2016 Munich Helles - Small Batch

>> Friday, February 05, 2016

For the second half of my double-header brew day I'm brewing a Munich Helles. This is also a 2.5 gallon batch. Per the 2015 BJCP Guidelines, here are some of the vital stats for the style:

History: Created in Munich in 1894 at the Spaten brewery to compete with pale Pilsner-type beers. Currently the most a popular style in Southern Germany.
Overall Impression: A clean, malty, gold-colored German lager with a smooth grainy-sweet malty flavor and a soft, dry finish. Subtle spicy, floral, or herbal hops and restrained bitterness help keep the balance malty but not sweet, which helps make this beer a refreshing, everyday drink.
Comments: A fully-attenuated Pils malt showcase, Helles is a malt-accentuated beer that is not overly sweet, but rather focuses on malt flavor with underlying hop bitterness in a supporting role. Export examples can quickly lose some of the rich malt character that often suggests sweetness. Helles in Munich tends to be lighter in all aspects than those outside the city, which can be more assertive with more body, flavor, and hop character.
And the recipe as I'm brewing it today:

5.0# German Pilsner
6.0 oz German Munich
2.0 oz Melanoiden
1.0 oz Carapils
4.53g Hallertauer (FWH)
9.07g Hallertauer (45 min)
0.25 Whirlfloc
0.25t Wyeast Yeast Nutrient
WLP838 Southern German Lager

To 6 gallons RO water:
2.9g Gypsum
4.4g Calcium Chloride
2.4g Chalk

Mash at 145F for 10 min, 150F for 50 min, 168F for 10 min, 90 min boil, chill to 50F, raise to 55F over 5 days

Update 2/29/2016
I took this beer up to 65F for a diacetyl rest for a couple days and have been ramping it down to lagering temps over the past week. Quite a bit of the yeast has dropped out and it's pretty bright right now. I'm going to try to get it kegged and fined this week. That should give it almost a month to condition before I have to drop it off for Lagerpalooza 2.

Update 2/29/2016
I managed to get this beer kegged after work tonight. Fined in the keg with gelatin, it'll sit cold and under CO2 pressure until I'm ready to bottle my entries.

Update 3/11/2016
I pulled a sample today. It has dropped crystal clear and is a really nice beer. This is a beer I'd probably brew again, at least for the warmer summer months.