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Hot Dang my Helles is ready!

Thanks for the help everyone, especially ITspossible for help with the water build.
Only one snag. I had set keg pressure on 20 psi and forgot to bleed off keg before turning down to serving pressure so some beer leaked out the reg stem. Is it ruined? Guess I need a check valve.

Congrats. Lagers are a pain but they are tasty. You can take your regulator apart and clean it, its not really a complicated device.

Real nice,
I have an Ocktober-fest ready to keg in another couple of weeks and have to make one/two more ales quick, so that I can get a Helles going. I have a bitter on tap currently for my lighter drinker. Even though my tried and true Innkeeper bitter is mucho gravy, I am still jonesing for a Helles.

Glad I could help with the water scene 1Tun. Sounds like maybe your a full fledged water chemist now. This bru n water spreadsheet and Kais calculator also are super tools. Makes the bits and pieces like water a breeze to understand and manipulate once you get the hang of the principles. Plus like I have stated before you can easily target mash/ sparge PH’s within certainty or at least around 0.10-0.30 PH points.

I just threw together a spreadsheet of data points from a half dozen recent beers to send to Martin for feedback and each and every beer was either spot on PH or within 0.10 of the target. Pretty cool stuff!!!

Also as stated above regulators are pretty easy to dissemble and clean. If you need a parts explosion image you can find it on micromatics site usually. I just recently saw someone post some pics for another brewer recently. So you can see what your getting into visually first.
So there is some info on the forum in that regards too.

Matter of fact, I am going to post a few of the datapoints found recently.
#1 Czech Pilsner 10.18.12
Est. room temp PH: 5.60
Actual room temp PH: 5.60
#2 Simcoe RPA 5.27.13
Est. room temp PH: 5.60
Actual room temp PH: 5.60
#3 Innkeeper bitter 6.7.13
Est. room temp PH: 5.60
Actual room temp PH: 5.50
(-0.10)
#4 Meridian RPA 6.30.13
Est. room temp PH: 5.60
Actual room temp PH: 5.65
(+0.05)
#5 Meridian RPA 9.1.13
Est. room temp PH: 5.60
Actual room temp PH: 5.63
(+0.03)

-/+ 0.10 PH just by using the app alone is pretty nice for newer brewers. Whereas you “dont” necessarily need to run out and grab a PH meter unless you really want to. I just happen to have a good calibrated meter and check as a regular due to habits formed now from not having these apps available until just a short while ago (around 2 yrs ago) so you always had to guesstimate and PH up/down until you got the reading you needed with your meter.

The only thing we need now is for more research/transparency into the congress/distilled mash PH of each type of different producers grain, some can be obtained from lot reports/ producers but it is still not an easy to find number. Because the one thing that is hard still is new recipe formation with unknown grains, so then its good to be able to adjust on the fly sometimes still.

One example I found lately that went weird was an O-fest. I targeted 5.6Ph in Bru N Water and due to the use of a Munich I & II from Schill/ Global I had never used along with a dose of Weyermann Caramunich II found an actual mash residing at 5.3PH when sampled at room temp. Far too low for this style so I was able to bring the mash PH up to 5.6PH when room temp sampled. Now in hindsight I read some of Kai’s site again after the brew was done for answers and sure enough part of the problem was a low PH value of Weyerman Caramunich II that was odd amongst its peer grains. So now I can back calculate that recipe knowing the distilled mash PH of each of those grains again using Bru N water to backcalculate. Had I known the distilled PH value of those grains firstly then I could have targeted PH more accurately with an app like Bru N water.

Kai, Palmer, Martin, AJ DeLange, text. Everyone agrees that type/color and EBC- Lovibond rating etc… only have a close relationship to buffer/change mash acidity. But if we narrow the distilled PH value of each type of grain eventually the calculators become bulletproof. But at any rate what is in reach now is pretty awesome to behold.

The main thing to mention also on this thread is that Helles uses one grain typically and is easy to dial in. Making another notch in the belt for German or anything pils for that matter. One of my favorite beers to make and enjoy!

Could someone post the recipe and water build? I just made a Helles and asked around some other board numerous times for tips on the water but didn’t get any good information. I ended up diluting to lower bicarb and adding back CaCl until I had 50ppm of Ca. Otherwise, pilsner, small amount of Munich and Vienna and about 6 AAU of a combination of Spalt and Hallertau all fermented with 2124. It smells like heaven coming out of the airlock but I would love some addition information about what you guys did with the water. I was in Europe this past summer and all of the Helles I had (quite a bit, btw) was very soft-tasting. Cheers guys.

Ken- how much sulfate did you have in your water? I’m doing a helles this weekend. Patterned after Paulaner Octoberfest Weisn, so a little bigger than my usual helles. Going to bump up my sulfates to get a little more hop snappiness and more dryness on the finish. Plus, I get to try out my new pH meter. Stoked!

I’ve concluded that I don’t really like high levels of sulfate in my beers… even pale ales, etc. I figured that for a helles, I would go for a low-bicarb, low-sulfate water so I used 5 gallons of distilled along with 3 gallons of my filtered tap water. I added .7g of gypsum and 3.6g of CaCl to the mash and the final water numbers were: Ca 50, Mg 4, Na 5, Cl 65, SO4 23 and bicarb 42. I would really like for anyone that has made a nice helles to post back what their water profile looked like because I struggled with this one. Good luck with the new meter… I’m a meter newbie myself. Cheers.

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