This is going to be my first attempt at brewing a Munich Helles Lager. I have a good setup for brewing Lagers (Johnson Controls temp controller attached to a chest freezer). Was just wondering if anyone out there used SafLager 34/70 dry yeast with a Munich Helles before, and how it came out. Also, I’m planning on using half tap water, and half distilled water to soften it up a bit. Any input would be appreciated! :cheers:
Can’t say for your water. I’ve brewed one Helles and 34/70 was the yeast. It turned out great.
Unless you know what is in your water, you’re wasting your time with an assumption for dilution. Your tap water might already be well suited to Helles. How would you know? Unless you have an understanding of your water, you don’t know what changes to make.
Thanks for the input… I live in Florida, so I’m a bit concerned about shipping liquid yeast or smack packs here due to the viability during shipping, etc… Florida is HOT, so I feel dry yeasts are the better option. I’ve been able to grow my own hops here (cascade and kent goldings), but reading too much about yeast makes me uneasy with any thing but the dry type.
Thank you very much for the rapid responses… I have tested my water for Ph, etc… and it seems to me that I should just brew the damned thing after reading so many different opinions on what is good and bad. I take great pride in my beer, and I especially want this Munich Helles to turn out perfect due to my German roots I suppose. Thanks for talking me back down to reality and just trying to brew good beer. I’m still going to dilute it with half distilled water though! I just can’t help myself! :cheers:
I’ve got a helles with 34/70 in the fermenter right this second. It was brewed a couple weeks ago. Took off fermenting really fast and clean, then slowed way down and is beginning to clear now. At the end of fermentation now it is smelling like sulfur, but I know that is okay and pretty normal and will fade in a few more weeks, just needs a little more time. So in 2-3 more weeks, I’ll probably be ready to bottle. Can’t wait to taste this one. Should be a great style for summer, which is right around the corner regardless of how late spring is in arriving – we’ve still got 3-foot snow drifts here in WI – crazy. But anyway.
As for water, I used distilled and built my own Munich water with gypsum, CaCl2 and epsom salts. Fermentation started at 49-50 F and I let rise up to 53-54 F near the end, and I’m keeping it there until bottling time. I don’t do that crash cooling thing – let the yeast do what they want in the 50s, it’s better that way IMHO.
Thank you very much for the rapid responses… I have tested my water for Ph, etc… [/quote]
If the etc includes calcium, magnesium, sodium, chloride, sulfate, and bicarbonate, then you are good to go. If it was just pH, then you are wasting your time. Water pH is meaningless in brewing.
The plan to dilute with distilled is sound no matter what the tap water is. The only question would be how much dilution is really needed for the Helles.
This is what I love about the brewing community… A willingness to help others make the best beer they possibly can. Thanks again for all the input. I think I’ll use distilled and build my own water also. Seems like the best way to go.
I’ve brewed one Munich Helles with 34/70, and was not happy with how it turned out. But that had less to do with the yeast than with the hops. I’ve decided that Hersbrucker is my least-favorate noble hop. I’m currently lagering a Helles with 2308 and Spalt hops, and am looking forward to tapping it in a month or two. I’ve used the 34/70 for a few other beers that came out just fine.
Going with just Hallertau hops in this one, and can’t wait to taste it!
Just wanted to say… I think we were all assuming pandu was using more grain or all-grain for this recipe, but now I see from another thread that pandu is actually making this a mostly extract batch with just one pound of pilsner malt. With respect to water, salts and pH matter a lot for all-grain brewing, but this is not true for extract (or mostly extract) brewing. With extract, there are already salts concentrated in the extract as part of the manufacturing process, so I always recommend using distilled water for extract-based beers. Then any salt additions would be for minor flavor contributions only, not for pH control or anything like that. For a helles, you don’t really need much salt in the beer at all. So use distilled water. You’ll get plenty of salts from your extract. If you want to add any salt for improved flavor, limit it to about 1 teaspoon calcium chloride for 5 gallons of extract-based beer. My very humble opinion. Anyone else have thoughts on this?
I really appreciate all of your input. Sorry about the confusion with the mostly extract recipe. I posted it under the extract/partial mash brewing forum and figured everyone would assume that was what I was using. I should know by now what assuming things always accomplishes!
At any rate, I am going to go with your advice here and use all distilled water. I am trusting you on this, so it better turn out good or I am holding you personally responsible! Hehe
I have about 15 batches of extract brewing under my belt, and have become extremely fussy about attempting to control as many aspects of my beer as possible to make it the best. The next obvious step is all-grain, and I am gearing up for that as we speak. Due to my location (Florida) I have had to purchase a chest freezer and temp controller even for making ales as it so damned hot here. I noticed some off flavors from fermenting at 78 degrees in my air-conditioned office, so I purchased the freezer and temp controller to keep my ales fermenting at about 68. Then I thought, well hell, I can now make lagers with this set up!!! I was in beer heaven. Yes I am addicted to brewing, I am growing my own hops, spend way too much money on equipment, and will not apologize for it because this is truly a great hobby. :cheers:
Amen, brother! Hope it turns out great for you.
Alright Dave, I took your advice for my Munich Helles with slight alterations:
Did my 1 lb of Pilsner grain at 150 degrees for 40 mins instead of 30
5 lbs LME instead of my planned 5.5 lbs.
Substituted .5 lbs cane sugar
100 percent distilled water
1.25 oz of 3.5 alpha Hallertau for one hour boil
Gave me an OG of 1.043, and fermentation started kicking butt about 14 hours after pitching two packs of rehydrated 34/70 yeast at 50 degrees
Can’t wait to try it!
Gosh, that looks familiar… If I remember later, I’ll post a picture of what my helles looks like after 4 weeks in the fermenter (which is where mine is at right now). Almost same recipe, but mine is all-grain.
Dave nailed it. If brewing primarily with extracts, then the mineral content of the maltster’s local water is already in that extract. All that is needed is pure water (distilled) to bring that back. RO is a good approximation. Adding more mineral content could easily be degrading to beer flavor unless you have an idea of what the maltster’s water has.
Sweet… confirmation from the water master. Thanks.
This is why I ask those who know what they’re talking about. I’d sure rather take advice than make a substandard beer because my ego got in the way and I was too proud to ask. Thanks again fellas. I’ll let you know how this Helles turns out in a couple of months
Drinking first bottle of my NB Helles all grain today, which used 34/70. Oh, it is good!
Now that looks delicious! Can’t wait for mine to finish up!