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Hofbrauhaus "Original" Munich Helles - Clone Recipe?

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Mike123

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I love the Hofbrauhaus Original Lager served in their restaurants. I've browsed the forum for recipes already posted. Does anyone have a spot-on whole grain recipe that in your opinion, or better yet a tasting contest/group, considered very close to Hofbrauhaus' "Original" Lager? Thanks very much in advance if you do and would share that. Prost!
 

monkeymath

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I don't think there could be such a thing as a clone recipe. Mostly because a Helles is not really the product of a recipe, but of a process.
The recipe will invariably be >90% Pilsner malt, maybe a bit of some more characterful malt, then some German hop for bittering and maybe a small flavour addition towards the end of the boil, cold fermentation with lots of healthy yeast.

It's not like you'd just have to find the right hop or character malt to make a clone of Hofbräu rather than Paulaner. Hundreds of breweries in Bavaria brew their Helles with very similar recipes, yet the outcome is often quite different. But that has very little to do with the ingredients used. It's not like they have their secret house recipe which calls for Spalt at 25 minutes which distinguishes it from all the other Helles'.
It's more the result of all the surrounding parameters of the brewhouse, the fermentation method, etc, none of which could actually really be translated to a homebrew setting.

You can brew a Helles and think of the Hofbräuhaus when you drink it, that's the best you can do. For an authentic feel of the atmosphere at Hofbräuhaus and the unfriendly staff, I can record myself ranting in Bavarian, if you like.

Cheers from Munich,
~ Daniel
 
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Mike123

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I don't think there could be such a thing as a clone recipe. Mostly because a Helles is not really the product of a recipe, but of a process.
The recipe will invariably be >90% Pilsner malt, maybe a bit of some more characterful malt, then some German hop for bittering and maybe a small flavour addition towards the end of the boil, cold fermentation with lots of healthy yeast.

It's not like you'd just have to find the right hop or character malt to make a clone of Hofbräu rather than Paulaner. Hundreds of breweries in Bavaria brew their Helles with very similar recipes, yet the outcome is often quite different. But that has very little to do with the ingredients used. It's not like they have their secret house recipe which calls for Spalt at 25 minutes which distinguishes it from all the other Helles'.
It's more the result of all the surrounding parameters of the brewhouse, the fermentation method, etc, none of which could actually really be translated to a homebrew setting.

You can brew a Helles and think of the Hofbräuhaus when you drink it, that's the best you can do. For an authentic feel of the atmosphere at Hofbräuhaus and the unfriendly staff, I can record myself ranting in Bavarian, if you like.

Cheers from Munich,
~ Daniel
Maybe you are right, but every time I drink this beer it tastes exactly the same, so I think there must be a specific process and list of ingredients so they can reproduce it faithfully each time. The same, or very similar malt is used each time, and the same for the hop additions. I'm going to try and duplicate it. Worst case I'll have some good beer to sample along the way.
 

jschein

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Step mashes make a big difference. I have not had the beer you are talking about. I don’t brew many lagers but I have done this recipe and it’s pretty good.
 

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Maybe you are right, but every time I drink this beer it tastes exactly the same, so I think there must be a specific process and list of ingredients so they can reproduce it faithfully each time. The same, or very similar malt is used each time, and the same for the hop additions. I'm going to try and duplicate it. Worst case I'll have some good beer to sample along the way.

It appears you're in Vegas. IIRC, isn't there a Hofbrauhaus affiliated restaurant in Vegas? I know there's one in St. Petersburg, FL, and thought I remembered one in Las Vegas. My recollection of things was they either imported the beer (at least some of it) directly from Munich, or maybe it was just the pretzels and souvenir merch. Still, it wasn't like being in Munchen. The atmosphere seemed fake, the schnitzel was bland, the Oompa-pa band was off key, and as @monkeymath said (by contrast) they staff were friendly!

Brooo Brother
 

Brooothru

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Step mashes make a big difference. I have not had the beer you are talking about. I don’t brew many lagers but I have done this recipe and it’s pretty good.
Oh, yeah. That one looks like a keeper. The only subs. I'd make would be WLP-830 or -838 for the Wyeast, only because I've had such good success with both and have plenty on hand from recent brew sessions. The step mash is a Hoch-Kurz mash similar to what I do on nearly all my lagers (German, Continental, American, Mexican, Pre-Prohibition). I'm definitely a fan of step mashes, even though they are likely not "necessary". IMHO, single infusion mashes are just whistling a tune while step mashes (if done properly) bring the entire orchestra.

Brooo Brother
 
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Mike123

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It appears you're in Vegas. IIRC, isn't there a Hofbrauhaus affiliated restaurant in Vegas? I know there's one in St. Petersburg, FL, and thought I remembered one in Las Vegas. My recollection of things was they either imported the beer (at least some of it) directly from Munich, or maybe it was just the pretzels and souvenir merch. Still, it wasn't like being in Munchen. The atmosphere seemed fake, the schnitzel was bland, the Oompa-pa band was off key, and as @monkeymath said (by contrast) they staff were friendly!

