Tossed Salad Cucumbers & Celery Pilsner

Layger Brewhaus Tossed Salad label

A Layger Brewhaus Original Recipe

JON: What about this Tossed Salad pilsner? Some whackjob from near Philly brewed it — wit cucumbers and celery!
DAVE: Quit yappin’ about it and pour me a glass, already!
<dramatic sip> 
DAVE: Mm, mm! A man could develop quite a thirst drinkin’ this beer.

Rehydrate the Amish Way

Comments: “It’s like I am at one of those fancy schmancy hotels. You know, the one’s that have that water jug at the desk? They have these cucumbers and things in ’em. It’s like that. Or maybe I could drink it with some caeser or ranch. But seriously, I could drink this one all night. Maybe the whole session, or at least as long as stuff is left on the relish tray.”

“I’ve never been a fan of pilsners, but after this — I’ve never been a fan of pilsners! I’m just kidding. You guys are awesome!”

BREW IT

GOAL TASTE PROFILE:
Addictively refreshing, easy drinking, session pilsner
Pale color and light body
Slightly spicy hop aroma, mild to moderate bitterness ~ 30 IBUs (mostly Saaz)
watery mouthfeel
light cucumber and celery flavor
served very cold
lively carbonation
low alcohol < 4%

48 hours before brew
1. buy all ingredients including 3 gals distilled water
2. boil 2 gals water 20 min, cover, cool overnight
3. make yeast starter

24 hours before brew
4. make 5 gals sanitizer
5. Sanitize a 16 quart or larger kettle and lid. Boil 2 gals tap water, cool to room temp in boil kettle
6. Sanitize knife, cutting board, veggie peeler, nylon bag
7. Remove celery leaves and base of stalks. Carefully wash celery. Make sure the celery is fresh and crisp, not flexible. If flexible, soak it in distilled water for 1 hour before proceeding.
8. Remove rings/jewelry and sanitize hands.
9. Sanitize cukes and celery for 2 minutes in StarSan solution.
10. Peel strips off cukes. Slice partially peeled cukes into discs. Slice discs in half.
11. Add all to nylon bag and carefully place in the boiled and cooled water. Soak overnight for a total soak time of 24 hours.

Brew Day: buy 20 lbs ice, store in cooler

INGREDIENTS

veggies:
2 lbs English cucumbers per 1 gallon water
½ lbs celery per 1 gallon water

For a 5 gallon batch, that’s:
10 lbs English cucumbers
2 ½ lbs celery

(This might have been too much veg for this recipe. It barely fit in my brew kettle for the overnight soak.)

yeast:
First choices: White Labs WLP800 Pilsner Lager Yeast or Wyeast 2278 Czech Pils Yeast
Alternate choices: White Labs WLP802 Czech Budejovice Lager Yeast or Wyeast 2124 Bohemian Lager Yeast

Step by step
1 lbs German Pilsner or CaraPils grain
½ lbs grain: very light Crystal malt grain
Add 1 tsp Burton salts before beginning mash.
Steep grains at 153 deg for 1 hour, sparge.
Add 6 lbs liquid malt extract: Briess Pilsen Light (two 3 lbs containers = $17.50) and bring to a boil. Total boil time will be 1 hour.
At beginning of boil, add 2 ½ oz Saaz hops (~4% alpha acid)
After 30 minutes, add 1 oz Hallertau hops (~4% alpha acid)
After 45 minutes, add 1 tsp Irish Moss.
After 50 minutes, add ½ oz Saaz hops (~4% alpha acid).
After 1 hour, remove the hops. Remove brew kettle from heat.
Cool wort in ice bath to 60 degrees.
Transfer wort to primary fermentation carboy.
Pitch half of the yeast starter.
Remove the veggies from the bucket. Add the room temp cucumber/celery water to the cooled wort.
Pitch the rest of the yeast.
Top off to 5 gals with distilled water.
Move carboy to keezer set at 58 degrees.
Ferment between 50-58 degrees F for about two weeks ending with a 3-day diacetyl rest. Do a diacetyl rest: raise keezer temp to 62 degrees and hold for 2-3 days.

Transfer to secondary.
Drop keezer temp to 55 degrees, then drop 5 degrees per day until you reach 35 degrees F.
Lager the beer for at least 6 weeks.
Keg and force carbonate.
Serve cold.

ACTUAL TASTE PROFILE August 6, 2015

Slightly sweet, watery, some cucumber airiness, celery has faded, lightly hopped and light hop bitterness. Thick and creamy head, some lacing on the empty pint glass. Totally crushable. Serve in chilled glass.

I think it’s a bit underhopped. There’s some hop bitterness but pretty light hop aroma. Not spicy as intended.

Warmer temp: Slightly fruity flavor, less sweet

TOP CUCUMBER FLAVOR PAIRINGS
lime or lemon
watermelon
mint
chili peppers
feta, yogurt, vinegar
tzatziki sauce
rosemary, dill, mustard, pepper, basil, chives

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