Dutch Pilsner (Heineken-Style) / CM

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3 pounds dry plain malt extract
3 pounds pale malted barley
1 ounce Saaz hops (boiling stage)
1 half pounds Cascade hops (boiling stage)
1/2 ounce Saaz hops (finishing stage)
1 teaspoon gypsum
1/4 teaspoon Irish moss
1 - 2 packages lager yeast
1/4 cup corn sugar (for priming before bottling)

The best beers produced are created in small batches by brewery artisans.

Home Brewing can be a rewarding undertaking, capable of producing an excellent quality product rivaling beers produced in high-end breweries, but it involves the procurement of specialized equipment and a basic knowledge of technique. Before embarking on the steps in this recipe, it is recommended that you become familiar with the process. Once you become a proficient home brewer, you will be able to experiment with different barleys and hops to create all kinds of beers from ales to malts.

You will need a thermometer, a beer hydrometer (measures specific gravity, or the thickness of liquids relative to the thickness of water - it allows us to determine the correct amount of sugar to add), a 5-6 foot length of food-safe plastic hose, a 5-10 gallon plastic bucket, 1 fermenter lock device, a fermentation unit (a large glass or plastic 5 gallon bottle fitted with a cork with a hole for the hose will do), new bottle caps and returnable beer bottles (no screw-type bottles) and a bottle capper. You can use the type of beer bottles with a wire bail and rubber ring if you save up enough of these. You'll also need a weak solution of chlorine bleach (2 ounces to 5 gallons of water) for sterilizing your utensils (sterilizing is an important step!). You can obtain all of the required equipment from any good beer or wine making supply catalog. For your first home brewing attempts, you may even want to purchase a kit.

Bring 2 1/2 quarts of water to a temperature of 130F. Dissolve the gypsum in the warm water. After the barley has been crushed well, stir it into the water.

Allow the temperature to drop to 120F. keep at this temperature for 30 minutes, stirring every few minutes. Bring heat to 130F and add 1 1/2 quarts boiling water. Temperature should be at 150F. Hold at this temperature (149 to 152F) for 10 minutes. Raise the temperature to 158F and hold for 20 minutes.

The conversion stage should be complete at this point but you may want to do an iodine test to determine for sure. If conversion is not complete, continue to mash for up to 20 additional minutes.

In a lauter-tun, sparge the mash with 1 gallon water at 170F. Boil the sweet wort, add boiling hops and malt extract. Continue boiling and stirring occasionally for one hour. Stir in Irish moss and the finishing hops at the last five minutes of boiling.

Sparge into the fermenter with two and half gallons of cold water. When cool (below 78F), use the hydrometer to measure the specific gravity, which should read somewhere between 1.035 - 1.042, then add the yeast. Discard the sample you took for this measurement - do not return to batch.

Ferment the brew in the sterilized fermentation unit at a temperature of between 60 to 75F. Leave the hose in the bottle (feed it through the center of the cork) for 2-3 days. After this, replace the hose with the fermentation lock (be sure to fill the fermentation lock with about 1/4 inch of water to make it air-tight). Beer will become darker as the fermentation progresses. This is to be expected.

The mixture is ready to bottle when fermentation is complete. The fermentation process will take eight to fourteen days to run its course. When successive readings with the hydrometer remain unchanged for 2-3 days, fermentation is likely to have stopped.

Fermentation is complete when the hydrometer readings have stabilized with a reading which should measure in the range of 1.005 to 1.020 or slightly above for heavier malt-style beers.

For each 5 gallons of beer to bottle, boil 3/4 cup corn sugar in 16 ounces of water for 5-7 minutes, stirring until dissolved. This is your "priming sugar" which will be added to the brew just before bottling. Once the fermentation process has completed, little sugar remains in the brew, since it has mostly been digested by the yeast. The addition of priming sugar prior to bottling adds enough food for the still-living yeast to give the bottled brew the correct amount of carbonation. But be forewarned; adding too much sugar at this stage may cause exploding bottles! Never exceed one cup of sugar per 5 gallons of water! As an alternative, older methods of priming the beer before bottling called for adding 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of sugar to each bottle before capping. This method is still a good one if consistency is observed, but otherwise can result in variable levels of carbonation in a batch.

Using sterilized equipment, bottles, and caps, siphon the beer into the bottles and cap them. Label the bottles and store in a cool dark place between 55F and 75F and allow to age (lager) for at least two weeks, but not longer than 3-4 weeks for best flavor.

Serve icy cold in frosty steins and appreciate the rewards of your unique creation!

Submitted by: CM
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