Beer Style Definition- Pilsner


German Pilsner (Pils)1.044-501.008-134.4-5.225-452-5
Bohemian Pilesner1.044-561.013-174.2-5.435-453.5-6
Classic American Pilsner1.044-601.010-154.5-6.025-403-6

German Pilsner (Pils)

The German style of this classic beer is unique in its drier, more pronounced bitterness.  But this is not accomplished through extra hopping, as you can see from the IBU scale above.  Rather the hard water can account for the difference.

The homebrewer will want to treat the brewing water to better approximate Munich’s hard water with additional calcium from gypsum and sulfates.  Use very light pilsner malts or extra light dry malt extract to keep color pale.  Only noble hops should be used, with spicy and floral tones accepted.

Bohemian Pilesner

A richer, matlier, and smoother version of the style.  Brilliantly clear and pale in color, with no fruity esters in the aroma.  Saaz should be the predominate hop choice.  The ultra smooth mouthfeel and rich flavor is typically acheived with a decoction mash.  Do not add water hardners to this one.

Classic American Pilsner

The American adaptation is lighter in both color and body.  Use of adjuncts is accepted to acheive the lighter body, and also lower hopping rates to balance the bitterness.  30% corn or rice is a good level.  Noble hops again prevail, but Americanized versions like Cluster, Liberty, or Crystal are also good.  The high protien of American grains may adversely affect color, so be sure to use a protein rest if mashing.