Staropramen

I love pilsner. I especially love Czech (Bohemian) pilsner, although I do enjoy a good German pilsner too. Day to day, it’s my ‘go-to beer’. For a long time, my favourite all-round beer was Stropramen, the pilsner from Prague (although nowadays I often find myself preferring Pilsner Urquell). It’s got a rich, full-bodied toasted malt flavour and golden brown colour, with a firm bitterness and hoppy Saaz finish. This is a great beer. If you haven’t tried it before, do yourself a favour.

Living in the UK, I have a choice of Budvar, Pilsner Urquell, Staropramen or one of the supermarkets’ own brand Czech pilsners available to me commercially. One of the advantages to being this side of the Atlantic is that generally the beers bought from the supermarket are pretty fresh and if you take care to select a 4-pack from the back of the shelf where the bottles have been away from the flourescent lights, it’s possible to find bottles which haven’t been skunked.

A few weeks ago, I ordered a pack of Wyeast 2782 – Staro Prague, supposedly the Staropramen strain of lager yeast, to brew with next. When it arrives – I plan to make two beers with it, a pilsner as well as a Czech dark beer (dunkel). I usually use a strain of lager yeast for 2-4 beers, repitching the yeast slurry for each consecutive beer, before acquiring a new pitch of a different yeast for the next few lagers.

I’ve recently brewed a fusion Czech / German pilsner to enjoy over summer using White Labs’ WLP815 – Belgian Lager, I can’t wait until it’s ready and I can put it on tap.

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3 Comments

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3 responses to “Staropramen

  1. Jez

    Hey, Gary, what is your Czech/German pils recipe? I am also a fan of Budvar/Urquell, but of course, here in the states, it’s hard for me to justify buying anything in a green bottle. I will always have Urquell when they serve it from a keg, though.

    I made a pils I call Wiesbaden. I did a triple-decoction pilsner one January using only Czech Saaz hops and Pilsner malt with the StaroPrague yeast. Turned out great! Being a fan of the Budvar, I decided to base my “house” pilsner on that yeast, and I changed up the hops a bit to give it my signature. My recipe, FWIW, is:

    Wiesbaden
    11 lbs Pilsner malt
    0.5 lbs Carahell malt

    1.25 oz Mt. Hood @60
    0.13 oz Czech Saaz @60
    0.5 oz Mt. Hood @30
    0.25 oz Czech Saaz @30
    0.5 oz Mt. Hood @10
    0.25 oz Czech Saaz @10
    0.5 oz Mt. Hood @ 0
    0.37 oz Czech Saaz @0

    • Hi Jez!

      Sorry to reply to you so late, I’ve had some technical issues with the site but they seem to be sorted out now, thankfully.

      Your pilsner sounds lovely, although I must confess that I’ve never done the whole triple-docoction thing. Did it make a noticeable difference to your beer?

      I’ve made a few different pilsners and all of them have turned out well. I think it’s hard to go wrong with top quality pilsner malt and noble hops. My favourite one ever was premium pils with a dash of munich and all Czech Saaz to about 1.054. Hmm, might get that one on the go again actually 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by!

      • Jez

        The most interesting thing about the Triple Decoction, is that it seemed like a lot of the protein you normally get at the bottom of the boil kettle seemed to occur in the mash tun instead. So that made for, possibly, a cleaner looking beer (although there was just a bit of haze – I don’t filter). Probably had just a tiny bit darker color than if I wouldn’t have decocted. That’s why I used the Carahell malt in the recipe above. No triple-decoction – so I added a little color – but not much, really.

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