Choosing between Pilsner malts

Discussion in 'Recipes for Feedback' started by Korpi Brewery, Feb 1, 2019.

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  1. Korpi Brewery

    Korpi Brewery Member

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    #1 Korpi Brewery, Feb 1, 2019
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2019
    Hey guys and gals, long time no Brewing!

    I've got a tough choice to make and would love to have your insights.
    I'm planning to brew a simple sweet lager in a few days time and I need to make a decision between two different pilsner malts.

    The receipe looks roughly like this:
    86% Pilsner malts
    8-9% Crystal malts (19 Lov) will probably tone these down a bit
    1-2% Crystal malts (57 Lov)
    3-4% Candi sugar (just to ramp up the alcohol, in case efficiency turns out a bit rubbish,

    Mashing at the higher temp range (68C...ish), single step

    Hoping to achieve a .50 BU/GU ratio with
    Styrian Goldings (60min - 15 min - whirlpool)
    Planning to hit 1.054 OG and 1.014FG with some residual sweetness.
    Yeasting with WLP 833 German Bock Lager
    Fermenting and conditioning followed by 4-5 weeks lagering.

    Now the Malts in question are these two fellows:

    Option 1) Dingemans Pilsner
    http://www.dingemansmout.be/products/kilned-malts
    - The grains have a beautiful biscuity flavor. Like eating oatmeal cookies.

    Option 2) Viking Pilsner
    https://www.vikingmalt.com/product/pilsner-malt/
    - The grains taste grainy and neutral. More breadlike or maybe cereal?

    Any opinions or feedback?
     
  2. thehaze

    thehaze Active Member

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    I would choose the cheapest. Now, the Dingemans might be a more flavourful malt as they usually are, so if you have the money, buy it.

    Now going back to your recipe, I would get rid of the crystal malts and the candi sugar. If you need to ramp up the OG, use some plain, white sugar you might have in your cupboard already.

    I assume you want the crystal malts in there to add some complexity, which is a fine thought. I don't like crystal malts in pale lagers. A much better route - in my opinion - would be to substitute with some base malts that have a bit more character, such as Vienna and Munich Light or I ( The Weyermann variety ). Vienna adds subtle, toasty, dry, crisp notes and Munich Light amps up the maltiness. Instead of 10% crystal malts, use 20-40% Vienna and/or Munich Light.
     
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  3. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Go with the cheapest base malt you can find unless you're doing something like a Pils or a Helles, where base malt is all you have. Then trust your taste. The Crystal malts in your recipe will pretty much overwhelm any subtle differences in the base malts, so go with the cheapest. And, unless you're using a darker candi sugar to provide some flavor, save yourself a shekel or two and use table sugar in place of the candi sugar. Same thing, and table sugar costs less than 1/10 of the candi.
     
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  4. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    For what you seem to be looking for, I'd use any Pilsner base malt and dump the Crystal and use the same percentages of Vienna, Munich etc for color and flavor. There's just no need for Crystal malt in a lager.
     
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  5. Korpi Brewery

    Korpi Brewery Member

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    Thanks gents. I'm not a fan of crystal/caramalts either. It's just what I've got in the inventory at the moment. And whichever pilsner I choose, the other will go towards an attempt at a Brut IPA.

    I might replace the crystal malts with some Maris Otter. Maybe go half and half?
     
  6. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    Not for a lager of any sort, really. It won't hurt anything, but you'll end up with a different flavor profile than what would be usual for a lager.
     
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  7. Korpi Brewery

    Korpi Brewery Member

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    What would you define as "usual for lager"?. Ranging from Bohemian Pilsner to dark roasted Bavarian Dunkels there must be dozens distinct flavor profiles for European Lagers and hundreds commercial varieties.

    The biscuity flavor of the Dingemans intrigues me and I'd love to enhance it in the final product. Keep it Simple then? Should I SMASH it?
     
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  8. Hogarthe

    Hogarthe Well-Known Member

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    Marris Otter is a British malt, and England is not known for lagers. They brew more ales, so there base malts are going to be aimed toward that. Not that you can't use it, I use English pale ale malt in lagers all the time. Pilsner malt is more of a sweet, grainy taste, compared to the richer, bready almost nutty taste of English pale ale. I haven't used Viking anything, but the dingeman's pils malt is good. I'd go with that one between the 2.
     
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  9. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    Maris Otter might be in the range of Vienna or even Light Munich but the flavor tends to be more fruity, IMO, as opposed to the grainy/malty/sweet that's showcased in most European lagers. The English do brew lagers, though and they may very well use MO. There's no real reason to avoid it, but there wouldn't be much reason to target that flavor specifically. It'll make a good beer, especially one that's got a little bit of amber color and caramel flavor. I beers like Yeungling's Lager might be representative of the style you're pointing toward. Nothing wrong with that! :)
    I say Brew On! and see what you end up with.
     
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  10. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Agree with JA. Worst thing that can happen is you'll make beer. Remember, lager is a process, not a style, and there are few beers that won't benefit from some time in the cold. Esters, fruity flavors, are part of ale flavor profiles, they are generally below flavor thresholds in lagers. So if you use a malt like Maris Otter as your base, it'll taste different than a lager made with Pilsner (I'd guess you'd be nearly in a Vienna Lager range with an all-Maris lager). Give it a try. I do have base malts I prefer - Avangard Pils, Root Shoot Pale, Blacklands "True Texas" Pilsner, Maris Otter and Golden Promise but I don't use a lot of crystal malts and tend to make lighter, less hoppy beers than most.

    The fundamental difference between English malts and Continental malts (in general, no flame war, please!) is that English malts are designed for single infusion, while Continental malts generally benefit from a step mash (Bohemian malts needing decoction intentionally omitted).
     
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