Fritz's Recovery Helles

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Fritzpoll85

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Right. So this evening has not gone well. But while I was trying to have a good mope about the loss of perfectly good beer, my wife will have none of it and has insisted that I brew over the weekend. I am not one to say no, so here we go. I've drafted up a recipe for a Munich Helles based on one called a Sitzung Helles, but I've adjusted it for batch size, for the Grainfather and to try and keep it in style.

Mash Ingredients
Weyermann Bohemian Pilsner Malt - 4.1kg
Weyermann Munich Malt Type 1 - 0.15kg
Weyermann Melanoidin Malt - 0.05kg
Biscuit Malt - 0.05kg

Batch size 19L
Yeast - Wyeast 2308 Munich Lager (liquid) - not sure if I need to make a starter for this or not.
Hallertauer Mittelfruh hops at 60 min boil

OG 1.048
FG 1.012
EBC (6.6
IBU 20.6

Mash steps:
I think a single step at 68 deg C for 60 mins, followed by mash out at 75 degrees for 10mins

Since I've got a lot of pilsner malt, a 90 minute boil to drive off the DME? Will add Clarityferm to the fermenter to make it gluten-reduced, and might pop some gelain in near the end to clarify it.

For fermentation, I was going to have a stab at the fast lagering method, unless anyone tells me that's wildly inappropriate - but the wife's birthday is in a few weeks and since she's the reason I'm swinging back onto the horse so quickly after disaster, I think she deserves a beer!

So the sequence will be:

  1. Pitch yeast around 9-12 deg C
  2. Ferment at 10-13 deg C until SG =1.030 (50% attenuated)
  3. Ramp temperature up to 18-20 degrees and leave there until FG achieved plus a couple for clean up
  4. Ramp back down to 4 degrees (I can't get lower) for a few days and dose with gelatin for a day just to clear the beer
  5. Keg - this time with a different bloody tap! - to 2.5 volumes and leave for 5 days

Any other advice? Chloride focus for the water profile? I assume I'm aiming for 20ppm alkalinity on the mash

Wish me luck - not going to lose this one! acheers.
 

cushyno

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Quantities of Munich and melanoidin malts seem so low. Will they add anything at such low levels?

Mittelfruh is a great choice. I'd definitely make a starter.
 

Fritzpoll85

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Quantities of Munich and melanoidin malts seem so low. Will they add anything at such low levels?

Mittelfruh is a great choice. I'd definitely make a starter.
I based the quantities around this recipe. I could bump the Munich up a bit for some flavour, but extra melanoidin might be a bit cloying? Not sure - only basing it on some reading rather than direct experience
 

samale

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I would agree 50g is not noticeable for me not unless your adding a dark roasted grain for colour only
 

strange-steve

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As others have said, maybe bump up the Munich and melanodin a little. Actually I would probably double them and reduce the base malt to keep the OG the same. I would also mash a little lower, about 66C, you want a fairly high attenuation to keep it nice and dry. Otherwise it looks good. Don't go heavy on water additions, keep it fairly soft and low alkalinity. Oh and definitely make a starter!
 

foxbat

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I brew regularly with Weyermann Bohemian Pilsner malt. It does not need a 90 minute boil. 60 minutes gently turning over is just fine.
 

Fritzpoll85

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Saw all your replies and many thanks.

I am currently mid-boil on the following recipe, where I bumped up the Munich and melanoidin per your suggestions

Mash Ingredients
Weyermann Bohemian Pilsner Malt - 4.2kg
Weyermann Munich Malt Type 1 - 0.3kg
Weyermann Melanoidin Malt - 0.08kg
Biscuit Malt - 0.05kg

This bumped predicted OG to 1.051, and with some realistic figures for attenuation the predicted FG is 1.010.

Pre-boil SG came out around 1.045

@foxbat that's good to know - I will remember that next time. The only reason I haven't this time is that I had my water all set up and ready when I saw your message

@strange-steve I did add a touch of CaCl to the water, but mainly because my supply was very very low on it today. I do get massive variations it seems

20200606_122327.jpg


Pre-sparge. Has darkened up a little bit since. If the resolution is good enough, you can see one of my wife's punny names for the beer (her main brewing contribution)
 

Fritzpoll85

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Oh, and I dropped the first mash to 65 deg C in the end
 

Fritzpoll85

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Starting gravity 1.052 so allowing for error, basically spot on! Was my most straightforward brew day so far

20200606_154023.jpg
Colour looks about right to me - that sample is a little cloudy as it has come off the tail end of the grainfather but it was mostly very clear.

Will update as fermentation progresses but this has got me over losing that entire keg yesterday!
 

Fritzpoll85

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Day two of fermentation. Pitcged around 18 degrees per instructions and then dropped to 11 degrees once fermentation had clearly started yesterday morning.

Airlock is going quite fast at the mo. SG appears to have dropped to around 1.040 in the past 48 hours. 10 more gravity points and I'll begin to ramp up the temperature. Expecting it'll take another couple of days.
 

Fritzpoll85

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So, I bumped up to 19C around day 5 when the gravity was around 1.028. Now been sitting at 1.011 for a couple of days, and at that 19C for 3 or 4.

I think that's long enough for the diacytel rest so tomorrow I'm going to crash it down to 10C, add some gelatin finings and then crash it further to 4 degrees for 48hours - I'd go lower, but the fermenter won't let me! Then I'll keg and lager it at 2C for a week or so to mature a bit
 

Fritzpoll85

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So I've now crashed down to 4C and added the gelatin last night. Plan to keg tomorrow (and then possibly brew again on Saturday!)

But I've begin some overthinking. Basically the crash and adding the gelatin have meant some oxygen will have gone into the FV. And because it's a Helles, I'm more worried about it going off. I'm now town between various options:

* don't worry about it. Keg as normal and force carbonate with some purging. Maybe fill the keg with CO2 first

* add some sodium metabisulfite to the keg to drive off the dissolved oxygen, then keg as above

* prime the keg and allow it to naturally carbonate a bit, with the residual yeast consuming the sugars. Still condition in my fridge because it's lager. Wait a week, then pop the CO2 on as normal to keep the pressure up

I was hoping to have something drinkable (but not quite perfect) by 28th as it is my wife's birthday, but worried priming won't work on a decent timescale at lagering temps.
 

cushyno

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Hey Fritz, it's good to see you're back on track with the Helles. It looks like you want to drink this pretty soon, so go with your first option. You will only have sucked in a small amount of air and only 21% of that is oxygen. Keg it with a bit of purging should be fine.
 

Fritzpoll85

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Hey Fritz, it's good to see you're back on track with the Helles. It looks like you want to drink this pretty soon, so go with your first option. You will only have sucked in a small amount of air and only 21% of that is oxygen. Keg it with a bit of purging should be fine.
Did just that. Here was the beer as kegged. Still a bit hazy, but hopefully will settle out a bit more in the fridge for the next week or so:

20200619_180803.jpg
 

cushyno

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I seem to be following in your footsteps @Fritzpoll85 !
Last week a Dunkelweizen, this Sunday I'll be brewing a Helles. athumb..
 

Fritzpoll85

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20200630_200949.jpg


Tastes great and is really clear. Loads left and hoping to enjoy slowly- new intertap with a spring is guarding against me losing the whole keg!

Only thing is that the first half pint tends to have a good head on it, but if I immediately pour a second then it's a struggle to get one to form. Not sure if it's just a carbonation thing
 

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