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Pilsner Malt for Oktoberfest

Looking at doing an Oktoberfest recipe that I found. The recipe calls for Pilsner malt, which I assume to be German Pilsner based on other recipes I’ve come across. At my LHBS, I can only get my hands on CMC Superior Pilsen, Dingemans Belgian Pilsen, or Weyermann Bohemian Pilsner malts–no actual German. Any advice/experience on which way to go? Or should I be looking for a true German Pilsner? Thanks.

For an Octoberfest, the subtleties of the pilsner used is going to be hard to distinguish due to the overwhelming impact of the other malts. Unless you have an extremely refined sense of taste, I’d think any of these would work fine for you. Only caution would be to see if the Weyermann’s Bohemian is fully modified or not. If “not”, you may want to avoid it or plan on doing a step mash that includes a protein rest…

They will all work just beautifully. When in doubt, sometimes the best thing is to just taste each of the raw grains. While you are in the store, take like 2 or 3 kernels of each one, and chew them up. One of them might taste a lot better to you than the others. Pick that one.

I’d use Weyermann, at least they are a German maltster. But I do agree that any of them will work.

Awesome, thanks for the info. I learn more every day.

So, the recipe also calls for about 15% Munich. Are a Great Western Munich and a Weyermann Munich Type II fairly interchangeable? I was thinking the Weyermann type II might give me a little better flavor since it is a German malt like previously mentioned. I don’t have a chance to do a taste comparison today, but I’m just wondering if there is any reason why I shouldn’t use one over the other?

I’ve used both of those malts quite a bit and IMO the GW will be fine. Others will disagree, but they’re wrong! ')

Well this advice has already be labeled as wrong but I would absolutely use the German Munich if possible. Take dmtaylo2’s advice and taste some grains of each, then decide. :cheers:

Have you ever com;pared the GW and Weyermann? What was your take on them?

Have you ever com;pared the GW and Weyermann? What was your take on them?[/quote]

Have tasted but never made a beer with it. Compared to the Weyermann and pretty much any other German/Belgian malt I’ve tasted it just comes up short, not having the depth and richness I get in the others. If German breweries start importing it to brew their beers instead of German malts perhaps I’ll reconsider. :cheers:

I’ve found that GW Munich 10L has more flavor (to me) than Weyermann of a similar color. Using Weyermann may be a bit more authentic (actually, I far prefer Best to Weyermann), but the GW Munich will make a fine Ofest also.

It just struck me how strange this conversation is. In practice, it is almost impossible to get “authentic” German beers in the US, because by the time they get there they just don’t taste the same as they do when fresh. So it is pretty difficult to even evaluate how close you got unless you take a trip to Germany.

I did that earlier this year, and took the opportunity to compare fresh Paulaner Helles with a batch of helles I had just put on tap. As far as I could tell, it was an exact match, and the only German ingredients I used were the Spalt hops. The pilsner malt came from Finland, and the small amounts of Munich, Aroma and Sauer malts were all Belgian.

So I’d agree, just use what tastes good to you; the finished beer will taste better that way too.

[quote=“rebuiltcellars”]It just struck me how strange this conversation is. In practice, it is almost impossible to get “authentic” German beers in the US, because by the time they get there they just don’t taste the same as they do when fresh. So it is pretty difficult to even evaluate how close you got unless you take a trip to Germany.

I did that earlier this year, and took the opportunity to compare fresh Paulaner Helles with a batch of helles I had just put on tap. As far as I could tell, it was an exact match, and the only German ingredients I used were the Spalt hops. The pilsner malt came from Finland, and the small amounts of Munich, Aroma and Sauer malts were all Belgian.

So I’d agree, just use what tastes good to you; the finished beer will taste better that way too.[/quote]
I’ve been wondering if some of that German quality/flavor I get from beers like Spaten, Weihenstephaner, Paulaner, etc is from oxidation/stale beer. Whatever it is, I love it in those beers, but really want to taste them fresh to see the difference. I’ve been seeking that flavor in my German beers and coming up short. Perhaps I’m seeking something that cannot be had.

We had quite a discussion about that over on the AHA forum. Were you in on it?

I have to say, I never really got excited about German beers until I visited Germany. Whatever it is about German beers in the states, I don’t care for it.

We had quite a discussion about that over on the AHA forum. Were you in on it?[/quote]
I think I even started that one…

But it seemed several people mentioned that it might be oxidation that gives it “that” flavor.

We had quite a discussion about that over on the AHA forum. Were you in on it?[/quote]
I think I even started that one…

But it seemed several people mentioned that it might be oxidation that gives it “that” flavor.[/quote]

Yep, I think you did. I do recall Kai surmising it was oxidation, even in German beers consumed in situ.

But it definitely isn’t a wet cardboard or papery flavor that they have. I don’t know what it is…

It’s imported German magic. I love love love it. It’s probably just oxidation. Sometimes I can detect it in my own beers, but it’s certainly slight, and the beer all magically disappears before it ever has the chance to age for like a year.

How old is most of the German beer we get? 6 months old? I also really like the flavor of most of it. I don’t like Spaten Premium though…skunked from the green bottle plus it’s probably oxidized. Any and all Weihenstephaner is the sh*t though.

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