Munich Helles yeast suggestions

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rtstrider

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Hey all! I will be brewing a Munich Helles around Mid December and am torn on what yeast strain to use. I was thinking of giving Omega Bayern a shot since it's supposedly the Augustiner strain. However, I have quite a few banked lager strains on hand so that's not the end all be all. Here's what I have

WLP029 (throwing this in there since it's been found to be a lager strain)
WLP051 (See above)
WLP800
WLP802
WLP810
WLP830
WLP838
WLP840
WLP940
WLP1983
Omega Bayern

The only two strains I haven't used yet from the bank is WLP800 and WLP810. I was going to be using WLP800 on Cream of Three Crops to get a feel for it.

I'm not a fan of WLP830/Wyeast 2124/W34/70 so would like to steer clear of that. There are some esters and issues I've had with this particular strain I just haven't experienced with other strains. Here is the recipe I'll be working with. Any input would be greatly appreciated!

Title: Munich Helles

Brew Method: All Grain
Style Name: Munich Helles
Boil Time: 60 min
Batch Size: 5.5 gallons (fermentor volume)
Boil Size: 6.5 gallons
Boil Gravity: 1.040
Efficiency: 70% (brew house)

Hop Utilization Multiplier: 1

STATS:
Original Gravity: 1.047
Final Gravity: 1.011
ABV (standard): 4.7%
IBU (tinseth): 22.98
SRM (morey): 3.16
Mash pH: 5.95

FERMENTABLES:
8.75 lb - BEST Heidelberg (89.7%)
0.5 lb - BEST Vienna (5.1%)
0.5 lb - BEST Munich (5.1%)

HOPS:
0.5 oz - Hallertau Mittelfruh, Type: Pellet, AA: 4.5, Use: First Wort, IBU: 9.37
0.5 oz - Tettnanger, Type: Pellet, AA: 4.5, Use: First Wort, IBU: 9.37
0.25 oz - Hallertau Mittelfruh, Type: Pellet, AA: 4.5, Use: Boil for 15 min, IBU: 2.11
0.25 oz - Tettnanger, Type: Pellet, AA: 4.5, Use: Boil for 15 min, IBU: 2.11

MASH GUIDELINES:
1) Strike, Temp: 125 F, Time: 15 min, Amount: 3.66 gal
2) Temp: 147 F, Time: 75 min
3) Temp: 168 F, Time: 10 min
4) Fly Sparge, Temp: 168 F, Amount: 5.66 gal
Starting Mash Thickness: 1.5 qt/lb
 

VikeMan

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WLP838 is my go to for Helles Lagers. But I haven't done a mash schedule exactly like yours. Out of curiousity, why the protein rest? With a Kolbch Index of about 40, Heidelberg is a well modified malt.
 
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rtstrider

rtstrider

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WLP838 is my go to for Helles Lagers. But I haven't done a mash schedule exactly like yours. Out of curiousity, why the protein rest? With a Kolbch Index of about 40, Heidelberg is a well modified malt.
Honestly I just pulled the mash schedule from the Omega Yeast Lutra Helles recipe lol I brewed that before with Lutra and figured why not try that this batch? Also have been learning the Brewzilla gen 4 so figured it'd be a good step mash learning opportunity :)
 
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rtstrider

rtstrider

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Throwing this out there but has anyone tried brewing a Helles with WLP940?
 

HD3

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Never brewed a Helles with WLP940 but a solid cream ale with that strain. One of my absolute favorites strains right now is Omega Bayern. I have been using this strain in all kinds of lagers. I ferment this one cold (about 50-52F). Have been really happy with it from hoppy lagers to more malty. One of my other favorites is WL German X (WLP835). Its a vault series but bought a few and have kept the generations going. This strain is really great in a Helles.
 
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rtstrider

rtstrider

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Never brewed a Helles with WLP940 but a solid cream ale with that strain. One of my absolute favorites strains right now is Omega Bayern. I have been using this strain in all kinds of lagers. I ferment this one cold (about 50-52F). Have been really happy with it from hoppy lagers to more malty. One of my other favorites is WL German X (WLP835). Its a vault series but bought a few and have kept the generations going. This strain is really great in a Helles.
If only you were a good bit closer I'd be hitting you up for some of that WLP835! Want to get my hands on WLP850 and play around with it. morebeer doesn't carry it so need to find somewhere with good prices and cheap/free 2 day shipping that does. That is unless they happen to carry a strain that can be cross referenced with that from another vendor. The only reason I ordered Bayern is because it was cross referenced with Imperial Harvest (which morebeer also doesn't carry). Will need to wait till late Jan before putting in the order since it'll be nice and cold outside :)
 

wepeeler

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I hear people rave about WLP833. Some claim it's their favorite lager yeast. I've never used it, but I have a packet sitting in my fridge right now that will be getting some use in the near future. I'll be doing a Pilsner though.
 
