German Pilsner Malt | Brewing Grains

German Pilsner Malts are used commonly used in Pilsner, Helles, all lagers, most Belgian and most German style beers. These grains provide a bright, clean, and full-bodied flavor to your brew. If you’re looking to buy German Pilsner Malts for your next batch of beer you can pick up these grains at The Hoppy Brewer in Gresham. Learn more about Pilsner Malts below.

Pilsen Malt

Sometimes just called “pils,” pilsen is a special kind of pale malt that is used to make — you guessed it — pilsners. Pilsen malt is typically very light in color (anywhere from 1.1 to 2 degrees Lovibond). This malt typically tastes thinner and crisper than regular two-row, which carries over into the beer. Getting this flavor is usually at the expense of maltiness and aroma, but that’s what typifies a real pilsner. To get this flavor profile, the maltster will typically keep this malt less modified than regular two-row. Some would say it is under-modified, but that is rarely actually the case. It is modified well enough so that a single-step infusion mash presents no problems (this is the simplest kind of mashing, conducted at a constant temperature in a single vessel). Sometimes pilsner malt doesn’t have a lot of enzymatic power to spare, so it can’t convert itself and a load of adjuncts. But you really don’t want anything else in a true pilsner anyway, so it’s of little concern.

Pilsen malt is used to make one type of beer — traditional German or Czech pilsners. Those beers usually consist of 100 percent pilsen malt and nothing else but hops, yeast and water. If you have pilsen malt on hand and nothing else, you could use it to make almost any other beer style, but standard two-row would be a better choice. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen a recipe call for 90 percent two-row and 10 percent pilsen as the base malts. That’s a complete waste of pilsen and a complication in the recipe that makes no sense. Just use all two-row — you’d never taste the pilsen in that recipe. I’ve also seen pilsen malt called for in a lot of other German beers, like Munich. This is not a good choice. (It is more than likely an example of choosing a malt because it sounds right, rather than thinking about what the beer should actually taste like.) Use pilsen malt for brewing pilsners and that’s it.

Visit The Hoppy Brewer in Gresham to browse our selection of hops including our German Pilsner Malt.

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