Author Topic: Chasing the perfect Munich Helles  (Read 28616 times)

Offline HoosierBrew

  • I must live here
  • **********
  • Posts: 13030
  • Indianapolis,IN
Re: Chasing the perfect Munich Helles
« Reply #240 on: November 14, 2015, 01:19:36 PM »
I'm thinking that there is a lot of chatter, all pointing to the exact same thing: 'Freshness'. Only cursory review has been given to the freshness of malt and hops, which is the most likely candidate for 'fresh fields', 'flowers', and 'freshly milled grain'... aka "it".

We have two excellent "German" breweries in our area, Urban Chestnut and KC Bier Co. They both have what half of this thread is talking about, the "it". You know what they both do? They invest tons of time and effort into getting the freshest malt and hops they can get ahold of, while serving it as fresh as possible.

Yeah, that's what I was getting at in my earlier post, too, Amanda. It would make sense why it can be really difficult to duplicate at home since homebrewers typically get the 'rejected' malt and hops that the breweries didn't want for themselves first.
Jon H.

Offline AmandaK

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1850
  • Redbird Brewhouse
Re: Chasing the perfect Munich Helles
« Reply #241 on: November 14, 2015, 02:30:02 PM »
I'm thinking that there is a lot of chatter, all pointing to the exact same thing: 'Freshness'. Only cursory review has been given to the freshness of malt and hops, which is the most likely candidate for 'fresh fields', 'flowers', and 'freshly milled grain'... aka "it".

We have two excellent "German" breweries in our area, Urban Chestnut and KC Bier Co. They both have what half of this thread is talking about, the "it". You know what they both do? They invest tons of time and effort into getting the freshest malt and hops they can get ahold of, while serving it as fresh as possible.

Yeah, that's what I was getting at in my earlier post, too, Amanda. It would make sense why it can be really difficult to duplicate at home since homebrewers typically get the 'rejected' malt and hops that the breweries didn't want for themselves first.
I saw that and immediately thought of Florian and Steve importing very specific malts and personally flying to Germany to select their hops. FWIW, Steve at KC Bier Co uses *mostly* Ireks malt, shipped in via container every month, for  a 30bbl brewhouse. Florian at Urban Chestnut uses so many different maltsters that I couldn't keep track.

I believe it is a great point you made there.
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

Offline Phil_M

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1760
  • Southern Maryland
Re: Chasing the perfect Munich Helles
« Reply #242 on: November 16, 2015, 02:22:51 PM »
I feel that malt freshness is likely the case as well.

That being said, with decoction and all these styles seem (to me) to lend themselves to homemade malt more than others...
Corn is a fine adjunct in beer.

And don't buy stale beer.

Offline stpug

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 712
Re: Chasing the perfect Munich Helles
« Reply #243 on: November 16, 2015, 03:43:04 PM »
Little bit of my IT. Thick creamy head, persists all the way to the last sip. Aroma of malt and noble hops. Rich malt taste balanced with noble hops, that finishes very dry and crisp.


That picture has me intrigued (and jealous). Is that a recipe you're willing to share?
How long do you bake the meringue on top?
Northern German Pils
92% avangard pils
4% carapils
4% melanoiden
.75oz magnum (28.8IBU) @ 50min
1oz Hallertauer (3.2IBU), Select Spalt (2.8IBU), Saaz (4.2IBU) @ 10
WLP830

Mash 2qt/lb 147F for 90 minutes. batch sparge 185F water.
Mash PH at room temp  = 5.45-5.50
Mash Efficiency: 92%
Reduce PH in kettle to 5.0-5.1
Boil time 60 minutes.
water profile: RO water w/additions Calcium 35ppm, Mg 17ppm, Sodium 14ppm, Sulfate 90ppm, Chloride 62ppm

OG 1.048
FG 1.008
5.2% ABV
39IBU
SRM 3.5

Thanks for sharing the recipe. I happen to have everything on hand with the exception of magnum and WLP830, but I have northern brewer and WLP802 ;). I also have planned a string of lager beers being brewed this winter so this recipe (with the couple subs) will be 2nd on my list. I'm also working with water that can accommodate that profile. Nice to see other folks not being overly concerned of requiring "soft water".

Cheers!

Offline Wort-H.O.G.

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 4439
  • Play Nice
    • Harvey's Brewhaus
Re: Chasing the perfect Munich Helles
« Reply #244 on: November 16, 2015, 03:45:42 PM »
I'm considering doing step mash for my Helles this weekend-mostly to try it and see if i notice anything different.
I will have to use temp infusions to do this, and beersmith calculated as follows:
(10.3# malt @65F and mash tun at 90F)
3.25gal 160F water for target mash temp of 145F. hold for 40 minutes (1.26qt/lb)
2.5gal of 179F water for target mash temp of 158F. hold for 50 minutes. (final @ 2.23qt/lb)
Target Mash PH 5.5

Drain and then batch sparge with 4.75 gals of 180F water treated with 2ml lactic.
Adjust PH in kettle for final PH of 5.0-5.1.

Any thoughts on the two infusion temps-not sure if they are good or if there is a good way to calculate/check vs. beersmith.
« Last Edit: November 16, 2015, 03:48:49 PM by Wort-H.O.G. »
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 brewday

  • Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 453
  • Chicago
Re: Chasing the perfect Munich Helles
« Reply #245 on: November 16, 2015, 04:14:41 PM »
I'm considering doing step mash for my Helles this weekend-mostly to try it and see if i notice anything different.
I will have to use temp infusions to do this, and beersmith calculated as follows:
(10.3# malt @65F and mash tun at 90F)
3.25gal 160F water for target mash temp of 145F. hold for 40 minutes (1.26qt/lb)
2.5gal of 179F water for target mash temp of 158F. hold for 50 minutes. (final @ 2.23qt/lb)
Target Mash PH 5.5

Drain and then batch sparge with 4.75 gals of 180F water treated with 2ml lactic.
Adjust PH in kettle for final PH of 5.0-5.1.

