Brewing ancient styles - Piwo Grodziskie Recipe

Brewing ancient styles - Piwo Grodziskie Recipe

Dermott Dowling

brewer & author:

Jay Cook @flipsidebrewing We love reading, hearing about and sharing the recipes of homebrewers with a passion to try something new or old - very old in this case so without further introduction here is a great day brewing up something that was popular in 14th Century Poland - a Piwo Grodziskie from homebrewer Jay Cook. While perusing through the BJCP guidelines, I stumbled across a historical style that originated in Poland called Piwo Grodziskie (Pee-voh Grow-jeez-k’ya). The style dates back as early as the 14th century and was made in the town of Grodzisk. It’s made with 100% oak smoked wheat and Polish hops – which are similar to noble hops – with really hard water and fairly low in alcohol at around 3% ABV. I have done quite a lot of research and reading before making this beer and have really been looking forward to it. I located a paper that was published on the style detailing every little thing that made this beer what it was many centuries ago.


3V RIMs System Jay CookPiwo Grodziskie Jay uses a 3 vessel, two tiered RIMS system controlled by PIDs. The HLT is on a PID that runs with a set temperature but the mash tun’s PID has a ramp/soak function allowing me to program in a step mash. Through Jay's research he was able to obtain a typical step mash schedule that would have been used in Grodzisk. It is as follows;

Mash Schedule:

  • Acid Rest – Mash in at 36C and hold for 30 minutes.
  • Protein Rest – Step temperature up to 52C over 10 minutes and hold for 30 minutes.
  • Alpha Saccharification Rest – Step temperature up to 70C over 20 minutes and hold for 30 minutes.
  • Mash Out – Step temperature up to 76C over 10 minutes and hold for 10 minutes.

Water Profile:

The water in Grodzisk is quite hard and relatively high in sulfites. The water profile I created using brewing salts for this was from a reading from a well in Grodzisk as follows:
  • Ca 122
  • Mg 34
  • Na 39
  • SO4 183
  • Cl 81
  • HCO3 430
  • CaCO3 350

Malt Bill:


  • Lubelski (Lublin) -  a low alpha Polish Saazer hop.  You could substitute with CZ Saaz or Riwaka
  • First hop addition at 105 minutes – 72 grams of Lubelski for 18 IBUs
  • Second and final hop addition is 18g of Lubelski at 30 minutes for another 3 IBUs.


  • 120 minutes
  • At 10 minutes I added some Koppafloc and yeast nutrient.
I connect my RIMs rocket inline between the kettle and the plate chiller. It is filled with rice hulls so it can catch any of the excess trub that makes its way out of the kettle. I recirculate back to the kettle and whirlpool the wort, while sanitising the plate chiller. Killing two birds with one stone.


Meanwhile, Jay had brewed a Kolsch last week that has finished fermenting. I am splitting it down to two fermenters and dry hopping one with some German craft hops; Mandarina Bavaria Hops, Hallertau Huell Melon and Hallertau Blanc. Did I just invent an IPK (India Pale Kolsch)? I am going to be running the wort from the kettle straight onto this yeast cake. I had used GigaYeast GY021 Kolsch Bier yeast. IMG_6303 Now it’s a waiting game, Jay is really looking forward to trying this beer. He has a vial of Lactobacillus Brevis on standby as will be splitting this batch in two and adding the L. Brevis to one half. There is another historical style from centuries ago from Lichtenhain in Germany called Lichtenhainer; which is essentially a sour smoke beer. Not everyones cup of tea, I am sure, but Jay tasted a commercial example a few weeks ago and it was divine. If you would like to keep up to date with Jay's brewing adventures and see what sort of experiments and unusual brews he makes in future, you can follow him on Facebook and Instagram: Na zdrowie! Cheers Jay and thanks for sharing this ancient 14th century beer style brewed in Grodzisk Poland and now brewed again in 21st Sydney! Update from Jay on 12/03/2016 Just kegged it after 4 days cold crashing and all I can say is wow. Probably didn't even need the gelatine. That GigaYeast GY021 Kolsch Bier  is certainly a great flocculator! This is one beer I could easily get used to drinking. The aroma smells just like the malt. I can clearly smell wheat and the smokey flavour. The smoke is quite subdued so as to not overpower. The taste is quite unique. Being 2.9% it's obviously quite subtle. The smoke isn't the first thing to hit you. It's more of a carbonic flavour similar to that of a commercial Pilsner. Almost like tonic water. But it is immediately followed by a smooth blend of wheat and smoke. The hops leave a lingering bitterness whichever the really have a lot of flavour. Another property of this style is that it was always treated with isinglass. Although Jay did not use isinglass, it could be considered that a modern day version is gelatine, which is what he used. Really impressed with the awesome clarity for a beer made with 100% malted wheat. I am definitely making this beer again! Here is a photo of the final product, keeping in mind that the final photo was taken about 5 minutes after it was poured. It had great head retention. Piwo Grodziskie glass2Piwo Grodziskie glass3Piwo Grodziskie glass4