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MiniYoda

recipe for Helles

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Friend of mine and I went to the local German Club's monthly outing.  She has a love fare with all things German.  She enjoys Spaten Munich Lager.  Did some research, and this is a helles.  I'm drinking one of the Helles from the Mr. Beer Seasonal section that I've been cold conditioning for a while.  Just not the same.  Color is darker and the flavor isn't the same.

 

I was wondering if someone here has an all extract or partial mash recipe for a helles using Mr. Beer products, or knows of a source that sells a 5 gallon Helles kit.  Rather not do a full grain on this, as I haven't done full grain (yet).  More than willing to do the true cold conditioning.  Just want to come as close to the Spaten Lager as possible.

 

Thanks


MY

 

 

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8 minutes ago, MiniYoda said:

Friend of mine and I went to the local German Club's monthly outing.  She has a love fare with all things German.  She enjoys Spaten Munich Lager.  Did some research, and this is a helles.  I'm drinking one of the Helles from the Mr. Beer Seasonal section that I've been cold conditioning for a while.  Just not the same.  Color is darker and the flavor isn't the same.

 

I was wondering if someone here has an all extract or partial mash recipe for a helles using Mr. Beer products, or knows of a source that sells a 5 gallon Helles kit.  Rather not do a full grain on this, as I haven't done full grain (yet).  More than willing to do the true cold conditioning.  Just want to come as close to the Spaten Lager as possible.

 

Thanks


MY

 

 

What about a strictly lme with hop additions and a full 60 min boil???

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PS, thats a lager. Youd need some temp control. Closest thing in ale form would be a blonde i do believe. Close, but not the same

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I'm all in favor of LME with LME/DME, minimal hops and adding grains.  just wondering if someone tried this before and has a good baseline for me to try.  And for temp control, I have Mr. Beer's Helles in a freezer with a temp controller that ranges between 53 and 56.  The bottles have been there for 2 months ish.  That's not a problem.  Just need a good solid Helles recipe.  Trying to clone the Spaten Munich.  Very good lager with more body than her second favorite beer........Miller Lite.

 

 

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You could cut this recipe in half for an lbk, substitute the lme and bittering hops for MRB canadian blonde HME. Throw in a pale softpack. Add hme at flameout? Ferment as a lager. Closest youll get id think without doing the real recipe

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I have the Mr. Beer 6 gallon fermenter, so I could do a full recipe of above.  I'll study it and see what I can do to sub this for that using Mr. Beer or easy to get products. Not familiar with Aramis hops, but I don't get out of my cave much, so please don't let that surprise you.

 

 

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3 minutes ago, MiniYoda said:

I have the Mr. Beer 6 gallon fermenter, so I could do a full recipe of above.  I'll study it and see what I can do to sub this for that using Mr. Beer or easy to get products. Not familiar with Aramis hops, but I don't get out of my cave much, so please don't let that surprise you.

 

 

Ive never heard of it either... 

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@MrWhy, do you think this could be the next collaboration effort?  Clone commercial beers with Mr. Beer products?  If so, first up is a true German helles

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From Beer Captured, they have a Hofbrauhaus Helles beer.

This should be an interesting adventure. I can't control my stuff this well but maybe you can try :-D

 

5 gal/OG 1.052/54, FG 1.013/SRM 5/IBU 17/ABV 5. either 1 or 2

1. PM 12 oz 8L Munich malt, 8 oz German 2.5L Light  Crystal malt, 4 oz Belgian Aromatic malt steeped at 150 deg for 30 min.

2. Mini mash - they use 1.5 lb German 2 row Pilsner malt, 4 oz Munich Malt at 150 deg for 90 min. and omit 2 lb (seems too much) of the light malt extract .

 

Strain grains into brew pot

Sparge with 1 gal 150 deg water

Bring to a boil, remove from heat.

Add 6lb Muntons Extra Light Dry Malt Extract (1) or 4 lbs (2)

2 oz Malto Dextrin

Add bittering hops:

1/2 oz Spalt Hop (6%, 3HBU)
1/2 oz German Hallertaur Hersbrucker (4% 2HBU)

Add water to make 2.5 gal, then boil for 45 min.

add 1 tsp Irish Moss

Boil 15 min more

Remove from heat and chill 20 mins

strain to primary and add water to make 5 1/8 gal.

at < 65deg F pitch yeast.

use either Wyeast 2124 Bohemian Lager or Wyeast 2206 Bavarian Lager

Keep temp at 60-62 until fermentation starts (1 day)

Reduce temp to 47-52, for a week or until it slows.

Siphon to secondary (5 gal)

Bottle when FG reached and beer has cleared, (approx. 5 weeks)

Prime with 1 1/4 cu Muntons Extra Light Dry Malt.

Let carbonate at 70 deg for 3 weeks then cellar

 

 

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More Beer has a 5 gallon Helles extract for 36. (Free shipping for orders over 60). Jaspers (boomchugalug) has one for 39....but it is 6.8% ABV.....

 

Did you ferment/lager the Mr. Beer helles?

 

The issue with extract is that it will always be darker. (if it is liquid).

 

 

 

 

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1 minute ago, MiniYoda said:

@MrWhy, do you think this could be the next collaboration effort?  Clone commercial beers with Mr. Beer products?  If so, first up is a true German helles

 

It is just really hard with LME because of the color effect.

 

You need to use DME to get light, but I don't think these extract kits really rely on DME.....and Mr. Beer only has one type of DME.

 

DME plus steeping grains?

 

I don't have enough knowledge/skill to clone a beer. Especially a german one using Mr. Beer DME and grains.

 

 

 

 

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1 minute ago, MrWhy said:

More Beer has a 5 gallon Helles extract for 36. (Free shipping for orders over 60). Jaspers (boomchugalug) has one for 39....but it is 6.8% ABV.....

 

Did you ferment/lager the Mr. Beer helles?

 

The issue with extract is that it will always be darker. (if it is liquid).

 

 

 

 

 

I'm using a temp controller similar to what Mr. Beer is advertising on their home page.  I fermented their Helles seasonal in the fridge at 55 for 3 weeks, carbonated for ..... I think 4 weeks .... at 68, then back to a freezer controlled by the temp controller between 53-56 for at least 2 months.  It just didn't taste the same.

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4 minutes ago, Nickfixit said:

From Beer Captured, they have a Hofbrauhaus Helles beer.

This should be an interesting adventure. I can't control my stuff this well but maybe you can try :-D

 

5 gal/OG 1.052/54, FG 1.013/SRM 5/IBU 17/ABV 5. either 1 or 2

1. PM 12 oz 8L Munich malt, 8 oz German 2.5L Light  Crystal malt, 4 oz Belgian Aromatic malt steeped at 150 deg for 30 min.

2. Mini mash - they use 1.5 lb German 2 row Pilsner malt, 4 oz Munich Malt at 150 deg for 90 min. and omit 2 lb (seems too much) of the light malt extract .

 

Strain grains into brew pot

Sparge with 1 gal 150 deg water

Bring to a boil, remove from heat.

Add 6lb Muntons Extra Light Dry Malt Extract (1) or 4 lbs (2)

2 oz Malto Dextrin

Add bittering hops:

1/2 oz Spalt Hop (6%, 3HBU)
1/2 oz German Hallertaur Hersbrucker (4% 2HBU)

Add water to make 2.5 gal, then boil for 45 min.

add 1 tsp Irish Moss

Boil 15 min more

Remove from heat and chill 20 mins

strain to primary and add water to make 5 1/8 gal.

at < 65deg F pitch yeast.

use either Wyeast 2124 Bohemian Lager or Wyeast 2206 Bavarian Lager

Keep temp at 60-62 until fermentation starts (1 day)

Reduce temp to 47-52, for a week or until it slows.