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rtstrider

rtstrider

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I hear people rave about WLP833. Some claim it's their favorite lager yeast. I've never used it, but I have a packet sitting in my fridge right now that will be getting some use in the near future. I'll be doing a Pilsner though.
I plan on finishing out the White Labs, non vault, lager yeast collection early next year. Well ordering and adding it to the bank at least. The only yeasts I really haven't cared for are Charlies Fist Bump and WLP830. I will be circling back to WLP830 next year though. Charlies Fist Bump has a certain spice-iness I don't care for too much. Want to try Cats **** pilsner using campden treated tap water and adjusting for ph.
 

Deadalus

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I hear people rave about WLP833. Some claim it's their favorite lager yeast. I've never used it, but I have a packet sitting in my fridge right now that will be getting some use in the near future. I'll be doing a Pilsner though.
I've only brewed three Munich Helles so far. The first one was with WLP833 and the one I brewed just last Saturday as well. I used WLP860 in the second one but liked the first one better. I didn't let the second brew lager for long enough so I'll give the 860 another try. It wasn't stocked last time I was at the HBS. It'll be a month or two before I get to try the 3rd version again. I use it in my Doppelbocks too and definitely like it there.

I've used WLP820 a good number of times in Octoberfest and Schwarzbier and it is also recommended for Helles. Both those two are on my repeat favorites list.

I've been using ~4.5% Aromatic malt and 2.5% Carahells, 1.2% acidulated and the rest Briess Pilsner malt, 152 for an hour, then 168 for 10. I like to go for medium or full body with malty brews. I aimed just a little lower on total IBUs around 17-19. Some Hallertauer Mittelfreuh for bittering but whirlpooled some Hersbrucker and Huell Melon this last batch but I've been altering the hops slightly each time except the Huell Melon has been consistent. I whirlpooled Saphir on the second batch and was going to try that again but apparently I only had enough for one batch or simply failed to locate them in the freezer. It's not like me to buy just one ounce of hops.
 

Deadalus

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WLP838 is my go to for Helles Lagers. But I haven't done a mash schedule exactly like yours. Out of curiousity, why the protein rest? With a Kolbch Index of about 40, Heidelberg is a well modified malt.
I've been meaning to try this one but it is always out of stock when I am thinking of it while ordering yeast. It and WLP835. Any other styles you like to use it in?
 

Brooothru

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WLP838 is my go to for Helles Lagers. But I haven't done a mash schedule exactly like yours. Out of curiousity, why the protein rest? With a Kolbch Index of about 40, Heidelberg is a well modified malt.
WLP-838 is a good choice. I also like -833 "Bock". Another good choice would be -800 "Czech Lager" which finishes on the dry side of malty, if that makes any sense. I also feel like it is a very strong fermenter (always <1.009, and quick), and drops very clear.
 
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rtstrider

rtstrider

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WLP-838 is a good choice. I also like -833 "Bock". Another good choice would be -800 "Czech Lager" which finishes on the dry side of malty, if that makes any sense. I also feel like it is a very strong fermenter (always <1.009, and quick), and drops very clear.
Now I'm intrigued! Does it throw any diacetyl? I tried wlp802 and got a touch of slickness. So curious to see if this would be cleaner
 
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BeerAndTele

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I have not used all of the yeasts you listed, but here are my 2 cents worth based on my limited experience (now only worth 1.5 cents due to inflation):

WLP029: better suited for drier, crisper, hop-forward styles
WLP051: too fruity for a helles (or any other lager IMHO)
WLP800 and WLP830 and w-34/70: better suited for drier, crisper, hop-forward styles
WLP833: I've only used this in a malty amber lager, but would work nicely for a helles, I think
WLP838: malt-forward with good flavor profile <-- my pick for a helles!
Have not tried the rest

Cheers!
 

