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Pappers_

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So I saw a reference here on HBT to Italian Pilsners and had a somewhat vague recollection about conversations within the BJCP about adding it as a provisional style, which hasn't happened. Did a little searching here and found not much. Then googled and found a somewhat interesting article that raises about as many questions for me as it answers.

So I've never had Tipopils and don't think I've had any others, either commercial or homebrew. The article mentions Pivo Pils, which I have had, but doesn't strike me as being what is described in the article as distinctively Italian Pilsner-ish. But I know very little about the style.

So I'm wondering if anyone else is interested in this style, has brewed this style, has drunk this style. Would love to have a conversation about it, learn more about it.
 

Sammy86

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Great article share @Pappers_ !

Very interesting style, I've heard of Italian Pilsners through conversations but have never enjoyed them myself. My BIL recently went to Italy for his honeymoon and raved about the Pilsners there. Coming from a guy who traveled through Europe the summer going into his senior year of college I trust his palate.

I noticed the hops being used and I wonder which ones are used for the dry hop. I noticed he didn't talk much about aroma but the tasting descriptors definitely sparked my interest.
 

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Is there really a need to create a category for "poorly executed, warm-fermented lagers"? IMHO that's the common denominator of this "style" which I know all too well. FYI the brewery mentioned in the article Pappers linked to is only a half-hour drive from my place of residence...
 

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Tipopils was a lovely beer last time I had it, quite a while ago now. I think the brewer was inspired by the bitterness of Jever, while it is quite a different beer the bitterness and dryness reminds me of it - not so much the extra hop flavours and aroma.
 

Dgallo

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A very good Italian restaurant by me does a Mediterranean seafood night where they do half price Peronni, so I have it every once in a while. It’s good but probably wouldn’t actively seek it out otherwise
 

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Birra Moretti. I've had a few while traveling in Italy and thought it was reasonably good, similar in some ways to other regionally popular beers (Coor's Banquet?). Not one I'd go out of my way to find here in the U.S., but when in Rome....
 

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Check out this book.

Admittedly, there's only a short chapter on Italian Pils, but it's interesting enough. Agostino Arioli and Tipopils is the focus of the chapter and it does include a recipe. While the grist is your standard issue international lager kinda thing, the hopping schedule (specifically, the dry hopping schedule) is pretty interesting.

It might provide a nice launching point for you. I'm currently in the midst of a nine-month CAP bender, but I plan on circling back to this style when I finally hit CAP rock bottom.
 

Vale71

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Birra Moretti. I've had a few while traveling in Italy and thought it was reasonably good, similar in some ways to other regionally popular beers (Coor's Banquet?). Not one I'd go out of my way to find here in the U.S., but when in Rome....
Moretti hasn't ncessarily been brewed in Italy for a very long time. It has been part of the Heineken group since 1996, which makes it impossible (short of industrial espionage) to know where any of their beers are actually being brewed currently.
 

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I definitely didn't enjoy many Italian beers in Italy last year. Birra Moretti was ubiquitous, so I bought that but it was really not very good in my opinion.

I found a little place in Florence that had an American India pale ale (but made in Italy), and it was good but I don't know the name of the brewery that brewed it. So it was an Italian American-style India pale ale, I guess.

The pils was not very good.
 
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Moretti and Peroni are not what folks are talking about when they say "Italian Pilsner" as a style. In BJCP speak, those are considered International Pale Lagers, not nearly as bitter or hoppy as the "Italian Pilsner" style that folks in the linked article are talking about. A Pilsner dry hopped with Euro noble hops.
 
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And the article claims that Pivo Pils (by Firestone Walker) is an example of the Italian Pils style, although as I said, I'm not sure that what they say in the article lines up with my taste memory of Pivo PIls.
 
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Check out this book.

Admittedly, there's only a short chapter on Italian Pils, but it's interesting enough. Agostino Arioli and Tipopils is the focus of the chapter and it does include a recipe. While the grist is your standard issue international lager kinda thing, the hopping schedule (specifically, the dry hopping schedule) is pretty interesting.