Siphon to secondary (5 gal)

Bottle when FG reached and beer has cleared, (approx. 5 weeks)

Prime with 1 1/4 cu Muntons Extra Light Dry Malt.

Let carbonate at 70 deg for 3 weeks then cellar

 

 

 

Okay, my friend is attractive, but 1) she has a boyfriend, who is also a good friend, and 2) not attractive enough/single enough to try this one!

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6 minutes ago, MrWhy said:

More Beer has a 5 gallon Helles extract for 36. (Free shipping for orders over 60). Jaspers (boomchugalug) has one for 39....but it is 6.8% ABV.....

 

Did you ferment/lager the Mr. Beer helles?

 

The issue with extract is that it will always be darker. (if it is liquid).

 

 

 

 

 

$36 with a few problems.  You still have to buy the yeast, and it is out of stock.  As is the one that I found on Label Peelers.  Still, this ain't their site, this is Mr. Beer's site.

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Just now, MiniYoda said:

 

I'm using a temp controller similar to what Mr. Beer is advertising on their home page.  I fermented their Helles seasonal in the fridge at 55 for 3 weeks, carbonated for ..... I think 4 weeks .... at 68, then back to a freezer controlled by the temp controller between 53-56 for at least 2 months.  It just didn't taste the same.

 

Personally, I do not think you can clone a Helles (or Oktoberfest, or any of the german lagers) straight with HME. The color, and a variety of other factors will prevent it.

 

At the most, you could possibly come close with a partial mash. And you could come closer with all grain.

 

The issue with the german beers (and to a large extent the Belgian) is that they are EXTREMELY technique and local ingredient dependent.


What I mean is this -

 

If you look at  a Belgian (or German) recipe, what you get is really simple. I mean, stupid simple. But the flavors are almost impossible to reproduce. I am, as we speak, about to have a Sierra Nevada Oktoberfest. I had one last night. Great beer. NOTHING like the real Oktoberfest. And these guys (Sierra Nevada) are the best of the best.


How do you replicate the water? How do you replicate the grain? The yeast? The equipment???

 

You can't.


So the best you can do is make a kick-ass beer, in the style of, the beer you are trying to make.

 

BTW - Paulaner Oktoberfest in the big cans is the greatest thing in the world. I haven't seen them in my area in YEARS but this year I am on a mission to find, and purchase 50 cans.

 

I am not joking. 50 BIG CANS!

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6 minutes ago, MrWhy said:

 

It is just really hard with LME because of the color effect.

 

You need to use DME to get light, but I don't think these extract kits really rely on DME.....and Mr. Beer only has one type of DME.

 

DME plus steeping grains?

 

I don't have enough knowledge/skill to clone a beer. Especially a german one using Mr. Beer DME and grains.

 

 

 

 

 

 

They have two DMEs.  A Smooth and a Pale.

 

I could do DME and grains.  Expected to do that to get a serious German body to the beer.

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Helles is my fav lager. Such a nice buttery floral flavor with a slight bitterness that leaves you more thirsty than you came. So good 

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3 minutes ago, MrWhy said:

 

Personally, I do not think you can clone a Helles (or Oktoberfest, or any of the german lagers) straight with HME. The color, and a variety of other factors will prevent it.

 

At the most, you could possibly come close with a partial mash. And you could come closer with all grain.

 

The issue with the german beers (and to a large extent the Belgian) is that they are EXTREMELY technique and local ingredient dependent.


What I mean is this -

 

If you look at  a Belgian (or German) recipe, what you get is really simple. I mean, stupid simple. But the flavors are almost impossible to reproduce. I am, as we speak, about to have a Sierra Nevada Oktoberfest. I had one last night. Great beer. NOTHING like the real Oktoberfest. And these guys (Sierra Nevada) are the best of the best.


How do you replicate the water? How do you replicate the grain? The yeast? The equipment???

 

You can't.


So the best you can do is make a kick-ass beer, in the style of, the beer you are trying to make.

 

BTW - Paulaner Oktoberfest in the big cans is the greatest thing in the world. I haven't seen them in my area in YEARS but this year I am on a mission to find, and purchase 50 cans.

 

I am not joking. 50 BIG CANS!

 

I don't doubt that trying to clone a beer is difficult, and doing so with extract isn't much easier.  But, using stuff here, could we come close to a full body Helles?  Color isn't as critical as flavor.  But to be a true lager, it should condition at "less than room temp"

 

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3 minutes ago, Creeps McLane said:

Helles is my fav lager. Such a nice buttery floral flavor with a slight bitterness that leaves you more thirsty than you came. So good 

 

 

Then.........should we design one?  Heck, if they can do a Mexican Belgian beer, let's give this a try.

 

 

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I think we would need someone with a stronger background (HEY @MRB Josh R!!!! We are talking to you!!!!) to give us some guidelines on what grains we would need to add to what amount of pale DME to get a nice approximation of a Helle's lager.

 

I'll look when I have more time, but my process would be -

1. Compare at least 3 extract/partial mash recipes for a Helles

2. Compare at least 3  all grain/partial mash recipes for a Helles

3. Try to construct a reasonable replica using the pale DME, Mr. B grains, lager yeast, and hops.

 

All with the understanding that this is a case where it is NOT the ingredients so much that are going to make or break the beer, but the technique/skill in the lager ferement/process.

 

And be ready to repeat brewing the same ingredients (with minor tweaks as needed) multiple times, focusing on technique and brewing process.

 

These brewers (german and belgian) have been brewing these beers for HUNDREDS of years..........they've got their shit down.

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Love your post, @MrWhy on the challenge.  And knowing that we are using only the four key ingredients, it'll pass the German Purity law.

 

Well, with the exception of those of us who use sugar for carbonation.  To do it <right>, you'd have to transfer the CO2 from the fermentation to the bottling.

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9 minutes ago, MiniYoda said:

 

 

Then.........should we design one?  Heck, if they can do a Mexican Belgian beer, let's give this a try.

 

 

 

One of the advantages of our Mexigian foray is we are journeying into unexplored lands. We are setting the standards by which others will be judged!

 

Which, honestly, I knew when we started this. Trying, as an American brewer, to "recreate" a Belgian (or German) is ridiculously difficult . (And trust me, over the pond, they are having the same issues with the IPA. Ironically). There are hundreds of years of technique and ingredient and culture and expectation built into the beers. By breaking that with an unexpected twist (is it Mexican? Is it Belgian?) You reset the expectation-palate and can start fresh.

 

You need to have something that breaks the expectation.....lets brew a high ABV helles! Let's brew a dry hopped ale Helles!

 

If you don't, you are trying to clone.

 

Which is not a bad thing because you will absolutely have to bring your technical skill up to a high level, as opposed to your recipe skill. 

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1 minute ago, MRB Josh R said:

We still have some Helles available. ;)

https://www.mrbeer.com/helles-bock-2015-spring-seasonal

 

You can supplement it with a small amount of pilsner malt (4 oz) and maybe some Vienna malt (2oz) to get a bit more flavor and body. Saaz is a good hop with that beer.

 

Yes, I know, but for me it just didn't hit the same flavor as the Spaten Lager.  That's what I am shooting for.

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1 minute ago, MRB Josh R said:

We still have some Helles available. ;)

https://www.mrbeer.com/helles-bock-2015-spring-seasonal

 

You can supplement it with a small amount of pilsner malt (4 oz) and maybe some Vienna malt (2oz) to get a bit more flavor and body. Saaz is a good hop with that beer.

