• Welcome to the new forum! We upgraded our forum software with a host of new boards, capabilities and features. It is also more secure.
    Jump in and join the conversation! You can learn more about the upgrade and new features here.

Suggestions for a kit

Cory and trevor

Jan 23, 2014
Reaction score
What I am looking for is an ale that most resembles the flavor of a pilsner.  to be more specific my wife drinks steam whistle pilsner from Canada almost exclusively and I hate the BS that goes into brewing a pilsner (the cold fermenting sounds like a pain or a cost or both) so I'm looking for an ale kit to bridge the gap.  I love IPA and a good bitter pale american ale all the kits I have done I liked.  Thanks in advance for your suggestions.
22 looks and not one suggestion?  is the question stupid? :-[  I'm too new to know.....
You might try making a cream ale.

Here is the style guide for it as quoted in the BeerSmith Style guidelines:

Description: A clean, well-attenuated, flavorful American lawnmower beer. An ale version of the American lager style. Produced by ale brewers to compete with lager brewers in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic States. Originally known as sparkling or present use ales, lager strains were (and sometimes still are) used by some brewers, but were not historically mixed with ale strains. Many examples are kräusened to achieve carbonation. Cold conditioning isn’t traditional, although modern brewers sometimes use it. Classic American (i.e., pre-prohibition) Cream Ales were slightly stronger, hoppier (including some dry hopping) and more bitter (25-30+ IBUs). These versions should be entered in the specialty/experimental category. Most commercial examples are in the 1.050–1.053 OG range, and bitterness rarely rises above 20 IBUs.
Profile: Aroma: Faint malt notes. A sweet, corn-like aroma and low levels of DMS are commonly found. Hop aroma low to none. Any variety of hops may be used, but neither hops nor malt dominate. Faint esters may be present in some examples, but are not required. No diacetyl.
Appearance: Pale straw to moderate gold color, although usually on the pale side. Low to medium head with medium to high carbonation. Head retention may be no better than fair due to adjunct use. Brilliant, sparkling clarity.
Flavor: Low to medium-low hop bitterness. Low to moderate maltiness and sweetness, varying with gravity and attenuation. Usually well attenuated. Neither malt nor hops prevail in the taste. A low to moderate corny flavor from corn adjuncts is commonly found, as is some DMS. Finish can vary from somewhat dry to faintly sweet from the corn, malt, and sugar. Faint fruity esters are optional. No diacetyl.
Mouthfeel: Generally light and crisp, although body can reach medium. Smooth mouthfeel with medium to high attenuation; higher attenuation levels can lend a “thirst quenching” finish. High carbonation. Higher gravity examples may exhibit a slight alcohol warmth.
Ingredients: American ingredients most commonly used. A grain bill of six-row malt, or a combination of six-row and North American two-row, is common. Adjuncts can include up to 20% flaked maize in the mash, and up to 20% glucose or other sugars in the boil. Soft water preferred. Any variety of hops can be used for bittering and finishing.
You're not going to make an ale that tastes like a light pilsner.  It's just not going to happen.  In fact you'll have a hard time making a light pilsner that tastes like a light pilsner.  It's one of the most difficult styles of beer to make. There is such little flavor that the slightest imbalance really sticks out.  With ale or European pilsner there's a lot more wiggle room since there's a lot more flavor to work with.

During the winter I take advantage of my cold basement and make a few batches of pilsner each year.  It's no big deal. Just takes longer.  If you don't have a place in your house that gets cold enough, then you'd need to use refrigeration.  The advantage of that is that you can brew pilsner all year long. 

I'd say try making a European pilsner.
found a kit for kolsch from brewers best so I think that's where I'm going to start.  Again, thanks all for the help and if anyone has made this kit any tips or reviews of it would be much appreciated.  reading the wiki on the style now to get my background.  cheers!
You should get some liquid yeast WLP029.  It will give some lager-like qualities you're looking for.  Dry yeast is fine for some beers, but not Kolsch. 

I pre-read the instructions on the brewers best site and it says exactly that.  good advice thanks.  can't wait to get started.
If anyone was wondering about how this went I just bottled it.  I brewed the thing for a whopping 9 days.  usually I go 21 days but the first 5 days were incredible.  so much CO2 and foam!  it was at the high end of the range for temperature and dropped to the low end of the range at night protected from light and always inside the range.  I used the dry pack it came with.  the stuff smells like a pilsner for sure, like steam whistle from CA to my nose.  it tasted like flat steam whistle (don't ask) when I drank the sample I used to check gravity after a week.  on paper it went fine except 9 days is fast, isn't it?  she came out at a higher abv than the box said by about a 1/2 to a full %.  by my measurements it was 5.25 and stayed there for 2 days so I bottled it.  I might detect a little fruit smell in it but the flavor seems right-assuming its supposed to taste just like a pilsner.  so.....did I fuck it up or is that a fast fermenting type?  instructions didn't say how long in days or weeks just that its done after 2 days of no activity.  in a week I'll crack one and report.  I usually wait 3 for bottling, 1 to 2 weeks in ambient temp and a week in the fridge.  Thanks for all the suggestions I think I got what I was asking for.  I may have been able to brew it better with liquid yeast and a lower more stable ambient temp but I am happy.
For sure, if you don't have a place in your house that gets cold enough, then you'd need to use refrigeration.  The advantage of that is that you can brew pilsner all year long.  8)
range was 64 to 76.  I was on the edge of 76 most of the time.  we crushed that beer too BTW.  I've been instructed by "the boss" to brew the Kolsch again ASAP.  its the house beer now LOL.  GREAT call on that beer forever grateful for the tip.
KernelCrush said:
Do you remember what brand dry yeast it came with?
no, I went all over the damn instruction sheet too looking for it to rebrew it.  that second and third week bottle conditioning was amazing.  lesson learned I'm a patient boy now.  I'm going to go to the store and crack open a box for that name I'm too curious myself.  all-grain kolsch is on my immediate list.
Managed to make a light pilsner that tastes like a light pilsner. Well, not that light, but it's good.

Here's the recipe:

4# flaked maize
4# 6-row
2# pils
12oz wheat berries
1oz rice hulls

mash temp 145F

60 min boil
Saaz .25oz @ 60, 45, 30, dry

Saflager S-23

fermentation temp in the 40sF

S.G. 1.058
F.G 1.008

1 month lagering at 32F

Next time I'll double the 60 min addition, but otherwise it's pretty darn good.
I know you have said your not a hop monster and not sure where your IBU is on this one, but I have tried to hit 40's IBU before with saaz on my pils and the low alpha is a hindrance.  Heard a podcast last week about just use a high alpha clean hop for the first addition and finish with saaz. 
In this experiment I was trying to use the least hops possible yet still have something good. So I don't mind using Saaz for the whole thing. The one before it was a bust, since an adjustment to the mill resulting in my overshooting my SG by like 20%. Didn't come out well. Sweet. No balance. Adjusting for efficiency I came up with this recipe, and I like the results.