Tag Archives: lager beer

Pilsner Brew Day

I brewed my Pilsner last Saturday, just as the snow ended. The snow setting made brewing a real treat compared to the normal blustery winter brew day. The recipe for this beer was pretty simple and the grain crush went quickly. Even though it was cold out, my mash water heated up quickly. My goal was to use a high water to grain ratio at low temperatures to get as much sugar out of the grain as possible, I ended up putting four gallons of water into ten pounds of grain. This gave me a 1.6:1 quart to pound of grain ratio. Typically this ratio is closer to 1.25:1. I have been doing these higher ratios recently and I have found that my efficiency has gone up, so I’m sticking with it.

I mashed for 90 minutes hitting my target of 151 °F through the whole mash. I then added my strike water at 175°F and let the whole thing rest for another ten minutes. Once everything was completed I began my boil. I went for a 75 minute boil this time around as I collected a bit more wort than I was anticipating. I added my whole leaf Hallertau hops at 60 minutes as you can see below.

I rarely use whole leaf hops, but they look awesome in the beer. For the next 45 minutes I read my book while waiting for the next hop addition. At 15 minutes I added the Sterling hops (pellets), my wort chiller, and the Irish moss. At 10 minutes I added a yeast nutrient that I have had good success with. Come fame out I turned on the wort chiller water. At this time I also begin transferring a different lager beer from the fermentor to the keg. Doing two things at once is nice, but also hectic.

I had to switch between checking on the beer transfer and stirring the wort to help it cool more quickly. As the completed beer finished its transfer, I put the airlock back on the fermentor in order to protect the yeast cake from the air. The wort cooled down to 60 °F in about 20 minutes and I decided to put it in the fermentor. The whole leaf hops tried to clog my auto-siphon but they did not succeed. After all of the wort was in the fermentor I shook it up to make sure that the yeast mixed with the beer and to make sure that it was properly oxygenated.

My target goal of 1.053 was hit dead on. I really love hitting my goals and I am going to continue to do a looser mash and longer mash time as the success that I have had with it continues to impress. Within six hours this beer was producing bubbles in the airlock. I plan on leaving it in my basement for a month at 55 °F. From there I will keg it and lager it at colder temperatures for two to four weeks. I’ll let you know how it turns out when I transfer it over to the keg. Continue reading

Beer Review #136 Samuel Smith’s Pure Brewed Lager Beer

I haven’t reviewed a lager on this is in a long time, like over 3 months long time. Today’s beer review obviously comes from Samuel Smith. The official name of Samuel Smith is Samuel Smith Old Brewery, but I like to just keep it short. Kind of like how we don’t call Sam Adams Boston Beer, we call it Sam Adams or even Sam. I actually really enjoy a quality lager and when I saw this Samuel Smith brew in their unmistakable bottles, I knew that I had to get it.

This lager pours a nice blond color, almost resembling a cheap Light American Lager. It is perfectly clear and has a thin white head. The nose is somewhat underwhelming. There is some sweetness, but not much to separate it from the style of beer previously mentioned. I have to admit that I didn’t have high hopes for this one after the first few sniffs.

Luckily the nose of the beer doesn’t portray everything that a beer is. There is some upfront honey-like sweetness that was light, but well placed. A nice biscuity finish comes in to really add some complexity to the flavor profile. The hops, which could not be found on the nose, were really nice. They were some type of noble hop variety but I couldn’t put my finger on which one.

This is one of those beers that proves that first impressions are not always correct. While it isn’t a crazy or exciting beer, it is solid in every respect. I will stand by my saying that Samuel Smith does not make a bad beer, although I’m scared to try their fruit beers. I really think this is one of those beers that is great for someone new to craft beer. It offers more than a “normal” beer but not too much. Continue reading