 

@MRB Josh R -

 

Is it possible, using pale DME, steeping grains, and hops (in essence a Mr. Beer partial mash with no HME) to get closer to a Helles lager?

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Just now, MiniYoda said:

 

Yes, I know, but for me it just didn't hit the same flavor as the Spaten Lager.  That's what I am shooting for.

 

For that you will have to go all-grain, unfortunately.

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Okay, then let's brew the helles out of a helles. 

 

Okay.....SOMEONE had to say it.

 

 

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2 minutes ago, MrWhy said:

 

One of the advantages of our Mexigian foray is we are journeying into unexplored lands. We are setting the standards by which others will be judged!

 

Which, honestly, I knew when we started this. Trying, as an American brewer, to "recreate" a Belgian (or German) is ridiculously difficult . (And trust me, over the pond, they are having the same issues with the IPA. Ironically). There are hundreds of years of technique and ingredient and culture and expectation built into the beers. By breaking that with an unexpected twist (is it Mexican? Is it Belgian?) You reset the expectation-palate and can start fresh.

 

You need to have something that breaks the expectation.....lets brew a high ABV helles! Let's brew an dry hopped ale Helles!

 

If you don't, you are trying to clone.

 

Which is not a bad thing because you will absolutely have to bring your technical skill up to a high level, as opposed to your recipe skill. 

 

Then perhaps we should design a Helles recipe, and adjust it for those who like hoppier beers, high ABV beers, etc. 

 

All I'm trying to do is come close to a Spaten Munich Lager

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Just now, MrWhy said:

 

@MRB Josh R -

 

Is it possible, using pale DME, steeping grains, and hops (in essence a Mr. Beer partial mash with no HME) to get closer to a Helles lager?

 

Our Helles Bock IS a Helles Lager. It fits all the BJCP parameters. But yes, you can make your own version doing an unhopped extract/partial mash method. A Helles lager is simply a pilsner that is more balanced and less hoppy. They tend to be a bit breadier than pilsners. 

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For the Single LBK brewer.............

So the Spaten Lager page says:

Alcohol by volume: 5.2%
Original gravity: 11.7%
Bitterness (IBU’s): 21

 

I am thinking though for 1 LBK and no secondary,  you could fake it using the Mr B Pils HME (IBU is a little high but use a PM of  4 oz  Munich Malt, 2 oz Light Crystal and 2 oz of the Belgian Aromatic. Add Pilsen LME or DME to get the 5.2% ABV. I would guess you could use 2 packs of The Mr B light extract, but it may darken it a bit.

Or you could use 1 LME pack and 1 or 2 new booster packs (depending how strong you want it).

I would add a bit of aroma hop to liven it up (to fake fresh hop rather than HME) but not much. Maybe 1/4 oz of the Hersbrucker boiled  maybe 5 min in the PM liquor made up to 4 cups,  and take it out.

 

Or you could use the Canadian Blonde, and just boil the hops longer to get the IBU up from 13 to 21. In that case I would also 1/4 oz each of the Spalt and Hersbrucker in a bag and boil for 10 min. then take them out That calcs to ~ 8 IBU and you will get nice aroma/flavor  too I would think.

 

Anyway thems my ideas.

 

 

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5 minutes ago, MRB Josh R said:

 

Our Helles Bock IS a Helles Lager. It fits all the BJCP parameters. But yes, you can make your own version doing an unhopped extract/partial mash method. A Helles lager is simply a pilsner that is more balanced and less hoppy. They tend to be a bit breadier than pilsners. 

Yep but I think it is a bit heavier than the Spaten. Both in ABV and Maltiness?

Side by side test will tell.

Mr B Helles Lager

ABV (alc/vol): 6.5%

SRM (Color): 6

IBU (Bitterness): 30

 

Spaten Helles

Alcohol by volume: 5.2%
Original gravity: 11.7%
Bitterness (IBU’s): 21

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4 minutes ago, Nickfixit said:

Yep but I think it is a bit heavier than the Spaten. Both in ABV and Maltiness?

Side by side test will tell.

 

Yes, Spaten Lager is more like a Munich Helles. It's a different BJCP category and a lighter version of Helles Bocks. Both are still considered Helles lagers. You could always add more water...

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well, if the HME can hold on for a couple more months, I'll order another Mr. Beer Seasonal Helles..  can't brew right now due to apartment conditions (and no, I'm not going to try to put a saison yeast on a helles recipe.  And the Fridge isn't available for a while...................well.............maybe.

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10 minutes ago, MiniYoda said:

well, if the HME can hold on for a couple more months, I'll order another Mr. Beer Seasonal Helles..  can't brew right now due to apartment conditions (and no, I'm not going to try to put a saison yeast on a helles recipe.  And the Fridge isn't available for a while...................well.............maybe.

If you want to make it more like the Spaten, you can add more water  and put it in the 6 gal fermenter  - say  2.75 to 3 GAL.

 

But :lol:  you could just buy 2 of the seasonal cans and make 6 gal in the big fermenter.... they ARE on sale - lol.

 

That is an easy way. Also maybe use the Wyeast.

 

To equate the bitterness, use 1 can Seasonal Helles, dilute to 3.2 gal and add 8 oz malt extract to bring ABV to ~ 5.2

 

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12 minutes ago, MRB Josh R said:

 

Our Helles Bock IS a Helles Lager. It fits all the BJCP parameters. But yes, you can make your own version doing an unhopped extract/partial mash method. A Helles lager is simply a pilsner that is more balanced and less hoppy. They tend to be a bit breadier than pilsners. 

 

The  issue I see, is that HMEs just brew darker.

 

It's just the nature of the game. Great beers......great flavor....using grains and hops make outstanding beers......but color matters.

 

After that, it boils down to technique and skill and understanding what impacts what. (What is my water like....what is my exact ferment temp (FOR MY EQUIPMENT) what was my OG....FG......etc. etc.

 

 

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2 minutes ago, Nickfixit said:

If you want to make it more like the Spaten, you can add more water  and put it in the 6 gal fermenter  - say  2.75 to 3 GAL.

 

But :lol:  you could just buy 2 of the seasonal cans and make 6 gal in the big fermenter.... they ARE on sale - lol.

 

That is an easy way. Also maybe use the Wyeast.

 

 

 

Right now, after four Mr. Beer beers (part of the CAL experiment) and a couple of shots of bourbon, I'm leaning on two seasonal cans and the Wyeast option.  Might add a DME for more flavor/body.  But to do the 6 gallon fermenter, I'd have to wait until late September/early October, as keeping the apartment that cool would be costly.  Not sure if the fridge could hold the 6 gallon baby.....have to measure.  And eat pop tarts for supper for a few months, as I can't get a second fridge for real food

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3 minutes ago, MrWhy said:

 

The  issue I see, is that HMEs just brew darker.

 

It's just the nature of the game. Great beers......great flavor....using grains and hops make outstanding beers......but color matters.

 

After that, it boils down to technique and skill and understanding what impacts what. (What is my water like....what is my exact ferment temp (FOR MY EQUIPMENT) what was my OG....FG......etc. etc.

 

 

Honestly for this experiment, it's not the color.  And I can add Irish moss for clarity.  The key, is the flavor and mouth feel.

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and as a side note, @MRB Josh R, when does @MrWhy go from Brewmaster In Training to Brewmaster?  I thought it was at 1,000 likes.  If you need me to cast a vote for "yes", consider it done.

