Dont use "C" hops when brewing a light pilsner

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Pangea

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So I had this hair-brained idea - Hey, let's try to make a pilsner with pacific northwest "C" hops! I was thinking Biermuncher's Centennial Blonde recipe, but in a pilsner style with a little Saaz on top! Sounds good right? Wrong.

It didn't turn out so well. The grapefruityness of Centennial and Cascade dont match the pilsner malt. It's just too harsh. I used sparingly small amounts (only 0.5 oz of each plus 0.25 oz saaz for aroma) and its just too overbearing and doesn't mesh. I think you need a pretty solid malt base to match the potency of the C-hops. The light pilsner base just doesn't do it. Mine was OG 1.044, 90% pilsner malt, for example. Oh, and I used 1/2 distilled, 1/2 spring water.

Anyway, just my $0.02 and experience I wanted to share with the HBT community.
 

Lou

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How long ago did you brew this? I bet some aging will help take some of the bite off of those hops...
 

samc

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Old Lompoc in Portland has this (pretty good!) and it is now in bottles.

C-Note Imperial Pale - This HUGE Imperial Pale Ale (100 IBU!) is a hop head’s dream. Using Crystal, Cluster, Cascade, Chinook, Centennial,
Columbus and Challenger hops.* (6.9% a/v)
 
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Pangea

Pangea

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Yes, you're right. C hops can work in a pilsner or lager, but it has to have plenty malt backbone to give some balance to the bite of the C hops. Mine is thin, a lighter pilsner. Also, something about the combo of the spice of the saaz with the fruity/citrus bite of the centennial/cascade doesn't taste good like you'd think it would. Again, just too much grapefruity, sour bite. I brewed this sucker on 6/27, put it in the keg on 7/18, lagered at 34F until 8/10, then put on the gas for another week or so and now I'm tasting it. For a lighter beer, its aged plenty I think. Its not a guzzler, so I'll have it around for a while. If it changes or softens, I'll update this thread.
 

jsullivan02130

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Interesting.

For summer drinkin' I made a cream ale (4.5 lb. two row, 4.5 lb. belgian pils, and 3 lb. flaked maize, with US-05) with Santiams and Cascades.

I hopped it lightly because I knew that Cascades were, at least historically, inappropriate for the style. I love the Cascades but this was just too flowery. That light malt backbone just calls for some spiciness.

If I did it again (and I will, great summer beer) I'll stick with a noble or noble-derived American hop.
 
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Pangea

Pangea

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I'm brewing this pilsner again this weekend, but using Sterling for bittering and Liberty for taste and aroma at 1oz at 15 min, 1 oz at 2 min. Should be more mild than using cascade and centennial.
 

mkling

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I've made several light lagers or American pilseners with cascade hops as the only variety used and they have universally been great!

Only the other hand, I've been hesitant to use centennial, columbus, or chinook for these. They just seem just a bit more assertive than Cascade. You've got to use a light touch, but Cascade can be very nice in a light lager.
 

david_42

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BLASPHEMY!

"C" hops in massive quantities work with every style of beer. Makes them all taste like PWN IPAs, which are the only true craft beers.:mad:

The 3 Cs of PNW brewing: Cascade, Columbus, Chinook
 
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Pangea

Pangea

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BLASPHEMY!

"C" hops in massive quantities work with every style of beer. Makes them all taste like PWN IPAs, which are the only true craft beers.:mad:

The 3 Cs of PNW brewing: Cascade, Columbus, Chinook



:mug:
Exactly.

I love me some PNW Cs, but not in my pilsner as the primary hop, is what I was getting at in the original post. (Woudn't Centennial also be considered a PNW C?:confused:)

I almost went with Crystal instead of Liberty for the next experimental pilsner batch.
 

HenryHill

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David-42's point is that the PNW breweries over hop IPA's and he doesn't like the mild mid-western ones in the first place.
 
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