Deadalus

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WLP838 is what I use for helles. I would recommend you split the batch and try a couple of yeast. Side by side tasting will help decide which you like.

The water profile definitely plays into some of these yeast. What are you thinking there?
That's a good idea! If I get a hold of the 838 I think I will try that next time.
 

Brooothru

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Now I'm intrigued! Does it throw any diacetyl? I tried wlp802 and got a touch of slickness. So curious to see if this would be cleaner
Never really had any diacetyl issues with any of the yeasts being discussed. My normal fermentation process is about 10 days @ 48-50F, slow rise (~2°C/day) to 63-65F, hold for ~5 days and confirm FG. No issues with sulphur or diacetyl.

So roughly 3 weeks for fermentation, a week to cold crash to 35-38F, 3-4 weeks 'lagering' at mid-30F. Roughly two months total, soup-to-nuts. The beer tells me when it's ready. The only variable is the yeast's optimum published temperatures, and I usually shoot for the low end of the range.

The keys are fresh ingredients, distilled water built to the desired profile you're trying to match, pitching enough healthy yeast, controlling the temperature during fermentation, and above all, patience.
 
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rtstrider

rtstrider

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Never really had any diacetyl issues with any of the yeasts being discussed. My normal fermentation process is about 10 days @ 48-50F, slow rise (~2°C/day) to 63-65F, hold for ~5 days and confirm FG. No issues with sulphur or diacetyl.

So roughly 3 weeks for fermentation, a week to cold crash to 35-38F, 3-4 weeks 'lagering' at mid-30F. Roughly two months total, soup-to-nuts. The beer tells me when it's ready. The only variable is the yeast's optimum published temperatures, and I usually shoot for the low end of the range.

The keys are fresh ingredients, distilled water built to the desired profile you're trying to match, pitching enough healthy yeast, controlling the temperature during fermentation, and above all, patience.
In that case I'll give WLP800 a shot!
 

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I brewed a helles by accident once. I wanted something different, but the Imperial harvest yeast made the beer taste like Augustiner. It was even fermented warm.....
 

Brooothru

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In that case I'll give WLP800 a shot!
I think you'll like it in just about any lager, not just a Czech Pilsner. Not as ubiquitous as 34/70, but a strong, clean fermenter that drops clear fairly quickly.

Between the Urquell and Augustiner strains, I using 34/70 strains a whole lot less for German and North American lagers. Probably been 2-3 years since I've fermented with WLP-830 (Weinstephaner).
 

Jack Arandir

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I did some A-B tests of lager strains and here's what I got:

WLP800 (Pilsner Urquell strain) - I didn't like it. It had a creamy mouthfeel that tasted like bread yeast. Great for a Czech pils where that's part of the flavor profile. Not good for German lagers.

WLP830 (W34/70) - Clean, crisp, forgiving. Ferments pretty dry, tended to leave my beers lower bodied than other strains. No sulfur or esters. My reliable backup but not my go-to strain

WY2308 (Munich Lager) - Often listed as equal to WLP838 (Southern German Lager) but genetic research indicated they are different. My favorite strain and my go-to. Leaves a bit more sweet malt behind compared to 830, which I liked for light beers like Helles and Pils. Had a hint of sulfur that I actually liked. Fuller, maltier, richer.

WLP860 (Munich Helles) - Probably the Augustiner strain. I have a helles with this yeast fermenting right now as an A-B comparison with WY2308. Will post the comparison.

Note: According to this tree, WLP838 is most closely related to Safale 04. Wow!
 
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Brooothru

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I did some A-B tests of lager strains and here's what I got:

WLP800 (Pilsner Urquell strain) - I didn't like it. It had a creamy mouthfeel that tasted like bread yeast. Great for a Czech pils where that's part of the flavor profile. Not good for German lagers.

WLP830 (W34/70) - Clean, crisp, forgiving. Ferments pretty dry, tended to leave my beers lower bodied than other strains. No sulfur or esters. My reliable backup but not my go-to strain

WY2308 (Munich Lager) - Often listed as equal to WLP838 (Southern German Lager) but genetic research indicated they are different. My favorite strain and my go-to. Leaves a bit more sweet malt behind compared to 830, which I liked for light beers like Helles and Pils. Had a hint of sulfur that I actually liked. Fuller, maltier, richer.

