Czech Pale Lager Homebrew Recipe

Czech Pale Lager Homebrew Recipe


5-gallon Czech Pale Lager homebrew recipe

Created by Robby Narquis, Chainsaw Brewing

Sup party people! Our long-time friend Robby Narquis over at Chainsaw Brewing in Richland, WA shared a recipe for a perfectly crisp beer in a style we freakin' love here at YVH: The Czech Lager. 

Summer is rushing in fast, and there's nothing quite like crushing a crispy boi while mowing the grass or playing rec softball. This beer will surely check all the boxes for a light, refreshing summer brew.

Old school is cooler than ever.

Saaz is one of the oldest hop varieties still in use today - and for good reason. It all started in the town of Žatec (also known as "Saaz" in German), in the Czech Republic. The region's fertile soil and ideal growing conditions made it the perfect spot for hop cultivation. Saaz was started to be grown in the early 14th century, and it quickly became one of the most sought-after varieties in Europe. 

One of the most famous beers that use Saaz hops is the classic Czech pilsner, which relies heavily on the variety for its signature flavor profile. This golden-hued lager is crisp, refreshing, and packed with flavor. This is thanks in large part to the use of Saaz, which lends a subtle bitterness and spicy, floral notes to the beer. Saaz is the hallmark of Czech pilsners, and they're responsible for much of the beer's characteristic flavor and aroma.

Other European styles that make use of Saaz hops include Belgian saisons, German lagers, and even some English ales.

Deets about the unique sensory notes of Saaz:

Saaz is characterized by a delicate yet complex aroma, with a mix of floral and spicy notes. Some people also describe the aroma as "herbal" or "earthy." These aromas are due to the variety's unique combination of essential oils, which include linalool, humulene, and farnesene.

In terms of flavor, Saaz adds a subtle bitterness and a slightly sweet, spicy taste light-style beers. The bitterness is not overpowering, making it a great choice for styles that don't require a high level of hop bitterness, such as pilsners or lagers. The spicy notes in Saaz hops are reminiscent of black pepper, and there's also a hint of lemon or citrus in the background. The combination of flavors and aromas makes Saaz a versatile powerhouse. 

So, without further ado, let's get into this recipe. Let us know in the comments if you have any questions! Happy brewing! 

czech lager recipe


Czech Pale Lager homebrew recipe

Created by Robby Narquis, Chainsaw Brewing

Yield: 5 gallons

OG: 1.048

FG: 1.010

5.0% ABV

Bitter Ratio: 0.708

34.1 IBUs

 Grain Bill

Baronesse Vienna (or similar)  19.0%
Francin Pilsner (or Czech Pilsner Malt) 40.5%
Steffi Pils (or general Pilsner malt) 40.5%


 Hop Additions
1.5 oz. Saaz  First wort addition (see brewer's notes below)
0.75 oz. Saaz 5 mins
0.75 oz. Centennial 5 mins
0.75 oz. Cascade
5 mins
0.70 oz. Centennial Whirlpool 10 mins at 175° F
1.0 oz Cascade
Whirlpool 10 mins at 175° F
0.75 oz. Saaz
Whirlpool 10 mins at 175° F


Yeast: Robby uses Imperial Yeast #L28 Urkel, which is a liquid yeast we unfortunately don't carry. A good dry yeast substitute would be Fermentis SafLager W34/70.


  1. Mill the grains and mash at 149°F for 60 minutes.

  2. Recirculate until your runnings are clear, then run off into the kettle.

  3. Add first wort hop addition.
  4. Sparge and top up as necessary to get about 6 gallons of wort.

  5. Boil for 60 minutes, adding hops according to the schedule above.

  6. After the boil, either add hops at flameout or do a whirlpool step as follows: Stir or recirculate to create a vortex, add the whirlpool hops, and allow 10 minutes to steep. 

  7. Chill the wort to about 70°F, aerate well, and pitch plenty of healthy yeast.

  8. Ferment at 52°F for 6 days, then allow to free-rise to 67°F, and hold there until fermentation is complete.

  9. Cold crash to 35°F for one week. Fine with gelatin 24hrs before kegging or bottling.

Brewer's Notes

First wort addition: Also known as First Wort Hopping. This is when you add the hop addition as the wort is being transferred into the boil kettle. 


Let us know what you think in the comments! Share with your neighbor! Heck, share with your mom or your mom's mom! This Czech Lager is too good not to share. 

Thanks again Robby from Chainsaw Brewing for sharing this awesome Czech Lager homebrew recipe with us.

czech style lager recipe

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  • Jake Parrish
Comments 4
  • Rad Netsalp
    Rad Netsalp

    Why does this recipe and the hazy one sent out earlier this year not list the actual grain weights and only as a percentage of the total and also even in that case, not the total grain weight.

  • Rad Netsalp
    Rad Netsalp

    Why does this recipe and the hazy one sent out a while ago list the grain bill in terms of percentage of total but not the actual weight per grain type or total grain weight?

  • Mike Armstrong
    Mike Armstrong

    Where do you get these specialty malts, most home brew shops sell pilsner and Vienna these specialty malts will make a bid difference in the beer, please advise

  • Anonymous

    I see that he is pitching yest warm at 70F, then reduces temperature to ferment at 52F. Is there a danger of putting the yeast to sleep with this method resulting in a wort that is not fully fermented?

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