Any thoughts on the two infusion temps-not sure if they are good or if there is a good way to calculate/check vs. beersmith.

I heat the water 5° higher than what Beersmith gives me, and that seems to work for me.  I have the 10G cooler.  If it comes in high, easy to fix.  Too low, PITA.

Edit:  I'm referring to the second infusion.  Obviously treat the initial strike as you usually would.
« Last Edit: November 16, 2015, 04:17:53 PM by brewday »
Jon Weaver

Offline brewinhard

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 3272
Re: Chasing the perfect Munich Helles
« Reply #246 on: November 16, 2015, 06:22:33 PM »
+1 to this ^^^^^^^. Always be sure to have EXTRA treated, boiling water on hand as you will need it when you don't hit your next highest mash temp exactly.  Ask me how I know.....

Offline Wort-H.O.G.

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 4439
  • Play Nice
    • Harvey's Brewhaus
Re: Chasing the perfect Munich Helles
« Reply #247 on: November 16, 2015, 06:49:26 PM »
the dextrinization rest can be 158F +, so agreed should error on hotter and make sure i'm at least 158F. probably target 188F strike water and see how that works.
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 hopfenundmalz

  • Global Moderator
  • I must live here
  • *****
  • Posts: 9339
  • Milford, MI
Re: Chasing the perfect Munich Helles
« Reply #248 on: November 16, 2015, 09:03:29 PM »
+1 to this ^^^^^^^. Always be sure to have EXTRA treated, boiling water on hand as you will need it when you don't hit your next highest mash temp exactly.  Ask me how I know.....
Unless you can direct fire and raise the temp that way.
Jeff Rankert
AHA Governing Committee
AHA Lifetime Member
BJCP National
Ann Arbor Brewers Guild
Home-brewing, not just a hobby, it is a lifestyle!

Offline brewinhard

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 3272
Re: Chasing the perfect Munich Helles
« Reply #249 on: November 16, 2015, 09:26:06 PM »
Of course, but I believe Worthog said he was using infusions to achieve his rests. 

Offline Wort-H.O.G.

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 4439
  • Play Nice
    • Harvey's Brewhaus
Re: Chasing the perfect Munich Helles
« Reply #250 on: November 16, 2015, 09:56:32 PM »
+1 to this ^^^^^^^. Always be sure to have EXTRA treated, boiling water on hand as you will need it when you don't hit your next highest mash temp exactly.  Ask me how I know.....
Unless you can direct fire and raise the temp that way.

cant do that until i stop using my cooler to mash....someday  8)
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 brewinhard

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 3272
Re: Chasing the perfect Munich Helles
« Reply #251 on: November 16, 2015, 11:59:52 PM »
+1 to this ^^^^^^^. Always be sure to have EXTRA treated, boiling water on hand as you will need it when you don't hit your next highest mash temp exactly.  Ask me how I know.....
Unless you can direct fire and raise the temp that way.

cant do that until i stop using my cooler to mash....someday  8)

Heh, heh.  I am in the exact same boat.  That is why it is single infusion mash for me only!

Offline chrifive916

  • 1st Kit
  • *
  • Posts: 6
Re: Chasing the perfect Munich Helles
« Reply #252 on: November 17, 2015, 05:04:31 PM »
I wonder...can German home brewers located in Germany recreate "it"?

Are there any Americans who studied in Germany who can create" it" when they apply their learning back in the US? Way back someone mentioned a couple breweries they thought had "it"... Has anybody asked them what they believe" it" to be,  and if they have recommendations for home brewers trying to capture that essence?

Sent from my Nexus 6 using Tapatalk


Offline stpug

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 712
Re: Chasing the perfect Munich Helles
« Reply #253 on: November 17, 2015, 05:29:47 PM »
You want it all but you can't have it
It's in your face but you can't grab it

What is it?
It's it
What is it?
It's it
What is it?
It's it
What is it?
It's it
What is it?

What is it?
It's it
What is it?
It's it
What is it?
It's it
What is it?

You want it all but you can't have it
It's in your face but you can't grab it

It's it
What is it?
It's it
What is it?
It's it
What is it?
It's it
What is it?
It's it
What is it?
It's it
What is it?
It's it
What is it?
It's it
What is it?
It's it
What is it?
It's it
What is it?
It's it
What is it?
It's it
What is it?
It's it
What is it?
It's it
What is it?
It's it
What is it?
It's it
What is it?
It's it

--Faith No More

They, too, were having this discussion back in the early 90s. Even wrote a song about it.

Offline Wort-H.O.G.

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 4439
  • Play Nice
    • Harvey's Brewhaus
Re: Chasing the perfect Munich Helles
« Reply #254 on: December 15, 2015, 02:31:26 AM »
So quick report out on the Helles. I did use the 15% kolsch malt and that really adds a nice complexity and bready malt aroma. I also went with yellow full profile- and I'm not sure that was a good move. For a 1.008 FG beer, it is super malty and would likely make someone think they are drinking a less dry beer than it actually is. It's a really nice beer that I think many would say was tasty and quite enjoyable, just not sure it's how I'd brew it again.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
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