WLP860 (Munich Helles) - Probably the Augustiner strain. I have a helles with this yeast fermenting right now as an A-B comparison with WY2308. Will post the comparison.
Two thumbs up on WLP-860 (Augustiner). I've had success with it in a Helles, as well as -833 in a Helles Bock. Both very good yeasts. I may have to reconsider -800, vis-a-vis your "creamy mouthfeel" comment. I found it malty, but not too sweet (maybe hopping rates too low?). In any event, it works great in my Czech lager.
 

VikeMan

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Note: According to this tree, WLP838 is most closely related to Safale 04. Wow!

The closest strain to WLP838 on that tree is actually WY1028, per the nodes and branch lengths.

Either way, it's sometimes a mistake to assume that close genetic relatives make similar beer. It of course depends on which genes are different.
 

Oleson M.D.

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W-34/70, or Diamond Lager.
Either one will get you what you want.
Using W-34/70, our Munich Helles took home a Gold.
 
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rtstrider

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I did some A-B tests of lager strains and here's what I got:

WLP800 (Pilsner Urquell strain) - I didn't like it. It had a creamy mouthfeel that tasted like bread yeast. Great for a Czech pils where that's part of the flavor profile. Not good for German lagers.

WLP830 (W34/70) - Clean, crisp, forgiving. Ferments pretty dry, tended to leave my beers lower bodied than other strains. No sulfur or esters. My reliable backup but not my go-to strain

WY2308 (Munich Lager) - Often listed as equal to WLP838 (Southern German Lager) but genetic research indicated they are different. My favorite strain and my go-to. Leaves a bit more sweet malt behind compared to 830, which I liked for light beers like Helles and Pils. Had a hint of sulfur that I actually liked. Fuller, maltier, richer.

WLP860 (Munich Helles) - Probably the Augustiner strain. I have a helles with this yeast fermenting right now as an A-B comparison with WY2308. Will post the comparison.

Note: According to this tree, WLP838 is most closely related to Safale 04. Wow!

Now that's a good bit of information! I may go back to the Omega Bayern (aka Augustiner) strain for this brew. I'm still all over the place. WLP800 will most likely get saved for a pilsner/saaz smash.
 

Northern_Brewer

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The closest strain to WLP838 on that tree is actually WY1028, per the nodes and branch lengths.

Either way, it's sometimes a mistake to assume that close genetic relatives make similar beer. It of course depends on which genes are different.
I wouldn't assume that's accurate - for as long as there's only one datapoint I would assume someone's mislabelled a tube somewhere along the line. There was a really blatant example in the Strasbourg genomes, where IIRC they'd blatantly swapped the results for an Orval yeast and Artois.

If everything else is pointing towards 838 being a lager yeast, then you need more evidence than just one sequence to say that it's not.

However, WLP800 *is* an ale yeast, albeit a very clean one - the whole lager/ale thing is far less clear-cut than some people like to make out.
 

VikeMan

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If everything else is pointing towards 838 being a lager yeast, then you need more evidence than just one sequence to say that it's not.

What's the "everything else" of which you speak? Melibiose/Raffinose tests, or the ability to ferment clean and at low temps, or something else? Personally, if it's just "clean and low temp," I'd be inclined to trust the one genome datapoint, over conventional wisdom. It wasn't very long ago that White Labs was selling a very popular "Brett" strain that turned out to be Sacch. But what really matters is what the strain does to wort, which is one of the points I was making.

However, WLP800 *is* an ale yeast, albeit a very clean one - the whole lager/ale thing is far less clear-cut than some people like to make out.

Exactly. Phenotype ≠ Genotype.
 

Northern_Brewer

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I'd be inclined to trust the one genome datapoint, over conventional wisdom.
Really it comes down to extraordinary claims needing extraordinary evidence, when we know that these big sequencing projects routinely mix up results - and having done a fair bit of sequencing myself I know how easy it can be. Aside from the Artois/Orval one in the Strasbourg data, we've had BRY-97 ending up in the wrong group (Mixed rather than in the Chicos) and in the specific case of this batch of sequencing, there was some Ringwood fragments that ended up in the lager group, which goes against several sequences from other sources telling us that Ringwood is an ale yeast.

And IIRC 838 ended up, not near the kolsches like WLP800, but in the middle of the English yeasts, right where you'd expect Ringwood to be. So for me the least-unlikely train of events is that 838 and Ringwood got mixed up somewhere along the way, but I'd be happy to be proved wrong by a second sequence.
 
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