Author Topic: PIls malt--can I substitute Pale Malt or MO malt in its place?  (Read 2200 times)

Offline richardt

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I have a quick question regarding the possible substitution of Briess 2-row pale malt or Crisp Marris Otter Malt in place of Pils malt in various lager recipes.  I have a bunch of the first two, and none of the latter.

I'd like to use WY2782-PC Staro-Prague yeast to brew a pilsner or a munich helles (possibly with Briess 2 row pale malt), then use the yeast cake for a muni dunkel and/or a schwarzbier (using 80-90% Gambrinus Dark Munich malt).

Personally, I am not a fan of grain/husk flavors, faint sulfur notes or DMS (more likely to be encountered in Pils malt), so can I make a reasonable pilsner without using pils malt?

Offline bluesman

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Re: PIls malt--can I substitute Pale Malt or MO malt in its place?
« Reply #1 on: March 03, 2012, 08:13:16 PM »
I think you can but it will not have the same flavor profile. Pils malt lends a distinctive flavor that 2 row pale or MO will not be able to duplicate. Pils is a lighter kilned malt at 2-3L, whereas 2 row pale and MO is typically 3-5L. Pilsner malt is very pale, and a little less modified than pale malts used for ales. As a result, there are more enzymes left in the grain after it has been kilned in order to retain the pale color and other desirable Pils malt characteristics. More enzymes mean more enzymatic activity, which means more SMM production even after the grain has been kilned. The rest follows. SMM leads to DMS, which oxidizes to DMSO, and is then reduced back to DMS.

The end result is that the flavor profile between the varieties will be different. It's a personal choice. If you want an authentic Pils, go with Pils.
Ron Price

Offline tschmidlin

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Re: PIls malt--can I substitute Pale Malt or MO malt in its place?
« Reply #2 on: March 03, 2012, 09:11:01 PM »
SMM is produced during malting.  It is converted to DMS and driven off during kilning, but since pils malts are not kilned as long/hot, they retain more of it.

I would try with the Briess pale rather than the MO, it will be closer.  But I agree with Ron - it won't taste the same, pils malt has a distinct flavor.  That doesn't mean it won't be good though.
Tom Schmidlin