It might provide a nice launching point for you. I'm currently in the midst of a nine-month CAP bender, but I plan on circling back to this style when I finally hit CAP rock bottom.
The guy who wrote the article suggested getting that book, also. I guess I'm going to have to do that LOL.

What does CAP stand for?
 

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A brewery here in Seattle does a great Italian Pilsner (actually won a gold medal for WA beer awards): Lowercase Brewing. He modeled it after Tipopils and information from Arioli. Here is a pretty close recipe scaled down to a 5 gal batch:

Water:
Use a pretty soft profile, targeting about 50 Ca, 25 sulfate, 75 chloride
Try to keep the pH around 5.2, do not go above 5.5

Malts:
Pilsner malt 97% (use a German variety, 1.8-2 L)
acid malt 2%
C-45 1%
Do a step mash and target 1.050 (however, decoction mash would be preferred. Consider removing the C-45 if you do a decoction)

Hops:
Bitter to 30 IBU with magnum @60 min
whirlpool with about 2-3 IBU each of Hallertau M, Santiam, and Saphir
Dry hop during high krausen on day 2-3 with about 0.25 oz Hallertau M
Dry hop after fermentation/D-rest is complete on about day 9-10 with about 0.75 oz Saphir

Yeast:
German lager yeast (34/70)
Ferment at about 52-54 F followed by a D-rest at 57 F
Target FG 1.010

I've heard of other breweries with very similar processes. Other hops I've seen used are Polaris, Tettnang, and Spalter. The final beer is a bit of a hybrid between a german and czech pilsner.

I would also say that Moretti and Peroni and not good examples of what people are trying to emulate as "italian Pilsner" as these beers typically lack the hop character.
 
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A brewery here in Seattle does a great Italian Pilsner (actually won a gold medal for WA beer awards): Lowercase Brewing. He modeled it after Tipopils and information from Arioli. Here is a pretty close recipe scaled down to a 5 gal batch:

Water:
Use a pretty soft profile, targeting about 50 Ca, 25 sulfate, 75 chloride
Try to keep the pH around 5.2, do not go above 5.5

Malts:
Pilsner malt 97% (use a German variety, 1.8-2 L)
acid malt 2%
C-45 1%
Do a step mash and target 1.050 (however, decoction mash would be preferred. Consider removing the C-45 if you do a decoction)

Hops:
Bitter to 30 IBU with magnum @60 min
whirlpool with about 2-3 IBU each of Hallertau M, Santiam, and Saphir
Dry hop during high krausen on day 2-3 with about 0.25 oz Hallertau M
Dry hop after fermentation/D-rest is complete on about day 9-10 with about 0.75 oz Saphir

Yeast:
German lager yeast (34/70)
Ferment at about 52-54 F followed by a D-rest at 57 F
Target FG 1.010

I've heard of other breweries with very similar processes. Other hops I've seen used are Polaris, Tettnang, and Spalter. The final beer is a bit of a hybrid between a german and czech pilsner.

I would also say that Moretti and Peroni and not good examples of what people are trying to emulate as "italian Pilsner" as these beers typically lack the hop character.
Dammit, I just bought the recipe book mentioned above . . . . LOL

Thanks for the recipe. So, dry hop while active fermentation is going on, to get some bio transformation. Interesting.
 

Vale71

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A Pilsner dry hopped with Euro noble hops.
FYI the few times I conceded to peer pressure and had a TipoPils I would have never guessed that it was dry-hopped. I'm not saying they don't do it but it's definitely not its most defining characteristic.
 

Kenmoron

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It is a very subtle double dry hop. The one at active fermentation is tiny, and even the one at the end is small. Not to mention you are dry-hopping with noble hops so there isn't much pungency to begin with compared to your typical American dry hops. It should be just enough to give a light floral/herbal/garden-like aroma and flavor.
 
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FWIW, we're drinking a Pre-Prohibition Pilsner that we made a few weeks ago and a second batch is in the fermenter now. I'm just interested in doing variants of Pilsners, I guess.
 

monkeymath

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When I went to Bologna last year, there was an abundance of brew pubs and smaller craft beer venues (which were all closed for ferragosto, unfortunately, so we ended up visiting Brew Dog), so it seemed that they were really picking up on it, although wine is still far more important there, I think.

