Eureka, it is time for yet another recipe from the past. This time, one of my favorite recipes. I really like Vienna malt for the maltyness it contributes to a beer. And this character is most suitable in either Munich or Vienna style beers. Although “Helles” refers to bottom fermenting beers in general, this particular beer is fermented with a top fermenting yeast strain. In this case S04, a dry yeast. I know this is not a very suitable yeast strain for such a beer but the variety of yeast strains back then (2007) was quite limited and if a liquid yeast strain was available, it was very expensive. Luckily, this is very different these days (although still expensive). I can now purchase nearly every strain from Wyeast. White Labs strains are still not available around here…
Anyway, let’s go through the recipe. I added some Caramunich to give it some color and used some acidified malt to lower the residual alkalinity of my water. The Vienna malt backbone should lead to a very malty beer and the Carapils improves the head. Some information about the mash schedule. The first rest at 45°C is a protein rest to improve the head of the beer. Then followed by two different saccharification rests. Finished with a mash out at 78°C.
|Numbers:||Volume [L]||25 (6.6 gal)|
|Color||Around 13 EBC|
|Grains:||Vienna malt (8 EBC)||5 kg|
|Carapils (4 EBC)||0.34 kg|
|Caramunich 1 (90 EBC)||0.34 kg|
|Acidified malt (5 EBC)||0.1 kg|
|Hops:||Tettnanger (4.5% AA)||30 g and boil for 70 min|
|Tettnanger (4.5% AA)||8 g and boil for 1 min|
|Water:||Burgdorf||Mash: 25 L (6.6 gal), sparge: 17 L (4.5 gal) @78°C (172°F)|
|Rest:||Mash in @45°C (113°F), 20 min @45°C (109°F), 30 min @61°C (142°F), 30 min @72°C (162°F), 10 min @ 78°C (172°F)|
|Boil:||Total 70 min|
|Fermentation:||Primary||7 days @ 20°C (68°F) in plastic fermenter|
|Maturation:||Carbonation (CO2 vol)||2|
|Maturation time||3 weeks|
04/28/07: Brew day number nine. I had a 25 L lauter bucket and a 28 L kettle back then and this recipe filled the bucket and kettle up to the very top (Fig 1 and Fig 2). However, all went according to the protocol and no overflows and such happened. At the end, I collected 25 L of wort after the boil. I originally planed to get 20 L but hey, more beer is always appreciated.
05/05/07: Bottled the beer after a primary fermentation of seven days. Added cane sugar to get to a carbonation level of 2 vol. Then left the beer mature for nearly 4 weeks before I did a first tasting. Please remember, my tasting skills were very limited back then…
Aroma: Very malty aroma and some hop notes as well. Smells pretty awesome. Can’t remember if there were any ester notes from the English yeast strain (S04).
Appearance: The beer is clear and a appears in a very golden color. Pretty nice white head. Looks like a Vienna Helles should look like.
Flavor: Very rich malt backbone with some hop notes and a hint of bitterness. The balance is more on the malt side than bitterness. I could drink pints of this stuff…
Mouthfeel: Medium body, average carbonation and a malty finish. This makes it very easy to enjoy.
Overall Impression: Pretty solid beer. I just thought about to do another batch of this particular recipe sometimes. It seems to be really refreshing and easy enjoyable. Although, I would probably change the yeast and go with either a bottom fermenting or a clean top fermenting strain. Maybe Wyeast’s #2112 California Lager strain would work as an alternative. Please leave a comment below if someone gives this recipe a shot. I am very interested how the beers turn out… Stay tuned for further recipes!