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Sandy Beach pilsner

I wanted to make an American lager for those friends that still insist on bringing their own beer to my parties. Hopefully this will be light and tasteless enough for them, but with enough saaz hop character to be a little continental and interesting

Brewer: Rathole Email:
Beer: Sandy Beach pilsner Style: American Lager
Type: Extract w/grain Size: 5 gallons
3 HCU (~3 SRM)
Bitterness: 18 IBU
OG: 1.040 FG: 1.004
Alcohol: 4.6% v/v (3.6% w/w)
Water: Wanted to use RO filtered water, but never got out there and used my semi-soft well water instead
Grain: .5 lb. American crystal 10L
Steep: 1/2 hour in a grain bag at 155
Boil: 60 minutes SG 1.040 5 gallons
4 lb. Muntons x-light DME
1 lb. Cane sugar
Steep the grains in about a gallon and a half of water. After steeping, remove grains and add about 1/2 to 3/4 lb of DME. Add bittering hops, boil about 45 minutes.

Add to main boil pot, top off to five gallons, continue boil for fifteen minutes and finish as usual. This helps keep the color down to almost all grain levels.
Hops: .5 oz. Perle (7% AA, 60 min.)
1 oz. Saaz (3.8% AA, 5 min.)
Yeast: Saflager dry yeast. Started at room temp (about in the mid sixties, right now) until fermentation starts bubbling. Put in lager chest for 50 primary ferment.
Log: 10/2/2006: Brewed, OG 1.040, good light color

10/10/2006: SG 1.006, ramped up to 60 for diacetyl rest. Slight (normal) sulphury off odor, slighty more bitter than I'd like, but it's still very young

10/13/2006: Transferred to secondary, SG down to 1.004. Ferment looks like it's totally done, clear with no activity. At this point it is slightly more bitter than I'd like, but I expect it to come down to an acceptable level by drinking time. It has a nice spicy saaz aroma, and is almost totally devoid of taste or character, which is what I was aiming for... megaswill for the masses. I've been bringing the temp down the past couple days, after transfer I set it from 55 to 50. Will ramp down to 40 in the next week. I haven't decided if I want to keg it or bottle it, but I held back a little of the yeast to culture up at bottling time.

11/16/2006: I'm having a get together on sunday, and the beer tasted ready. Kegged and force carbonated tonight. Tasted perfectly clean and light, no off tastes or odors whatsoever. Still has a nice spicy saaz aroma and the bitterness seems about right for style. I'll post some notes when the target group of friends I made it for tastes it.
Carbonation: Force carbonated 14 PSI @ 40 (2.7 atmospheres)
Tasting: 11/20/2006: The spicy saaz aroma hits you right at the start. Tastes clean with a touch of body and a little bit of bitterness that does not linger. Does not have very good head retention. One person with a super-nose thought he could detect a tiny bit of sulpher odor way in the backround, but no one else noticed. Everyone in my target group thought it was great, making comments that this basically tasted like a super-premium american beer. Which, of course, it is.

My brewing buddies wife tasted it before I got to the party, and said to him, "I don't want to insult Bob, but if I wanted something like this, I could open a can of Bud". Eric explained I would take that as a compliment (in this particular case, anyway) and he was right.

Recipe posted 10/03/06.