Munich Helles Recipe
8.75 lbs Continental Pilsner Malt
.25 lbs Continental Munich Malt
.38 lbs Vienna Malt
1 oz Hallertauer Hops (60 Min)
Stepped 2 L Starter Wyeast 2206 Bavarian Lager
RO Water (.5 tsp Gypsum, 1 tsp Calcium Chloride)

Brewing Procedure
Mash in at 108 F and let sit for 15 minutes or until pH stabilizes. Then pull 1/3 of the mash (thick) and heat to 158 F for 15 minutes in a separate pot. Then boil this 1/3 of the mash for 15 minutes and then add back to the main mash…

The main mash should come up to 133 F. Rest the mash at this temperature for 15 minutes (add boiling water if necessary to bring temperature up). Then pull 2/3 of the mash (half grain, half water) and bring to a temperature of 158 F in a separate pot. Rest for 15 minutes then boil these 2/3 of the mash for 15 minutes… when done add back to the main mash and be sure not to go over 150 F. Rest the entire mash for 30 minutes and begin collecting your wort.

Boil everything for 90 minutes and be sure to add your hops so they boil for 60 minutes.

You’ll need roughly the equivalent of 4 packets of yeast… to save money, you can make a 2 liter starter and add the yeast from that starter into another 2 liter starter after 24 hours… then you can use the yeast from the second starter to pitch into your wort…

Fermentation temperature is pretty important… start out at 45 F and let the fermentor rise in temperature to 55 F over the next 7 days. When done fermenting be sure to do a diacetyl rest at 64 F… and then prepare to lager the beer…

About this blog

Although German 101 was my toughest class last semester I did learn a couple things I can apply to brewing…

Zweimaischverfahren, when broken down means:

Zwei – Two
Maisch – Mashing
Verfahren – Procedure

… and that’s exactly how I went about brewing my Munich Helles…

Here’s a couple of things I picked up during my brewing session… First off, when working with a thick decoction mash (as your first decoction should be), you gotta really watch your heat…

It doesn’t take much heat to scorch the grains so lower temperatures work best… in fact I achieved a boil with half the heat power I used compared to my second decoction, which had quite a bit of water…

Two, keeping the temperature of my main mash constant is not exactly easy without a heat source applied to the pot. To minimize the heat loss I kept my decoctions fairly short (about 15 min boil and rests), and pre-heated all my pots.

My main rest (after all decoctions) did sit for a full half hour…

As you can see the process if simple, but managing all the temperatures and being precise with temperatures is what takes practice… that’s my goal for the next few batches…


PS To clear up some confusion, this is not my first decoction mash, but it is the first decoction I’m brewing as part of my experiment to find out if decoction mash is worth the hassle… while I can brew using decoction the goal of this experiment is to really master decoction mashing so I can compare those brews side-by-side with the same beers brewed using step infusion mashes…

How to brew beer

    5 replies to "How To Brew A Munich Helles"

    • Mike

      Your fermentation temps could not start out at 145 F and let the fermentor rise in temperature to 155 F over the next 7 days. When done fermenting be sure to do a diacetyl rest at 164 F… and then prepare to lager the beer…

      You must ahave added 100 to each temp!

      Mike Sherretz

      • Jorge

        lol… I gotta stop drinking when I blog 🙂 What the hell was I thinking… it wasn’t just one typo!!! Thanks for pointing that out…

    • Dan Diederich

      Is that fermentation correct? You have written 145,155,164.

    • nonconFERMist

      Just stopped to say, “Hi!”. I like the site. Looks like you have things firing on all pistons newsletter, video, periodic blogs…cool. Keep up the good work.

      • Jorge

        @NonconFERMist – Yes, it’s been crazy lately, but enjoying every single moment of it… thanks for stopping by!

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