So, yeah, it's certainly great that some of them are now making good Pilsners. But why do we need a new "style" for Italian pilsners then? Next up, we'll have all possible combinations of <Country>-<Style> ...
 

Brettomomyces

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When I went to Bologna last year, there was an abundance of brew pubs and smaller craft beer venues (which were all closed for ferragosto, unfortunately, so we ended up visiting Brew Dog), so it seemed that they were really picking up on it, although wine is still far more important there, I think.

So, yeah, it's certainly great that some of them are now making good Pilsners. But why do we need a new "style" for Italian pilsners then? Next up, we'll have all possible combinations of <Country>-<Style> ...
Like American, German, New Zealand, or Czech Pilsners?...

A brewery here in Seattle does a great Italian Pilsner (actually won a gold medal for WA beer awards): Lowercase Brewing. He modeled it after Tipopils and information from Arioli. Here is a pretty close recipe scaled down to a 5 gal batch:

Water:
Use a pretty soft profile, targeting about 50 Ca, 25 sulfate, 75 chloride
Try to keep the pH around 5.2, do not go above 5.5

Malts:
Pilsner malt 97% (use a German variety, 1.8-2 L)
acid malt 2%
C-45 1%
Do a step mash and target 1.050 (however, decoction mash would be preferred. Consider removing the C-45 if you do a decoction)

Hops:
Bitter to 30 IBU with magnum @60 min
whirlpool with about 2-3 IBU each of Hallertau M, Santiam, and Saphir
Dry hop during high krausen on day 2-3 with about 0.25 oz Hallertau M
Dry hop after fermentation/D-rest is complete on about day 9-10 with about 0.75 oz Saphir

Yeast:
German lager yeast (34/70)
Ferment at about 52-54 F followed by a D-rest at 57 F
Target FG 1.010

I've heard of other breweries with very similar processes. Other hops I've seen used are Polaris, Tettnang, and Spalter. The final beer is a bit of a hybrid between a german and czech pilsner.

I would also say that Moretti and Peroni and not good examples of what people are trying to emulate as "italian Pilsner" as these beers typically lack the hop character.
This is a good starting point and really close to the recipe I've been using for awhile now, but I like to slip a little Munich into mine.

I've tried using CaraMunich in a grain bill really close to this because they list it in the ingredients, but never really jived with the flavor. I like a small splash of carahell instead.

Personally I've been using mostly Saaz and Saphir and following a Czech pils hop schedule, some FWH, and a couple other additions later into the boil. Tettnang was not my favorite dry hop, but I've liked Hersbrucker a lot which kind of surprised me. I like around 2-3oz of dry hop for 5 gallons but thats my personal preference. It hits my craving for a pale ale :)
 

hopfenstopfen

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Dammit, I just bought the recipe book mentioned above . . . . LOL

Thanks for the recipe. So, dry hop while active fermentation is going on, to get some bio transformation. Interesting.
Recent issue of CB&B magazine.
9806089B-94C5-4573-9350-66E8AFD14952.png
 

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I met Agostino ay Braukunst in Munich in 2012. With a few friends, we visited him during his Pils Pride festival in 2013. Brynildson, Chuckanut's Kemper, Schönram's Toft were there and a few other German breweries contributed beer to the event, 10 in total.
We entered a contest in which we tested all 10 pils blind, then not blind, and needed to match the beers. (We got all 10 right 😀).
This is just to say I had Tipo many times, and know the beer well. It's a great beer but a bit to estery for my taste. I like the balance of Schönram better. Brynildson evidently likes Tipo and modeled his pils after Tipo; whereas Vinnie modeled his pils after Schönram.
Most noble hops come across as grassy and harsh when used late or in dry hopping. Evidently Agostino and E Toft found a solution but it's not easy to find the right hop mix.
Fav pils for me are Schönram (hoppy German-Italian), Ayinger (Bavarian pils) and in the US, my locals, Live Oak Gold (Czech) and ABGB Rocket 100 (Pre prohib.).
But I do have an odd palate... eg, Bierstadt tastes harsh to me (still a very good beer of course), and everyone loves it and doesn't notice any harshness.
Prost!
 

