This week my guest is Erik Schmid from “The Brewmeister” home brew shop. Erik is going to teach us how to brew the perfect Pilsner beer this week, and has extensive experience with brewing lager beers.
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Topics in This Week’s Episode (39:18)
- Erik Schmid is my guest this week from The Brewmeister Homebrew Shop. Eriks is a 2002 graduate of the American Brewer’s Guild and long time home and pro brewer. This week he’ll teach us how to brew the perfect Pilsner beer.
- We start by discussing a bit about the Pilsner beer style and what makes it the most popular beer style in the world.
- Erik speaks about the origin of Pilsners in Pilsen and how the local area and brewing techniques of the time helped to drive the character and flavor of the beer.
- He recommends a starting malt structure for the beer which traditionally is 100% Pilsner, but Erik also often adds other malts like melanoidin or munich malt.
- We discuss the traditional three step decoction mash and why a single step infusion mash is probably more appropriate for today’s highly modified malt.
- Erik speaks a bit about meanoidin malt and how it can be used to mimic the flavor of a decoction mash
- Hops play an important role – traditionally Saaz is used in Pilsners, but other central European noble hops (such as Spalt) can also be used
- Soft water also is important here – Erik discusses water and the role it plays in a traditional Pilsner
- Erik talks about the importance of dry hopping to drive a nice aroma without making it “grassy”
- We discuss the importance of fermenting at lager at proper temperatures – in a refrigerator at well below room temperature
- Erik also shares an interesting idea for fermenting in an ice bath
- Erik walks through his fermentation and lagering profile – including the diacetyl rest and aging
- We talk about bottling, carbonation levels and even glass selection
- Pitching a lot of yeast is very important for a lager which requires more yeast, and we discuss yeast starters in detail
- He finishes with a few tips on how to get the authentic Pilsner flavor from the beer, and also shares his thoughts on aeration
- Erik shares a bit about his new store and also his new web site at ShopBrewmeister.com
Thanks to Erik Schmid for appearing on the show and also to you for listening!
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