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New Zealand Pseudo Pilsner

May 22, 2013
This delightful beer, in my super cool new Bellwoods Brewery (Toronto) snifter

This delightful beer, in my super cool new Bellwoods Brewery (Toronto) snifter

For several weeks, my friend Joe and I had been planning a brew together.  Joe and I both really dig the New Zealand hop varieties, and agreed on brewing a sort-of Pilsner, loaded with a variety of fruity NZ hop goodness.  The thinking being that it would be a fairly unique brew, and would be just perfect and in-time for summer after its extended cold aging (aka lagering).

In addition to the NZ hops, Joe was kind enough to part with some of his Pils base malt, which, form Malteries Franco-Belges, is of higher quality than I typically purchase.  Pending the outcome of this brew, I may have to rethink that.  Add to that a small percentage of Belgian CaraPils and some Vienna, and you’ve got yourself a grist.

HLT burner

HLT burner

We decided to do something of a step mash for this beer, stopping at optimal temperatures for both the alpha and beta amylase to do their thing.  During the brew, we also took special care in monitoring pH throughout the brew.  Joe has a digital pH meter that is far more accurate and convenient than my strips.  Something similar will be my next gear pickup.

We finally got together and made it happen a few weeks ago.  We brewed a little over 10 gallons on Joe’s BrewMagic, pitched at lager temps and left to ferment in his fermentation chamber.

This should be a cleanly dry, biscuity beer.  Fairly bitter with a punch of exotic fruit.  Can’t wait for it to finish lagering!

Mashing in

Getting ready to mash in



Rolling boil

Rolling boil


One of the outrageously tasty beers consumed during the brew

One of the outrageously tasty beers consumed during the brew



Here’s the recipe:

NZ Pseudo Pilsner
Pilsner (sort of)
Brewed: 5/5/13

Size: 11.5 gal
Efficiency: 81% (measured)
Attenuation: 72% (estimated)
Original Gravity: 1.052 (measured)
Terminal Gravity: 1.014 (estimated)

Color: 4
Alcohol: 4.9%
IBU: 66

Water (all in ppm):

Ca: 32  Mg: 10  Na: 9  SO₄: 32  Cl: 20  HCO₃: 20


  • 17 lb Malteries Franco-Belges Pilsen Malt
  • 2 lb Belgian CaraPils
  • 1 lb German Vienna
  • 1.5 oz Pacific Jade (14.2% AA) – boiled 75 minutes
  • 1 oz Nelson Sauvin – boiled 10 minutes
  • 1.5 oz Nelson Sauvin – ‘whirlpool’
  • 2.5 oz Riwaka – ‘whirlpool’
  • 1 oz Motueka – ‘whirlpool’
  • (Amts TBD) Nelson Sauvin, Motueka – dry hop
  • Huge starter, Cry Havoc @ 58


  • Beta Amylase Rest @ 143F (1.33 qt/lb) for 20 minutes
  • Alpha Amylase Rest @ 158F for 40 minutes
  • Mash out @ 170F
  • Batch sparge – water alkalinity adjusted


The Slip – Live from San Francisco, 12/31/11


  • Brewed on a Sunday, with Joe, on his BrewMagic.  Drank some awesome beers and tended to hops whilst brewing.  Some cleaning required before we could get started, as the system smelled a little like stanky lake water.  Cleaned out without too much fuss.
  • Pretty smooth brew, trying out some new techniques, theories and ingredients.  Hit fairly high efficiency.  Chilled to 65, put in Ferm Chamber set for 58 for 2 weeks.
  • Joe raising temp to low 60’s for a few days, for a diacetyl rest.  After that, we’ll crash to 34 and lager for a few weeks.

From → brewday

  1. Josh permalink

    Loving the idea of the bitter lager. How is brewing on the brew magic… pretty smooth?

  2. pjdunn permalink

    It’s really nice. I’ve only brewed on it a few times, so I don’t really know how to run it end to end myself. The heat exchanger is really nice, and it makes step mashing super, super easy.

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