Brettomomyces

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I met Agostino ay Braukunst in Munich in 2012. With a few friends, we visited him during his Pils Pride festival in 2013. Brynildson, Chuckanut's Kemper, Schönram's Toft were there and a few other German breweries contributed beer to the event, 10 in total.
We entered a contest in which we tested all 10 pils blind, then not blind, and needed to match the beers. (We got all 10 right 😀).
This is just to say I had Tipo many times, and know the beer well. It's a great beer but a bit to estery for my taste. I like the balance of Schönram better. Brynildson evidently likes Tipo and modeled his pils after Tipo; whereas Vinnie modeled his pils after Schönram.
Most noble hops come across as grassy and harsh when used late or in dry hopping. Evidently Agostino and E Toft found a solution but it's not easy to find the right hop mix.
Fav pils for me are Schönram (hoppy German-Italian), Ayinger (Bavarian pils) and in the US, my locals, Live Oak Gold (Czech) and ABGB Rocket 100 (Pre prohib.).
But I do have an odd palate... eg, Bierstadt tastes harsh to me (still a very good beer of course), and everyone loves it and doesn't notice any harshness.
Prost!
Bierstadt is pretty damn hoppy but on tap it is one of my favorite beers ever...I put down 3 liters on their birthday a few weeks ago :) The aroma out of a full mug is absolutely amazing and it makes those little .3L glasses pale in comparison. I've gotten pretty close to cloning their slow pour using Barke pils, single decoction and all mittelfruh.
 

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Has anyone brewed with the Eraclea pilsner from Weyermann before?

This terroir malt is produced from premium Eraclea barley grown near the Adriatic Sea northeast of Venice. It has a noticeable malty-sweet aroma with notes of honey. Eraclea Pilsner Malt creates excellent medium-bodied Mediterranean-style pale lagers and ales with perfect stable foam.
The origin of Eraclea Malt

Saatgut Breun developed Eraclea Malt in Bavaria Germany through selective breeding in the 1970’s. Eraclea is a 2-row winter barley that does not do well in the humid growing conditions typical of Bavaria. This barley variety prefers arid conditions and has the important ability of being able to store humidity to sustain growth during the emergence phase. The terroir of Italy’s Adriatic coast offers perfect conditions for Eraclea Pilsner Malt to flourish, with long sunny days and dry conditions encouraging its growth.


I am kegging my first batch today made with it and fermented with WLP835. 9.5# of Eraclea, 0.5# of acidulated (split between mash and sparge) and 2oz of CaraHell. The grain was very dry and a little earthy tasting it straight from the bag which made me want to put a little crystal in there.
 

deadwolfbones

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There has been a little discussion of Italian pils starting here.

I recently made my first attempt at the style, following the advice in the Alworth article linked above.

As posted in the other thread I linked, I tasted mine (it's been lagering in the keg for a bit over a month) against Highland Park Brewery's Pleasant Pils and found it held up pretty well. Mine is a bit maltier, theirs hoppier (they use Saphir to my Tettnang), but in terms of mouthfeel and overall character they're not far off. Lovely beer, perfect for summer.
 

anteater8

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I brewed this up as my first attempt on an Italian Pilsner, I'll be kegging in a few days. I may have gone overboard on the hops, but when I was putting the recipe together I decided I'd risk going too big rather than not big enough. I've never had a pilsner I thought was too hoppy. Also, for anyone in the Pacific Northwest, Wayfinder's Terrifica is my favorite example of the style I've had (including Tipopils).

9.75 lb Weyermann floor malted pilsner malt
1 lb Munich Malt

0.4 oz Warrior 90 min (20 IBU)
1 oz Hallertauer 30 min (9 IBU)
1 oz Tettnang 30 min (11 IBU)
1 oz Hallertauer 0 min
1 oz Tettnang 0 min
1 oz Hallertauer dry hop
1 oz Tettnang dry hop

Omega German Bock Yeast

100:50 Sulfate:Chloride
 

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I brew dry hopped Pilsners once in a while, usually during spring. I've used german hops, but I like the results better with the likes of Motueka, Loral and Mistral. In the past 3 years I've been tinkering with water and water treatment, and I'm almost there in the water department ( for my liking ). I do enjoy a sulfate leaning water treatment.

