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Old 12-08-2008, 07:17 PM   #1
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Default Recipe Discussion : Helles from Brouwerij Boerderij Kabouter

I will be brewing my first of many iterations of Helles in early January. This will be my first lager and I want to run my whole process by all of you. Please critique my process recipe and anything else you can think of.

First, there is some info in this thread about Helles in general and Augustiner in particular.

I will be constructing my fermentation and lagering chamber in the coming weeks to support all my temperature issues. It will be modeled after John Beere's setup.

So here is my plan:

Dec 27:
1) Brew 5g of Honey Lite Lager
2) Split the batch into two primaries (2.5g each).
3) Pitch one activator pack into each fermenter (Wyeast 2206 - Bavarian Lager into one, and 2308 - Munich Lager into the other)
4) Ferment at 50º for 14 days

Jan 10:
1) Set up brewery
2) Mash in 22# Pilsner malt with 24 qts. liquor (1.1 qts/#) to reach a 133º protein rest.
3) Hold protein rest for 30 minutes
4) Infuse 5 qts. boiling water (1.3 qts/#) and raise mash temp to 145º for 15 minutes
5) Pull 1/3 of the mash and decoct for 20 minutes while remainder of mash stays at 145º
6) Reintroduce Decoction and infuse with 5 qts. boiling water (1.5 qts/#) and raise mash to 157º for 15 minutes
7) Pull 1/3 of the mash and decoct for 20 minutes while remainder of mash stays at 157º
8) Reintroduce Decoction to mash and raise to mash out to 168º

9) Fly-sparge over 45 minutes

10) Add 5 AAU Hallertau hops before boil for a first wort hopping (I will have more questions about this later)
11) Boil for 90 minutes
12) 0.5 oz Hallertau at 15 minutes along with some irish moss

13) Cool with whirlpooling immersion chiller

14) While cooling wort down to 48º, transfer the honey lite lager into secondaries
15) Transfer Helles wort onto yeast cakes.

16) Primary ferment at 50º for about 14 days
17) Transfer to a corny keg and lower temp by 3 degrees per day until at lagering temp of 34º
18) Lager for 2 months

I know I don't have my exact hop schedule down, but that is my idea. What do you think of all this? Does that sound like what you do? All comments and criticisms welcome!

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Old 12-08-2008, 09:42 PM   #2
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I would show this beer a flashcard of a hop for 60 minutes, that's it. I would never use a 15 minute addition in a Helles. I think the hop flavor ruins the style, seems like a wimpy pilsner instead of a Helles.

Otherwise this sounds like it will absolutely rock.

I look forward to seeing which yeast you like better.

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Old 12-09-2008, 12:33 AM   #3
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So you would not use any flavor or aroma additions... sold. What do you think of the FWH idea? I have not done it before but it sounds like the advantages would play well for this style.... thoughts?

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Old 12-09-2008, 01:20 AM   #4
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Overall I think it looks great. Couple of comments:

-Are you sure you're set on your mash schedule? Are you sure 1/3 mash will get you your target temps of 145° and 168°? I haven't checked that it won't, but I'm just making sure the amounts are right. If you have Beersmith, it will tell you exactly how many qts to pull and it's been right for me. You could simplify it and still get close (if not the same) benefits by mashing in to ~133°, wait 5 minutes, pull decoction and raise decoction to mid-150s°, hold decoction there for 10 minutes, then raise to boiling and boil for 5 min., then return decoction which will raise mash temp to mid mid-150s° and hold for 20 minutes. Then infuse with water to mash out (or decoct again with a thin decoction). Oh, and keep your water:grain ratio somewhere between 1.75-2.25 qts/lb (overall).

-Your hop schedule... I'd add the hops at 60 min. as Sacch. said and then add the 0.5 oz at 1 min. Many Helles recipes don't call for any other hop additions other than bittering, but I've found that a little bit for aroma is wonderful in the finished beer... just enough to sense it as you raise the glass to your mouth and think you're going to get a little hop flavor, but alas it's the maltiness that shines through.

