Munich Helles is a delicious but technically demanding style to brew. Follow these guidelines carefully and you will be happy with the result!
Be sure to make a starter for your yeast because of the cold fermentation temperature.
Note: The recipe below is for extract brewing. For an all-grain alternative, substitute 9.5 pounds Pilsner Malt for the Pilsner liquid malt extract, and 1 pound Munich or Vienna Malt for the Munich or Vienna liquid malt extract. You can add the 0.25 pound Melanoidin Malt to the mash, or steep it as you would for the extract version. Mash at 150°F. Sparge and lauter the mash into the kettle and bring to a boil, then proceed to step 4 below.
- Total time:2 months
- White Labs WLP838 Southern German Lager, or Wyeast 2308 Munich Lager, or Wyeast 2124 Bavarian Lager
- 0.25 pounds crushed Melanoidin Malt for steeping
- 7.25 pounds Pilsner liquid malt extract (LME)
- 0.75 pounds Munich or Vienna LME
- 0.4 ounce Saaz pellets 5.5% AA for 60 minutes
- 1.0 ounce Saaz pellets 5.5% AA for 30 minutes
One day before brew day, make a starter with your yeast.
Heat 1 gallon of water to 170°F. Remove from heat and add Melanoidin Malt to the water, contained in a mesh bag. Cover and let steep for 1 hour, then discard the malt.
Bring 3 gallons water to a boil. Add steeping tea from step 2. Slowly add extracts, stirring. Add enough water to reach a total of 6.5 gallons. Bring to a boil once more on high heat.
When you reach a boil, start a countdown timer for 90 minutes. Add hops quantities at 60 minutes left and 30 minutes left.
At the end of 90 minutes, remove from heat. Cool the wort to below 70°F with an ice bath or a wort chiller. Remember to keep things sanitary for every stage after the boil.
Transfer the wort to a sanitized fermentation bucket or carboy. Add an airlock and cool to 45°F. Also cool the yeast starter to 45°F.
Once the wort reaches 45°F, aerate the wort and pitch the yeast.
Let the wort temperature rise to 50°F, hold there for three days, then raise it to 60°F and hold for three days for a diacetyl rest. Then lower the temperature by 1°F per day until you reach 34°F. At this point, you can bottle or keg the beer and enjoy in a week (kegged) or three (bottled)!