Helles 3V Conical 1

Back to brewing for NHC!

I’ve brewed this beer before but I was reading some article (i really wish I could find the link!) on German Helles and Pils and someone shared some recipes direct from German breweries and they are using a good chunk of Munich (Braun) malt which the explanation was b/c they have moved away from decoction they felt Munich malt gave the closest color and flavor match.  I had always used melanoidin malt for this effect but that was just b/c Jamil said so.   Seems like German breweries may be a better source so I thought I’d give it a try.  Now having tried the beer side by side with real German Helles it seems the article was right.  I’ve always thought straight Pils malt Helles lacked some malt character I was picking up in Weistephaner and other German Helles and Pils I can get locally.  10% Munich seemed to get me right in same profile.

Similar plan to last year except I’m now fermenting in conicals which other than changing my volumes a bit and how I aerate hasn’t really changed things a whole lot from a brew day perspective.  It’s now easier to takes sample for forced Diacetyl tests and gravity checks but they are also a lot more work on and in between brew days.  The big advantage has been the ability to CO2 pressurize the headspace to add hops with positive pressure and to cold crash and then dump the cone till it runs clean enough to rack to keg.  But for clean lagers I really haven’t found any real advantage to conicals since I was racking to keg before cold crashing previously.  I guess it is a bit more complicated than that so I I’ll have to document my cold side practices in a stand alone article.

Last year, I brewed a Helles and then collected enough yeast from that to pitch my two lagers for NHC.  My plan was to do the same this year.  Things did not go as planned.  One thing I have learned from conicals is they make it easier to harvest yeast since you are just dropping the cone but you have a much higher loss of yeast in the process.  I’m only using 7G conicals so I’m sure it is much different as you go to larger sizes.  For me, once I run off the nasty trub I only get about 350mL of clean yeast before I start running off clear beer.  If I collect yeast from a carboy I was getting enough for (2) 500mL pitches (i would fill up sterilized mason jars).  that said that was a mix of trub and yeast as well as about half beer.  So the total yeast may be close but you lose a lot in the trub dump and then when you go to clean out the conical you will see there is a ton of yeast caught in all the nooks and crannies of the conical including trapped behind the bottom valve that didn’t come out before beer sneaks by.  So with a carboy setup I was able to pull enough for two beers but the conical I can only collect enough for one.  So I bailed on that plan and just grew up big pitches for the NHC beers and just enjoyed this Helles and dumped the yeast.

Recipe Info
Recipe: helles 3v conical 1
Style: Munich Helles 4A BJCP 2015
Date: 11-19-2017

Recipe Guideline Min Guideline Max
OG 1.048 1.044 1.048
FG 1.011 1.006 1.012
Color 4.2 3.0 5.0
ABV 4.9 4.7 5.4
IBU 21.0 16.0 22.0

Brewery Info
Efficiency: 72 %
Attenuation: 78 %

Mash Info
Weight: 18.5 Lbs
Thickness: 1.25 Qt per Lb
Deadspace: 2.0 G
Strikewater: 7.78 G
Volume: 9.26 G
Temp: 152.0 F

Boil Info
Kettle Gravity: 1.039
Predicted Mash Run-off: 6.12 G
Target Starting Boil Volume: 12.25 G
Boil Duration: 90 min
Evaporation Rate: 1.5 G per Hour
Final Boil Volume: 10.0 G

Fermentables

Weight % by Weight Name Yield SRM
17.000 Lb 92.0 % Pilsen (best malz) 78.3 1.5
1.500 Lb 8.0 % Munich Dark (BestMälz) 76.1 12.7

Hops

Weight Name AAU Time Use IBUs
0.65 Oz Magnum 13.2 90 mins Boil 19.0
0.35 Oz Hallertau Mittelfrüh 4.1 15 mins Boil 1.0
0.35 Oz Hallertau Mittelfrüh 4.1 10 mins Aroma 1.0

Yeast

Amount Name
2.000 units German Lager White Labs WLP830

Misc

Amount Name Time Use
1.000 tablet Whirlfloc Tablet 15 mins Boil
0.500 tsp Yeast Nutrient (Wyeast) 10 mins Boil

Water
Predicted Mash Ph: 5.44

Ca Mg Na Cl So Bicarbonate
Water 7 3 21 30 24 30
Mash 65 3 21 78 98 30
Sparge 75 3 21 87 111 30
Final 103 4 31 121 153 44
Target 75 0 0 0 0 0

Mash Water
Total Water Treated: 30.284 G
Percent RO / Distlled: 0 %
Water Used: 8.000 G

Mash Water Adjustments
Gypsum: 4.0 g
Calcium Chloride: 3.0 g
Lactic Acid: 6.0 ml @ 88.000 %

Sparge Water
Leftover Mash Water Used: Yes
Total Water Treated: 6.750 G
Percent RO / Distlled: 0 %
Water Used: 6.750 G

Sparge Water Adjustments
Gypsum: 4.0 g
Calcium Chloride: 3.0 g

Notes

Mash 152f 60 mins
169 10 mins

Pitch at 48f
Raise to 50f over 24 hrs
Hold 2 weeks
Raise to 60 over 48 hrs
Hold through 3 weeks
Lager 1 month

Carb to 2.5-2.6 vols

12/4/18 made 2L starter w/ 2 pouches of WLP830 and 200g DME and a dash of yeast nutrient.
12/6/18 normal 3 vessel brewday.  process is pretty well nailed down.  conical too full with current amounts and need to cut down 0.5 – 1 gallons.  pitched at 3pm at 48F.  @11pm turned up to 49F
12/7/18 7am no bubbling
11am very limited bubbling.  ~1 min.  turned up to 50F.
8pm – slow steady bubbling
12/8-12/18 steady slow bubbling
12/14/18 ~10 sec
12/15/18 ~17 sec
12/16/18 ~35 sec
12/17/18 ~30 sec
12/18/18 ~ 38 sec
12/20/18 no bubbling.  raised to 60F
12/27/18 cold crashed and 2psi co2 to 38F
12/31/18 dropped yeast.  350mL of very thick slurry but tossed it.
FG 1.012.  tastes appropriately boring.  clean.  no off flavors.  a little haze.

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