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I have done some research but are easily confused by metric (approximate imperial) conversions.

My constraints are really a lack of proper equipment but I have the following:

  • 2 x 5 L (5 qt) fermentation bottles (PET water bottles)
  • 300 mm (1 ft) diameter - 300 mm (1 ft) deep pot that will fit on my gas stove, calculated total volume 20 L (20 qt)
  • no chilling facilities

My planned quantities are as follows:

  • 30 g (1 oz) hops
  • 12 g yeast
  • 2 kg grain (4 pd)
  • 10 L of strike water (10 qt)

My expected water losses are 2 L absorption 1 L during 90 minute boil.

  • strike water temperature 70 C with mash added to hot pot
  • stir at 60 min target temperature 60 C
  • final mashout temperature 55 C at 90 min

Boil 90 min

  • 15 g hops at 30 min
  • 15 g hops at flameout
  • transfer to PET containers at 55 C
  • total cooldown period expected to be 4 hours

I would appreciate any corrections - especially about the strike water volume and the temperatures.

2
  • Do you have a way to ferment this beer consistently at 12-13c ?
    – rob
    Aug 13 '20 at 13:25
  • I can maybe make a plan with my camping fridge.
    – skvery
    Aug 13 '20 at 16:16
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The grain absorption in brewing is generally about a litre per kilogram of grain, so this part looks good. My strike water temperature is generally around 74°C for a 66°C mash. If you're aiming for a cooler mash, this sounds good. It's also very dependant on the ambient temperature, and equipment involved. You could always add a bit of heat to bump it up. It's beneficial to really stir your mash, ensuring there are no clumps of dry malt.

Evaporation losses depend on how vigorously you boil,the shape of your pot, and a bunch of minor environmental factors. I can't really comment on this.

The purpose of a "Mash-out" is to raise the temperature of the mash to the point where the enzymes responsible for converting malt starches into sugars denature, and stop functioning. Effectively it prevents any further conversion, fixing the sugar/starch levels at that time. A general mash-out temperature is about 78°C (172°F). So your mash-out at 55°C does not look correct. Probably you don't need to mash-out at all, since Pilsener is a style that benefits from a touch of dryness, and in a small batch it wont take long for the wort to boil.

A recipe with X grams of boiling hops does not indicate much. The "bittering power" of hops is roughly indicated by their "Alpha Acid" (AA) percentage. So if the recipe said "15g of 5% AA hops at 30 minutes", that's much more accurate. Hops can range between 3% AA, and upwards of 17% - there's a big difference. If you are using a traditional German Pilsener hop, like Tettenanger, Hallertauer, Hersbrucker, Spalt, etc. these are typically lower in alpha acid (~4-5%), so 15g in a 10 litre batch sounds mostly OK. If you were using something like 14% AA Magnum, well that's different. It's your beer, make it how you like it. I've only written the above because you said "Pilsener", which has a specific style with a specific bitterness level.

Everything else sounds pretty good. I assume your fermentation bottles have a bit of extra space for the foamy "krausen" when the yeast really gets going. As @rob said, since this is a lager (and you assuming are using lager yeast), try to keep the temperature down around 10-12°C. This is most important during the first 3 days when most of the yeast esters are being created. Also allow your beer to fully ferment, testing with a hydrometer.

I live in an environment where water is scarce. So I cannot "waste" it on chilling hot wort. Typically I just put the lid on the pot, and walk away. Later it is transferred into the fermenter (along with yeast) when it's cooled. Many brewers practice a method called "no chill", where the wort is transferred hot (very hot) into a food-grade container, which has the air removed and is sealed. This effectively makes a "fresh wort" kit, which can later be fermented. I guess, my point is: don't be so worried about cooling. If you're really worried, wait until the wort is below 80°C before adding flame-out hops.

So to sum up, your recipe looks pretty-much OK, as far as I can tell. Good luck, and let us know how it goes, either way!

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