 

 

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1 minute ago, MiniYoda said:

and as a side note, @MRB Josh R, when does @MrWhy go from Brewmaster In Training to Brewmaster?  I thought it was at 1,000 likes.  If you need me to cast a vote for "yes", consider it done.

 

 

 

It's based on posts, not likes. He only needs 6 more posts to get Brewmaster.

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Just now, MRB Josh R said:

 

It's based on posts, not likes. He only needs 6 more posts to get Brewmaster.

 

Well, the (brew) Force is strong with this one, so it is well earned.

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At least I THINK it's 1000 posts. I could be wrong. lol.

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Great thread, Yoda!  If I were going to try for an authentic Munich Helles, I would step-mash 2-3 lbs of Weyermann Extra Pale Premium Pilsner malt, a little pale LME/DME, and Hallertau Mittelfruh hops for bittering and flavor.  Saflager W-34/70 would work well, I'd think.  For fun, I might brew 'What the Helles, Bach?' and the Mr. Beer Seasonal Helles for comparison.  This strategy would time nicely with the approaching Oktoberfest!

 

http://support.mrbeer.com/support/solutions/articles/5000523151-what-the-helles-bach-recipe-instructions

https://byo.com/cider/item/747-helles-style-profile

 

 

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Spent time at work today (VERY slow day) researching Helles Bock and Munich Helles.  While I agree that I can't clone Spaten Lager with just Mr. Beer products, I'd like to try to come close.  Not just try to get the Munich Helles, but compare it to the Helles Bock.  I can do up to four kegs in the fridge for cold fermenting. Here's my thinking so far:

 

Keg 1 - 2015 Spring Seasonal, brewed as-is.  This will be the baseline Bock

 

Keg 2 - 2015 Spring Seasonal, altered to be closer to the Munich.  I'm learning toward adding a Pale DME and/or grains, and fill the keg as much as possible to thin down the flavor/color

 

Keg 3 - What The Helles, Bach?  Suggested in the link above.  This will be the baseline Helles Bock as a recipe
•1 Can Grand Bohemian Czech Pilsner Brewing Extract
•1 Packet Dry Brewing Yeast (under lid of Brewing Extract)
•1 Packet Saflager W-34/70 Dry Lager Yeast
•1 BrewMax LME Softpack - Smooth
•1 Packet Tettnanger Pellet Hops
•1 Muslin Hop Sack
•1 Packet No-Rinse Cleanser


Keg 4 - Alter Keg 3.  Drop the LME and add a Pale DME.  Add some grains, but not sure what or how much.  Leaning toward 4oz of Pilsner Malt, or 4oz Munich Malt (but Munich might add too much color).  Also might alter the hops from Tettnanger to Hallertau, which is milder.

I'm open to suggestions, and yes, I will be re-re-reading the suggestions already posted on this thread.

 

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FWIW, I ran my mostly-grain Helles recipe through Qbrew earlier today:

 

Weyermann Pilsner, 3 lbs.

Weyermann Light Munich, 0.25 lb.

BrewMax Pale LME, 0.55 lb.

Hallertau Mittelfruh, 0.75 oz, 60 min.

Hallertau Mittelfruh, 0.5 oz, 20 min.

Hallertau Mittelfruh, 0.25 oz, 10 min.

Saflager W-34/70

 

Mash and boil following the BYO link above.  Ditto for lagering.

 

OG 1.053

IBU 20

SRM 3

ABV 5.1%

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Thanks for the recipe, @Bonsai & Brew.  I'm going to use it in my research, but at this moment I'm not comfortable with all or mostly grain recipes.  Perhaps a few months down the road.

 

 

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1 hour ago, MiniYoda said:

Thanks for the recipe, @Bonsai & Brew.  I'm going to use it in my research, but at this moment I'm not comfortable with all or mostly grain recipes.  Perhaps a few months down the road.

 

 

I thought you were on summer break???

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I am.....well was.....well, kinda still am, but not really.  No, I'm not on break, but I am.

 

Okay..........Okay.......I'll admit it.  I'm MiniYoda, and I'm a Brew-aholic.

 

<light sound in the background of sobbing>

 

I've got the bug, and have to get back into brewing.  My conditioning closets are starting to empty out, and my supply of empty bottles is starting to grow.  The apartment is still too warm to brew ales, but I realized I can ferment four lagers in the fridge at the same time.  True that it takes away my ability to use the fridge for anything else, but I can always eat out, or eat pop-tarts.

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2 hours ago, MiniYoda said:

Thanks for the recipe, @Bonsai & Brew.  I'm going to use it in my research, but at this moment I'm not comfortable with all or mostly grain recipes.  Perhaps a few months down the road.

 

 

 

You're welcome, but I'm learning about Helles right along with you.:)  Besides the above BYO link, there does seem to be some consensus that while the grain/hop bill is very simple (the original SMaSH maybe?), the process of brewing an authentic Helles is quite specific and technical, including stepped and/or decoction mashes, extended temperature-controlled lagering, etc.  I did find some conflicting information regarding the hop schedule though.  One source specified that Helles should not use any flavoring hops at all so that the pilsner malt flavor stays forward.  That said, I may play around a bit with my low (2.2 % AA) Hallertau Mittelfruh hop schedule before I attempt this mash-in-a-sack recipe.  Have you tried BIAB yet?         

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Munich Helles is what I'm pushing for, which is almost no hop flavor and no hop bitterness.  Next time your at your local brew store, pick up some Spaten Munich.  They effectively defined the style.  Since I'm not going to do the decoction mashing, etc, and since I'm only using Mr. Beer products for now, I'm not going to be able to hit it right.  I'm hoping to come close (or at least have a good light/hearty malty beer).  I've seen several places that sell extract kits for Munich Helles, but doni't want to go that route right now

 

I haven't tried BIAB yet.........maybe in the near future.  Right now, until the apartment can be brought down to the mid 60's, I'm going to only lagers in LBKs in the fridge.  Maybe a saison, don't know.

 

MiniYoda..........very addicted to brewing.

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On 8/4/2017 at 7:00 AM, Bonsai & Brew said:

 

You're welcome, but I'm learning about Helles right along with you.:)  Besides the above BYO link, there does seem to be some consensus that while the grain/hop bill is very simple (the original SMaSH maybe?), the process of brewing an authentic Helles is quite specific and technical, including stepped and/or decoction mashes, extended temperature-controlled lagering, etc.  I did find some conflicting information regarding the hop schedule though.  One source specified that Helles should not use any flavoring hops at all so that the pilsner malt flavor stays forward.  That said, I may play around a bit with my low (2.2 % AA) Hallertau Mittelfruh hop schedule before I attempt this mash-in-a-sack recipe.  Have you tried BIAB yet?         

 

As I research these things, this is what I am finding as well. The bigger european brewers (german, belgian, etc.).....it is all very simple ingredients, grain bills, etc. But the technical expertise is through the roof. 100s of years of refinement to produce a beer that has a very specific and distinct taste.

 

In regards to the ingredients, once you produce on a large scale (and these german and belgian brewers are NOT small craft breweries) then standardization of ingredients becomes a cost issue. You just cannot afford to do weird things. If I want to try something and it adds 5 dollars to a batch, well there you go. But if I am brewing a batch 100 times bigger it adds 500 dollars. and that cuts into my profits (if I were selling.)

 

Here on my side of the country, the brewers I get the chance to talk to tend to rave about Sierra Nevada. They hold them in the highest regard for technical expertise.

 

I've never made it up there to their brewery or tap room, but it is on the list.

