Author Topic: Helles - FWH + small late addition only  (Read 1367 times)

Offline blatz

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Helles - FWH + small late addition only
« on: May 19, 2011, 10:53:25 AM »
Got some comments back on my helles recently that said too much hop bitterness/hop bite. Only used 19IBUs (calculated) so I was kinda  ???

Was thinking of slightly reducing the 60min hop charge and instead using it as FWH.  Will keep the small late addition however (0.50oz Hall Mit at 10 min for 12gal)

Any thoughts on this switchup?
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Offline bluesman

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Re: Helles - FWH + small late addition only
« Reply #1 on: May 19, 2011, 10:59:13 AM »
I've got a Czech Pils that I first wort hopped to 20 IBU's as calculated by beersmith at 240 min 120min for an actual 2hr boil that is just simply fantastic. No bite. To the contrary it's a  more relaxed bittering as compared to other beers with similiar IBU's. It could also depend on the specific hop genome used but Hallertau is not at all bity unless you miscalculated.
« Last Edit: May 19, 2011, 06:04:11 PM by bluesman »
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Offline Malticulous

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Re: Helles - FWH + small late addition only
« Reply #2 on: May 19, 2011, 12:52:35 PM »
Lite beers like that I often will just do a FWH. I think it has more to do with you water.

Offline blatz

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Re: Helles - FWH + small late addition only
« Reply #3 on: May 19, 2011, 01:02:18 PM »
I think it has more to do with you water.

could be, but I pay pretty close attention to that.

Here's my water:
Ca 23
Mg 4
HCO3 37
Na 21
Cl 70
SO4 12
pH 7.9

I added just enough CaCl to get my Ca level to about ~50ppm. 

I figured my water was okay - that's why I was going to try FWH this time.  whatchu think?
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Offline denny

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Re: Helles - FWH + small late addition only
« Reply #4 on: May 19, 2011, 01:26:58 PM »
Paul, what type of hops did you use before and what are you thinking of using for the FWH version?
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Offline blatz

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Re: Helles - FWH + small late addition only
« Reply #5 on: May 19, 2011, 01:30:04 PM »
Paul, what type of hops did you use before and what are you thinking of using for the FWH version?

I was using Magnum for bittering (about 17-18 IBUs worth) at 60 min, with a small Hallertauer Mittlefruh addition at 10min (0.50 oz for 12gal).

For the FWH version I was thinking either using Mittlefruh all the way through or Tradition.  I would do Tettnanger, but I have a lot of the other two currently.

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Offline denny

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Re: Helles - FWH + small late addition only
« Reply #6 on: May 19, 2011, 01:30:46 PM »
Sounds like good choices....no advice from me, then!
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Offline jeffy

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Re: Helles - FWH + small late addition only
« Reply #7 on: May 19, 2011, 02:12:44 PM »
Paul, what type of hops did you use before and what are you thinking of using for the FWH version?
I was using Magnum for bittering (about 17-18 IBUs worth) at 60 min, with a small Hallertauer Mittlefruh addition at 10min (0.50 oz for 12gal).
For the FWH version I was thinking either using Mittlefruh all the way through or Tradition.  I would do Tettnanger, but I have a lot of the other two currently.
I've used a lot of Tradition lately.  I really like the flavor.  I'd think it would be a lot smoother and more mellow than Magnum.
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Offline Pawtucket Patriot

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Re: Helles - FWH + small late addition only
« Reply #8 on: May 19, 2011, 06:36:49 PM »
I haven't FWH'd a helles yet, so I don't have any direct experience.  But I'm just wondering if the flavor from FWH'ing would be inappropriate in a helles, which is a more malt-centric beer.  I can definitely see FWH'ing a Northern German Pils though.

I think the water looks good, but I would personally sub a little CaSO4 for some of the CaCl to achieve a 2:1 ratio of SO4:Cl. 
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Offline blatz

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Re: Helles - FWH + small late addition only
« Reply #9 on: May 19, 2011, 06:55:30 PM »
I think the water looks good, but I would personally sub a little CaSO4 for some of the CaCl to achieve a 2:1 ratio of SO4:Cl. 