Brooo Brother
Yes the Hofbrauhaus Las Vegas is a family favorite, and the beer is imported from the brewery in Munich. (I've only seen the Hofbrau Original, Hefeweizen, and Dunkel on the menu, and availability of each varies with the season). We always have a good time; the band puts on a good show, and I almost always get the Gemischte Käseplatte (mixed cheeses) and Wurstplatte (sausages with sauerkraut and mashed potatoes). Those are always very good, no complaints here. Not exactly gourmet fare, but right down my alley. Their prices are a little tough, but cheaper than airfare to Munich. I did a German river cruise last spring with Viking, and the onboard German food (German chef) was on par with what Hofbrauhaus Las Vegas serves, and the same goes for German fare I had in several German local restaurants. Prost!
 

Brooothru

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Das schmeckt gut, ja?

My in-laws (German/ Scandinavian) took a Rhineland river cruise years ago and said it was the highlight of their lives, and they were well-traveled around the world. I've been trying to get my wife on one for some time, but she hates long airplane rides.

Nun, ja!
 

Miraculix

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Das schmeckt gut, ja?

My in-laws (German/ Scandinavian) took a Rhineland river cruise years ago and said it was the highlight of their lives, and they were well-traveled around the world. I've been trying to get my wife on one for some time, but she hates long airplane rides.

Nun, ja!
That's our wine area. Really good white wines from the area, I have friends there. I really can recommend going there in the summer. Also a loooot of medieval castle there, but the best is the wine :)
 

Brooothru

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Don't forget the Mosel! A trip from Trier to Koblez is a good way to spend a day or two. A local delicious specialty is Schwenkbraten.
Oh yes. My first visit to Germany was in 1976 while on leave in the military. I landed in Stuttgart and took the train to Munich just after Oktoberfest, passing through the Mosel Valley. The journey was wonderful, the autumn weather spectacular, the scenery fantastic, and the "natives" in my compartment (an older lady, a middle-aged business man, and a young college-aged woman) were most gracious hosts, suffering through my awful attempts to revive limited collegiate German linguistic skills (epic fail!). Great memories.
 

BruceH

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="natives" in my compartment (an older lady, a middle-aged business man, and a young college-aged woman) were most gracious hosts, suffering through my awful attempts to revive limited collegiate German linguistic skills (epic fail!). Great memories.
My experience is that no matter how much I want to speak the language most of the time I'm answered in very good English unless I'm somewhere off the beaten path. I'm not fluent but have many words and phrases down pat and understand enough to travel and rely on it if needed. I brush up prior to going over because it's easy for me to forget if it's not used.

A lottery winning dream would be to live over there on my passport for 6 months every year and become fluent enough to hold a conversation at the local Gasthaus.
 

Brooothru

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I share your dream.

The only reason I'd pick Australia first over Germany to become an ex-pat is because I kinda already sorta speak the language. Otherwise, it's Deutschland.
 
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Mike123

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This map shows the cities/towns we visited on the "Cities of Light" Viking River Cruise. It was amazing, possibly the best vacation I have ever had (Maui was close). I tried the local beers, and food, at every opportunity when I saw a small pub/brewery. Here are some brews I had, if anyone is interested; In Paris I had a Leffe Red Ale, in Luxembourg I had a Funck-Bricher Blonde Ale plus a local brewer's Twisted Cat Mango Pale Ale, in Trier I had a Felsgold Pilsner (brewed in Koblenz), in Cochem I had a Tucher Pilsner and a Tucher Red Ale, in Heidelberg I had a Vetter Pilsner, in Bamberg I had a locally brewed Red Ale - a Rittmayer Summer 69 Ale - and a Special Rauchbier, and in Prague I had a Kozel Pilsner. I won't even start with all the great German food. Gained 10 pounds in 2 weeks, but it was worth it.

MAP Cities of Light Tour.jpg
Bamberg Local Red Ale.jpg
Bamberg Rittmayer Summer Ale.jpg
Bamberg Special Rauchbier or Smoke Beer.jpg
Cochem Tucher Pilsner.jpg
Heidelberg Vetter Pilsner.jpg
Luxembourg City Funck Bricher Blonde Ale.jpg
Luxembourg City Twisted Cat Mango Infused Pale Ale.jpg
Paris Leffe Red Ale (2).jpg
Prague Kozel Pilsner.jpg
 

BruceH

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Very nice. Did you visit Reichsburg while in Cochem? Even though it's not original it's one of my favorite castle tours, the medieval dinner is a lot of fun.

Sorry for being part of the derailment of your thread.
 

Brooothru

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Now that's what I call a Bier Fest! I'm quite envious. All of them German, except for the Leffe. Consumed more than 1 or 2 of them in Brussels during my traveling days.


EDIT: Ooops. Missed Prague. Just about the only capitol city in Europe that I never visited. My daughter, who spent a year abroad in Florence, said Prague was her favorite city in Europe. Maybe some day...
 
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monkeymath

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Wow, that truly makes me feel I should travel more within Germany. Well, with the current situation, that might actually work out anyways.
 
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Mike123

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Very nice. Did you visit Reichsburg while in Cochem? Even though it's not original it's one of my favorite castle tours, the medieval dinner is a lot of fun.

Sorry for being part of the derailment of your thread.
Yes we toured the Reichsburg Castle. As far as derailing my thread, that is OK, nobody had a recipe of their own to offer so I just went with the flow. Worked out, I got to show off my pics and bier experiences. Cheers!
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