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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Recipes/Ingredients > Pilsner Malt - secrets/techniques?
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Old 11-06-2008, 05:29 PM   #1
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Default Pilsner Malt - secrets/techniques?

I had always wondered how Pilsner malt would work in an IPA, or really hoppy beer. Then I noticed Nugget Nectar uses Pilsner malt. So now I am really interested in trying this out, so I have a few questions for anyone to help out my process.

I am a partial masher, but would be using mostly extract for the Pilsner malt. Throughout listening to the Jamil Show I've learned you should boil at least 90 minutes for Pilsner malt to drive off the DMS.

1) Should I keep my boil kettle uncovered for the full 90 minutes to ensure the DMS can escape?
2) You can't do late extract additions with pilsner right? Cause it looks like obviously you need to have it all boil 90 minutes to drive off the DMS. But I just learned with my latest IPA that boiling pale malt extract for 60 minutes can really cause the beer to darken. I want this beer to stay pretty light. Are there any tips in regards to not scorching the Pilsner malt in a 90 minute boil?
3) For a Pilsner malt based IPA, what other grains do you think would work well in it between Vienna, Munich, Victory.... I am a big West Coast IPA type person so I want very little residual sweetness so the hops can shine, but I would like to add a touch of orange color. In this IPA I'm thinking I won't even be doing a patial mash, just extract and steeping, so what can I steep between Vienna, Munich, and Victory... I read conflicting things when it comes to steepability of certain specialty grains.

Are there any other considerations/tips anyone can give about using Extract Pilsner Malt that I couldn't find with simple google searches? (ie, unwritten rules of using pilsner extract, maybe?)

Thanks for any suggestions.

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Old 11-06-2008, 05:37 PM   #2
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1) always want to boil uncovered
2) malt extract is boiled in the mfg process...you should be fine using pils extract for late addition brewing.
3) choice is yours. Victory gives you that toasty bready thing so I don't know if you want that or not in your IPA.

I just did an IPA w/ pils and a touch of honey malt & 1lb of sugar, magnum & amarillo hops.

Edit: I should add that I've been using Best Malz pilsner malt (including the IPA I mentioned above) and have used 90 & 60 minute boils with this sack. To date, no one has noted DMS in the 60 minute boils. YMMV.

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Old 11-06-2008, 05:39 PM   #3
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Jamil's 90 minute boils are for all grain....since the extract has already been boiled you don't have to worry about that end of things.

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Old 11-06-2008, 05:57 PM   #4
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Jamil's 90 minute boils are for all grain....since the extract has already been boiled you don't have to worry about that end of things.
Thank you Brewt00l and Valkrye..... I would have never known.
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Old 11-06-2008, 06:06 PM   #5
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You always want to boil uncovered, regardless of what ingredients used. There are compounds driven off by boiling that you don't want back into your beer.

Very good information on DMS in the HBT Wiki
Dimethyl sulfides - Home Brewing Wiki

With extracts you'll be fine. If you Partial Mash with Pilsner you'll want to boil for 90 minutes and then use a late addition for the bulk of your extracts.

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Old 11-06-2008, 06:39 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mmb View Post
You always want to boil uncovered, regardless of what ingredients used. There are compounds driven off by boiling that you don't want back into your beer.

Very good information on DMS in the HBT Wiki
Dimethyl sulfides - Home Brewing Wiki

With extracts you'll be fine. If you Partial Mash with Pilsner you'll want to boil for 90 minutes and then use a late addition for the bulk of your extracts.
I have always boiled uncovered in the past, until I was reading something yesterday (in brew chem 101) that was saying you will lose some characteristics of the beer if the cover is off, and that you should keep it about 75% covered- so basically enough crack to allow compounds to drive off, adding in a few minutes here and there with the cover completely off. I was thinking about switching over to this way and not boil uncovered for a ful 60 minutes.
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Old 11-06-2008, 06:43 PM   #7
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Where did you read this?

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Old 11-06-2008, 06:45 PM   #8
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I have always boiled uncovered in the past, until I was reading something yesterday (in brew chem 101) that was saying you will lose some characteristics of the beer if the cover is off, and that you should keep it about 75% covered- so basically enough crack to allow compounds to drive off, adding in a few minutes here and there with the cover completely off. I was thinking about switching over to this way and not boil uncovered for a ful 60 minutes.
I don't understand the rationale behind that. What does "lose some characteristics of the beer" mean? You want to drive off DMS and other volatiles. I have never heard a brewer say to cover it, especially not 75% covered. Do you have a link so I can try to understand it?
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Old 11-06-2008, 06:59 PM   #9
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Yeah everything I ever read suggests not covering the kettle during the boil Here's what Noonan has to say,

"The kettle may be partly covered for part of the boil to control evaporation, but the wort must be vigorously boiled, uncovered, for at least the final 30 minutes to drive off harsh, volatile kettle-hop and malt oils, sulphur compounds, ketones and esters."

Now he is generally speaking of boiling lager worts where their delicate nature hides no off flavors but, I think this advice should be heeded no matter what beer is being made. THat being said, I've boiled worts with the lid 50% on with no problems, save for lack of evaporation.

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Old 11-06-2008, 08:59 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by YooperBrew View Post
I don't understand the rationale behind that. What does "lose some characteristics of the beer" mean? You want to drive off DMS and other volatiles. I have never heard a brewer say to cover it, especially not 75% covered. Do you have a link so I can try to understand it?
It was in the book "Brew Chem 101"... I don't have it with me right now but I can copy the part I was reading later on. The book didn't say, keep it covered 75%, but that was just my translation. It basically said, since you want to have a nice vigorous boil keeping the lid on is fine and opening it at the times you need to do hop additions and adding yeast nutrient ect would probably be plenty to allow the stuff that needs to be driven off to escape. Now I don't agree with that, but then it seemed like they said something about keeping the lid cracked open most the time (where I get the 75% covered from) is fine.

And yes it did say something real quick about losing some characteristics from the malts and hops when you keep it uncovered, but I forget exactly what. It just left an impression in my head.

I'll report back later when I get home, unless someone has the book with them, its in the part about... boiling...
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