Recipe: Schilling Münchner-Style Helles | Craft Beer & Brewing

“Here is a recipe for a typical helles of the sort we like to brew,” says John Lenzini, president and head of brewery operations for Schilling Beer. “It gets enough character from the raw materials and process to create both complexity and sessionability.”

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Batch size: 5 gallons (19 liters)
Brewhouse efficiency: 70%
OG: 1.048
FG: 1.012
IBUs: 23
ABV: 4.7%

8.1 lb (3.7 kg) Weyermann Bohemian pils
12 oz (340 g) Weyermann Munich II
2.5 oz (71 g) Weyermann acidulated malt

0.35 oz (10 g) Magnum [14% AA] at 60 minutes
0.7 oz (20 g) Hallertauer Mittelfrüh [3.5% AA] at 10 minutes
0.7 oz (20 g) Hallertauer Mittelfrüh [3.5% AA] at 5 minutes

Fermentis SafLager W-34/70 or similar

Mill the grains and mash in at 128°F (53°C) for 15 minutes at a ratio of 1.4 quarts per pound (2.9 l/kg). Raise the mash temperature to 152°F (67°C) for 60 minutes or until a starch test is negative. Raise the mash to 172°F (78°C) and hold for 10 minutes, then mash out. Vorlauf until the runnings are clear (about 10 minutes), then run off into the kettle. Sparge and top up as necessary to obtain 6.7 gallons (25 liters) of wort—or more, depending on your evaporation rate. Boil for 75 minutes, following the hops schedule.

After the boil, chill the wort to slightly below fermentation temperature, about 50°F (10°C). Aerate the wort and pitch the yeast. For the last 10 percent of fermentation, allow the temperature to free rise to 65°F (18°C) for a diacetyl rest, and hold for at least 5 days after the beer has reached terminal gravity. Step down the temperature by no more than 5°F (3°C) per 12–15 hours, until you have reached about 32°F (0°C). Hold at lagering temperatures for at least 2 weeks.

This is a fantastic style to hone your lager-brewing techniques. If you are able, use a Hochkurz decoction mash to add complexity. (For more information, see “Short and High: The Hochkurz Mash,”
Not all yeasts are the same! Try out a variety of yeasts and do side-by-side sampling to discover your optimal profile.

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