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Pilsner Urquell National Award-Winning Clone (Decoction and Non-Decoction Version)

168 calories
Method: All Grain
Style: Czech Premium Pale Lager
Boil Time: 90 min
Batch Size: 6 gallons (fermentor volume)
Boil Size: 7.5 gallons
Boil Gravity: 1.041 (recipe based estimate)
Efficiency: 81% (brew house)
Source: Lil' Wheaty's Original

Calories: 168 calories (Per 12oz)
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Amount Fermentable PPG °L Bill %
10 lb German - Pilsner10 lb Pilsner 38 1.6 100%
10 lb Total      
Amount Variety Type AA Use Time IBU
1.5 oz Saaz1.5 oz Saaz Hops Leaf/Whole 3.5 Boil 90 min 17.53
2 oz Saaz2 oz Saaz Hops Leaf/Whole 3.5 Boil 20 min 13.23
1 oz Saaz1 oz Saaz Hops Leaf/Whole 3.5 Boil 10 min 3.96
1 oz Saaz1 oz Saaz Hops Leaf/Whole 3.5 Boil 0 min
Mash Guidelines
Amount Description Type Temp Time
4.4 galProtein Rest - Pull the first decoction when finishedTemperature125 °F15 min
4.4 galBeta Rest - Add the first decoction back, aiming for a temperature of 148F. Hold this rest for 30min, then pull the second decoctionDecoction148 °F30 min
4.4 galAlpha Rest - Add the second decoction back, aiming for a rest temperature of 158F. Hold at this temperature for 30minDecoction158 °F30 min
4.4 galMash Out - Raise the temperature to 167F and hold for 10minTemperature167 °F10 min
3.9 galSparge - Sparge as usual after mashTemperature170 °F30 min
Starting Mash Thickness: 1.75 qt/lb
Other Ingredients
Amount Name Type Use Time
6 ml Lactic acid Water Agt Mash 90 min.
0.5 tsp Irish Moss Fining Boil 15 min.
0.4 ml Lactic acid Water Agt Sparge 30 min.
Attenuation (custom):
Optimum Temp:
50 - 58 °F
Fermentation Temp:
56 °F
Pitch Rate:
1.5 (M cells / ml / ° P) 430 B cells required
Yeast Pitch Rate and Starter Calculator
Target Water Profile: Lil' Wheaty's Brewing Water
Ca+2 Mg+2 Na+ Cl- SO4-2 HCO3-
100 18 20 45 105 235
Lactic acid added to augment a mash pH of ~ 5.3.
Mash Chemistry and Brewing Water Calculator
Double Decoction:

*Note: Pilsner Urquell uses a triple decoction method with an initial acid rest, but I use well enough modified malts and correct for pH already so the first of three decoctions is unnecessary. The decoction measurements below are ones I developed for an electric system and err on the side of caution, so they are the lower amounts needed to potentially reach the next temperature step and direct heat can be applied to compensate.*

Perform a protein rest at 125F for 15min, then pull off slightly less than 1/3 (1.16gal/4.4L) of the thickest mash and place it in a separate pot. Bring the pot slowly up to 158F and hold for 15min, then slowly bring it up to a boil and proceed to boil for 10min. Stir often so the grains do not burn, but try to allow some 'browning' to help darken the colour and enhance the flavour/aroma profiles. Add the decoction back to the 125F mash, little by little, aiming for a beta rest temperature of 148F. Hold this temperature for 30min while adding back any leftover decoction (if any) as it cools. After this has finished, pull off roughly 1/6 (0.7gal/2.6L) of the thickest mash a second time and place it in the separate pot. Slowly bring the pot up to a boil and continue to boil for 10min. Add the second decoction back to the mash, little by little, aiming for an alpha rest temperature of 158F. Hold this temperature for 30min while adding back any leftover decoction (if any) as it cools. Once this rest has finished, raise the temperature up to a mash out rest of 167F and hold for 10min. After the decoctions and mash out are finished proceed to sparge/lauter as usual.

No Decoction:

Instead of the labour intensive double decoction mash schedule you could:

- Substitute some of the pilsner malt for vienna and/or munich to add colour and depth.
- Include some melanoidin malt for a slight decoction 'feel'.
- Add some carapils malt (or your preferred alternative) for improved head retention.
- After which, just carry out a temperature/infusion mash schedule based on your preferences.

**This beer won a national silver medal at the Saskatoon Headhunters Competition (2017) and has consistently scored 40's at other national competitions.

Award Winning Recipe
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View Count: 14238
Brew Count: 7
Last Updated: 2019-04-27 19:25 UTC
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koma 01/09/2018 at 08:36pm
5 of 5

Just brewed a modified version of this recipe today, following the double-decoction mash schedule. I have lived in the Czech Republic for almost 10 years now, and am finally brewing my first Czech Pilsner... but I have to say, this recipe/process echoes all of the tips and advice I have heard about brewing Czech lagers from Czech brewers and homebrewers. If followed correctly, this recipe will likely get you as close to a Czech Pilsner as you can get without coming to the Czech Republic! Nice work putting this together, and I'm looking forward to the results!

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