Author Topic: Using 2-row for lagers  (Read 2975 times)

Offline gmac

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Using 2-row for lagers
« on: April 16, 2011, 09:20:19 AM »
I'm thinking about doing a lager, not sure exactly what yet but probably a pilsner and I'm wondering if it essential to use pilsener malt?  Besides colour, what is the advantage of pilsener malt over standard 2-row?  I'm not that concerned with it being as light as possible in colour, more concerned with how it tastes and how it works in a batch sparge application. 

I guess the bigger question is what I can make if I buy 55 lbs of 2-row instead of worrying about buying smaller lots of various other malts.  I know I'll need to add a few different specialty grains into my inventory but for now, what would be the most diverse base grain to have on hand?
Thanks.

Offline denny

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Re: Using 2-row for lagers
« Reply #1 on: April 16, 2011, 09:24:33 AM »
First, please allow me to be pedantic...pils malt IS 2 row (almost always).  What you're referring to as an aternative is pale malt.

If you want to make a spot on, true continental pils, then pils malt is essential.  If you want to make a really good tasting beer that's damn close to an authentic pils, then pale malt will be fine.
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Offline gmac

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Re: Using 2-row for lagers
« Reply #2 on: April 16, 2011, 09:31:07 AM »
Never let it be said that I wouldn't allow someone to be pedantic.

Here is the sight that I end up getting most of my stuff from. 
www.homebrew-supplies.ca

My local supply is pretty much non-existent.  If you look under Base Grains, you'll see Canadian 2-row, Pale Ale Malt (which I assume is the same as Pale Malt), Pilsner Malt and Superior Pilsner Malt.  Note that 2-row is almost 1/2 the price of some of the others and I'm a bit cheap.

I'm ok with "damn good".  No need for perfection in my world. 
Thanks

Offline denny

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Re: Using 2-row for lagers
« Reply #3 on: April 16, 2011, 09:32:46 AM »
Pale ale malt is kilned just a bit (maybe 1-2L) darker than pale malt.  It's closer to English malts.  Pils malt is kilned a bit lighter (maybe 1L) than pale malt.
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Offline b-hoppy

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Re: Using 2-row for lagers
« Reply #4 on: April 16, 2011, 11:13:20 AM »
I just bought a bag of the Canadian 2 row and brewed a batch - 12# 2 row and a bunch of hops.  The color is very pale in relationship to the flavor/body that it contributed to the beer.  I'd say the comparison between a general 2-row and pilsner would be similar to a general 2-row vs. maris otter.  The first being closer in flavor than the second example.

Offline jamminbrew

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Re: Using 2-row for lagers
« Reply #5 on: April 16, 2011, 11:21:20 AM »
One of the best things about being a homebrewer is you make any beer you want, any way you want. If you like the way it tastes, to hell with the recipe. Brew it your own way.  If you want to keep it authentic, then brew it the traditional way. Myself, I like experimenting!
« Last Edit: April 16, 2011, 11:28:52 AM by theantipunk »
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Offline a10t2

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Re: Using 2-row for lagers
« Reply #6 on: April 16, 2011, 11:55:44 AM »
If you've had a lager from a brewpub or small micro, there's a good chance it was made with the same base malt as their ales, and for most breweries that would be a domestic 2-row pale malt.
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Offline Malticulous

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Re: Using 2-row for lagers
« Reply #7 on: April 16, 2011, 12:13:58 PM »
Adding some Munich or Vienna will help. You just can't get the same sweetness and graham cracker that comes from continental pils. You could make a great CAP or premium American lager.

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Re: Using 2-row for lagers
« Reply #8 on: April 16, 2011, 12:19:30 PM »
The only way for you to know if it works for you is to try it.  I think you will like the beer, but I don't know if you will think it tastes like a pilsner.  Pils malt has a very distinct flavor to me, so a pilsner made with pale malt wouldn't taste "right" to me.  That being said, I'm not really a big fan of that distinct flavor, so "right" != "good". :)
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Offline gmac

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Re: Using 2-row for lagers
« Reply #9 on: April 16, 2011, 01:09:18 PM »
Thanks all.  For 90 bucks for a sack of pilsener versus 55 for a sack of 2-row.  I'm going with 2-row.  It'll be good enough for me and too good for my friends anyway.

Offline bluesman

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Re: Using 2-row for lagers
« Reply #10 on: April 16, 2011, 02:10:03 PM »
Thanks all.  For 90 bucks for a sack of pilsener versus 55 for a sack of 2-row.  I'm going with 2-row.  It'll be good enough for me and too good for my friends anyway.


I don't think you'll be disappointed in any way, as regular 2-row will make a fantastic lager recipe.  ;)
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Offline Kit B

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Re: Using 2-row for lagers
« Reply #11 on: April 21, 2011, 11:57:56 AM »
The only way for you to know if it works for you is to try it.  I think you will like the beer, but I don't know if you will think it tastes like a pilsner.  Pils malt has a very distinct flavor to me, so a pilsner made with pale malt wouldn't taste "right" to me.  That being said, I'm not really a big fan of that distinct flavor, so "right" != "good". :)

I agree...Pils just has that odd graininess that I'm not at all fond of.

Thanks all.  For 90 bucks for a sack of pilsener versus 55 for a sack of 2-row.  I'm going with 2-row.  It'll be good enough for me and too good for my friends anyway.


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Offline JKL

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Re: Using 2-row for lagers
« Reply #12 on: April 21, 2011, 12:29:57 PM »
This thread makes me wonder if I should try to sub 2-row for pils in my O'fest and Schwarzbier recipes I have coming up?  I can pick up a sack of Briess for $50 at my LHBS.  I kinda betting that my palate isn't sharp enough know the difference with everything else going on in these beers.
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Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Using 2-row for lagers
« Reply #13 on: April 21, 2011, 12:55:52 PM »
I want to see the score sheets on the CAP, which is a lager, I made with 6-row.  It might get dinged for not being grainy enough. 

Try the NA 2-row, you might like it.
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Offline sharg54

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Re: Using 2-row for lagers
« Reply #14 on: April 25, 2011, 12:18:21 AM »
I have done a CAP with both 6 and 2 row and the exact same mash schedule and hops schedule as well as the amount of flaked corn the only difference I have noticed is the sweetness of the brew. The 2 row was a lot sweeter than the 6 and didn't have the grain taste to it you would expect from a CAP although it was still a very tasty brew. So if your looking for taste than use what fits your pallet but I have to agree if your looking to duplicate something then use the right malt. Pilsner or whatever malt is proper for the brew your making.  If your  out to please yourself then make it how you want, if your out to please a judge than follow tradition.  ;D
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