My latest dry hopped Pilsner looked like this:

100% Bestmalz Pilsner ( I like it a little better than Weyermann, Dingemans, and other english/belgian varieties )
65C/149F mash temp. + 60-75' mash time + mash pH 5.4 after 40' at 20C
Boil 60'
Around 40 IBU
Hops at 60', 30' , 1 minute ( flameout ) and dry hop - I like Motueka and Mistral for dry hopping ( 70-90 grams ) and a combo of all three at flameout.
Water: I have soft water --- 21 ppm Ca / 9 ppm Mg / 5 ppm Na / 16 ppm SO4 / 4 ppm Cl / 99 HCO3 / pH 7.5 at 20C --- so I go around 10 ppm Mg + 20 ppm Na + 100 ppm C + 150/175 ppm SO4 ( depends on the mood ) + whatever Ca is in there.

I use W-34/70 fermented at 60F for a 5-6 days and raise to 68F for the last 5-6 days. Dry hop for 2-3 days and bottle. I've bottled a few of these and they are pretty stable for a few months, although hop aroma does fade with time.

The aroma and flavour are extremely pleasent, albeit mild, but there is a certain drinkability to these beers - I usually bottle around 6.5 gallons, so the hop amounts, although they might sound high, are actually for 7+ gallons of beer from start to finish. The beers all looked unfiltered - by no means hazy, which only enforced the look and feel of these beers.
 

hopfenstopfen

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I brewed this up as my first attempt on an Italian Pilsner, I'll be kegging in a few days. I may have gone overboard on the hops, but when I was putting the recipe together I decided I'd risk going too big rather than not big enough. I've never had a pilsner I thought was too hoppy. Also, for anyone in the Pacific Northwest, Wayfinder's Terrifica is my favorite example of the style I've had (including Tipopils).

9.75 lb Weyermann floor malted pilsner malt
1 lb Munich Malt

0.4 oz Warrior 90 min (20 IBU)
1 oz Hallertauer 30 min (9 IBU)
1 oz Tettnang 30 min (11 IBU)
1 oz Hallertauer 0 min
1 oz Tettnang 0 min
1 oz Hallertauer dry hop
1 oz Tettnang dry hop

Omega German Bock Yeast

100:50 Sulfate:Chloride

Report back! I’m interested in your perceived bitterness. I just used 6.5 oz of Saaz in a Pils all throughout the boil last week, though they were 2.9% AA. I will not be dry-hopping this one. Were your hallertauer/tettnang on the low or high end AA? I’m also interested in your sulfate level, I’ve not gone above 50ppm in a Pils yet.
 

monkeymath

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I'm currently on the train home from Trento, Italy. Went to a beer store in the morning, but they didn't have Tipopils; but then I managed to find it on tap at a restaurant.

The dry-hop is noticeable, I'd say, but not over the top, so it stays well within the category of pilsners. Nice floral aroma, some grains. The body is quite thin, even for a pilsner, and the mouthfeel almost a bit watery.
It's a nice beer, but not something I'd go out of my way to seek out or even try to clone in my homebrew. But I might take a clone recipe, add a pound of munich malt (probably keeping the extra gravity) and make that.
 

anteater8

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Report back! I’m interested in your perceived bitterness. I just used 6.5 oz of Saaz in a Pils all throughout the boil last week, though they were 2.9% AA. I will not be dry-hopping this one. Were your hallertauer/tettnang on the low or high end AA? I’m also interested in your sulfate level, I’ve not gone above 50ppm in a Pils yet.
I'll report back in a few weeeks for sure. I don't recall the exact AA on my hops, I just used the Beersmith default of 4.0% and 4.5% for Hallertauer and Tettnang respectively.

I've used the same water profile in all four pilsners I've brewed so far and have been happy with it, crisp but not minerally, good balance with bitterness. One of them got a bronze medal with a 36/50, definitely room for experimenting and improvement though.
 

