In Recipe

MUNICH HELLES

A light golden, clean, and very drinkable lager that's perfect for summer especially when brewed to session strength.  I have a soft spot for lagers especially the full flavored continental variety, namely Weihenstephaner Original.  Although I'm not opposed to a Premium American Lager (BJCP Description) with my favorite being Shaefer but I've been known to enjoy a Budweiser every now and again. Die beer snobs! (sorry I got carried away).  Some might argue (link) that the most popular beers in America are session strength lagers (bud light, miller lite, etc.).

I was looking for a simple, tasty, no nonsense lager for the summer so I kept the recipe simple.  Mostly German Pils with a little Munich for character and all German Hallertau hops.  I used the WLP833 German Bock yeast because it's a supposed to be a versatile yeast which is what I was looking for since I plan on re-using the yeast for multiple batches.  I also decided to go with a single temperature infusion mash.  I thought about maybe doing a protein rest but this isn't a show beer so I'm not concerned with clarity.  With today's highly modified malts, there's no need for any sort of step mashing/decoction so why complicate the issue?

Like a lot of homebrewers I usually brew ales for obvious reasons.  This is only the second lager I've brewed and the first that came out well.  It seems like I've had nothing but bad luck with lager yeast with two separate starters getting infected (seriously has this happened to anyone else?).  When I finally did get a good starter going, I brewed a Premium American Lager.  Unfortunately I rushed the fermentation and ended up with too much diacetyl (even after a d-rest).  I also forgot to taste the sample after I took a gravity reading, woops.  Very disappointing so I realized I needed to do more research before my next lager. 

For this one I decided to leave it in the primary fermenter for twice as long to make sure there was no diacetyl.  After a month I tasted it and didn't find any diacetyl, so I kegged it and moved it to the keggerator for a couple weeks of lagering.  This fermentation schedule worked out well for me and I think I'll go this route again when brewing lagers.

Munich Helles (BJCP Description)
(6 Gallons, ~70% Eff, Tinseth)

OG: 1.045
FG: 1.010
IBU: 29
ABV: 4.6%
SRM: 4
90 Minute Boil

9.5 lbs - German Pilsner
1 lb - Light Munich

2 oz - German Hallertau (Pellets) 3.9% @ 60 Min
.5 oz German Hallertau (Pellets) 3.9% @ 20 Min

Yeast: WLP833 German Bock (4 Liter Starter with 2 Vials)

Mashed 75 min @ 150, 1.25 qt/lb

Pitched yeast at 52 and fermented for 1 month then 2 weeks of lagering at 42

Tasting Notes:
Look - Light yellow/golden, clear, 1 1/2 finger white head with nice lacing (no protein rest)
Aroma - Sweet pils malt, no hop aroma
Mouthfeel - Medium bodied
Taste - Sweet grainy malt, spicy/slightly earthy hop flavor, very clean with a lingering bitterness

Notes:  I'm extremely happy with how this beer came out.  It's much more flavorful than any light beer or even a Premium American Lager and very easy to drink.  All I need now is a glass boot.



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