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Grainfather Blog - Road to Homebrew Con: Czech

By Sam Loader - Resident Grainfather Brewer 21/06/2018 11:12 Comments

Czech Premium Pale Lager

Czech Republic - Czech Premium Pale Lager


Overall Impression: Rich, characterful, pale Czech lager, with considerable malt and hop character and a long, rounded finish. Complex yet well-balanced and refreshing. The malt flavours are complex for a Pilsner-type beer, and the bitterness is strong but clean and without harshness, which gives a rounded impression that enhances drinkability. 

Aroma: Medium to medium-high bready-rich malt and medium-low to medium-high spicy, floral, or herbal hop bouquet; though the balance between the malt and hops may vary, the interplay is rich and complex. Light diacetyl or very low fruity hop-derived esters are acceptable, but need not be present.

Appearance: Gold to deep gold colour. Brilliant with very clear clarity. Dense, long-lasting, creamy white head.

Flavour: Rich, complex, bready maltiness combined with a pronounced yet soft and rounded bitterness and floral and spicy hop flavour. Malt and hop flavours are medium to medium-high, and the malt may contain a slight impression of caramel. Bitterness is prominent but never harsh. The long finish can be balanced towards hops or malt but is never aggressively tilted either way. Light to moderate diacetyl and low hop-derived esters are acceptable, but need not be present. 

Mouthfeel: Medium body. Moderate to low carbonation.

History: Commonly associated with Pilsner Urquell, which was first brewed in 1842 after the construction of a new brewhouse by burghers dissatisfied with the standard of beer brewed in Plzeň. Bavarian brewer Josef Groll is credited with first brewing the beer.

Characteristic Ingredients: Soft water with low sulphate and carbonate content, Saazer-type hops, Czech malt, Czech lager yeast. Low ion water provides a distinctively soft, rounded hop profile despite high hopping rates. The bitterness level of some larger commercial examples has dropped in recent years, although not as much as in many contemporary German examples.

Vital Statistics: OG: 1.044 – 1.060 IBUs: 30 – 45 FG: 1.013 – 1.017 SRM: 3.5 – 6 ABV: 4.2 – 5.8% 

Commercial Examples: Bernard Sváteční ležák, Gambrinus Premium, Kout na Šumavě Koutská 12°, Pilsner Urquell, Pivovar Jihlava Ježek 11°, Primátor Premium, Únětická 12°

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