Smoked Helles Lager

Rauch Edel Hell

Smoked helles lager, the ultimate summer beer!  This is one of the beers that made me want to try to brew a lagers at home. I love the Schlenkerla smoked beers, especially the helles when the weathers a bit warmer. For this one I’m looking for a subtle  smoke character in a really traditional helles lager that is super drinkable.  I used all german malts for this one and tried to stick to the style as close as I could. I picked up the floor malted pilsner malt and really liked how it tasted raw and it should be excellent in this beer.

OG: 1.051
FG: 1.013
ABV: 5%
Mash: 151 (60 min)
Boil: 90 min.

Water Profile:

Ca: 56
Mg: 1
Na: 4
So4: 52
Cl: 60
BiCarbonate: 15
Mash pH: 5.3

76.6% Floor Malted Pilsner Malt (Weyermann)
12.8% Rauch Malt (Weyermann)
4.3% Carafoam (Weyermann)
4.3% Acidulated Malt (Weyermann)
2.1% Melanoidin Malt (Weyermann)

1.65 oz Liberty (2.9%) 60 min.
0.75 oz Liberty (2.9%) 5 min.

Wyeast 2206 – Bavarian Lager Yeast

Made a 1.25 yeast starter few days before brew day and then stepped it up with another 1.25 liters. Decanted off most the starter beer and pitched cold into 45 degree wort. Only could cool wort to about 65 with the rising ground water temps, but I put the carboy in the chest freezer and got it down to 45 in about 2.5 hours.  Set the controller to 48 and will leave it there for most the week before starting to slowly ramp up the temps. Fermentation started about 16 hours after pitching.

Can’t wait to have this on tap for July, and assuming everything comes out as planned this will be a great beer to have on the back porch with/while bbqing.

Kegged on 6/2 and finished a touch higher than I was anticipating at 1.013 (from 1.012).  Will have to reduce the mash temp a little bit next time this gets rebrewed.  The gravity sample did taste pretty nice and clean, malty with a little smoke. Will lager for a few weeks before putting on tap.

Tasting notes – 6/27/15

Appearance: Light golden with a dense foamy white head that retains quite well. Pint is crystal clear.

Aroma: Doughy malts mixed with a touch of smoke in the nose.

Taste: Rich, doughy malts up front. Very malty and well attenuated.  There is just a hint of smoke as the taste is finishing.  So subtle you might not pick up on it if you weren’t looking for it.  Just a touch of hop flavor and the pint has a real nice balance.

Mouthfeel: Medium body and medium carbonation.

Overall: Yes, nailed it!  Reading the style guidelines for Munich Helles describes this pint perfectly.  Its malty, but no not sweet. Super rich malt character that is easy to drink and a perfectly clean fermentation profile. This beer has a touch of smoke which goes great with the clean, maltiness of the pint.  Super drinkable, perfect for summer.  There’s not one thing I’d change when this gets re-brewed.


Update – 7.31.15
This beer just got better and better the longer it lagered. As I’m enjoying the last pint right now, this one was really a great summer beer to have on tap. I’m going to bring this one back next summer and was one of beers I’ve been most proud of to date. Salud.

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