Author Topic: Chasing the perfect Munich Helles  (Read 30207 times)

Offline atodd

  • Cellarman
  • **
  • Posts: 34
Re: Chasing the perfect Munich Helles
« Reply #45 on: November 11, 2015, 06:34:05 PM »
The devil is in ALL the details, and if you think water, hops, malt and yeast are the details, you are SORELY mistaken.

But there must be many different varieties of Munich Helles, all using recipes and techniques that vary around a few core essential points. The key is finding out those essential points - not all the details, many of which might not matter so much.

RIGHT, hence.. The devil is in ALL the details  8)

Got any tips for a first time Helles brewer on what some of those details might be?

Depends, how authentic do you want it? Like sitting in Munich with one in hand. Or getting a "Helles" from some American brewery?

I am looking to bring myself back to Munich, i went last summer and it was incredibly eye opening how far off some American examples are.  I brewed Kai's Munich Dunkel (it is still has a few weeks to go) and am thinking of trying his Helles next but wouldn't mind any other tips and tricks.

rabeb25

  • Guest
Re: Chasing the perfect Munich Helles
« Reply #46 on: November 11, 2015, 06:36:51 PM »
To quote my mentor "If you allow me to paraphrase, you bought a canvas, paint and some brushes, learned about general composition of the old masters and drawn loads of caricatures of your teachers in class, but then expect to produce a work like Rembrand. The breweries spent generations of owners perfecting their recipes and art.  I think it's OK to give it more time."

I have been chasing this for at least 10 years, with the last year being SERIOUS. Serious, as in Decoding German brewing texts, and getting in contact with some of most illusive people I have even seen. Brewing using methods most of the world has never heard of. For instance today I used the Kubessa Verfahren, which is a mash that you separate the husks from the starches, and utilize a decoction with the starches (fine and coarse grind) while maserating the husks in another mash. I have used malts that people know nothing about. The crazy things about it is, I was not alone. We formed a group, and are all driving after the same thing, brewing authentic German beers, Hell even the group, has a secret group!

The problem is, Americans brew German beers wrong, flat out. We were taught wrong, I am as guilty as the next guy. We always try to do it over the top, and that muddy's everything else. We use the wrong water, at the wrong pH, mash the wrong way, boil and hop wrong( the formulas are wrong), ferment wrong... I could seriously go on for hours. It took me a LONG time to get past it. That being said, I have yet to create what we coined 'it", "it" being that harmonious, out of body experience you get from tasting these fresh beers.

Sorry for the run on, but thats why I ask what you are out to create. If you are serious, this will not be the place for it, but I will get you where you need to be. As I said before you need to "be sheltered" from what you have been taught, and here is not the right place for that. Either way I respect it.

This post was fueled by my latest helles attempt, while brewing another :)




Offline Wort-H.O.G.

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 4439
  • Play Nice
    • Harvey's Brewhaus
Re: Chasing the perfect Munich Helles
« Reply #47 on: November 11, 2015, 07:01:34 PM »
To quote my mentor "If you allow me to paraphrase, you bought a canvas, paint and some brushes, learned about general composition of the old masters and drawn loads of caricatures of your teachers in class, but then expect to produce a work like Rembrand. The breweries spent generations of owners perfecting their recipes and art.  I think it's OK to give it more time."


You forgot the T in Rembrandt...the devils in the details I hear  ;D


Seriously-I hope you crack the code and then publish it.
Ken- Chagrin Falls, OH
CPT, U.S.Army
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Harveys-Brewhaus/405092862905115

http://braukaiser.com/wiki/index.php?title=The_Science_of_Mashing

Serving:        In Process:
Vienna IPA          O'Fest
Dort
Mead                 
Cider                         
Ger'merican Blonde
Amber Ale
Next:
Ger Pils
O'Fest

rabeb25

  • Guest
Re: Chasing the perfect Munich Helles
« Reply #48 on: November 11, 2015, 07:03:54 PM »
To quote my mentor "If you allow me to paraphrase, you bought a canvas, paint and some brushes, learned about general composition of the old masters and drawn loads of caricatures of your teachers in class, but then expect to produce a work like Rembrand. The breweries spent generations of owners perfecting their recipes and art.  I think it's OK to give it more time."


You forgot the T in Rembrandt...the devils in the details I hear  ;D


Seriously-I hope you crack the code and then publish it.

Ahh, indeed!

Problem is even if I did crack the code, no one would believe it or follow it! Which is why I think Kai, sort of vanished, he was on to something!

Online hopfenundmalz

  • Global Moderator
  • I must live here
  • *****
  • Posts: 9409
  • Milford, MI
Re: Chasing the perfect Munich Helles
« Reply #49 on: November 11, 2015, 07:05:46 PM »
Do they mash at a higher pH, say 5.5-5.6, and then drop the pH in the kettle?
Jeff Rankert
AHA Governing Committee
AHA Lifetime Member
BJCP National
Ann Arbor Brewers Guild
Home-brewing, not just a hobby, it is a lifestyle!

rabeb25

  • Guest
Re: Chasing the perfect Munich Helles
« Reply #50 on: November 11, 2015, 07:09:05 PM »
Do they mash at a higher pH, say 5.5-5.6, and then drop the pH in the kettle?
Yes, and there is a formula when you drop that pH in the kettle as well :)

Offline Wort-H.O.G.

