5% Best pilsner and 2.5% acidulated malt, just as with the Bo Pils we made.  I wanted to use entirely Saaz, but we didn’t have enough, so bittering was done with Sterling and the last aroma addition at 5 minutes left in boil was also Sterling.  The rest of the flavour and aroma additions were Saaz.  I will probably dry hop with Sterling as well, though perhaps only one keg, and not dry hop the other.

To keep the esters down as much as possible, we fermented for the first 48 hours at the bottom of the recommended temperature range for this yeast, 64F, then ramped up to ensure attenuation and diacetyl reduction.  Although it is an ale strain, thus no need to lager, I am giving it two weeks in the primary.  Original gravity ended up at 1.048, and it should be around 50 IBU.  Next up will likely be some cask beer.