Originally Posted by nsrstka
I recently tried a Helles (Spaten I believe) and realized I absolutely love it. I would love to try to brew one of these but...
I do not have the stuff to brew a lager.
Sorry, but unless you can provide the conditions for true lagering you won't be able to make a real Helles. Helles is a simple but delicate brew and as such the "pseudo-lager" effect will be more noticeable here. You can make a really nice blonde ale with a clean ale yeast, call it a Helles and most of your friends won't know the difference. Kolsch is another good choice. The basic beer is similar but the specific notes of the Kolsch yeast strains set it apart. The White Labs Kolsch yeast works well in the 60sF so you wouldn't need to get much lower than basic ale temps. For a Helles style go with German pilsner malt up to 100%. A small percentage of Vienna, Munich or very light crystal or dextrin (3-5%) are popular additives. Use German noble hops or a close relative (American Mt. Hood, Liberty, etc) and keep the IBUs in the very low 20s. For Kolsch style again stick with pilsner malt up to 100%. Wheat malt is optional, 5-10% would be suggested if you want to use some. Hops could be similar to the Helles or a few more IBUs if you like, say 26-28. If you are into decoction mashing I say go for it with either of these brews. Otherwise single temp of 151F/66C for the Helles style and 148F/64.5C for the Kolsch is fine.