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24 minutes ago, MrWhy said:

 

As I research these things, this is what I am finding as well. The bigger european brewers (german, belgian, etc.).....it is all very simple ingredients, grain bills, etc. But the technical expertise is through the roof. 100s of years of refinement to produce a beer that has a very specific and distinct taste.

 

In regards to the ingredients, once you produce on a large scale (and these german and belgian brewers are NOT small craft breweries) then standardization of ingredients becomes a cost issue. You just cannot afford to do weird things. If I want to try something and it adds 5 dollars to a batch, well there you go. But if I am brewing a batch 100 times bigger it adds 500 dollars. and that cuts into my profits (if I were selling.)

 

Here on my side of the country, the brewers I get the chance to talk to tend to rave about Sierra Nevada. They hold them in the highest regard for technical expertise.

 

I've never made it up there to their brewery or tap room, but it is on the list.

 

And with that, you've earned your BrewMaster badge!  Nice work, @MrWhy!

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Out of curiosity I bought a bottle of the Spaten Helles Lager and had it at Lunch with my cheese sandwich. Sooo good. I had forgotten how good a nice German beer could be. I have to join the club and try to make similar later on this year.

spaten20170805_121508.png

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very messed up weekend, and didn't have time to work on my plans for Helles Munich.  Here are my (almost) final thoughts:

 

Keg 1 - 2015 Spring Seasonal, altered to be closer to the Munich.  I'm leaning toward adding a Pale DME and 6oz Pilsner malt, and fill the keg as much as possible to thin down the flavor/color.  I'm worried about the keg overflowing on this one.


Keg 2 - What The Helles, Bach?  Suggested in the link above.  It's not Munich, but I want to try it anyways.
•1 Can Grand Bohemian Czech Pilsner Brewing Extract
•1 Packet Dry Brewing Yeast (under lid of Brewing Extract)
•1 Packet Saflager W-34/70 Dry Lager Yeast
•1 BrewMax LME Softpack - Smooth
•1 Packet Tettnanger Pellet Hops
•1 Muslin Hop Sack
•1 Packet No-Rinse Cleanser


Keg 3 - Alter Keg 2.  Drop the LME and add a Pale DME.  Adding 6oz of Pilsner Malt and 2oz Munich Malt.  Also alter the hops from Tettnanger to Hallertau, which is milder and more in tune with online all-grain recipes.


Keg 4 - Due to lack of imagination, I can't come up with any other recipes for something similar to a Munich Helles using just Mr. Beer products.  Since I have room in the fridge for a fourth keg, I'm going to do the Austin Pils recipe.  Open to suggestions.

 

I'll probably place the order very late today or early tomorrow so that I can get everything by the weekend.

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On ‎8‎/‎5‎/‎2017 at 8:17 PM, Nickfixit said:

Out of curiosity I bought a bottle of the Spaten Helles Lager and had it at Lunch with my cheese sandwich. Sooo good. I had forgotten how good a nice German beer could be. I have to join the club and try to make similar later on this year.

spaten20170805_121508.png

 

and if you think it was good in a green bottle, ask for it on tap next time you go to a German style restaurant

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4 hours ago, MiniYoda said:

very messed up weekend, and didn't have time to work on my plans for Helles Munich.  Here are my (almost) final thoughts:

 

Keg 1 - 2015 Spring Seasonal, altered to be closer to the Munich.  I'm leaning toward adding a Pale DME and 6oz Pilsner malt, and fill the keg as much as possible to thin down the flavor/color.  I'm worried about the keg overflowing on this one.


Keg 2 - What The Helles, Bach?  Suggested in the link above.  It's not Munich, but I want to try it anyways.
•1 Can Grand Bohemian Czech Pilsner Brewing Extract
•1 Packet Dry Brewing Yeast (under lid of Brewing Extract)
•1 Packet Saflager W-34/70 Dry Lager Yeast
•1 BrewMax LME Softpack - Smooth
•1 Packet Tettnanger Pellet Hops
•1 Muslin Hop Sack
•1 Packet No-Rinse Cleanser


Keg 3 - Alter Keg 2.  Drop the LME and add a Pale DME.  Adding 6oz of Pilsner Malt and 2oz Munich Malt.  Also alter the hops from Tettnanger to Hallertau, which is milder and more in tune with online all-grain recipes.


Keg 4 - Due to lack of imagination, I can't come up with any other recipes for something similar to a Munich Helles using just Mr. Beer products.  Since I have room in the fridge for a fourth keg, I'm going to do the Austin Pils recipe.  Open to suggestions.

 

I'll probably place the order very late today or early tomorrow so that I can get everything by the weekend.

You have to get one of the 2g vertical fermenters, that will take care of any question of overflow.

 

But as for #4. I would think to continue the idea from before. So this is my thought for #4 LBK

 

Canadian Blonde HME (standard refill with 2x 6 oz Booster packs)

PM with : the remaining 2 oz Munich malt from #3, the remaining 2 oz Pils malt from #3, 2 oz of Crystal 15 malt (or even the whole 4 oz for really caramelly).

Hop boil in the PM liquid diluted to make 6 cups (if not already) 1/4 oz Tettnanger + 1/4 oz Hallertauer in a bag, boil 10 min and remove and squeeze bag dry into pot

Add 1 pack Pale LME (or DME as it may be lighter color)

Add 1 pack of the booster that came with the HME (to give ABV etc but no color) or 2 packs if you are pessimistic about the ABV from the HME - lol

Use the 34/70 yeast again

 

Sequence I would do. 

- do PM, remove grains, boil hops in liquor, remove/squeeze hops into liquor, set aside to cool

- add  booster and DME into LBK with 1 gal cold water in it, swirl/stir up to dissolve (don't need to sterilize - Cooper's do this - it avoids clumps in brewpot)

- add HME to the 4 cups of boiled water in pot, stir to dissolve

- add HME and hop/PM liquor to LBK, and fill to line with cold water

- pitch when temp < 75F, cool to mid 50s to ferment.

 

You can finesse the Standard /Deluxe refills to get the best price on malt or booster. 

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I've considered LBK #4 to be similar to 3 but swapping out the Bavarian HME with either Canadian or Mexican.  It won't be Helles Munich (even without knowing how the HME is made I can tell that). because Munich seems to require about 80% - 90% Pilsner malt from all grain recipes I've seen.  Based on your recommendation, I might do your suggestion, but stick to 1/2 ounce of Hallertauer, to be more mild in hop flavor.  Also, will do DME, as LME might affect color.  Also I need to research the Crystal 15 (I'm still in learning mode when it comes to different malts).

 

@MRB Josh R, @MRB Tim, et al.......thoughts?

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okay, after reading up on Crystal 15, it's a "no-go" on that one.  The notes say "Crystal malts (also known as "Caramel" malts) are produced in a roaster rather than a kiln.", and "Crystal 15 produces golden hues, and has a mellow, candy like sweetness and a mild toffee flavor."  This pushes the flavor away from Helles Munich.

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3 hours ago, MiniYoda said:

.thoughts?

 

 

You could do like #3 but with a Cerveza and W-34, make a Mexican Lager.

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1 hour ago, MRB Tim said:

 

 

You could do like #3 but with a Cerveza and W-34, make a Mexican Lager.

 

I could but I'm wanting to stick to trying to make a Munich clone.  Perhaps in the near future I will make a lager out of the Mexican Cerveza, Canadian Blonde, Czech Pilsner and American Lager, and have an International Lager shootout.

