Not-So Pilsener | Pilsner Beer Recipe

The_Hoppy_Brewer_Not-So Pilsener_beer recipe

Charlie Papazian’s “Not-So Pilsener” is a non-traditional Pilsener. In Charlie Papazian’s article “Not-So Pilsener” in the November/December 2005 issue of Zymurgy magazine (vol. 28.6) he describes his recipes as “Not a traditional Pilsener, this 20-percent rice lager is a variation on a theme, such was the desire to lighten the body without compromising malt and hop character.” Enjoy brewing your own batch of this Not-So Pilsener recipe beer below.

Not-So Pilsener | Pilsner


  • For 6 gallons (23 L)
  • 8.0 lb (3.6 kg) | German Pilsener malt
  • 8.0 oz (225 g) | Belgian or other aromatic malt
  • 2.0 lb (908 g) | Briess rice flakes
  • 1.0 oz (28 g) | Mt. Hood hops 6% alpha (6 HBU/168 MBU), 60 minutes boiling
  • 1.5 oz (42 g) | French Strisselspalt* hop pellets 2% alpha (3 HBU/84 MBU), 60 minutes boiling
  • 1.0 oz (28 g) | Mt. Hood hops 6% alpha (6 HBU/168 MBU), 20 minutes boiling
  • 0.25 oz (7 g) | Mt. Hood hops, 10 minutes boiling
  • 1.25 oz (35 g) | French Strisselspalt* hop pellets 2% alpha, 2 minutes boiling
  • 0.43 oz (12 g) | French Strisselspalt* hop pellets 2% alpha, dry hopping
  • 0.25 tsp (1 g) powdered Irish moss
  • Pilsener or German type lager yeast
  • 0.75 cup  corn sugar (priming bottles) or 0.33 cup corn sugar (kegging)
  • *French Strisselspalt hops are not to be confused with French Strisselbract hops


  • Original Gravity: 1.057
  • Final Gravity: 1.021
  • ABV: 4.7%
  • IBU: 40
  • SRM: 5 (10 EBC)
  • Boil Time: 60 minutes
  • Efficiency: n/a
  • Pre-boil Volume: ~6 gallons (23 L)
  • Pre-boil Gravity: n/a


  • A step infusion mash is employed to mash the grains.
  • Add 11 quarts (10.5 liters) of 140°F (60°C) water to the crushed grain, stir, stabilize and hold the temperature at 132°F (53°C) for 30 minutes.
  • Add 5 quarts (4.75 liters) of boiling water and add heat to bring temperature up to 155°F (68°C) and hold for about 30 minutes.
  • Raise temperature to 167°F (75°C), lauter and sparge with 3.5 gallons (13.5 liters) of 170°F (77°C) water.
  • Collect about 6 gallons (23 liters) of runoff.
  • Add 60-minute hopes and bring to a full and vigorous boil.
  • The total boil time will be 60 minutes.
  • When 20 minutes remain add the 20-minutes hops.
  • When 10 minutes remain add 10-minutes hops and Irish moss.
  • When 2 minutes remain add the 2-minutes hops.
  • After a total wort boil of 60 minutes turn off the heat and place the pot (with cover on) in a running cold-water bath for 30 minutes.
  • Continue to chill in the immersion or use other methods to chill your wort.
  • Strain and sparge the wort into a sanitized fermenter. Bring the total volume to 6 gallons (23 liters) with addition cold water if necessary. Aerate the wort very well.
  • Pitch the yeast when temperature of wort is about 70°F (21°C).
  • Once visible signs of fermentation are evident, ferment at temperatures of about 55°F (12.5°C) for about one week or when fermentation shows signs of calm and stopping.
  • Rack from your primary to a secondary and add the hop pellets for dry hopping. “Lager” the beer at temperatures between 35 and 45°F (1.5-7°C) for four to six weeks.
  • Prime with sugar and bottle or keg when complete.

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