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Pilsner – Open Fermentation vs. Closed

Introduction Anyone who greatly enjoys a well-made Saison should also greatly enjoy a well-made Pilsner. This is something that I firmly believe. Yeast character aside, both beers tend to be blonde, hoppy, and supremely drinkable. The recipes for each tend to favor simplicity and can look quite similar if not interchangeable. My favorite examples of each style have a firm, but not overpowering hop bitterness that is backed up by noticeable noble hop characteristics and a clean Pilsen malt backbone. In the case of Saison, the forward yeast character adds esters and phenols that are obviously not present in a Pilsner, but I find the overall presentation of the two styles quite similar. For Saisons, I tend to favor the low gravity, cleanly fermented variety over the higher gravity, ester and phenol bombs that many associate with the Saison category. I do enjoy a stronger version on occasion, but favor calling them Super Saisons as I think they really are a different beast. For Pilsners,…

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