 

unless people think that might be a little to mad scientist   :rolleyes:

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items ordered and expecting delivery tomorrow.  All this hurry hurry hurry to get recipes figured out, then hurry hurry hurry to order the stuff, and I probably can't brew this weekend.  WAY too much on the personal front to spend time trying to brew all four this weekend.  I'd like to get them all in the fridge at one time, as this takes away my only source to chill beers that I will be drinking.  All this and now I have to wait

 

@Big Sarge, I'm sure you are familiar "hurry up and wait"

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2 hours ago, MiniYoda said:

items ordered and expecting delivery tomorrow.  All this hurry hurry hurry to get recipes figured out, then hurry hurry hurry to order the stuff, and I probably can't brew this weekend.  WAY too much on the personal front to spend time trying to brew all four this weekend.  I'd like to get them all in the fridge at one time, as this takes away my only source to chill beers that I will be drinking.  All this and now I have to wait

 

@Big Sarge, I'm sure you are familiar "hurry up and wait"

How do you think I learned the patience in brewing so quickly?

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One thing I am surprised at. The Spaten is only rated 21 IBUs, but to me it tasted much more than that.

Is it the hop used? or the hop/malt balance that makes it seem more bitter than it is?

I thought it was much more hoppy for its malt than say the  Mr B Pils standard. (From memory, I did not have them side by side),

But maybe side by side I can try the Spaten (21 IBUs) and Sam Adams Boston Lager (30 IBUs).

Becks and Heineken claim around the same IBUs - low 20's too.

 

There - that gives me an excuse :lol:

 

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I don't taste any hop flavor to the Spaten Munich when I drink it.  It's more on the malty side of the scale to me.  However, I drink it from tap, not bottle.  Perhaps I should do a side-by-side comparison

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You shouldn't...

 

4A. Munich Helles
Overall Impression: A clean, malty, gold-colored German
lager with a smooth grainy-sweet malty flavor and a soft, dry
finish. Subtle spicy, floral, or herbal hops and restrained
bitterness help keep the balance malty but not sweet, which
helps make this beer a refreshing, everyday drink.
Aroma: Moderate grainy-sweet malt aroma. Low to
moderately-low spicy, floral, or herbal hop aroma. While a
clean aroma is most desirable, a very low background note of
DMS is not a fault. Pleasant, clean fermentation profile, with
malt dominating the balance. The freshest examples will have
more of a malty-sweet aroma.
Appearance: Medium yellow to pale gold. Clear. Persistent
creamy white head.
Flavor: Moderately malty start with the suggestion of
sweetness, moderate grainy-sweet malt flavor with a soft,
rounded palate impression, supported by a low to medium-low
hop bitterness. The finish is soft and dry, not crisp and biting.
Low to moderately-low spicy, floral or herbal hop flavor. The
malt dominates the hops in the palate, finish, and aftertaste,
but the hops should be noticeable. There should not be any
residual sweetness, simply the impression of maltiness with
restrained bitterness. Very fresh examples will seem sweeter
due to the fresh, rich malt character that can fade with time.
Clean fermentation profile.
Mouthfeel: Medium body. Medium carbonation. Smooth,
well-lagered character.
Comments: A fully-attenuated Pils malt showcase, Helles is a
malt-accentuated beer that is not overly sweet, but rather
focuses on malt flavor with underlying hop bitterness in a
supporting role. Export examples can quickly lose some of the
rich malt character that often suggests sweetness. Helles in
Munich tends to be lighter in all aspects than those outside the
city, which can be more assertive with more body, flavor, and
hop character.
History: Created in Munich in 1894 at the Spaten brewery to
compete with pale Pilsner-type beers. Currently the most
popular style in Southern Germany.
Characteristic Ingredients: Continental Pilsner malt,
traditional German Saazer-type hop varieties, clean German
lager yeast.
Style Comparison: Similar in malt balance and bitterness to
Munich Dunkel, but less malty-sweet in nature and pale rather
than dark. More body and malt presence than a German Pils,
with less hop character throughout. Similar malt profile as a
German Exportbier, but with less hops in the balance.
BJCP Beer Style Guidelines – 2015 Edition 7
Vital Statistics: OG: 1.044 – 1.048
IBUs: 16 – 22 FG: 1.006 – 1.012
SRM: 3 – 5 ABV: 4.7 – 5.4%
Commercial Examples: Augustiner Lagerbier Hell,
Bürgerbräu Wolznacher Hell Naturtrüb, Hacker-Pschorr
Münchner Gold, Löwenbraü Original, Paulaner Premium
Lager, Spaten Premium Lager, Weihenstephaner Original
 

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One done, three to go.  Was good to get back into the hobby, even though I made major dumb <CENSORED> mistakes.  Thermometer that I used to take temps of the mash ripped the mash bag, causing pretty little floaty things to escape the bag.  I had to strain the wort when I put it in the keg.  Also, I poured the LME too quickly, as I got impatient, and that caused clumps that stuck to the pot.  And, I didn't start early enough because I forgot to turn the dish washer on, so I had to wait almost 2 hours.  Still, keg #1 in the fridge, cooling down and almost ready for the yeast

 

Now, three rounds of brewing tomorrow.  Just wondering if anyone out there ever did three brews in one day, one regular and two partial mash.

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1 hour ago, MiniYoda said:

One done, three to go.  Was good to get back into the hobby, even though I made major dumb <CENSORED> mistakes.  Thermometer that I used to take temps of the mash ripped the mash bag, causing pretty little floaty things to escape the bag.  I had to strain the wort when I put it in the keg.  Also, I poured the LME too quickly, as I got impatient, and that caused clumps that stuck to the pot.  And, I didn't start early enough because I forgot to turn the dish washer on, so I had to wait almost 2 hours.  Still, keg #1 in the fridge, cooling down and almost ready for the yeast

 

Now, three rounds of brewing tomorrow.  Just wondering if anyone out there ever did three brews in one day, one regular and two partial mash.

 

you are in for a long day.... my last big brew weekend i did 6 batches total i think... day one was 1 reg (baltic porter straight up) Smitten Bovine (kinda a PM but more a reg) Black Beer'd Porter (PM) and there was a 5 gallon Partial Mash as well (AHS Tis The Saison) day two was 2 5 gallon PMs (which i sadly lost in the shelving crash a week later) 

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Never fails.  Think you have everything planned, and you don't.  I miscalculated, and I'm short a DME.  I'm going to order it now, but keg #4 won't be made today.

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Last keg, Helles with grains Canadian Blonde, is in the fridge.  Temp at pitch was 63.7.  Other kegs are holding in the low 50's with the temp control at 52.

 

Now we wait.  And as we wait, we decide what to do.  I've learned that if you ask 20 economists a question, you'll get 30 different answers.  Based on what I've read in books, online, from this forum, other forums, and on pod casts, how to ferment/condition lagers is about the same thing.  WAY too many different ways of what to do next.  I'm inviting those who know, *everyone*, to post their thoughts on what I do next.

 

1)  The beer is going to live in the keg for about 19-21 days.  The keg I made today is going to ferment for 19 days (bottling this one on Labor day).  What should I do before bottle day:

     a)  remove from the fridge 2 days early for a rest?  Is it called diastolic?

     b)  cold crash for two days?  The three kegs which are partial mash have 1/2 teaspoon of Irish Moss, my first time using (for the record, if you want to buy Irish moss, buy only one bag.  I bought two, and after three kegs, I have enough to last..........quite a long time).  Still I'm going for as much clarity as I can on these, and don't know if Irish Moss will sink to the bottom after a while, or if it might float in the bottle.

     c)  a bit of both?  Out of the fridge for a day or two for a rest, then cold crash for a day or two?

