Kiwi Pils v3 (New Zealand Pilsner) - Tasting

Kiwi Pils v3 (New Zealand Pilsner) - Tasting

Every summer I brew up a new batch of one of my favorite styles of lagers, the New Zealand Pilsner. This is my third version that varies the New Zeland hops and for the first time the malt bill.

Recipe for this post can be found here.


This beer pours a vibrant creamy white head that sticks around for quite a bit and leaves some lacing on the inside of the glass. The beer has vibrant carbonation visible with bubbles racing to the top. The color of the beer is a very pale straw color, almost as light as a light lager. At 2 weeks in the keg it still has a slight haze to it, but from experience with other batches this will likely clear up to crystal clarity in a few weeks.


In this batch I dry hopped with 0.5 oz Nelson Sauvin and 1 oz of Motueka. The nose has notes of white grape, but the freshly cut hay aroma dominates the dry hop. It’s not unpleasant, but not exactly what I wanted for this style. I had to substitute my normal choice for Pilsner and while the aroma is fine, it’s not as good as previous batches.


The beer has a vibrant, medium-high carbonation. It’s more or less perfect for this style. As in the aroma, the fresh cut hay flavor dominates the front of the taste, but the New Zeland hops shine from the middle and through the finish. It finishes on the dry side since the original gravity hit 1.004.


This was my first time deviating from using the Mecca Grade Estate Pelton Pilsner malt. I had to switch due to unavailability of that malt and gave the Gateway (Under-Modified Wind Malt) a try. From Mecca Grade Estate’s website:

“Wind-malt” is a long-forgotten style of Belgian malt that was allowed to air-dry in the lofts of barns. To our knowledge, it has never been produced commercially in North America. We’ve revived it with “Gateway,” a malt that is bursting with the aroma of fresh-cut hay while being nearly translucent in color. Gateway is perfectly-suited for decoctions, step mashing, and is the missing ingredient when brewing historic styles of beer. (Color: 1.2 SRM, PPG: 38)

As the description suggests, the color is really light, nearly translucent. The flavor is not bad, but it overshines the hops a bit. Going forward I probably wouldn’t use this malt again for a New Zealand Pislner, but would absolutely try it out on a German Pilsner. This beer will be gladly consumed, but as of writing this is my least favorite of my three batches I’ve produced.