brew day: Schäferpils Zwei

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Partly because I’m a sentimental git, but mostly (I tell myself) because the selected Czech strain was still a couple propagations away from prime time, and also because there was a raging pitch of 2042 just sitting there with a gleam in its collective eye, this – and not the forthcoming Czech dark lager – was the first batch with Brew Dog 2.0.

It’s a revisit to, and slight revision of, the first recipe brewed in the absence of Brew Dog 1.0: a straight-up north German-style Pils with a blend of noble hops.

Please indulge me in three articles of shucking and jiving today before the recipe, citizens:

1. 2042: sleeper yeast. I’d slept on it myself for a number of years (since my last Dortmunder, I think … long time ago) and it’s not quite how I remembered it. In the unrelated batch from which aforementioned raging pitch originated, it was compliantly flocculent and clean at just 19 days. Maybe it was the CaCl in the brewing water, maybe it was the big starter plus nutrient, maybe it was the dry hops, maybe it was Danish kismet. I’d be curious to hear impressions from others who’ve used it.

2. Five gallon brew-in-a-bag, single-temp infusion, tiny bit of Carared to cheat-code in a little elevation of color and malt flavor: pretty nice for squeaking in a brew session on a weeknight in the midst of family birthdays, finals weeks, and holiday stuff.

3. There’s a personal, emotional, additional experiential component to homebrew – the process of creation is inseparable from the finished product for the creator, which won’t be news to anyone who has personally borne witness to the progression from kitchen stove to glass and waited for a fermentation to finish in between. This batch is a commemorative beer that won’t have significance beyond crisp hoppiness for anyone else. That’s the way it should be. Homebrewing in America has always been a refuge for and the domain of the weird, the commercially unviable, and the personal narrative in liquid form, and I hope it always will be.

Schäferpils Zwei
Target OG: 1.047


  • 93% German Pilsner
  • 6% Weyermann Carafoam
  • 1% Weyermann Carared


  • 148°F for 75 minutes, 170°F for 10 minutes


  • 50/50 blend of Hallertau mittelfrüh and Saaz (both whole) at FWH (90′) to 24 IBU
  • 50/50 blend of the same hops at 45′ to 8 IBU
  • … and again at 20′ to 5 IBU


  • Chill to 46-47°F, add O2, and pitch with 2nd-gen Wyeast 2042
  • Free rise up to 56-57F over approx. 48 hours. As I write this, we’re just past Hour 60 and SO2 has only really started manifesting itself in the last 12 hours or so as CO2 evolution through the airlock has started to slow.
  • Once we hit TG and diacetyl-negative: fine, rack, crash cool and lager. Like you do.

UPDATE: Tasting notes for this batch here.

12 thoughts on “brew day: Schäferpils Zwei

  1. I’m curious- you refer to this yeast last being used some time ago- how do you prefer to store between generations? Washed slurry in a mason jar in the fridge? With glycerin (as I’ve read about but never done)? I taken to resurrecting old washed slurrys (slurries?) from the fridge in a series of starters. I assume I’m getting some small sample & ‘semblance of what that yeast strain was in the smack pack generations ago. What’s your take on reuse- as a homebrewer & as a WYEAST-monger?

    • Sorry, the way I said that wasn’t very clear. The yeast for this particular run (the 1st gen from a mishmash lager a couple weeks ago, and then this pils) came from a brand new smack pack; before that, I hadn’t fermented anything with 2042 for a few years (would have to dig through the log for an exact date). I often brew a run of similar styles in series with successive pitches of the yeast, but I try not to store them for very long in between brew sessions. As you noted, the older they get the more they need to be propped up before reuse.

    • So I have a smack pack that is over 6 months and it was accidentally smacked about a month ago when I moved. It’s been in the fridge the whole time. Should I toss it? Will yeast mutation be a factor? Or should I just step it up a few times on my stir plate, not worry and have a home brew?

  2. Good luck with the commemorative brew. Since starting to brew a few years back I, fortunately, have not had to do one of those brews. I have been perfecting my brew dog brews though; specifically my Black Lab IPA for my older dog (he’s a big dog that can be bitter towards other males) and for his son the Hoppy Humper (a yellow lab that’s always happy the way only a lab can be, so a lighter more effervescent brew).

  3. Pingback: brew day: Cerny 13° | the beer engine

  4. Pingback: tasting notes: Schäferpils Zwei | the beer engine

  5. Pingback: “don’t f*ck it up” | the beer engine

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