Abominable SnowPilz (v.2010)

My first Lager! I used naturally soft water, fresh MN snow collected from my front garden where the snow was fresh and untouched. Should be a unique Lager. I also did my first protein rest.

Protein rest at 125 degrees for 30 minutes
Saccrification rest at 150 degrees for 60 minutes
Batch Sparge at 165 degrees for 30 minutes

90 minute boil
Saaz at 60 min
Irish Moss with 15 min left in boil
Yeast nutrient with 10 min left in boil
Saaz at 2 min

Gravity reading of 1.050
Pitched Smack pack at 70 degrees.

For the fermentation, I'm going to start the temperature at 62°F for a couple days and then drop it down to 52°F for about 10-14 days. Then, I will raise the temperature to at least 66°F for 2 days to drive off any diacetyl. After which, I will transfer to a secondary and lager it at 40°F for 6 weeks.

02A. European Pale Lager, Bohemian Pilsner All-grain

OG 1.049
FG 1.012
IBU 16
ABV 4.8 %

Boil Volume 6.5 gallons
Batch Size 5 gallons
Yeast 75% AA

% Weight Weight(lbs) Grain Gravity Points Color
90.0 % 9.00 Pils Two-row 44.1 2.2
5.0 % 0.50 American Crystal 10L 2.4 1.0
5.0 % 0.50 CaraPils 2.3 0.2
10.00 48.9

% Wt Weight (oz) HopForm AA% AAU Boil Time Utilization IBU
50.0 % 1.00 Saaz Pellet 3.5 3.5 60 0.283 14.9
50.0 % 1.00 Saaz Pellet 3.5 3.5 2 0.024 1.3
2.00 16.1

Tasting:  Nice flavorful Pilsner.  The long boil helped to bring out the malts a bit.   It's definitely got a smooth taste to it from the snow.   It's much more fruity in the bottle then it was when lagering, so I think that using the Nottingham yeast for bottling was a bad idea.  Next year, I'll bottle with the same yeast that I used in Primary so as to not alter the flavor of the finished beer at all.   Very easy drinking summer lager that I wish I had more of.  Crystal clear!


  1. Hope it turns out well - have yet to make a lager or pilsner.

    I'm curious about the smack pack - most people recommend a starter for lagers. Did you get a slow fermentation start time?

  2. Hey Jason,
    I didn't do a starter. I ended up letting it sit upstairs at around 62 degrees to get it going. 8 hours later and it wasn't bubbling at all. 16 hours after pitching it was bubbling pretty good so I'm thinking it should be okay. Last night I moved it downstairs at around 54 degrees. Hopefully it's still going strong, I might have moved it downstairs too quick. Not sure. I've yet to do a starter...that'd mean I'd have to plan 2 days ahead.

  3. Nice little convo here about using snow in beer. I also linked your blog and how you did it.


    The last poster mentioned something about how crazy soft the mouthfeel was in his beer. I might have to try this next year after seeing how yours turns out.


  4. Nice Dan. I went to that forum and posted a little background on that about how much snow I needed, and how dirty it was. Not that dirty by the way. Your guess is as good as mine how it'll turn out, but I'll be bottling it at some point in a few months and it should be drinkable by spring so hit me up and we'll have a pint!

  5. Sounds good man! My Smoked Stout should be drinkable by then (so smokey and boozy right now) and I have more of the Coconut Milk Stout than I'll be able to drink by then. We'll have to have a little tasting. We can compare our Surly Wort too if you have it bottled. We took fairly different approaches with it.

  6. I came across your blog from the aforementioned BA forum where someone referenced my "Snow Wit" Looks like some of us had the same Idea when it cam to a Snow Beer. I brewed mine on Feb 10th when the northeast got hit by a big blizzard. I took the top couple of inches off of 10" of snow, used about 35 gallons of snow.


    Check it out. Let me know what you think. Good luck with your Pils!

  7. Yo. Simply Beer,
    We'll have to try and swap a couple bottles out. Sounds like yours will take some time to mature. I should have mine ready in 3 months or so if all goes well! I found your blog and will be following your exploits!

  8. Not sure if acid rain laced water would be my first choice for brewing... but hey, maybe it can be considered a new adjunct.

  9. I usually cut it with 20-30% tap water as well. My kid has 3 nipples and only one ear, but I'm sure that's from something else I did throughout the years and not due to my Snowpils.


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