Curious why since that would further accentuate the hop bite rather than malt?
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Offline majorvices

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Re: Helles - FWH + small late addition only
« Reply #10 on: May 19, 2011, 07:43:16 PM »
Differet beer all together, but kinda similar: My favorite kolsch recipe is a standard kolsch grain bill and Crystal hops targeted as a 20 min edition - enough to make 30 BUs at 20 minutes - but all added at FWH. no other hops. Turns out freakin' awesome.
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Offline Pawtucket Patriot

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Re: Helles - FWH + small late addition only
« Reply #11 on: May 20, 2011, 06:44:01 AM »
I think the water looks good, but I would personally sub a little CaSO4 for some of the CaCl to achieve a 2:1 ratio of SO4:Cl.  

Curious why since that would further accentuate the hop bite rather than malt?

Mostly personal preference, I suppose. But when I think Helles (or any other pale, continental lager) I think "soft water". In order to keep the water relatively soft, I would decrease the Cl a bit (to around ~50 Mg/L). Since you'd be losing some calcium ions by reducing Cl (which I'm assuming you're getting through a CaCl addition, but I could be wrong), you could add back the calcium with CaSO4 (I like my calcium content to be at least 50 Mg/L in just about any beer).  This is probably very nitpicky and would have a negligible effect on flavor, which is why I said it's mostly personal preference.   ;)

Edit: there's also Ca in the grist, so you might very well end up with around 50 Mg/L Ca anyway.  Incidentally, I use that 50 Mg/L Ca benchmark sort of arbitrarily based on various opinions from those who know more about water/mash chemistry than me!
« Last Edit: May 20, 2011, 10:05:15 AM by Pawtucket Patriot »
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Offline richardt

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Re: Helles - FWH + small late addition only
« Reply #12 on: May 20, 2011, 10:20:54 AM »
Perhaps the problem isn't the hops/hop schedule.
How's the malt flavor and aroma profile and body?
Perhaps the "bite" is carbonic bite, and the judge doesn't recognize the difference..

Offline blatz

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Re: Helles - FWH + small late addition only
« Reply #13 on: May 20, 2011, 11:09:40 AM »
Perhaps the problem isn't the hops/hop schedule.
How's the malt flavor and aroma profile and body?
Perhaps the "bite" is carbonic bite, and the judge doesn't recognize the difference..

It very well could be carbonic bite - good point richardt.  It doesn't have it auf tap, in fact, in a blind tasting my wife thought Spaten Premium Lager had a more pronounced bitterness and spiciness whereas mine was cleaner and smoother (her words not mine). 

I felt the malt flavor was appropriate, maybe on the low end of guidelines.  The malt aroma was lower than I wanted, but its there and clearly pils malt. I don't know how to increase malt aroma.

I agree with my wife (did I just say that) that it lacks the spicy noble hop character.

I figure I might just try all FWH + a late addition and see - I'll use my original 60min amount though rather than figure the same IBUs at 20 and use that amount however - I've been burned too many times doing that and I'd rather err on the side of being too malty than too bitter.  I can adjust next batch if its not bitter enough.

Re: Matt - I don't know if I agree with lowering the Chlorides (which I would have to do via cutting with RO) and then adding gypsum - my usual plan of adding CaCl to get the Ca >50 doesn't add that much Chloride to the bill ; plus I always thought the Chlorides helped malt flavor, no? I'll have to fiddle with Martin's sheet this weeknd and come back to that - I may be totally wrong (now that my wife would agree with  ;D )
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Offline Pawtucket Patriot

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Re: Helles - FWH + small late addition only
« Reply #14 on: May 20, 2011, 12:12:12 PM »
Paul, you're right that chloride accentuates maltiness. And, to be honest, I'm not sure whether there are any negative effects associated with a 3-4:1 Cl:SO4 ratio. So, I will revise my previous comment and say that your proposed water profile will probably be just fine.  Maltiness is likely to be more influenced by grist and mash process anyway.
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