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Old 03-26-2007, 04:51 PM   #1
Tophe
 
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So Ive been getting questions at work about brewing from the guys at the break table. I took care of differences between lagers and ales, but theyre asking about what what makes a pilsner different.

I wasnt real sure so I told them Id find out. Whats the difference from an ale, to a pilsner?

Please enlighten me so i can enlighten them.

Thanks
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Old 03-26-2007, 04:53 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tophe96
So Ive been getting questions at work about brewing from the guys at the break table. I took care of differences between lagers and ales, but theyre asking about what what makes a pilsner different.

I wasnt real sure so I told them Id find out. Whats the difference from an ale, to a pilsner?

Please enlighten me so i can enlighten them.

Thanks
Here ya go!
Quote:
Pilsener or pilsner is a type of beer, developed in the city of Plzeň (Pilsen in German), Bohemia (now Czech Republic). It is generally distinguished from other lagers by a more prominent hop character, particularly from the use of Saaz (pronounced "zot-za") noble hops.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pilsner
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Old 03-26-2007, 04:54 PM   #3
cweston
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tophe96
So Ive been getting questions at work about brewing from the guys at the break table. I took care of differences between lagers and ales, but theyre asking about what what makes a pilsner different.

I wasnt real sure so I told them Id find out. Whats the difference from an ale, to a pilsner?

Please enlighten me so i can enlighten them.

Thanks
Pilsner = a light lager with fairly high hops bitterness, very pale color, and a fairly dry finish (no crystal malts).

The style is that way because that is what the very soft water of Pilsen is best suited to.
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Old 03-26-2007, 05:08 PM   #4
Tophe
 
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ahhh...thanks guys!
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Old 03-26-2007, 05:12 PM   #5
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Let me steal this thread for a second. If it's really just about hop levels, what's the difference between say a pilsner malt vs. an american two-row? For instance, what would the perceivable difference be, all else equal, between an all pilsner malt vs. all 2-row batch?
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Old 03-26-2007, 05:15 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobby_M
Let me steal this thread for a second. If it's really just about hop levels, what's the difference between say a pilsner malt vs. an american two-row? For instance, what would the perceivable difference be, all else equal, between an all pilsner malt vs. all 2-row batch?
Let's add to the confusion and hope for some good answers.

My understanding of most light American lagers, which are designed to be basically pilsner-type beers, is that they usually use 6-row. While I believe the primary motivation for this is cost savings (better efficiency, plus more enzymes to help convert corn / rice), how else does the use of 6-row impact the beer's profile?
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Old 03-26-2007, 05:17 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobby_M
Let me steal this thread for a second. If it's really just about hop levels, what's the difference between say a pilsner malt vs. an american two-row? For instance, what would the perceivable difference be, all else equal, between an all pilsner malt vs. all 2-row batch?
My understanding is that the 2-row is somewhat darker in color than Pilsner malt, and gives a grainier flavor.

Of course, both of these things are solved in BMC by the high level of non-malt adjuncts.
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Old 03-26-2007, 05:22 PM   #8
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I actually have about 35lbs of two-row left and 6 pounds of pilsner. I want to make a nice lawnmower brew, maybe even a 10 gallon batch, before my garage eeks up into the higher 50's. Anyone do a half and half 2-row/pils lager?
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Old 03-26-2007, 05:29 PM   #9
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I'm sure it'd be fine.

Look at it this way: in a beer with crystal malts and other character malts, you're largely concealing the subtle flavor elements of the base malt. Whereas in a Pilsner, the subtle flavor elements of the base malt will come through more.

It's like making a cocktail with super-premium liquor. You can do it, and the cocktail will be excellent. But if the cocktail has strong flavors in it, like pineapple and coconut or whatever, then it'll probably taste almost exactly the same with a cheaper liquor (as long as it's not rotgut or something.)
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Old 03-26-2007, 05:30 PM   #10
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Ray Daniel's Designing Great Beers has a good chapter about Pilsners, I actually just reread that chapter a few days ago. I recommend picking it up or borrowing from the library. I find it to be enjoyable, especially part 2 of the book where it breaks down different styles and gives a nice history lesson about each style.

 
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