Recipe: Czech Plz!

Besides a hearty embrace of spicy Saaz hops, this partial-mash recipe for a Czech-style pilsner includes a method for pressurized fermentation in a corny keg.

Annie Johnson Oct 10, 2021 - 3 min read

Recipe: Czech Plz! Primary Image

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For more about brewing pilsner with extracts as well as fermenting lager under pressure using a spunding valve, see No Rests for the Wicked: Extracting the Elegance of No-Pressure Pilsner.


Batch size: 4.75 gallons (18 liters)
OG: 1.056
FG: 1.015
IBUs: 40
ABV: 5.2%

9 lb (4.1 kg) pilsner liquid malt extract (LME)
1 lb (454 g) Carapils

2 oz (57 g) Saaz at 60 minutes [19 IBUs]
2 oz (57 g) Saaz at 30 minutes [14 IBUs]
½ tsp (2.5 ml) Irish moss or ½ Whirlfloc tablet at 15 minutes
2 oz (57 g) Saaz at 10 minutes [7 IBUs]
1 oz (28 g) Saaz at flameout

Fermentis SafLager W-34/70, White Labs WLP833 German Bock Lager, or other lager strain of choice

Mix your usual brewing water 50/50 with distilled water to make 5 gallons (19 liters) and heat it to 154°F (68°C). Mill the Carapils and steep at 154°F (68°C) for 30 minutes. Turn off the heat, add the LME, and stir thoroughly. Boil for 70 minutes, adding hops and Irish moss or Whirlfloc according to the schedule. Chill to about 65°F (18°C) and transfer to a clean, sanitized corny keg. Fill to about 4.75 gallons (18 liters), aerate well, and pitch the yeast. Seal the keg, connect a spunding valve, and set it to 6 PSI. On Day 5 of fermentation, set the valve to 12 PSI. Transfer the finished beer to bottles or a clean keg and lager (i.e., chill) for at least 2 weeks before consuming.

Filling the keg not quite full (i.e., about 4.75 gallons/18 liters) allows some head space for the fermentation and spunding to work under pressure.

Annie Johnson is an experienced R&D brewer, IT specialist, and national beer judge. Her awards include 2013 American Homebrewer of the Year honors.