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 4439
  • Play Nice
    • Harvey's Brewhaus
Re: Chasing the perfect Munich Helles
« Reply #51 on: November 11, 2015, 07:30:59 PM »
Do they mash at a higher pH, say 5.5-5.6, and then drop the pH in the kettle?
Yes, and there is a formula when you drop that pH in the kettle as well :)

this is one thing i have been doing also.
Ken- Chagrin Falls, OH
CPT, U.S.Army
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Harveys-Brewhaus/405092862905115

http://braukaiser.com/wiki/index.php?title=The_Science_of_Mashing

Serving:        In Process:
Vienna IPA          O'Fest
Dort
Mead                 
Cider                         
Ger'merican Blonde
Amber Ale
Next:
Ger Pils
O'Fest

Offline AmandaK

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1850
  • Redbird Brewhouse
Re: Chasing the perfect Munich Helles
« Reply #52 on: November 11, 2015, 10:26:08 PM »
Do they mash at a higher pH, say 5.5-5.6, and then drop the pH in the kettle?
Yes, and there is a formula when you drop that pH in the kettle as well :)
What's the formula?
Amanda Burkemper
KC Bier Meisters Education Director
BJCP Assistant Education Director
BJCP Master/Mead

Redbird Brewhouse - There's Always a Project
Our Homebrewed Wedding, AHA Article

rabeb25

  • Guest
Re: Chasing the perfect Munich Helles
« Reply #53 on: November 11, 2015, 10:35:25 PM »
Do they mash at a higher pH, say 5.5-5.6, and then drop the pH in the kettle?
Yes, and there is a formula when you drop that pH in the kettle as well :)
What's the formula?

Ahh, its not that easy, it's out there.   8)
« Last Edit: November 11, 2015, 10:40:08 PM by rabeb25 »

Offline klickitat jim

  • I must live here
  • **********
  • Posts: 8604
Re: Chasing the perfect Munich Helles
« Reply #54 on: November 11, 2015, 11:10:10 PM »
So, step 1: find out how to brew a perfect Helles. Step 2: brew it. Roger that

Offline 69franx

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 3141
  • Bloatarian Brewing League
Re: Chasing the perfect Munich Helles
« Reply #55 on: November 11, 2015, 11:13:46 PM »
Jim, don't forget to rinse and repeat as necessary
Frank L.
Fermenting: Ringler Pilsner (thanx Ron)
Conditioning: BVIP (thanx Denny)
In keg: Traquair House Clone (Skotrat style)
In the works:  Czech Dark Lager, American Pale Ale

Offline HoosierBrew

  • I must live here
  • **********
  • Posts: 13030
  • Indianapolis,IN
Re: Chasing the perfect Munich Helles
« Reply #56 on: November 11, 2015, 11:16:51 PM »
So, step 1: find out how to brew a perfect Helles. Step 2: brew it. Roger that

Yeah, that's my takeaway so far.
Jon H.

Offline klickitat jim

  • I must live here
  • **********
  • Posts: 8604
Re: Chasing the perfect Munich Helles
« Reply #57 on: November 11, 2015, 11:36:01 PM »
Next Monday Im brewing an Helles, and an Helles Exportbier. Will be the 4th attempt at the Helles, trying to dial it in.

1.050 | 18 IBU
9.5 lbs Best Malz Pils
1.5 lbs Best Malz Vienna
Mashed at 145F for 2hrs, target 5.3pH adjusted with lactic per Brewers Friend, 50Ca 10Mg 8Na 50CaCl 0 SO4 107 HCO3
28g Mittelfruh @60
28g Mittelfruh @ 10
2 x 1000ml Wyeast 2308 high krausen pitches
50F
Final pH target 4.3
Cold fined with gel
Bottle conditioned at 2.7 volumes, then lager in cases at 38F for a month

I guess time will tell
« Last Edit: November 11, 2015, 11:37:52 PM by klickitat jim »

rabeb25

  • Guest
Re: Chasing the perfect Munich Helles
« Reply #58 on: November 11, 2015, 11:41:19 PM »
So, step 1: find out how to brew a perfect Helles. Step 2: brew it. Roger that

Yeah, that's my takeaway so far.

If it were only that easy.  Knowing how is like 1/25 of it.

Online hopfenundmalz

  • Global Moderator
  • I must live here
  • *****
  • Posts: 9409
  • Milford, MI
Re: Chasing the perfect Munich Helles
« Reply #59 on: November 11, 2015, 11:45:52 PM »
Next Monday Im brewing an Helles, and an Helles Exportbier. Will be the 4th attempt at the Helles, trying to dial it in.

1.050 | 18 IBU
9.5 lbs Best Malz Pils
1.5 lbs Best Malz Vienna
Mashed at 145F for 2hrs, target 5.3pH adjusted with lactic per Brewers Friend, 50Ca 10Mg 8Na 50CaCl 0 SO4 107 HCO3
28g Mittelfruh @60
28g Mittelfruh @ 10
2 x 1000ml Wyeast 2308 high krausen pitches
50F
Final pH target 4.3
Cold fined with gel
Bottle conditioned at 2.7 volumes, then lager in cases at 38F for a month

I guess time will tell

If you enter competitions it will have too much hop flavor and aroma from the 10 minute additions according to the judges, who have probably never tasted a fresh Helles in Bayern. If you like it, drink up!
Jeff Rankert
AHA Governing Committee
AHA Lifetime Member
BJCP National
Ann Arbor Brewers Guild
Home-brewing, not just a hobby, it is a lifestyle!