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Making a helles of sorts this weekend...


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#1 ER Pemberton

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Posted 10 March 2017 - 03:38 PM

I know you guys are tired of the GBF guys but it was mentioned awhile back that the mixture of pilsner malt and a pale ale malt made a nice overall base malt. They referred to it as "Super Pima" (Pima = Pilsner malt). They were talking about German pale ale malt (which I don't know that I've ever brewed with) but I'm going to use some of this 50 lb sack of Rahr Pale Ale malt along with Weyermann Barke Pilsner malt. I liked the sound of this when I first heard it but I have never made a beer with these ingredients so it should be fun.

Pima Helles

4.5 lbs Rahr Pale Ale Malt
4.5 lbs Weyermann Barke Pils
4 ounces CaraHell
4 ounces CaraFoam
1 oz Spalt pellets 3.1% FWH
1 oz Hallertau Mittelfruh pellets 4.4% for 60 minutes
Wyeast 2124 Bohemian Lager yeast on run #5

OG: 1.052, FG: 1.012, IBU: 25, SRM: 5-6, ABV: 5.0%


Mash around 150° for 60 minutes, about 3g of CaCl in the mash along with brewtan and about 4ml of lactic acid to get to about 5.2 or 5.3 pH. I'm thinking that there will be good color and body. The Barke already has a little more oomph than standard pilsner and the RPA malt should boost the depth and color nicely. The 2124 seems to shine on beers where moderate hopping takes place so this should be gold, balanced and refreshing. Both weekend days are supposed to be teh suck here (Saturday 30 and cloudy, Sunday 36 and sunny) so not sure when I'll brew but water has been filtered and grains have been measured out. Cheers peeps.

#2 drez77

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Posted 10 March 2017 - 04:26 PM

How about a half ounce of Mittelfruh around 10 minutes. Just a touch of aroma?

Curious how the base malt mix works in this. I have done the same blend in hoppy beers with success.
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#3 ER Pemberton

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Posted 10 March 2017 - 04:36 PM

How about a half ounce of Mittelfruh around 10 minutes. Just a touch of aroma?

Curious how the base malt mix works in this. I have done the same blend in hoppy beers with success.

Dude. Get. Out. Of. My. Head. I had the recipe printed out and wrote in "another 1 oz Hallertau Mittelfruh" and I may have been thinking 5 minutes but either way that's eerie that you suggested that. But. Then I thought about that and I have been making this "American Lager" where I hop at 60 and 5 and figured that I would try to separate this beer from that style altogether. I'm on the fence so it could go either way. I also thought that I would be able to get a better feel for this base malt mix if I don't hop it too much and sort of let the grain bill come through.

#4 ER Pemberton

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Posted 12 March 2017 - 06:53 AM

I brewed this yesterday and I brewed it as is. It smells sooo freaking good bubbling away in the fridge right now. There is just something about this 2124 when used with a low or moderate amount of hops. It's definitely my vision of beer heaven. Also, this is the 5th run of this 2124 and so far I have been able to keep it in good shape. I brought some Bordertown Mexican Dark Lager out of primary to get to the 2124 yesterday and it looked and smelled great too. So last night I drew up ANOTHER batch to use with it since it seems to be humming along nicely. Next up is Omega's Bayern Lager yeast (supposedly Augustiner's yeast and Wyeast 2352) so some Vienna Lager and Dunkel will be in order. Cheers Beerheads.

#5 pickle_rick

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Posted 12 March 2017 - 07:10 AM

that looks like a great recipe.  post some pics when it's done :D


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#6 ER Pemberton

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Posted 13 March 2017 - 01:49 PM

My whole beer bunker smells like this beer right now. The aroma is unreal. It hasn't started to throw sulfur yet but I'm sure that's coming shortly. For those who like this style, I highly recommend something in the zip code of this recipe for warmer weather drinking. The scene: It's 82° and sunny. You're in the backyard sitting at a table with an umbrella over it. The grill is going and music is on. Your glass of gold lager is on the table with condensation on the outside of the glass and one drip running down the side. I could possibly be happy with just this recipe and a dark version of it too. Cheers peeps.

#7 pickle_rick

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Posted 14 March 2017 - 07:30 AM

it will be interesting to see how the pale ale malt presents itself here.


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#8 ER Pemberton

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Posted 14 March 2017 - 11:19 AM

I'm hoping for some amount of extra depth with this grain bill. Ordinarily it would be about 8 lbs of pils plus 12 oz each of Vienna and Munich. Not sure which of those would produce more body and depth but that's what I'm shooting for. If I don't get what I envision, I might do something like 3½ pounds each of Rahr Pale Ale malt and Barke Pils plus one pound each of Vienna and Munich 1 plus the CaraHell and CaraFoam or CaraPils. I know that a helles is supposed to be ALL pils but I just can't get that depth with my process so I have to cheat.

