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What's your preferred Pilsner Malt?

My brewing schedule for the next 7 batches calls for enough pilsner malt to justify buying a 50-lb sack.

Specifically, I’m brewing: Kolsch, Northern German Altbier, Dusseldorf Altbier, Vienna Lager

I’m leaning toward Weyermann but the Rahr is about $20 cheaper. I’m willing to pay more for the Weyermann if the quality is that much different. I’d like to hear impressions from those of you who have used enough of it to form a strong opinion. Thanks.

I do think that European Pilsner is a nicer malt but with the exception of the Kolsh it might not be justified if price is a major issue for you. I use Best Malz Pilsner but that is only because that’s what is available through North Country when we do club orders.

I’ve tried a few and prefer Best Malz.

I’ve been using CMC Superior Pilsen Malt only because in a group bulk buy I can get it for about 50¢/lb. Haven’t had any issues with it. But, I do plan on getting a sack of a European Pilsner next time. Just to give it a try.

I’ve heard that Best Malz is the best, as well. However, I don’t think you’ll find much of a difference. I use Weyermann because it’s cheap and tastes great even at 100%.

Don’t get Rahr’s Pilsner if you want to do euro lagers. It lacks the character you need.

Yep…to me, Best is head and shoulders above other pils malts I’ve used. Durst comes in second. Weyermann is OK, as are Castle and MFB.

I’ve used Best, Weyerman and domestic and like them all.

Denny, what makes Best better? The delicate sweet flavor? The yield wasn’t any better.

If you’re looking for a cheaper domestic option, Cargill’s new EuroPils is very authentic.

I use Best Malz with great results also.

[quote=“alanzo”]

Don’t get Rahr’s Pilsner if you want to do euro lagers. It lacks the character you need.[/quote]

Agreed. German beers just taste better when brewed with German malt. The $20 difference in price, and don’t forget that is a 55# bag vs a 50# bag, translates to perhaps .07 a glass. I think that’s worth it.

I’ll have to look and see if I can get Best Malz at the shop. Thanks for the feedback - I wasn’t really considering the Rahr, unless a lot of people said it was ok.

Rahr makes good malt and I love their 2-row, the pils is fine too but I haven’t done a side-by-side to tell how all these malts are different. Really, you want to make these decisions for yourself and try a variety. I do kind of like using a malt that is from the country the style originated from, but it isn’t an absolute prerequisite for tasty beer.

I have used Gambrinus extensively and like it a lot. I haven’t found a noticeable difference between it and Weyermann, Dingeman’s, or Castle. I was less fond of Rahr, and I haven’t tried Best or MFB

[quote=“tom sawyer”]I’ve used Best, Weyerman and domestic and like them all.

Denny, what makes Best better? The delicate sweet flavor? The yield wasn’t any better.[/quote]

Yeah, the flavor is what I really like about it. Admittedly, that’s subjective.

I do a lot of light German lagers. I used Rahr for the better part of a year and a half doing quite a few test batches for a friend of mine that was opening a brewery in Dallas. It was fine. But around the time those experiments ended, I switched back to using Weyermann and things started tasting a lot better. Just more delicate with a cracker sweetness where Rahr was, it’s hard to describe, just more blunt in flavor. I was a bit disappointed by this since Rahr was so much cheaper per pound, but I haven’t used Rahr Pilsner Malt since (although their 2row was always fine). There may be something better than Weyermann. I hear great things about Best Malz. But it’s working for me. So I haven’t bothered changing.

Rahr has also Old World Pilsner Malt that is supposed to be bohemian variety grown in North Dakota. I have not tried it thou.

I can’t comment yet, but I just finished a sack of Weyerman German Pilsner and brewed my first batch with my new sack of Rahr Pilsner. My plan is to brew similar but not exact recipes, experimenting with small addition of bisciut and Munich to try to match flavors. Mostly saisons, Belgian blonds, and light Am. ales/lagers. I like Best and Weyerman but I felt like experimenting.

Not so much on Rahr Pils is my general consensus. I have never found an actual answer to my questions directed to Rahr or Brewers supply about my leanings towards this malt having a higher SMM content as I always had issues with levels of DMS depending on batch from a taste threshold of a 3 to 7 out of 10 if scoring the half dozen batches. So it was tolerable to a point (what wonders dry hopping in the keg can do). But now I have exclusively used Best Malz and have whistle clean pilsners with no hint of DMS what so ever.

I have heard nothing but praise regarding Cargill IdaPils but have not had the chance to personally try it out.

Was also fooling around with some lot numbers recently I had to use in brewers supply website and found some other recent numbers by accident.

  1. Best Malz Pils Fine grind: 81.9 Moisture: 4.6 (PPPG Yield w/ moisture equated: 1.036 w/o: 1.038) 2.0 Lovibond Protein, SOL:? Total: 10 S/T: 39
  2. Cargill IdaPils Fine grind: 80 Moisture: 4.5 (PPPG Yield w/ " ": 1.035 w/o: 1.037) ?? Lovibond assuming 2.0
  3. Rahr Pils Fine grind: 81.2 Moisture: 4.4 (PPPG Yield w/ " ": 1.036 w/o: 1.038) 2 Lovibond
  4. Dingemans Pils Fine grind: 81 Moisture: 4.5 (PPPG Yield w/ " ": 1.035 w/o: 1.037) 1.4-1.8 Lovibond Protein, SOL: 4.5 Total: 11.5 S/T: 48.0
    I have just estimated for Weyermans pils and Bopils and have used the values from Braukaiser as those seem to be tricky ones to find.

As an aside to Pils brewing grains while on the topic of Lot#'s(sorry to derail for a moment)these are not found regularly so here is Best Malz other #'s I will short hand these:
Wheat malt FG: 83.6 H2O: 4.5 (PPPG w/: 1.037 w/o: 1.039) 2.3 L Protein, SOL:? Tot: 12 S/T: 43
Vienna FG: 81.6 H2O: 4.5 (PPPG w/: 1.036 w/o: 1.038) 3.5 L Protein, SOL:? Tot: 10 S/T: 41
Munich I FG: 81.8 H2O: 4.1 (PPPG w/: 1.036 w/o: 1.038) 6 L Protein, SOL:? Tot: 10 S/T: 41
Munich II FG: 80.8 H2O: 4 (PPPG w/: 1.036 w/o: 1.037) 10 L Protein, SOL:? Tot: 10 S/T: 41

Edit: BTW I am referring to the Rahr “premium” pils as I have not tried the Old world/ Less conversion pils. I also agree that the 2 row has never given me an issue and I like to support the local guys but the premo pils is not on plate anytime soon.

Best w/o a comparison is my 1st choice. That said, I really liked rahr and didn’t have the DMS problems. I thought it was fine and for the cost attractive.

Then I had 1/2 sacks of Weyermann, CM Premium, and Rahr. So I blended the 3 half sacks and I really liked it. I liked the blend better than each individually.

Where are you getting Best Malz?

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