Lager & Pilsner

All about lager & pilsner
Ice cold beer. There’s really nothing like it. But, with countless styles and variations you may have some questions about what sets one beer apart from another. Today, bottom-fermented beer with lightly kilned malted barley and a light to moderate alcohol by volume (ABV) is one of the most popular beer styles worldwide. We now introduce the pilsner and lager; two popular light beers. Pilsner and lagers share similarities, but here’s the catch - lager is a type of beer and a pilsner is a variation of lager beer within the larger family. In simpler terms, a pilsner is a lager, but not all lagers are pilsners. Let us help you understand. Lagers are a simple beer, conditioned at low temperatures. They can be amber, dark, or yellow pale. Most commonly you’ll see pale lagers. Dating back to the 1400’s, lagers were brewed to be stored before drinking, usually in cool dark caves. In fact, this is how they got their name. “Lager” comes from the German word for “storage.” Pilsners can be differentiated by a more robust taste of hops and bitterness. Brewed with different yeast, pilsners are a pale lager that are crisp and refreshing. This lightly hopped beer was originally brewed in the town of Pilsen. Pilsen is now in the Czech Republic. The brewery that first brewed a pilsner in 1842 later became known as Pilsner Urquell. Rapidly, the pilsner spread throughout Bohemia as brewers adopted the style. Today, there are different types of pilsners, which we will cover later on. What is a lager? A lager is a type of beer at the top of the umbrella with other types of beer within, such as a pilsner. The two main beer families are lagers and ales (or a hybrid). Lagers are conditioned at low temperatures and most commonly are brewed as pale lagers. However, lagers can be pale, amber, or dark. The lager brewing technique utilizes bottom-fermented beer to produce a crisp and refreshing light beer. Lagers are one of the most common types of beer in the world with brand names such as Budweiser, Coors, Miller Lite, PBR and more competing in the category. How is a lager made? Remember, lagers were originally brewed to be stored in cool caves. To this day, they follow a process of cool fermentation that is followed by cold storage as the beer matures. Lagers are crafted with quality materials including malted barley, hops, yeast, and water. The malted barley is the source of sugars needed to produce alcohol and the hops add the bitterness. While lagers are a simple beer with simple ingredients, their delicacy becomes apparent in their unique brewing process. The brewing process includes fermentation, diacetyl rest, and lagering. What is a pilsner? Pilsner is a type of beer within the lager family. This pale lager is lightly hopped and brewed with pilsner malt and lager yeast, part of what differentiates a lager from an ale. The aroma and flavor of a pilsner comes from lightly kilned malted and spicy hops. The key ingredient for pilsners is simplicity. A skilled brewer only needs lightly kilned barley, spicy hops, lager yeast and soft water to produce a delicious pilsner. To the human eye, you can spot a pilsner by recognizing its white and dense head and straw-colored body. While the color of the body can vary, most commonly you’ll see a straw-colored body on pilsner beer. If you get close enough, sniff for a hint of grainess to confirm your suspicions. To taste, pilsners are simple with light grain and hops bittering and a clean finish. There are many different types of pilsners brewed nationwide such as an American Pilsner, German Pilsner, and American Imperial Pilsner. How is a pilsner made? Pilsners are light to medium body beers with moderate carbonation, topped with a dense, lasting foam. It’s brewed to perfection with a clean taste mixed with malty sweetness that’s balanced by a firm bitterness from the hops. Most would describe it as simply refreshing, especially on a warm summer day. The brewing process of a pilsner is similar to that of a lager, but pilsners typically use a pale malt and Saaz hops. Both undergo a cold fermentation and conditioning period and use ingredients such as water, malted barley, hops, and yeast. Pilsner vs lager: As we mentioned earlier, pilsners and lagers are often confused. Remember, a pilsner is a lager, but not all lagers are pilsners. Pilsners are a type of lager, distinguished by a more hoppy, spicier flavor. The brewing process of a pilsner and a lager are similar. Both are bottom-fermented and involve a cold fermentation and conditioning period. However, pilsners use different yeast. Ale vs lager: Ales and lagers are both popular types of beer, and in fact, just about all beer is either an ale or a lager. The family a beer falls into depends on the technique and yeast used during production. The main difference between an ale and a lager is how they are fermented. Ales use warmer ferminations than lagers. Ales are typically fermented with top-fermenting yeast at temperatures between 60˚–70˚F while lagers are fermented with bottom-fermenting yeast at temperatures between 35˚–50˚F. Because lagers are cold fermented, they take significantly longer (6-8 weeks) to ferment. Ale yeast can produce beer in as little as 7 days which can make it more common among brewers. In the ongoing brewing renaissance we are seeing brewers create hybrids with bold flavors. Because there will never be enough great beer for the world to enjoy. Ready to explore the various flavors of pilsner and lager beer? Here are some popular choices. Stay right where you are, Gopuff will bring it to you. Popular lager - Sam Adams Winter Lager by Sam Adams - Sam Adams Boston Lager from Sam Adams - Yuengling Lager from Yuengling - Helles Lager Popular pilsner - Yuengling Golden Pilsner by Yuengling - Bitburger Pilsner by Bitburger - Orange Blossom Pilsner (try Huss Brewing Papago Orange Blossom) - Radeberger Pilsner by Radeberger - Trumer Pilsner by Trumer Pils Other popular pilsners from around the world Variations of pilsner beer can vary around the world. If you love beer, sampling beer in all the places you visit might be a top priority. With some awareness, though, you might not have to travel to find different types of pilsners. Here are some popular pilsners from around the world. - Italian Pilsner: Italian pilsners are usually fermented at higher temperatures which drives noticeable differences. - Bohemian Pilsner: Bohemian pilsners are slightly sweeter with an obvious toasty malt character with a medium to low hop bitterness. - Czech Pilsner: Czech pilsners have a spiciness to the overall flavor and are brilliantly clear. They are almost exclusive to the native Czech Saaz hop. - American Pilsner: American pilsners usually have less flavor and hops, although brewers are experimenting with the traditional American pilsner. - German Pilsner: With a style adopted from the Czech pilsners, German pilsners are lighter body with a drier, crispier finish.
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