Friday, July 8, 2016

NY Pils Hydrometer Reading and Sample Notes

This is a quick note on the Pilsner I've written in the last two posts here and here.

I used a new Fermentis yeast I haven't used before to ferment this beer Saflager S-189. I'm using my standard quick lagering method which I stole from Tasty McDole and Brulosphy and which I've found to work great. I started the beer fermenting at 53F for three days then started ramping the temp up about 4F every 12 hours until the temp hit 68F to perform a diacetyl rest and clean up any off flavors. I've found this step can take 4-6 days depending on the lager yeast and original fermentation temperature. I prefer to ferment lagers at 50F but the package said min was 53 for this yeast.

After a day of sitting at 68F I checked gravity. To my surprise the beer had already fermented completely after only 5 days. While this isn't uncommon for an ale I've had different results with lagers. Usually when I use this method the beer is about half fermented or less after 3 days. I'm not sure if this is a result of fermenting a few degrees higher than I normally would or if its the S-189 yeast. I guess I'll have to brew with this yeast a few more times and try my standard German lager yeast at 54 to find out.

I also tasted the samples at this point expecting diacetyl and maybe sulfur but I had another surprise. The beer was as clean as could be already. I had my wife double check this and she couldn't find any off flavors either. I plan on double checking this tonight and if it's still clean I'll be crashing to 32 for 7 days then packaging.

There are a couple other things that surprised me with this beer. On is that the grain bill is about 25% Munich but it was not overly caramel-y or biscuit-y. It was very smooth without any flavor smacking you in the face, nice for a Pilsner. The other is that even though I had a lot of late hop additions in this beer the hops are barely noticeable. The beer is balanced but not hoppy. In fact I'm consider dry hopping it just to get some more hop presence in the beer.

I guess this is making a good point for trying new things like dumping Munich into a Pilsner and using a yeasts you haven't used before. It's all about data collection and experience :). I'll post tasting notes in a couple of weeks.

On another note the hops are coming along. Cascade, Mt. Hood, Chinook, Liberty, Perle, Centennial.