Polka Dot Pilsner
5 gallons @ 1048 (figured at 80 percent of lab/HWE extract) 45 IBU
9 pounds Czech or other European pilsner malt (see note below)
Thick mash (1.25 quart water per pound)
First rest at 122 degrees F for 30 minutes. Immediately remove thick 1/3 of mash and slowly (30 minutes) raise to boiling, then boil 15 minutes. Add back to main mash, stabilize at 150 degrees F, rest 1 hour. Raise to 165 degrees (by adding boiling water if needed) and begin sparge.
Note: For those of you who want to skip the decoction thing, use the wort caramelization trick described above, or substitute 1 pound of Munich or 2 pounds of Vienna for an equal amount of Pilsner malt in the recipe. This recipe assumes that the more modern, highly modified malt is used. Old-style under-modified malt requires the use of the classic three-decoction mash process and 8 hours out of your life.
Extract brewers use 5.5 pounds of dry extract or 6.25 pounds of fresh liquid extract.
2 ounces whole Saaz (or 1.25 ounces pellets), 60 minutes
2 ounces whole Saaz (or 1.25 ounces pellets), 15 minutes
1 ounces whole Saaz (or 1.25 ounces pellets), end of boil
Hops note: Ultra variety may be substituted for Saaz. Calculations above based on 3.7 percent alpha.
Yeast: Wyeast 2007 or 2278; White Labs WLP800. Follow temperature guidelines above. Lagering time will be 4 to 6 weeks.
I suggest that you make a pils style ale if you can’t manage the kind of temperature control needed for true lager. Another nice variation is to up the ante and increase the quantities of everything. An extra 10 to 20 percent of malt will get you to 1053-1060, which is export range, probably not out of line with 19th-century versions.