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Old 12-09-2008, 01:49 AM   #5
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Helles is just about my favorite style and I am lining up my third. I have enjoyed plenty of liters from many of the producers in Munich so I think I have a good handle on how it should taste. I think that a touch of hops both for aroma and flavor is appropriate. On my first attempt I only included a bittering addition and I think it lacked the neccessary hop character. I also believe a portion of carapils gets it closer. For my first attempt I tried mostly pilsner and the rest munich. It was far too dry. I do not know whether a decoction mash will give you a better result.

The Helles entry in the Classic Beer Styles series includes a number of recipes. Almost all of them involve a small percentage of carapils and the remainder pilsner malt. Only the percentage really changes. One may have a small portion of munich. I think that almost, if not all, of them include three hop additions.

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Old 12-09-2008, 01:53 AM   #6
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Thank Mensch

I was planning on pulling the decoctions per BeerSmith, I just put the 1/3 number in as an approximation and filler.

I read that you get a better benefit from the protein rest at lower ratios, that is why I have it down around 1.1 for that rest. Do you suggest raising it to 1.75 for the Beta rest, and around 2.00 for the Alpha rest? I am fine with that.

I liked that schedule but am open for other ideas if you have a say against it... doesn't matter to me. I just don't want to cut any corners.

I think I may take your advise and skip the FWH. I haven't done it before and maybe it would be better to keep as little experimentation in this brew as possibble.

Thanks

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Old 12-09-2008, 02:40 AM   #7
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Yeah this beer is all malt focused.. FWH really brings out a lot of hop flavor so I would avoid it, I just tapped my keg of a pale ale I FWH'd with centennial and it's a total centennial flavor bomb.

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Old 12-09-2008, 02:53 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boerderij_Kabouter View Post
I read that you get a better benefit from the protein rest at lower ratios, that is why I have it down around 1.1 for that rest. Do you suggest raising it to 1.75 for the Beta rest, and around 2.00 for the Alpha rest? I am fine with that.
That's true, but I believe the benefit is a better preservation of the beta/alpha amylase enzymes. They "survive" better in a thicker mash protein rest. So, I'd keep your protein rest (which at 133°F is really a "protein/saccharification rest") thick (but not too, too thick). I just wanted to point out that Helles are better when brewed with an overall thinner mash than most homebrewers are used to doing. That rest at 133° will have some saccharification going on too, which is why you could skip the 145° rest.

I looked at brewing Helles as a journey. I had New Brewing Lager Beer and Dornbusch's Helles book. I brewed 4 batches in 6 months, each time making a slight change to ingredients/methods. If you have as much attention to detail as you seem to have it will turn out great no matter which mash schedule you go with. Then next time you can try a different method. Whichever way you choose, keep us posted. I'd like to see how it turns out.

Tech211 has a good point about Cara-pils. Although certainly not necessary, a tad in your recipe might be good because I would expect you to get fairly high attenuation pitching on a yeast cake... and that Cara-pils would add a little body back to it. But I still question Dornbusch's recipes with flavor hop additions. I just don't think it's necessary because a little bit of flavor will carry through from the bittering hops and anymore hop flavor than that and you're bordering on Pilsner territory.
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Old 12-10-2008, 11:39 PM   #9
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What does everyone think about filtering the mash running before going into the kettle? It seems most of the big Bavarian breweries do this and claim it yields a cleaner beer. Have any of you done it? I won't have the facilities to do this, but I am curious.

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Old 12-11-2008, 02:58 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boerderij_Kabouter View Post
What does everyone think about filtering the mash running before going into the kettle? It seems most of the big Bavarian breweries do this and claim it yields a cleaner beer. Have any of you done it? I won't have the facilities to do this, but I am curious.
The guys I would call the local experts of lager brewing in the beer club claim that a 20 minute vorlauf followed by an excruciatingly slow sparge will do quite nicely. If you are patient enough for that.
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