Number 22 on the old beer exchange board gives us 2 beers to try. Adam from Madison, WI (USA) sent us a Czech Pilsner and an Octoberfest and we were excited to try them. Watch this video to see what we thought of Adam’s beer.

The Twenty Second Homebrew Swap

Adam wrote to us and we exchanged addresses. Once we got his beer, it was put in the fridge for a week before we opened it. Here are the particulars of his beer that he provided along with the bubble wrap:

Octoberfest Ale

Treated distilled water with gypsum and calcium chloride

Grain Bill:
35.7% German Pilsner Malt
21% Vienna Malt
19.6% Munich Malt
9.8% Aromatic Malt
4.9% Crystal 20 Malt
4.9% Crystal 40 Malt
4.2% Carapils Malt

2.5 ounces of Tettnang hops – 60 mins to go in boil (I’m guessing)

Fermented at 68°F with Safale S-04 yeast

IBU: 20
ABV: 5%

This beer placed in a competition so we definitely wanted to try it.

Czech Pilsner

For this beer, he used distilled water again, treated this time with gypsum, calcium chloride, and lactic acid.

The grain bill was 100% German Pilsner Malt

3 ounces of Saaz added in one ounce increments at 75 minutes to go, 10 minutes to go, and at flameout.

His boil was for 75 minutes.

He fermented the beer with two packets of Wyeast 2278 Czech Pils at 54° F for 10 days, then raised the temperature to 68°F for 2 days. Then, he racked the beer to a keg and conditioned at 37°F for a month.

IBU 24
4.5% ABV

Tasting Notes

We thought the Octoberfest had a mild bready, caramel aroma. There were some estery notes from the ale fermentation that carried through to the flavor. Mike explain that even though the malt bill was complex, the flavor in the beer was restrained and no single malt was dominant. It was an easy drinking ale that one could drink liters and be happy.

The Czech Pilsner – the beer itself was beautiful. The color was spot on and it was crystal clear. Adam noted that he thought he may use gelatin next time, but we felt it would be unnecessary if he follow his same process and got the same results. The beer was super clean and tasty. Overall, we felt like this pilsner was pretty darn good with a few notes on adding more Saaz hops and upping the pitching rate on the yeast.

By the by, the BJCP 2015 guidelines no longer has a Czech or Bohemian pilsner so check (or is it Czech) the category 3B – Czech Premium Pale Lager for details.

Thanks for reading and watching. BREW ON!