2)  At what temp do I carbonate?  I've seen carbonate at room temp just like regular ales.  If so, would this eliminate the need to rest at room temp above?  Or carbonate at the low 50's like they are fermenting

3)  At what temp do I condition?  Yes, these are lagers, so they will be conditioning for a while, probably past full Oktoberfest.  But I want to make them the best I can.  I've seen everything from condition at room temp to condition as low as 35 degrees.

4)  And in the same theory of "best I can", recommended minimal lagering at the above temp?

 

Thanks

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@MiniYoda  From my experience with MRB lagers, I would recommend the 2-3 day diacetyl rest, but not necessarily the cold-crash.  Carbonate @ room temp. for a couple weeks, then lager in your beer fridge until consumption.  Great experiment, Yoda!

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2 hours ago, MiniYoda said:

Last keg, Helles with grains Canadian Blonde, is in the fridge.  Temp at pitch was 63.7.  Other kegs are holding in the low 50's with the temp control at 52.

 

Now we wait.  And as we wait, we decide what to do.  I've learned that if you ask 20 economists a question, you'll get 30 different answers.  Based on what I've read in books, online, from this forum, other forums, and on pod casts, how to ferment/condition lagers is about the same thing.  WAY too many different ways of what to do next.  I'm inviting those who know, *everyone*, to post their thoughts on what I do next.

 

1)  The beer is going to live in the keg for about 19-21 days.  The keg I made today is going to ferment for 19 days (bottling this one on Labor day).  What should I do before bottle day:

     a)  remove from the fridge 2 days early for a rest?  Is it called diastolic?

     b)  cold crash for two days?  The three kegs which are partial mash have 1/2 teaspoon of Irish Moss, my first time using (for the record, if you want to buy Irish moss, buy only one bag.  I bought two, and after three kegs, I have enough to last..........quite a long time).  Still I'm going for as much clarity as I can on these, and don't know if Irish Moss will sink to the bottom after a while, or if it might float in the bottle.

     c)  a bit of both?  Out of the fridge for a day or two for a rest, then cold crash for a day or two?

2)  At what temp do I carbonate?  I've seen carbonate at room temp just like regular ales.  If so, would this eliminate the need to rest at room temp above?  Or carbonate at the low 50's like they are fermenting

3)  At what temp do I condition?  Yes, these are lagers, so they will be conditioning for a while, probably past full Oktoberfest.  But I want to make them the best I can.  I've seen everything from condition at room temp to condition as low as 35 degrees.

4)  And in the same theory of "best I can", recommended minimal lagering at the above temp?

 

Thanks

1) You technically should watch your beer like a hawk. Wait for the krausen to fall and then do the DR. You want to hit about 75-80% attenuation. I have done a number of things, lowering 5 degrees everyday until 35 degrees or the dangerous method of "crashing" to 35 immediately and then lagering in the fermenter.

 

2), carb at 70

 

3) you get benefits from each. Id condition for 1/2 warm and 1/2 cold of your target drinking date

 

4) ideally, this is crazy, theres so many lagering methods now. Any way, if its 1.040, then lager for 4 weeks, 1.050, 5 weeks so on and so on.

 

methods of making a lager

 

ferment to 75%, DR (and DH) for a few days. DR is usually good after 24 hours but if youre dry hopping then youll want some time at that warm temp. Crash to 35, lager for how I explained in #4 point.

 

ferment at ideal temp, at 50%, raise 5 degrees, 75% raise 5 degrees until terminal, crash and keg.

 

in the end as i always say, its your beer. Do what you want 

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I agree that trying to fully mimic a German, Belgian or even the Czech beer Czechovar (the REAL Budweiser) presents some serious difficulties.  Color is less important to me than taste. So I tend to go for flavor.  The Czech beer I will bottle in a few days  sort of closely resembles Czechovar.  However, it is a little bit darker and, in retrospect, I only hit the ABV for the American import as opposed to what I drank from the tap in Prague. (And, that is a somewhat easy fix.)  Now, true, I am not trying to impress a friend with how close I get, but I have pleased my wife with the flavor before bottling.  I did a few changes to my Oktoberfest style beer, but while it is a really good brew, it does not meet my personal favorite, Augustiner Oktoberfest, which is almost impossible to get in the US.  

 

My big time beer making friend says with his 20 years of experience and only using grains, malt and hops as well as his solid collection of equipment, he really has not duplicated any beer perfectly.  Again, local availability of all the ingredients plus specific water as well as factor from the equipment have made him get really close to the bullseye but not fully dead center.

 

I suggest getting as close as possible to a taste and mouth feel and be happy with calling it "my take" or "my version" or "my whatever".  Even if what we do is follow a recipe together, it will still have variation based on some personal twist.  That indeed is part of the fun.  Try the suggestions of others with a very open mind.  

 

I will admit, if  ever see Augustiner Bier here, I buy it and enjoy it.  I guess I am one who enjoys the hobby (close to new obsession) and my personal final product. Heck you may even have a friend, as I did, who after tasting CAL said it is his new favorite, drawing his attention away from his usual Coors Light (a beer whose name strikes me as a redundancy).

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I am sorry if my above posting sounded more pompous than I intended.  I take the same approach when I bake or cook as well. I do not expect to come out the same as a favorite restaurant; and, having worked in restaurants, the menu item may vary a bit day to day.  Ok, I understand asking questions to being closer to your favorite brew.  

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22 hours ago, DrMJG said:

My big time beer making friend says with his 20 years of experience and only using grains, malt and hops as well as his solid collection of equipment, he really has not duplicated any beer perfectly.  Again, local availability of all the ingredients plus specific water as well as factor from the equipment have made him get really close to the bullseye but not fully dead center.

I honestly do not think it can be done "exactly" for any beer.  With out the exact recipe, right down to exact water profile.  I have done a few that were "close" though back when I was doing "clones" and close enough was good enough for me... 

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On ‎8‎/‎25‎/‎2017 at 4:54 PM, DrMJG said:

I suggest getting as close as possible to a taste and mouth feel and be happy with calling it "my take" or "my version" or "my whatever".  Even if what we do is follow a recipe together, it will still have variation based on some personal twist.  That indeed is part of the fun.  Try the suggestions of others with a very open mind.  

 

 

 

@DrMJG, I agree with you on this. More so, I'm hoping the friend for whom I'm doing this finds the taste of at lease one of the batches enjoyable.  I won't be able to clone Munich Helles, as pointed out earlier by the folks at Mr. Beer, but if I can come close enough that she will like it, then mission accomplished.

 

 

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This weekend I'm moving the 80 bottles from the carbonation closet (about 70 degrees) to the fridge for lagering.  I've been reading up on how to do this, and am seeking advise from all those here.  I've read to start at 60 degrees and slowly bring the temp of the bottles down, about 2 degrees per day, until I reach the mid 30's.  Is this the ideal method, as opposed to throwing them in the fridge at the mid 30's right away?  Does the fact that the beer has already carbonated and is going to be bottle conditioned make any difference?

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With the completion of More Dunkel, my Coleman cooler is again available for another lager.  I'm thinking this would be a good weekend to get after the Munich Helles recipe.

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On ‎8‎/‎2‎/‎2017 at 7:10 PM, MiniYoda said:

Okay, then let's brew the helles out of a helles. 

 

Okay.....SOMEONE had to say it.

 

 

I brewed a 12% Helles Bock At Ya! I later re named it " Black out Bock" because a couple of glasses I wouldn't remember a thing!!!! It was kegged for over a year

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46 minutes ago, MiniYoda said:

What is your recipe for the Munich Helles?

