Author Topic: Helles Bock for Pro-Am Competition  (Read 1462 times)

Offline jmsetzler

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Helles Bock for Pro-Am Competition
« on: October 21, 2014, 10:01:45 PM »
After upgrading my brewery equipment recently I'm finally ready to start brewing again and making my first LAGER after over 120 ale brews.  I want to brew my favorite style (Helles Bock) to enter into a local Pro-Am competition this coming spring.

I use BeerSmith to help formulate recipes so along with that and some research, I have put together this Helles Bock recipe:

5.5 gallons

6lbs German Pilsner Malt
5lbs Vienna Malt
2lbs Munich Malt 10L

2oz Hallertauer Hersbrucker (60mins)
2oz Hallertauer Hersbrucker (5 minutes)

White Labs WLP833 German Bock Yeast (1.5L stirplate starter)

Mash at 150° for 75 minutes and batch sparge to achieve about 7.25 gallons in the boiler for the 60 minute boil. 

Estimated pre-boil gravity: 1.054
Estimated post-boil gravity: 1.069

Chill wort to 60° and pitch yeast. 

Reduce wort temp to 52° over the next 24 hours.

Ferment at 52° for 14 days.

Raise temperature to 62° for 3 days.

Rack to secondary and cold crash at 34° for 30-45 days.

Prime to 2.3 vols and bottle.

Any thoughts on this?


Offline 69franx

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Re: Helles Bock for Pro-Am Competition
« Reply #1 on: October 21, 2014, 10:13:25 PM »
I'm still too new to really have an opinion on someone else's recipe, but I do notice one thing. Most of the info I see is for a longer boil, say 90 minutes, when using that much pilsner malt to reduce DmS precursors. I am sure someone else can give you more info about the rest


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Offline narvin

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Re: Helles Bock for Pro-Am Competition
« Reply #2 on: October 21, 2014, 10:22:46 PM »
I'm going to give the standard advice.  Pitch twice as much yeast (2 vials in a 3L starter), and cool the wort to 44 before pitching.  Let it rise to 50-52.

YMMV, but it's a lot easier to pitch below your fermentation temperatures and get a clean lager than to pitch warm and try to reduce the temperature by the time the yeast starts fermenting.

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Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Helles Bock for Pro-Am Competition
« Reply #3 on: October 21, 2014, 11:01:26 PM »
Chill to 44 or 45, I also have been doing higher gravity beers at 48 or 49F to reduce fusels.

Pitch what a yeast calculator says, which is much more than an ale. Aerate or use O2 before you pitch. Some Wyeast nutrient in the boil is good practice. Lager as cold as you can, -1C is what I have been doing.
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Offline narcout

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Re: Helles Bock for Pro-Am Competition
« Reply #4 on: October 22, 2014, 12:31:25 AM »
For lagers it is often recommended to pitch 1.5 million cells per ml per degree plato (which is twice what you would pitch for a standard ale).

If I'm doing my math right, that puts you at 539 billion cells for 5.5 gallons at 1.069.
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Offline jmsetzler

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Re: Helles Bock for Pro-Am Competition
« Reply #5 on: October 26, 2014, 04:19:15 AM »
I ordered two vials of the yeast and I plan to make a 2L starter with the stir plate.  Beersmith says I'll have 475 billion cells of the 525 needed for this recipe, so that's close enough for me.  I might up the gravity of my starter just a little as well... maybe 1.045 instead of 1.040. 

Offline klickitat jim

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Re: Helles Bock for Pro-Am Competition
« Reply #6 on: October 26, 2014, 05:04:48 AM »
A 2L starter for each vial? That's what I would do. Or both in one 4L

Offline jmsetzler

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Re: Helles Bock for Pro-Am Competition
« Reply #7 on: October 26, 2014, 05:34:32 AM »
A 2L starter for each vial? That's what I would do. Or both in one 4L

No... a 2L starter with both vials in one starter.

Offline David Lester

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Re: Helles Bock for Pro-Am Competition
« Reply #8 on: October 27, 2014, 02:15:10 PM »
Helles Bock is my favorite too. It took me three brew sessions to get it right. When it comes to Lager Beer, I wouldn't compromise the yeast. It's hard enough to get them working adequately in cold temps. It's best to make the full amount of suggested yeast so that it will ferment out properly and timely.

Your choice for yeast is good. I like the dryness it brings out. I tried the other yeast specifically for this style, but it was too malty and didn't dry it out like I wanted.

Good Luck,
« Last Edit: October 27, 2014, 02:22:04 PM by dlester »