Author Topic: Chasing the perfect Munich Helles  (Read 29879 times)

Offline Joe Sr.

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Re: Chasing the perfect Munich Helles
« Reply #300 on: December 22, 2015, 02:19:04 AM »
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RPIScotty

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Re: Chasing the perfect Munich Helles
« Reply #301 on: December 22, 2015, 02:46:17 AM »

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The Beerery

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Re: Chasing the perfect Munich Helles
« Reply #302 on: December 22, 2015, 02:21:05 PM »


- beta acids are often overlooked.  I listened to a podcast with John Palmer where he said beta acids were more important than alpha acids for authentic german flavor.  I started paying more attention to the beta content in noble hops, and wow, they are really high compared to American and British hops.  I used to avoid low AA hops in favor of high AA hops, as I wanted as little vegetative material extracted as possible.  However, I noticed I enjoyed the flavor of low AA hop (Mittlefurh 2% alpha, 5% beta) that has more beta acids as opposed to using a very small amount of a high AA hop (Magnum).  The foam seemed considerably more stable and long lasting too. 

- 10:1 ratio just always seemed to work.  In trying to think like a German brewer, I decided to be engineering-minded and analytical, hence ratios.  Base 10 seemed to make sense, just look at the metric system, mash profile steps (40, 50, 60, 70C) and the 10C affect on reaction rates.  I use 90.9% base malt with 9.1% specialty malt (vienna, munich, etc.) and it turns out really nice.  I also do the same with hops, getting 90.9% of the IBU from the long boil addition and 9.1% of the IBU from a 15 min addition.  This allows me to tinker with ingredients from a consistent template from batch to batch (i.e., is the difference because I used different malt/hops/yeast, or because I changed the ratios).

- high kilned malts score better in comps, but taste less authentic. 

- carbonation is often ignored.  A 2-3 psi variance in the keg at 32-34F makes a big difference.  Backing off just a touch tends to make the malts softer and produce more delicate notes.  I think this ties in with both overall pH effects and carbonic bite, which masks subtle malt notes as pain receptors on your tongue are overly stimulated.  I think you can see the difference by taking your helles and pouring one with the glass tilted so as not to off-gas CO2, and one using the traditional 7-minute pour where carbonation is driven off.  They taste like two different beers.  (Try this with a Kolsch too for that creamy mouthfeel.) 

- 835 and 860 are my favorite strains so far.  Bavarian strains (833, 835, 838, 860) tend to produce a bit of a grape fruitiness, which I get in some commercial examples. WLP830 makes a nice beer, but is better suited for pilsners IMO.

So, here we go.

Beta Acids- YUP, at a minimum you want 1:1. Aging the hops(room temp in a paper bag) for some time will also soften the alphas, and allow the betas to come to the forefront. Betas are more robust so bitter off the alpha(but you will be getting beta only), if aging.

No american can think like a schooled German brewer. However, 97% 2%, 1% for an export helles, and 98% 2% for a regular helles would be a good start. Carahell and caramunich being the 2 and 1.

I am sorry but a step mash is THE ONLY option. A hochkurz at 63/70/76 being fairly standard (but this is all based on malt). Using a step mash or a decoction alters the times for the rests.

Low carb will bring out malt.

Yeast is a nuance, use it to your preference. I use a house blend.

But alas, none of this create that "kickass German beer flavor". These are the .5's and 1%'s of the overall.


Offline beersk

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Re: Chasing the perfect Munich Helles
« Reply #303 on: December 22, 2015, 04:36:32 PM »

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Indeed.. My beer has that "kickass smoothness" that you find in quality German beers.

Welcome back.

Te he

Dorst Hornbush says Helles MUST HAVE the protein rest for 30 minutes at 122F or 50C. If you choose to skip this rest, he says it is not a true helles. I'm not so sure about that, but whatevs... I plan to include it in my next helles just because. I usually do a Hochkurz step infusion mash, it's easy enough. I've actually been conditioning my grain lately before mashing in as well. I really like what that's doing for the crush and the run off of the mash.

The Beerery

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Re: Chasing the perfect Munich Helles
« Reply #304 on: December 22, 2015, 04:47:42 PM »

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Indeed.. My beer has that "kickass smoothness" that you find in quality German beers.

Welcome back.

Te he

Dorst Hornbush says Helles MUST HAVE the protein rest for 30 minutes at 122F or 50C. If you choose to skip this rest, he says it is not a true helles. I'm not so sure about that, but whatevs... I plan to include it in my next helles just because. I usually do a Hochkurz step infusion mash, it's easy enough. I've actually been conditioning my grain lately before mashing in as well. I really like what that's doing for the crush and the run off of the mash.

