Lil’s From The Bottle

Picture taken from Seven Brides Website

After defending Lil’s Pils from Seven Brides and recieving some negative comments I figured it was time I man up and retry it.

Appearance

Very cloudy with minimal head. Straw color. Deffinatly not a pilsner in appearance.

Aroma

Some banana and cloves. Lots of herbal and earthy smell. A little skunked, but not off putting.

Flavor

Lots of banana and some cloves. Dirty and muddled, makes it hard to peg any distinct malt flavors.

Overall

I think I once described this beer as not a pilsner. Tasting this I have no choice but to stand by that. I still enjoy this beer, but it’s not what it’s called. It’s a bit muddied and could use a more appropriate name.

12 Responses to “Lil’s From The Bottle”

  1. Beermented says:

    Hefe Weizen?

  2. Jared says:

    That was my first thought. It has alot in common with a hefe. The body is a little light, and there’s not enough malt flavors though. I think this adds more support to what Adam said about them possibly using a Belgian yeast strain on their beers.

  3. Beermented says:

    Banana and Cloves is classic for Hefe. I true Hefe not the bastardized American version that’s served with a limp wristed lemon wedge.

    A Pilsner should have a clean flavor profile. Can be creamy like Pilsner Urquell or Budweiser Budvar, but can be very crisp with a sharp malt profile that’s fed by the balanced to moderately Bohemian or Noble Hops.

    ….and they’re bottling this stuff! My advise? I hope these guys don’t give up their DAY jobs. ;-}

    What you are describing sounds closer to a Hefe. Calling a Hefe a Pilsner is like calling an Alt a Dopplebock. ;-} That’s just plain sad. I think the average beginner to intermediate homebrewer knows the difference between a Hefe and Pils.

    Here’s Wyeasts: Weihenstephan Weizen profile

    Classic German wheat beer yeast, used by more German brewers than any other strain. Dominated by banana ester production, phenols and clove-like characteristics. Extremely attenuative yeast, which produces a tart, refreshing finish. Yeast remains in suspension readily with proteinacous wheat malt. Sometimes used in conjunction with lager yeast and kraeusened to finish the beer and improve the overall dryness. High CO2 levels, typically at 2.7 – 3.2 volumes is desirable for best presentation. This strain is a true top cropping yeast requiring full fermenter headspace of 33%. Increasing pitch rates will reduce ester production. Alcohol tolerance: approximately 10% ABV

    Origin:
    Flocculation: low
    Attenuation: 73-77%
    Temperature Range: 64-75° F (18-24° C)
    Alcohol Tolerance: approximately 10% ABV

  4. Jared says:

    I know the style guidlines Doc 🙂 Like I said, not a pilsner/

    That being said cloves and banana do not a hefe make. I have a rye I fermented with a german ale yeast that hits all over in the banana and clove categories. Still not a hefe.

    For all I know 7 Brides used a pilsner malt bill (unlikely as I’m not tasting it) and this is only the effect of the yeast.

  5. Adam says:

    Yeah that’s my big beef with SBB beers, they aren’t what they say they are. Lil Pils isn’t a Hefe, most likely they are using a Pilsner (or 2row) grain bill but they are one either using a Belgian yeast strain or perhaps they are using a lager yeast but fermenting it warm causing some nasty esters. I don’t think there is anything wrong with fudging a traditional recipe and still calling it whatever style you want but it has to be close to the style. BJCP would score Lil Pils very low in the Pilsner category, I mean very low. We all know what the style guidelines are and yes as a probrewer especially in this day and age we don’t tend to follow traditional guidelines anymore but I would never call Lil Pils a Pilsner, it just confuses too many people. I really wish someone from Seven Brides would comment on here just so we could have a conversation, I’ve tried emailing them a couple of times with no reply. Either they are too busy or they don’t want to have anything to do with me because I’m being critical. I stand by what I said before I like these guys and I really want them to succeed but they really need to go back to the drawing board and make a go at this.

  6. Beermented says:

    Still…. why would you use a funky yeast to make a Pilsner?

    I haven’t had the beer, so I’m going on your taste profile. You are right! Banana and Clove doesn’t make a Hefe, but it is a profile of the Weihenstephan Weizen yeast profile which can be used to make any Wezen or other beers. Once again, not a yeast you would use to make a Pilsner. That’s like home brewing 101!

  7. Beermented says:

    @ Adam

    I don’t think saying a Pilsner that tastes nothing like a Pilsner is TOO critical.

    I’m not holding my breath for a legitimate answer to our questions. Obviously there are some major problems hear. Who would want to admit to any of them? Poor choice of yeast, high fermentation temp or using a Belgian Yeast in a Pilsner. All are way out of line when you slap a Pilsner label on it. Anybody remember Bridgeports Surpriz? At least they didn’t pick a style to put that mess under.

  8. Adam says:

    Oh agreed I don’t think it’s too critical, I really wish someone could talk to them about their problems and be honest. Thing is for me to go down there on one of my weekends visiting family and just come out of nowhere and say hey your beer pretty much sucks would just be unfair to them and they would rightly be offended. Really it’s going to take the feedback of their regulars to get them on the right track. I’d love to help them but I don’t think that’s something you just do without spending some time on it. Any volunteer’s?

  9. Beermented says:

    Sure….. I’ll send them an email. Don’t know how non-offensive I’ll be. ;-} I find the whole thing rather disturbing. As a home brewer for over 23 years, I respect everyone’s opinion of my beer. I don’t always agree, but I do always listen to common themes and descriptions. I know if they’re lying too, by giving them a crap beer and wait for their evaluation. If they say it’s good, I know they’re just patronizing me.

    OTOH, if they want to continue to on this path, they’ll weed themselves out of the market fairly quick.

  10. Adam says:

    Well Beermented I would try the beer before you talk to them though, I mean I know you’ll find the same problems but without trying it I wouldn’t get into it with the SBB guys. Other thing is I know they are moving and I thought I heard that they where maybe going to get new equipment so maybe just maybe they’ll work out these problems, but yeah like you said if they continue down this path they will probably weed themselves out unfortunately.

  11. Beermented says:

    In the modern business of beer and brewing, you don’t “Get your shit together,” you have to have in together before you sell the first pint or you’ve already lost.

    ;-}

    I’ll choke down a few different ones first! Why do I get myself into having to drink shit beer??? I would have been better off just ignoring the place till it closed it’s doors! ;-}

  12. Capital Taps says:

    They may already be “weed[ing] themselves out of the market fairly quick.” I saw bottles at a Grocery Outlet recently. To be closing them out is not a good sign so soon after their introduction to the marketplace!

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