Saazam! | Homebrewed Bohemian Lager Recipe/Review
Here is the recipe for my first ever lager beer. Saazam! is a Bohemian style lager, and as the name suggests it is bursting at the seems with saaz. This one was relatively easy to name, as anyone in the know who trys it immediately exclaims "Saazam!".
This beer is not an innovation. It's not a taste sensation. It doesn't break the mold, it just tastes like a Bohemian lager. It's simplicity is exactly where the magic lays for this beer. For me I am just incredibly proud to have homebrewed an almost flawless lager on the first try.
If you are not aware, lagers can be a little finicky, in the fact that they ferment at low temperatures and the yeast is relatively sensitive to where the temperature stands. You also need to be able to change to higher temperatures in order to encourage the yeast to eat up some off flavors. Then crash it to super cold to finish up and lager. A pilsner is also supposed to be very simple, from a grain perspective, and there is not a lot to hide behind. A bit more complex then your average ale.
Style: Bohemian Pilsner
Batch Size: 30 Liters
FG: (at kegging) 1.010
(I try to give the exact recipe I used as well as percentages and IBUs for scalability)
6.6 kg Castle Pilsner Malt (94%)
400 g Weyerman Best Cara Pils (6%)
19 liters of water added
Mashed in at 70 C then held the mash at 65 C for 75 minutes (low and fermentable)
Batch sparged with about 33 liters of water to get a pre boil volume of 43 or so liters water
Boil time: 90 minutes (to help drive off DMS)
60 grams saaz (3.5 Alpha) @ 60 min [19 IBU]
60 grams saaz (3.5 Alpha) @ 30 min [14 IBU]
40 grams saaz (3.5 Alpha) @ 10 min [4 IBU]
40 grams saaz (3.5 Alpha) @ 00 min [0 IBU]
3 packages Brewferm lager yeast (estimated 540 billion viable cells)
Fermented for two weeks at 10 degrees celcius
Diacetyl rest for 7 days at 15 degrees celcius
Lagered for 4 weeks at 2 degrees celcius
Kegged and force carbonated to 2.2 volumes of CO2
Tasting Notes and Tasting Video with Pilsner Urquell Side by Side
As you can see from the image above, the clarity was amazing. This unfiltered homebrewed, and might I add totally Reinheitsgebot compliant (no clarifiers) pilsner puts the clarity of some canned macros to shame. Big white fluffy head on first pour, it dissipates rapidly but hey so did the commercial. The smell is all saaz...ALL saaz. Possibly some pilsner maltiness but this beer certainly lives up to it's name. The taste is also very saaz forward, but with a little more malty crackers and bread from the pilsner. The beer is super clean and crisp, whioch is one of the reasons the saaz shine so much. A mild bitterness from the hops but that only lends to the crispness overall. It's got a decent body on it despite the low alcohol and nice attenuation. It tastes like a really nice bohemian lager. Very proud of it overall and wouldn't change much in the recipe other then a tad less sazz and maybe a yeast with a slight character (for instance the actual Pilsner Urquell yeast).
P.S. I mention a slight off flavor in the video, I have determined it's probably due to it being one of the last pints in the keg. Because it couldn't be any fault of mine right ? ;)