Sunday, October 30, 2011

German Pilsner (Pils) 2A

Next up on the BJCP Beer Styles is German Pilsner (Pils) 2A.  This is a drier, crisper version of the Bohemian Pilsner that the German breweries adapted.  The first German Pilsner has been credited to Aktienbrauerei Zum Bierkeller of Radeberg in 1872.  An interesting factoid, France became an important export market for the German Pilsner.  Pilsner accounts for two thirds of all the beer sold in Germany.   There is noticeable variations between North and South German Pilsners.  The Northern variation is zesty, citrusy with up front hop bitterness, while the Southern variation is mellower and emphasizes the hop aroma.

Aroma:  Light grainy Pils malt character with distinctive flowery or spicy noble hops.  Clean, no fruity esters, no diacetyl.  May have hints of sulfury aroma through out.

Appearance:  Straw to light gold, brilliant to very clear, with a creamy long lasting head.

Flavor:  Crisp and bitter with a dry to medium dry finish.  Moderate to Moderately low maltiness, although some graininess and Pilsner malt sweetness are acceptable.  Hop bitterness dominates taste and lingers into the aftertaste.  Hop flavor can range from low to high but only should be of German noble hops.  Clean, no fruity esters, no diacetyl.

Mouthfeel:  Medium-light bodied, medium to high carbonation.

Comments:  Crisp, clean, refreshing beer that prominently features noble German hops bitterness accentuated by sulfates in the water.  Modern examples of German Pilsner tend to become paler in color, drier in finish, and more bitter as you move from South to North in Germany.

Numbers:  IBUs (bitterness) 25-45, SRM (color) 2-5, OG (potential) 1.044- 1.050, FG (finish) 1.008- 1.013, ABV 4.4-5.2%

Examples:  Victory Prima Pils, Bitburger, Warsteiner, Konig Pilsner, Left Hand Polestar Pilsner, Spaten Pils

Pilsner malt, German hop varieties ( noble varieties such as Hallertauer, Tettnanger, and Spalt for flavor and Aroma), medium sulfate water, and German lager yeast make up this beer.  Victory Prima Pils is considered to be the best example of this style of beer brewed in the US, the good thing is this beer is available throughout a majority of the US.  Also if you can find a good German version grab it, just be wary of the green bottled ones, they can be skunky if improperly stored.

QC Beerguy

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