Friday, September 16, 2016

Helles: The Return of Hell Camino

If you read this blog you should have realized by now my love of pilsners. I have a ton of respect for any brewer and brewery that can brew them well. I feel, however, there is an often over looked style similar to pilsner, that should be much more popular, helles. Think of helles as the maltier, less hoppy, and smoother brother of pilsner. 

This is another post in my never ending quest for the perfect pilsner, but before I continue with that I’m going to point out how the title says helles but I said pilsner first. I first set out to brew a pilsner using the quick lager method from Brülosophy, but I wanted to change the recipe that I’ve used in the past to fit what my pallette has shifted to recently. I wanted a maltier and less hoppy pilsner, something along the lines of Live Oak Pilz. As usual I’m starting with Wayermann Pilsner as my base malt, but this time I’m adding Melonoidin malt to simulate a decoction mash (because I’m lazy and time is important to me). I forgot to purchase Carapils like I normally do for head retention, but it should be fine regardless. I also decided this time to use noble hops for hopping and no dry hop, rather than extract for bittering and Saphir for finishing and dry hop.

Back to my original point, I’ve been drinking this beer for a while and it is definitely not a pilsner. It’s not hoppy enough and it is too malty, however, it’s still very good and it ended up being my second favorite lager style, a helles, which I wanted to brew soon. This was a double batch so I could refill my other barrel and attempt to remove more of the booze and alcohol flavor. Hopefully it will take just one more beer to make it natural like my other barrel.

Beer Stats
Batch size: 10.5 Gallons
Boil time: 90 minutes
Est Original Gravity: 1.052
Measured Original Gravity: 1.053
Measured Final Gravity: 1.011
ABV: 5.5%
SRM: 5.9o
IBU: 28

Grain Bill
20lbs Wayermann Pilsner Malt
0.75lbs Melanoidin malt
1lbs Acid Malt

Hop Schedule
60 minutes – Hallertauer – 2 ounces
30 minutes – Tettnanger – 2 ounces

Mash schedule
146F single infusion for 25 minutes
156F Infusion with 5 quarts of boiling water

Two rehydrated packets of 34/70

8/5/16 – Brewed by myself. Mashed with RO water, pH 5.28 added 5 grams of gypsum and 0.5 grams of CaCl. Sparged with RO water. Chilled to 82F, the best I can do with my ground water in the summer and placed in the chest freezer to bring down to 60F. Oxygenated with pure O2 for 45 sec then pitched yeast when proper temperature was achieved. Fermentation temperature set to 60F

8/10/16 – Temperature increased to 70F

8/20/16 – Decreased temperature to 45F and added gelatin for clarifying. Decreased temperature to 34F to cold crash

8/21/16 – Kegged beer and set pressure to 30psi.

8/24/16 – Decreased pressure to 8psi.

1 comment:

  1. Helles is sadly a rare, often overlooked style. Yet it is so delicious. There seems to be a resurgence of lagers in the commercial market as of late, however, which is good news. I too have homebrewed several lagers, including helles. Check out my blog! Cheers!