 

Copied from earlier in this thread (with a couple edits):

 

Weyermann Pilsner, 3 lbs.

Weyermann Light Munich, 0.25 lb.

BrewMax Pale DME, 0.47 lb.

Hallertau Mittelfruh, 0.75 oz, 60 min.

Hallertau Mittelfruh, 0.5 oz, 20 min.

Hallertau Mittelfruh, 0.25 oz, 10 min.

Saflager W-34/70

 

Mash and boil following the BYO link above.  Ditto for lagering.

 

OG 1.053

IBU 20

SRM 3

ABV 5.1%

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The BYO version, while it looks wonderful, is a bit out of my abilities right now.  It would be difficult, without a dedicated fridge, to have a method of fermenting and lagering a 5 gallon vessel.  It was a pain to do the four LBK's in my fridge, as I lost the ability to use the fridge for anything else.  Maybe when I hit the lottery I'll build a house with multiple fridges in the basement.

 

Tonight I'm moving the 80 or so bottles from the carbonating closet to the fridge, which is currently temp-controlled at 60 degrees, and will be lowering the temp every day by about 2 degrees until I hit the mid 30's.  I'll leave them there (about normal fridge temp for me) for at least a month, then start sampling them.

 

Edit......I guess I could always split the recipe into two LBKs.   Or cut it in half and make a 2.5 gallon batch.

 

Something to think about........

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On ‎9‎/‎14‎/‎2017 at 10:41 AM, MiniYoda said:

The BYO version

yeah I agree with you, I have body year odor too it's tough to rid of, so I just splash sum American lager extract under there and everythings just fine

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Just a quick update for you @MiniYoda -- following a two-week fermentation and a 3-day diacetyl rest, I racked my mostly-grain Helles to another LBK @ FG 1.008 and returned to 50 F (the garage) for secondary fermentation/lagering.  The hydro. sample is very good - soft, grainy, and malty. :)

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@Bonsai & Brew, That's great news.  I have my lagers in the fridge now at about 35 degrees.  I might have to break open one or two of them this weekend

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On ‎10‎/‎4‎/‎2017 at 6:53 AM, MiniYoda said:

@Bonsai & Brew, That's great news.  I have my lagers in the fridge now at about 35 degrees.  I might have to break open one or two of them this weekend

How did they turn out?

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To me, they were very good beers.  They weren't Munich Helles, but to my friends, recipes 2 and 3 came out with equal best votes..

 

Keg 2 - What The Helles, Bach?  Suggested in the link above.  It's not Munich, but I want to try it anyways.
•1 Can Grand Bohemian Czech Pilsner Brewing Extract
•1 Packet Dry Brewing Yeast (under lid of Brewing Extract)
•1 Packet Saflager W-34/70 Dry Lager Yeast
•1 BrewMax LME Softpack - Smooth
•1 Packet Tettnanger Pellet Hops
•1 Muslin Hop Sack
•1 Packet No-Rinse Cleanser


Keg 3 - Alter Keg 2.  Drop the LME and add a Pale DME.  Adding 6oz of Pilsner Malt and 2oz Munich Malt.  Also alter the hops from Tettnanger to Hallertau, which is milder and more in tune with online all-grain recipes.

 

I personally liked #3.  I'll probably repeat this recipe in the early summer, if my finances improve some.

 

 

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On 9/13/2017 at 10:27 PM, Bonsai & Brew said:

With the completion of More Dunkel, my Coleman cooler is again available for another lager.  I'm thinking this would be a good weekend to get after the Munich Helles recipe.

@Bonsai & Brew how many ice bottles does it take to keep your Coleman at lager temps?

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25 minutes ago, Cato said:

@Bonsai & Brew how many ice bottles does it take to keep your Coleman at lager temps?

That does rely on the ambient temperature of the room your cooler is in, along with the insulating properties of the cooler itself. I use two 1 liter frozen bottles in my cooler, during this time of year in Oklahoma. That keeps the LBK at 55 degrees. I'll have to add another 20 ounce bottle if I lager during the summer months. I rotate them every 12 hours. 

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On ‎8‎/‎7‎/‎2017 at 8:25 AM, MiniYoda said:

very messed up weekend, and didn't have time to work on my plans for Helles Munich.  Here are my (almost) final thoughts:

 

Keg 1 - 2015 Spring Seasonal, altered to be closer to the Munich.  I'm leaning toward adding a Pale DME and 6oz Pilsner malt, and fill the keg as much as possible to thin down the flavor/color.  I'm worried about the keg overflowing on this one.


Keg 2 - What The Helles, Bach?  Suggested in the link above.  It's not Munich, but I want to try it anyways.
•1 Can Grand Bohemian Czech Pilsner Brewing Extract
•1 Packet Dry Brewing Yeast (under lid of Brewing Extract)
•1 Packet Saflager W-34/70 Dry Lager Yeast
•1 BrewMax LME Softpack - Smooth
•1 Packet Tettnanger Pellet Hops
•1 Muslin Hop Sack
•1 Packet No-Rinse Cleanser


Keg 3 - Alter Keg 2.  Drop the LME and add a Pale DME.  Adding 6oz of Pilsner Malt and 2oz Munich Malt.  Also alter the hops from Tettnanger to Hallertau, which is milder and more in tune with online all-grain recipes.


Keg 4 - Due to lack of imagination, I can't come up with any other recipes for something similar to a Munich Helles using just Mr. Beer products.  Since I have room in the fridge for a fourth keg, I'm going to do the Austin Pils recipe.  Open to suggestions.

 

I'll probably place the order very late today or early tomorrow so that I can get everything by the weekend.

You have to get one of the 2g vertical fermenters, that will take care of any question of overflow.

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I use the small freezer icepacks - I need to change them out (3 or 4) every 8-12 hours at first then after a week, maybe daily for a  temp swing of 10 deg. For tighter control, change out less packs more often. But I can easily keep in 50-60 range.

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15 hours ago, MiniYoda said:

To me, they were very good beers.  They weren't Munich Helles, but to my friends, recipes 2 and 3 came out with equal best votes..

 

Keg 2 - What The Helles, Bach?  Suggested in the link above.  It's not Munich, but I want to try it anyways.
•1 Can Grand Bohemian Czech Pilsner Brewing Extract
•1 Packet Dry Brewing Yeast (under lid of Brewing Extract)
•1 Packet Saflager W-34/70 Dry Lager Yeast
•1 BrewMax LME Softpack - Smooth
•1 Packet Tettnanger Pellet Hops
•1 Muslin Hop Sack
•1 Packet No-Rinse Cleanser


Keg 3 - Alter Keg 2.  Drop the LME and add a Pale DME.  Adding 6oz of Pilsner Malt and 2oz Munich Malt.  Also alter the hops from Tettnanger to Hallertau, which is milder and more in tune with online all-grain recipes.

 

I personally liked #3.  I'll probably repeat this recipe in the early summer, if my finances improve some.

 

 

Thanks for posting brew feedback.

Generally on beer recipe sites I see a lot about recipes but not a lot of feedback on the results. So while the recipe may look good and claim to be an XXXXX clone, - who knows.

With yours, If not Munich Helles, can you equate them to any commercial beer?

I find many of mine while good to drink I cannot find a commercial equivalent.

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I made these a year ago, and can't remember them in detail (I can't remember what I had for breakfast yesterday).  I will say that keg 3, where I added pils and munich malts and changed the hops, made for something very similar to Spaten Munich.  One thing I think I remember is that it didn't have the mouth feel of the Spaten.  I'd invite anyone here to try the recipe and post their taste testing.

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