- Dec 21, 2007
- Reaction score
- Oconomowoc, Wisconsin
I am not a shy person. I want to brew an Augustiner Helles because I think it is the best in the world and you can't get it outside Munich. (I know they have an export but it just isn't the same somehow).
So I sent them this email:
So I sent them this email:
Not much to my surprise, this is the reply I received:Hallo,
I am an American homebrewer who lived in Germany for a summer. While there I visited a good friend of mine in Munich and spent a good deal of time in your bier-garden. I have longed for a taste of Augustiner Helles ever since! I have been homebrewing for about 3 years now and want to produce a good copy of the Augustiner Helles so I can drink it here in America with my friends and family. I have searched for a good recipe and the techniques to produce the best Helles (in my opinion) but have been unable to find such information. I really hope you would be willing to help me out. From what I can gather, a traditional Helles bier is 100% Pilsner malt mashed with a triple decoction mash schedule and uses Hallertauer hops. I also know that many current Helles biers are not 100% Pilsner malt based. I have several questions I am hoping you can help me with...
1) What does your grain bill look like? What percentage of what malts do you use?
2) What mash schedule do you use? What temperature rests? Do you use decoctions? Do you raise to a mash-out temperature? Do you batch or fly-sparge?
3) What hops do you use? How much bittering? What time do you make your additions?
4) How long do you boil for? Do you use any other ingredients or clarifiers?
5) What is the original gravity of your Helles?
6) What yeast do you use? If it is a house yeast, is there any way to get it? I have a good friend who lives in Munich, could he stop by the brewery and pick up a small container of yeast slurry?
7) What temperature do you use for primary fermentation? How long does your primary fermentation normally last?
8) Do you generally need a diacetyl rest? What temperature do you lager at and for how long?
9) How do you carbonate? Kraüsen? Force carbonation? How many volumes of CO2 do you target for carbonation?
10) Do you age with oak barrels for any period of time?
I hope you can help me on my quest to have this beer at my home. Perhaps if I am successful, I can send you some of my beers for sampling.
If you have any other information that may help me produce a good copy of your beer, I would appreciate any advice you can give.
Thank you very much. Hopfen und Maltz, Gott erhalts!
I both love and hate the secrecy the Germans still have with their beer!!Hallo Mr. Talbot,
sorry, but if I would answer only one of your questions I would have to look for a new job and would have to pay a lot of money.
Before somebody starts to work for Augustiner he has to sign a contract and there it is fixed, that it is forbidden to say anything about the process of beer brewing at the Augustiner Brewery.
Thank you for regarding our Helles as the best. We are proud to hear this!
With kind regards
Mit freundlichen Grüßen
Augustiner-Bräu Wagner KG
Produktion und Qualitätssicherung