No offense to Horst... Actually I don't really care. You do rests based on malt, not based on style. unless you are getting very green malt, which you are not because it has a shelf life of like days...Overworking the malt will hurt you. Rests and temps are ALWAYS based on this. Infusion/step and decoction will change those times as well.

Offline beersk

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Re: Chasing the perfect Munich Helles
« Reply #305 on: December 22, 2015, 04:53:35 PM »
Point taken. It's likely out-dated info. But if that's the case, how is Narziss not out-dated? I believe Horst went to Weihenstephan brewing school...

The Beerery

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Re: Chasing the perfect Munich Helles
« Reply #306 on: December 22, 2015, 05:03:39 PM »
Point taken. It's likely out-dated info. But if that's the case, how is Narziss not out-dated? I believe Horst went to Weihenstephan brewing school...

Well, Die Bierbrauerei: Band 2: Die Technologie der Würzebereitung (https://books.google.com/books/about/Die_Bierbrauerei.html?id=KGlULi2NI5gC), is ~3 years old, so it has all the current revisions based on current variables. Horst, is old. ;)
« Last Edit: December 22, 2015, 05:13:17 PM by The Beerery »

Offline beersk

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Re: Chasing the perfect Munich Helles
« Reply #307 on: December 22, 2015, 05:07:29 PM »
Point taken. It's likely out-dated info. But if that's the case, how is Narziss not out-dated? I believe Horst went to Weihenstephan brewing school...

Well, Die Bierbrauerei: Band 2: Die Technologie der Würzebereitung (https://books.google.com/books/about/Die_Bierbrauerei.html?id=KGlULi2NI5gC), is less than 3 years old, so it has all the current revisions based on current variables. Horst, is old. ;)
Haha, awesome. Thanks. Now if I could only speak/read German...

The Beerery

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Re: Chasing the perfect Munich Helles
« Reply #308 on: December 22, 2015, 05:14:16 PM »
Point taken. It's likely out-dated info. But if that's the case, how is Narziss not out-dated? I believe Horst went to Weihenstephan brewing school...

Well, Die Bierbrauerei: Band 2: Die Technologie der Würzebereitung (https://books.google.com/books/about/Die_Bierbrauerei.html?id=KGlULi2NI5gC), is less than 3 years old, so it has all the current revisions based on current variables. Horst, is old. ;)
Haha, awesome. Thanks. Now if I could only speak/read German...

Well, I didn't know a lick before I started with that sooo. ;)

Ancient Abbey

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Chasing the perfect Munich Helles
« Reply #309 on: January 04, 2016, 12:10:00 AM »

Offline beersk

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Re: Chasing the perfect Munich Helles
« Reply #310 on: January 04, 2016, 02:36:42 AM »
I have a small spray bottle filled with water that I mist the grain with in a bucket, stir them with my hands making sure to get all the grains mixed well and repeat maybe 6-8 times. Then let sit for 15 minutes or so. By this time, the grains feel dry again after they've absorbed all the water I mixed in. The husks don't shred and there's almost no dust when pouring into the mill hopper for milling. It's quite nice. I also get very few, if any, dough balls when mashing in.

The Beerery

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Re: Chasing the perfect Munich Helles
« Reply #311 on: January 04, 2016, 03:02:45 PM »
Here is a video I made some time ago for a person.

https://www.facebook.com/thebeerery/videos/599515566857714/

I average 2-4oz of water per grain bill.


Here are some crush comparisions:
Non-conditioned:


Conditioned:


Apart from better lautering, and dust. A proper wet condition also keeps more tannins out of the wort, and some of keeps some of the nasty enzymes (helps with LOX) out of the wort as well.

Offline beersk

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Re: Chasing the perfect Munich Helles
« Reply #312 on: January 04, 2016, 09:13:39 PM »
Looks like mine after crushing. I really like how it goes through the mill too. My mill rollers are worn down just enough that with dry non-conditioned grain, it barely wants to pull the grain through. But with conditioning, it pulls it through nicely most of the time, depending how much water I use to condition.

Offline JT

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Re: Chasing the perfect Munich Helles
« Reply #313 on: January 04, 2016, 09:19:39 PM »
Tried conditioning for the first time today.  I don't think I used enough water, but still noticed a difference.  Will continue going forward, thanks!

Offline beersk

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Re: Chasing the perfect Munich Helles
« Reply #314 on: January 05, 2016, 02:38:51 AM »
Tried conditioning for the first time today.  I don't think I used enough water, but still noticed a difference.  Will continue going forward, thanks!
Yeah, with how easy it is, I don't know why more people don't do it. I condition it while the strike water is heating, let it sit and have enough time to mill before mashing in. I imagine it's probably easier on the roller knurls over time versus not conditioning as well. Maybe I'm just making that up...I don't know.