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Courtesy of Brendan McGivney, chief operating officer of Odell Brewing in Fort Collins, Colorado, here is a homebrew-scale recipe for their modern take on pilsner, featuring newly developed hop varieties. It features “an assertive yet clean bitterness to balance the rounded maltiness,” McGivney says. “A refreshing brewer’s beer!”
For more on these new varieties and others, see These Hops Were Made for Lager.
Batch size: 5 gallons (19 liters)
Brewhouse efficiency: 72%
8.8 lb (4 kg) pilsner malt
0.3 oz (9 g) Lórien at first wort [6 IBUs]
0.2 oz (6 g) Lórien at 45 minutes [4 IBUs]
0.3 oz (9 g) HBC 1134 at 15 minutes [8 IBUs]
1.1 oz (31 g) HBC 1134 at whirlpool [7 IBUs]
Wyeast 2247-PC European Lager or other clean lager yeast
Mill the grains. Mash in at 110°F (43°C), rest 10 minutes; raise to 122°F (50°C), rest 15 minutes; raise to 140°F (60°C), rest 15 minutes; raise to 150°F (66°C), rest 20 minutes; then raise to 168°F (76°C) and mash out. (Alternatively, you can do a single-infusion mash at 150°F/66°C for 45 minutes.) Recirculate until the runnings are clear, then run off into the kettle. Sparge and top up as necessary to get about 6.5 gallons (25 liters) of wort, depending on your evaporation rate. Boil for 90 minutes, adding hops according to the schedule. After the boil, do a whirlpool step: Stir for 5 minutes to create a vortex, then add hops and steep 15 minutes. Chill to 55°F (13°C), aerate well, and pitch plenty of healthy yeast. Ferment at 57°F (14°C) for 1 day, then drop to 55°F (13°C). When fermentation is complete and the gravity has been stable for at least 3 days, crash to 32°F (0°C) and lager for 4 weeks, then rack, package, and carbonate.
Mash pH: We adjust using a homegrown lactic culture, but you can use food-grade lactic acid and/or brewing salts to keep runoff below 5.6, targeting 5.1–5.2 in the kettle.
Water profile: Our chloride-to-sulfate ratio for this beer is 3:1.
HBC 1134: This is an experimental hop, not yet available on the market. However, its typical alpha acids and floral-spicy-lemon character are not unlike Aramis—or substitute another new hop you want to try.