Pandora’s Pilsner

Pandora’s Pilsner

(5 gallons/19 L, partial mash)
OG = 1.050 FG = 1.012
IBU = 35 SRM = 6 ABV = 4.8%

1.75 lbs. (0.79 kg) light dried malt extract
3.75 lbs. (1.7 kg) Pilsner liquid malt extract (late addition)
1 lb. 4 oz. (0.57 kg) Pilsner malt
8.0 oz. (0.23 kg) acidulated malt
4.0 oz. (113 g) Carapils® malt
6 AAU Nothern Brewer hops (60 min.) (0.66 oz./19 g of 9% alpha acids)
1.3 AAU Saaz hops (20 min.) (0.37 oz./11 g of 3.5% alpha acids)
1.3 AAU Saaz hops (10 min.) (0.37 oz./11 g of 3.5% alpha acids)
0.25 oz. (7.1 g) Saaz hops (2 mins)
1 tsp. Irish moss
Wyeast 2124 (Bohemian Lager) or White Labs WLP830 (German Lager) yeast (3 qt./~3 L yeast starter)
7/8 cup corn sugar (for priming)

Step by Step
Place crushed grains in a nylon steeping bag. In a large kitchen pot, heat 3.0 qts. (2.8 L) of water to 164 °F (73 °C). Submerge grain bag in water and let steep at 153 °F (67 °C) for 45 minutes. (If temperature drops below 149 °F (65 °C), heat to 153 °F (67 °C) again.) While grains are steeping, heat 2.0 qts. (~2.0 L) of water to 168 °F (76 °C) in a sauce pan. Also, begin heating 2 gallons (7.6 L) of water to a boil in your brewpot. When steeping is done, place a colander over your brewpot and lift the grain bag into it. Pour the “grain tea” through the bag (which will strain out most of the grain bits), then rinse the bag with the 2.0 qts. (~2.0 L) of 168 °F (76 °C) water.

Heat the (roughly) 3 gallons (11 L) of wort in your brewpot to a boil, then stir in dried malt extract. (It will foam a bit, so don’t pour all the extract in at once.) Bring the wort back to a boil, add the first charge hops and boil for 60 minutes. Add first charge of Saaz hops with 20 minutes left in the boil. Add liquid malt extract and Irish moss with 15 minutes left in boil. Add second charge of Saaz with 10 minutes left in boil and add final charge with 2 minutes from the end of the boil.

After the boil, put a lid on your brewpot and cool the wort (either in a cold-water bath in your sink or with a wort chiller). Cool until the side of the brewpot feels distinctly cool to the touch. Transfer wort to your fermenter and top up to 5 gallons (19 L) with cool water. (It’s best if at least 1 gallon (3.8 L) of the topping up water has been refrigerated.) Aerate the wort and pitch your yeast. Ferment at 55 °F (13 °F). When fermentation slows, let temperature rise to 60 °F (15 °C). Hold at this temperature for two days, the dial the temperature down to 40 °F (4.4 °C) at the rate of about 4 °F (~2 °C) per day. Lager at this temperature for 3 weeks. Bottle with corn sugar (or keg).

Issue: September 2006

When Pandora opened her box, she released all the troubles of mankind — sorrow, despair, greed, crime, poverty and disease. Opening a Pandora’s Pilsner crams all that stuff back in the box . . . for about 30 minutes.