Author Topic: Light American Lager guidelines  (Read 1359 times)

Offline natebriscoe

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Light American Lager guidelines
« on: February 20, 2015, 03:45:27 AM »
I was wondering how everyone (especially bjcp judges) felt about a touch of sulfer in an Lt Am lager? Personally I like a little sulfur in most lagers, but the bjcp guidelines don't really say good or bad.

Offline klickitat jim

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Re: Light American Lager guidelines
« Reply #1 on: February 20, 2015, 01:11:54 PM »
If its a touch, and pleasant, I think its fine. 1a calls for low levels of yeast character, since its a lager that would include sulfur. In my opinion...

Offline erockrph

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Re: Light American Lager guidelines
« Reply #2 on: February 20, 2015, 01:21:15 PM »
I am not a BJCP judge, but to me a Light American Lager should be super, super clean. Since there is virtually no malt character, there is really nothing for that sulfur to hide behind. I like a touch of sulfur in my German lagers, but I don't think I'd want any in a Light American Lager.
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Offline Wort-H.O.G.

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Re: Light American Lager guidelines
« Reply #3 on: February 20, 2015, 01:23:45 PM »
I am not a BJCP judge, but to me a Light American Lager should be super, super clean. Since there is virtually no malt character, there is really nothing for that sulfur to hide behind. I like a touch of sulfur in my German lagers, but I don't think I'd want any in a Light American Lager.

+1
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Offline klickitat jim

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Re: Light American Lager guidelines
« Reply #4 on: February 20, 2015, 02:19:16 PM »
A touch in a light lager would not be the same amount as a touch in a german pils because theres nothing to hide behind. Also to me a touch is about the same measurement as a hint. Barely noticeable

Offline Jimmy K

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Re: Light American Lager guidelines
« Reply #5 on: February 20, 2015, 03:48:27 PM »
If its a touch and pleasant, you're likely to find judges that agree. However, you'll also find judges who believe that less is always better in that category. If it's well made and the sulfur is very light, it's likely to be the best beer on the light American lager table in many competitions. I've never judged that category, but I'd guess there are many entries with medium to strong flaws.
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Offline denny

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Re: Light American Lager guidelines
« Reply #6 on: February 20, 2015, 04:38:55 PM »
I am not a BJCP judge, but to me a Light American Lager should be super, super clean. Since there is virtually no malt character, there is really nothing for that sulfur to hide behind. I like a touch of sulfur in my German lagers, but I don't think I'd want any in a Light American Lager.

+1

Same here.  It would be OK in a Euro pils, but not ALL.
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Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Light American Lager guidelines
« Reply #7 on: February 20, 2015, 04:42:07 PM »
I've never brewed a light American lager, but if I did I'd use the Mexican lager strain.  It's totally clean and doesn't have the Bud 'appley' character I don't care for.
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Offline chumley

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Re: Light American Lager guidelines
« Reply #8 on: February 20, 2015, 04:55:13 PM »
If its a touch and pleasant, you're likely to find judges that agree. However, you'll also find judges who believe that less is always better in that category. If it's well made and the sulfur is very light, it's likely to be the best beer on the light American lager table in many competitions. I've never judged that category, but I'd guess there are many entries with medium to strong flaws.

Not just homebrewed version, but the commecial examples.  Busch Light tastes like lemons, Old Milwaukee tastes like dishwater.  Only PBR is squeaky clean and delicious.

Offline natebriscoe

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Re: Light American Lager guidelines
« Reply #9 on: February 20, 2015, 04:59:05 PM »
So the #1 example of the style is bitburger lite (hmmm German? ). It's not available around here, but a little sulfur in it wouldn't surprise me.

Offline Jimmy K

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Re: Light American Lager guidelines
« Reply #10 on: February 20, 2015, 05:03:32 PM »
Personally I like a little sulfur in most lagers, but the bjcp guidelines don't really say good or bad.
Actually, I just read the guidelines and it does say "Low levels of yeast character (green apples, DMS, or fruitiness) are optional but acceptable." DMS is a sulfur compound. I still think you will find judges who feel both ways.
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Offline dmtaylor

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Re: Light American Lager guidelines
« Reply #11 on: February 20, 2015, 05:06:34 PM »
I don't like sulfur at all.  Luckily it always ages out.  Unluckily for light lager, you want to drink the beer young.  Hopefully it ages out and still tastes fresh.
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Offline Wort-H.O.G.

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Re: Light American Lager guidelines
« Reply #12 on: February 20, 2015, 05:14:53 PM »
all comes down to objectives here. for personal taste and consumption, sulfur away. for competition, might be a risk.
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Offline santoch

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Re: Light American Lager guidelines
« Reply #13 on: February 20, 2015, 10:45:08 PM »
The problem is that a little bit in an Am. Light Lager stands out like a lit match (ha!) at night.

I wouldn't deep-six a Light Lager for having a bit of sulphur, provided it was light within the context of Am. Light Lager, and especially if it dissipated.  It might cost it a point or two in the aroma section, and maybe one or two in flavor if it came through there too, but that's about it.  We might be looking at a 37 instead of say a 40 hypothetically.

It becomes problematic when it pushes up to and gets beyond that threshold of 'light'.  The notion "Light" must be qualified to mean "light within the context of the style".  For example, light esters in an English Pale Ale would be obnoxiously fruity in a Light Lager.  Light in 1A is REALLY light.

Now, in a BOS round, even subtle sulphur could well likely end up being enough of a subtle factor that knocks it from the table, while an appropriately light sulphur in 2A would not be challenged.  It depends on what the other subtle factors are in all the other beers that may knock THEM from the table.

Hope this made some sense.
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Offline Steve Ruch

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Re: Light American Lager guidelines
« Reply #14 on: February 20, 2015, 11:02:33 PM »
Sulphur is a flavor: flavor is a no-no in lite American lager.
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