#9 pickle_rick

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Posted 14 March 2017 - 11:26 AM

I find munich to bring a very diff sort of malt vs a pale ale malt.  the munich is more clean malt action while the pale ale has kind of a richness to it without the malt intensity.


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#10 ER Pemberton

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Posted 06 June 2017 - 11:44 AM

Kids: I made this beer on 3/11. The beer has been cold, carbed and kegged for about 6 weeks. I have an "American Lager" on tap right now (I posted a pic recently in the pic thread) and that keg is getting very light. This helles will take its place and I am looking SO forward to it. My mind is turning over all kinds of ideas right now because I have this Bayern yeast churning in the Pilsner I just made. This helles will probably be made again with the Bayern yeast... maybe twice! :D Pics of the helles to come when the keg hits the taps.

#11 pickle_rick

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Posted 06 June 2017 - 11:45 AM

so thirsty...


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#12 Steve Urquell

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Posted 06 June 2017 - 03:43 PM

This is just a tease. Ken, you better taste that and post tasting notes quick or you get a nutshot.


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#13 ER Pemberton

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Posted 06 June 2017 - 03:53 PM

This is just a tease. Ken, you better taste that and post tasting notes quick or you get a nutshot.

I've been waiting to get this one on tap because I plan to tap two bottles of beer and send them to you... one pale and one dark. ;)

#14 Steve Urquell

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Posted 06 June 2017 - 04:04 PM

I've been waiting to get this one on tap because I plan to tap two bottles of beer and send them to you... one pale and one dark. ;)

Helles yea! No nut shot for you--for now.


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#15 ER Pemberton

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Posted 08 June 2017 - 08:30 PM

Okay, the old keg blew tonight after giving up just 2 beers so this helles went on tap. The first glass was a bit yeasty and subsequent glasses were better and clearer. I would like to start a fresh session over the weekend so I can get a better feel for it but early indicators are that it's quite good. More later and pic to follow. Btw, there is a bit more color to this beer from the pale ale malt.

#16 Steve Urquell

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Posted 09 June 2017 - 06:53 AM

Okay, the old keg blew tonight after giving up just 2 beers so this helles went on tap. The first glass was a bit yeasty and subsequent glasses were better and clearer. I would like to start a fresh session over the weekend so I can get a better feel for it but early indicators are that it's quite good. More later and pic to follow. Btw, there is a bit more color to this beer from the pale ale malt.

Good to hear. My pale ale mix beer is crashing right now. Hope to keg it in a week.


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#17 ER Pemberton

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Posted 09 June 2017 - 08:49 AM

Good to hear. My pale ale mix beer is crashing right now. Hope to keg it in a week.

The thing is that I had this other beer on tap that I'm calling "American Lager" for no other reason than it has a pound of flaked corn in it. Otherwise it's Barke Pils, noble hops, 2124 yeast, etc. and it tastes very German and has a pale, clear appearance and great balance. It's becoming a favorite of mine and it's a little crisper than the helles. So then I put the helles on tap and it's cloudy, darker and a little maltier compared to the other one. My guess is that I will take a fresh sip of it over the weekend and like it but there is some difference in the two, for sure. At first I thought I should lower the percentage of pale ale malt but I'll make that determination later. Cheers.

#18 ER Pemberton

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Posted 17 June 2017 - 07:41 AM

Okay, here's a shot of the half Barke Pils and half Rahr Pale Ale malt helles...

515zic.jpg

I have had a few of these and the beer is delicious. You can see that the color is a little darker because of the Rahr Pale Ale malt that's in there. I personally think it's a little too dark but I could always use less next time. My sprinkler guy who comes to open the system in the spring and close it in the fall always makes it a point to have a few of my beers when he's here... which he did when he opened the system last month. But he was next-door yesterday when I was brewing and gave me the international BEER signal from the neighbor's house (hand in cup shape held up to mouth) so I grabbed him a helles. He's a wimpy gold lager kind of guy and yelled from next door "my compliments to the brewer!" and "the best one yet!" which means nothing but it's always good to share and get feedback. I like this beer but I might lower the percentage of the pale ale malt next time just to keep the beer color lighter.

#19 pkrone

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Posted 28 June 2017 - 01:00 PM

You might considering trying a different pale malt too.    I've been using the 50/50 pils/pale blend  (both from Weyermann) for the last several LODO helles I've made.  The beers have been a very pale color with great grain nose and flavor.    Just a thought...    


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#20 ER Pemberton

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Posted 28 June 2017 - 01:28 PM

You might considering trying a different pale malt too.    I've been using the 50/50 pils/pale blend  (both from Weyermann) for the last several LODO helles I've made.  The beers have been a very pale color with great grain nose and flavor.    Just a thought...

I used the Rahr because I had a sack of it. Now that this beer has a little age on it, it's delicious. I'll probably just use a little less pale ale malt next time or possibly go back to using the Barke Pils with small amounts (8-10%) of Vienna and Munich 1 as I used to do. Thanks... I know that some people trying the helles super-PIMA blend type thing were using continental pale ale malt for this. Cheers.


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