Tuesday, August 11, 2015

New Zealand Pilsner Review

Brewery: Old North Brewing
Style: New Zealand Pilsner

Brewed On: 04.09.2015
Kegged On: 05.13.2015
OG: 1.046
FG: 1.010
ABV: 4.7%

The review for the NZ Pilsner I brewed at the beginning of the summer seems to have slipped between the cracks. I will give it a quick review from memory and the few notes I took on it. Unfortunately, the bit of the beer that I was planning on using to review and take pictures of ended up on the bottom of my keezer due to some sort of slow leak from the beer post of my keg.

Brew day writeup and recipe may be found here.

Appereance: Super clear, very pale yellow. Brilliant even. Clearest beer I've ever made. The gelatin fining really paid off.
Smell: Bready and grainy pilsner malt all over the place. A tiny bit of a sort of winey Savignon Blanc aroma, but mostly overwhelmed by the pilsner malt. Maybe a little bit of melon in there.
Taste: Super crushable. This was a great lawnmower beer. Light on the palate. The bitterness was appropriate for style, but the whole beer ended up a little discordant. There was a great pilsner, and a nice hop aroma and flavor, but nothing really tied this beer all together.  
Mouthfeel: Super crisp and light. Carbonation was great. I really need to keg all of my beers.
Overall: Depends on what the goal was. If I'm looking for a crushable lawnmower beer with the subtlest of twists on it, this fits the bill pretty well. But I was really left wanting something to bring together the beer.

If I brew this beer again, I think I would dry hop it with around 2 oz of Nelson, and possibly up the 10 minute and flameout additions to the beer. I would also consider a hop stand to draw even more aroma and flavor out.

In addition, I find the beer really needs something in the mid palate, between the initial hit of hops and the pilsner finish. Perhaps a properly executed decoction to bring the beer to mash-out temperature would provide this, or a slight increase in the amount of Munich malt (or adding Munich 20L instead of 10L). 

Updated Recipe:
Batch Size: 6 gallons into fermentor
Anticipated OG: 1.048
Anticipated IBUs: 42.0
Anticipated SRM: 4.5
Boil Time: 90 mins

82.5% [8.25#] - Avangard Pilsner Malt
10% [1#] - Carapils/Dextrine Malt
5% [0.5#] - Munich 20L
2.5% [0.25#] - Melanoiden Malt

6 AAU [0.5 oz, 12%] Magnum @ 90 mins
11.4 AAU [5 oz, 11.4%] - Nelson Sauvin @ 10 mins
11.4 AAU [1 oz, 11.4%] - Nelson Sauvin @ 5 mins
22.8 AAU [2 oz, 11.4%] - Nelson Sauvin @ Hopstand for 15 mins
1 Whirlfloc tablets @ 15 mins
0.5 tsp Yeast Nutrient @ 15 mins

2L starter of Wyeast 2124 Bohemian Lager on stir plate. Crashed cold, decanted, and yeast pitched.

Winston Salem, NC municipal water
3.4 g CaCl
2.5 mL 88% Lactic Acid

Saccharification Rest - 18.25 qt @ 152 F
Mash Out - Decoct 6.25 qt and boil

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