Sound like a decent Munich Helles Recipe?

1 lb German Pilsner (Rahr) steeping grain at 150f after 30 mins
5.5 lbs Briess Pilsen LME 60 min boil
2 oz Hallertau hop pellets during 60 min boil
1 oz Hallertau hop pellets dry hopped in secondary (see below)

Saflager 34/70 dry yeast starter (2 Liters) pitched at 50 degrees wort and 50 degrees starter

Three weeks in primary at 50 degrees then rack to secondary
Diacetyl rest in secondary raised to 65 degrees for three days
Drop secondary to 40 degrees and lager for 6 weeks at this temperature
Add the 1oz Hallertau dry hop in last week of lagering

Bottle with 5oz corn sugar solution in the mix, then serve after 1 month of bottle conditioning at 40 degrees.

According to my calculations, this will give me an ABV of 5.2%, an IBU of right around 19, and just the right color for a really nice authentic Munich Helles which is what I am dying to taste here instead of having to go to Germany.

Looks like a very good recipe. A few tweaks I might suggest – and these are really all entirely optional:

  1. Use DME instead of LME. It will ensure the color is light. LME sometimes makes the beer turn out darker than desired.
  2. I would mash for at least 40 minutes, just to be on the safe side. Just that additional 10 minutes can make a difference with respect to attenuability/fermentability.
  3. I might substitute some of the extract, maybe 3/4 pound, for cane sugar, again to ensure the fermentability. LME tends to have a good bit of non-fermentable sugars in it due to the manufacturing process, so you can effectively replace some of that with 100% fermentable sugars, without going overboard. 3/4 pound seems right to me. If using DME and not LME, then this suggestion might not be necessary.
  4. Using the Tinseth method (which is the most accurate), I calculate your IBUs at 36, assuming alpha acid on your hops of a reasonable 4.4%. 36 IBUs would be WAY too much for this beer. So maybe back off a bit on the bittering addition. But if you know your hops are down in the 2% range for alpha acid, then your calculations are correct.
  5. I would not dry hop this beer. Just doesn’t seem appropriate. Believe me – you will still get plenty of hop flavor for a helles just from the bittering addition alone. But if you like your dry hops, then by all means, go ahead. This of course is mostly just personal preference.
  6. Use distilled water. I make this suggestion for every extract-based beer. Extract already contains salts. If you use spring water or tap water, it only doubles the amount of salts that the beer is meant to have. If you would like to add a little salt with your distilled water, limit it to about 1 teaspoon of calcium chloride, that’s about it.

As you can see, all of these comments are just optional and might seem nitpicky. But, they might help you to make the best dang partial mash version of a helles you’ve ever had. Maybe.

Best of luck to you.


“Nitpicky” is what I do… So I sincerely appreciate the detail and attention you’ve given to my post, and the time you’ve taken to do it. Thank you sir.

My Hallertau hops are at 3.0, so I will back it down a bit to 1.5oz for the 60 min boil, and leave out the dry hop completely. I want this to be as authentic as possible. Although I appreciate hops and their many wonderful flavors, I want this beer to be as close to the ones I drank in Munich.

As for the color, I’m going to do half the extract for the full 60 min boil, and half in the last 15 minutes to keep the carmelization down. I already ordered the LME, so I can’t do straight DME at this point. And as I responded in your other reply to my other post, I am going with 100% distilled water.

Again, Thank you for time, and I sincerely appreciate it.