Roggen Pils (Rye pilsner)

Source: Thomas Murray
Recipe added: 07/29/98

This is a nice variation on the pilsner theme. Rye certainly has it's own character, although it is somewhat hard to describe. Robust, spicy, crisp; it's all these things but that still doesn't give the uninitiated any idea of what it tastes like. If you really want to try a commercial example before brewing this lager, try Redhook's Ryehook ale. That ale is loaded with the flavor of rye-a bit too much for my taste, but it will give you a good idea of it's character. The Ryehook also has a "thickness" to it that seems out of character for a pale ale. This is the reason for the beta-glucan rest in the recipe. Once again,I highly recommend this rest. Anyway, this pilsner has a fairly good balance of malt and rye and hops. The flaked barley may seem to go against the Germany purity laws,(it does, along with the flaked rye) but I included this to give the flavor of the north German style pilsners which often include "chit" malt. Chit malt is malt that is barely allowed to germinate before it is processed, very close in character to flaked barley. I chose flaked rye over malted rye for convienience sake, but I have read that flaked rye gives a smoother flavor. You should end up with a robust pilsner with a good malt start and a very dry finish. Enjoy!


Recipe type: All Grain
Batch Size: 5 U.S. gals.
Starting Gravity: 1.047
Finishing Gravity: 1.008
Time in Boil: 90 minutes
Primary Fermentation: Until gravity is ~ 1.010
Secondary Fermentation: At least 30 days (60 is better)



Dough in with 1.2 quarts of 118 degree water. The mash should stabilize at about 105-108 degrees. Hold for 30-40 minutes. This is a rest to break down the beta-glucans that are abundant in the rye. I recommend doing this rest highly because the rye can create an extra-thick mouth-feel that is inappropriate in a pilsner. Next, raise the mash temp. to ~122 degrees and hold for 30 minutes. At this point you can do a single decoction. Draw off ~40% of the thickest part of the mash and heat to 150 deg. in 10 minutes. Hold for 20 minutes, then raise temp. to boiling over 10 minutes and boil for 15. Add back to the mash to raise the temp. to 153 deg. This decoction step is an optional step but it adds some complexity to the finished beer. Keep the mash at 153 deg. until you get a negative iodine reaction (about 45 min.) and then mash out at 167-170. Sparge. Boil. Chill. Ferment. Lager. Bottle. Wait. Enjoy.
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