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Old 01-23-2011, 12:35 AM   #1
Billie
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Default Light LME vs. Pilsen LME

I haven't brewed in several years and was wondering if Pilsen LME would make a good American style lager. Or should I stick to a light LME. I plan on useing 6.6 lbs. of LME and 2 lbs. of honey for a little more alcohol kick. Also, would 1 oz. of cascade hops during the boil [ 60 min.] .5 cascades at 45 min. and .5 cascades for the final 2 min. sound about right for this style. Also thinking about useing liquid yeast. By the way, this is a great site, glad I found it.



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Old 01-23-2011, 12:57 AM   #2
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From the BJCP Style Guidlines:

1B. Standard American Lager
Aroma: Little to no malt aroma, although it can be grainy, sweet or corn-like if present. Hop aroma may range from none to a light, spicy or floral hop presence. Low levels of yeast character (green apples, DMS, or fruitiness) are optional but acceptable. No diacetyl. Appearance: Very pale straw to medium yellow color. White, frothy head seldom persists. Very clear. Flavor: Crisp and dry flavor with some low levels of grainy or corn-like sweetness. Hop flavor ranges from none to low lev- els. Hop bitterness at low to medium-low level. Balance may vary from slightly malty to slightly bitter, but is relatively close to even. High levels of carbonation may provide a slight acidity or dry “sting.” No diacetyl. No fruitiness. Mouthfeel: Light body from use of a high percentage of ad- juncts such as rice or corn. Very highly carbonated with slight carbonic bite on the tongue. Overall Impression: Very refreshing and thirst quenching. Comments: Strong flavors are a fault. An international style including the standard mass-market lager from most coun- tries. Ingredients: Two- or six-row barley with high percentage (up to 40%) of rice or corn as adjuncts.

Vital Statistics:
IBUs: 8 – 15 SRM: 2 – 4
OG: 1.040 – 1.050 FG: 1.004 – 1.010
ABV: 4.2 – 5.3%

Commercial Examples: Pabst Blue Ribbon, Miller High Life, Budweiser, Baltika #3 Classic, Kirin Lager, Grain Belt Pre- mium Lager, Molson Golden, Labatt Blue, Coors Original, Foster’s Lager


Pilsner LME would work at least as well as light LME. Pilsners are the basis for the American lager style, after all; light LME is more of an ale thing (though it would work fine as well). As indicated in the above guidelines, often rice and corn are added via a cereal mash.

There are recipes on this site for American-style lagers; you should check them out. Bear in mind that if you make a light lager with only extract, it will have very little flavor. That may be a pro or a con, depending on your preference, but with such a simple style everything you use will show through very clearly. Including the honey. That will make it dryer, and give it a mead-like note.

When I make pilsners, I do it all grain with Bohemian malt and use a triple decoction mash, so maybe we have different sorts of goals in mind. But if I were making a light lager with all LME, I would add a bit of carapils malt as a steeping grain to add a bit of flavor and sweetness. Or 10L crystal malt, either one.

As for the hops, I would work on that a bit. Cascades are a pretty sharp, aromatic sort of hop; light lagers in general tend to use milder, spicy or floral hops, not resiny, grapefruity ones. Cascades may be a bit overpowering. If you want to use a domestic variety, consider Crystal or Liberty maybe. Also, skip the 45 minute addition; that will do the same thing as the 60-minute addition, just a bit less effectively. A more usual hop schedule works with bittering hops at the beginning of boil; flavor hops at 15-20 minutes to the end; and aroma hops at 5-0 minutes to the end of boil.

The exact quantity of bittering hops to use depends on the alpha acid content of the hops (most hops will have this printed on the package) and how bitter you want the beer. There are various calculators on the web that can help you figure out your bitterness based on the hops you have.

On yeast: you'll have to use a lager yeast to get this right, of course. Liquid yeast will give you the most options, but Saflager 34/70 is reputedly a great all-around dry lager yeast. If you can't do lager temperatures, you could use California Lager yeast. You'd need to get that liquid.



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Old 01-23-2011, 07:21 PM   #3
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Thanks for the info Skyforger. This was something I was thinking about brewing for the upcoming 4th of July. Something to please the Bud light family crowd. Now I'm thinking of doing a Kolsch, if they don't like it, oh well, more for me!

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Old 01-23-2011, 07:37 PM   #4
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A Kolsch would be a good alternative, and certainly more to my preference. But I know nothing about making them, unfortunately. It certainly would be easier; lagering takes some work and equipment.
Check out the recipes section! They have Kolsch recipes under the 'Light Hybrid' section.

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Old 02-27-2012, 06:53 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skyforger View Post
A Kolsch would be a good alternative, and certainly more to my preference. But I know nothing about making them, unfortunately. It certainly would be easier; lagering takes some work and equipment.
Check out the recipes section! They have Kolsch recipes under the 'Light Hybrid' section.
Brewers Best makes a decent Kolsch kit that uses a Pilsner unhopped LME. I recommend giving it a shot. I cracked open my first bottle of it yesterday, it was pretty good.


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Oh, because I've only been a member of this forum for a month MUST mean I've only been doing it for that long. Ya, I do enjoy Coors. It's cheap by the glass/pitcher and it keeps me hydrated while I get pissed. It's really nice to drink on a hot day. It's not to bad to boil brats in as well. Stop being a snob. FACT: No one likes a snob. I assure you, I am not the red neck my profile picture suggests.

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