Pilsner Beer Recipes

Pilsner is a category of pale lagers including examples from Germany and America. All three styles have prominent hop bitterness and flavors, making them much more flavorful and aromatic compared to the light lager category.

Classic American Pilsner

Jack’s Classic American Pilsner

Homebrewers Association
Homebrewers Association

This beer recipe is featured in the March/April 2020 issue of Zymurgy magazine. Join the American Homebrewers Association or start your 30-day free trial to access the Zymurgy online archive and other exclusive member benefits!

This classic American Pilsner recipe is courtesy of Jack Horzempa.

The recipe as written will gain body and a mild sweetness from the use of flaked maize (corn). For a lighter, crisper take on the style, replace the corn with flaked rice. And for a more modern interpretation, replace the six-row malt with your favorite North American two-row Pilsner malt. Any way you brew it, this classic American lager is sure to refresh!

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German Pilsner (Pils)

SunRaker German Pils

Homebrewers Association
Homebrewers Association

Philip Verdieck of Houston, TX, member of the Foam Rangers Homebrew Club, won a gold medal in Category #3: Pilsner with a German Pils during the 2019 National Homebrew Competition Final Round in Providence, RI, with the help of Janine Weber. Verdieck and Weber's Pilsner was chosen as the best among 286 entries in the category.Read More

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Pilsner

Hobo BoHo Pilsner

Homebrewers Association
Homebrewers Association

This beer recipe is featured in the May/June 2019 issue of Zymurgy magazine. Join the American Homebrewers Association or start your 30-day free trial to access the Zymurgy digital archive and other exclusive member benefits!

This recipe appears in Denny and Drew’s book Simple Homebrewing, available from Brewers Publications.

Here’s a simple recipe where the whole character changes based on the water. Please note, although this recipe is for a lager, you can substitute a clean, neutral ale yeast and see the same effect. The decoction schedule specified is traditional, but hardly necessary. For a simpler brew day, perform a single infusion mash at 150°F (65.6°C) before proceeding to mash out or straight to the lauter.

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Bohemian Pilsener

Meister Groll Bohemian Pils

Homebrewers Association
Homebrewers Association

This beer recipe is featured in the May/June 2019 issue of Zymurgy magazine. Join the American Homebrewers Association or start your 30-day free trial to access the Zymurgy digital archive and other exclusive member benefits!

Recipe courtesy of Jan Brücklmeier of Aurora, Ohio. This classic Bohemian Pilsner uses a traditional triple-decoction mash.

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German Pilsner (Pils)

Simple Pils

Homebrewers Association
Homebrewers Association

“Our passion is Pilsner-driven,” says Brian Peters. “Pilsner is simple and refreshing all the way through, with enough hops to make it interesting. All good Pilsner recipes start with German Pilsner malt—and only Pilsner malt—to be authentic. I wouldn’t mess with anything else besides maybe a little bit of acid malt,” he advises homebrewers. “Water is critical, as Pilsner was not a style originally brewed in places with hard water. It’s too hard to get the hops and malt flavor right when you have that alkalinity, so we lower ours a bit. We have a pH of 6 when we mash in and when we sparge. Anything over 7, I can’t recommend.”

This recipe is featured in the May/June 2018 issue of Zymurgy magazine. Six issues of Zymurgy magazine are published annually and are included in American Homebrewers Association (AHA) membership. Join the AHA to enjoy Zymurgy and many more member benefits.

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Pilsner

Vitoria Vienna Pilsner

Homebrewers Association
Homebrewers Association

There are loads of things to think about when you're talking beer and food flavor dynamics, and Charlie Papazian is someone we certainly trust when it comes to identifying beer styles that cut and complement different foods. In his World of Worts column in Zymurgy a few years ago, he highlighted some important points about beer flavor that will inform your food pairing choices. Things to pay attention to when you're building your menu, just to name a few, are acidity, carbonation, the level of roasted character, and bitterness.

Charlie presented this recipe for his Vitoria Vienna Pils, describing it as a beer that reflects the flavors, aromas, and nuanced complexity of even the simplest of recipes. This unfiltered, naturally conditioned German-style Pilsner is a hop flavor- and hop aroma-enhanced lager with subtle toast malt character that will elevate any food accompaniment.

This recipe was originally featured in the January/February 2013 issue of Zymurgy magazine. Join the American Homebrewers Association to access all Zymurgy issues through 2000!

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