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So, yeah, it's certainly great that some of them are now making good Pilsners. But why do we need a new "style" for Italian pilsners then? Next up, we'll have all possible combinations of <Country>-<Style> ...
It's not "new", you may not have heard of it before but it predates most/all of the other "country <style>" lagers, and within Europe it has become a recognisable "thing" to describe lagers with significant dry hopping with noble-ish hops. So no, this has nothing to do with Peroni and Moretti.

This is a nice article interviewing Agostino Arioli about Tipopils - he's a big fan of Spalter Select for the dry hop.
 

monkeymath

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It's not "new", you may not have heard of it before but it predates most/all of the other "country <style>" lagers, and within Europe it has become a recognisable "thing" to describe lagers with significant dry hopping with noble-ish hops. So no, this has nothing to do with Peroni and Moretti.
I wasn't saying Italian pilsners were new; I was questioning whether it helps in any way to introduce a new style "Italian Pilsner":
- At least Tipopils squarely matches the BJCP guidelines for a German Pilsner.
- Introducing more and more new styles makes it impossible to compare beers: of course you cannot compare a Stout to a Hefeweizen, but when no two beers belong the same style anymore, you've lost more than you gained. And the act of adding a subtle dry-hop is not in itself sufficiently revolutionary.
- The geographic reference is nonsensical when 98% of Italian pilsners are not "Italian Pilsners" and a good deal of "Italian Pilsners" are not Italian.
 

Northern_Brewer

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You mean like India Pale Ales?
 

anteater8

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I brewed this up as my first attempt on an Italian Pilsner, I'll be kegging in a few days. I may have gone overboard on the hops, but when I was putting the recipe together I decided I'd risk going too big rather than not big enough. I've never had a pilsner I thought was too hoppy. Also, for anyone in the Pacific Northwest, Wayfinder's Terrifica is my favorite example of the style I've had (including Tipopils).

9.75 lb Weyermann floor malted pilsner malt
1 lb Munich Malt

0.4 oz Warrior 90 min (20 IBU)
1 oz Hallertauer 30 min (9 IBU)
1 oz Tettnang 30 min (11 IBU)
1 oz Hallertauer 0 min
1 oz Tettnang 0 min
1 oz Hallertauer dry hop
1 oz Tettnang dry hop

Omega German Bock Yeast

100:50 Sulfate:Chloride
I'm drinking this now and I'm really happy with the way it turned out. This has actually gotten me closer to the pilsner I want to drink on a regular basis, regardless of what you want to call it. Its simply hoppier and more exciting. Aroma is that of a really fresh German Pils, with just a bit more punch to it. Flavor has a good amount of lemon, herbal and hop spiciness, but its well balanced with the honey and cracker notes from the malt.

I would brew this again the exact same way. I would also consider upping the IBUs by maybe 5... maybe my hops weren't as high in AA as beersmith suggested? I would also consider adding a small whirlpool addition, which I've had good luck with in my normal German Pils. I'd even consider adding a very small amount of stronger American hops, maybe Cascade or Centennial, to give it more of a citrus punch... but I realize then we'd be venturing into more of a "West Coast Pils" style.

In any case, I think I can say this is a decent starting point for anyone who wants to take a stab at an Italian Pilsner.
 

Gruel

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I'm not intending to put a damper on the enthusiasm here, but I have consistently bad memories of Italian pilsners. That was in the 80s; did they get better in the mean time?
 

Northern_Brewer

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I'm not intending to put a damper on the enthusiasm here, but I have consistently bad memories of Italian pilsners. That was in the 80s; did they get better in the mean time?
We're talking about completely different things. How was the US beer scene in the 1980s compared to now?
 

Andre3000

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I'm not intending to put a damper on the enthusiasm here, but I have consistently bad memories of Italian pilsners. That was in the 80s; did they get better in the mean time?
You most likely are not thinking of the same "Italian Style" Pilsner that is being brewed today on the craft level.

I don't know what your knowledge is on the subject, but it's a confusing label. When I first heard it I was like "oh like Peroni?". No, not like Peroni at all. Think German Pilsner with more back end hops boosting flavor and aroma, but still tending towards subtle. More importantly, this style almost seems like a gateway for more breweries to start experimenting with unconventional pilsners, a trend that I am a big fan of.

 
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