What The Helles

Craft brewing often eschews long standing brewing philosophy in favor of newer techniques/styles: Dessert Stouts, Hazy IPAs, fruited sours, etc… It seems every craft brewery have these styles on tap.

Every Oktoberfest reminds me that the German brewing tradition results in delicious brews as well; Festbier, Marzen, Helles, Pilsner, Hefeweizen, etc…

The proficiency of a brewer can be demonstrated by trying their hand at making these styles. Only water, malt, hops, and yeast are used. Attention to detail in the brewing and fermentation process is key to producing a good result. You can’t hide off flavors by using an excessive amount of hops, malt, or fruit.

Fortunately, local breweries are starting to create these styles with some success (not all are good examples).

So I decided to attempt to make a German style Helles lager.

  • Pilsner Malt – 98%
  • Melanoidin Malt – 2%
  • Northern Brewer Hops – T60 – 11 IBU
  • Saphir Hops – T-30 – 9 IBU
  • Saphir Hops – T-15 – 6 IBU
  • Fermentis W34/70 yeast culture

The result was a 5% beer that appealed to craft and macro American lager fans (you know who you are). It was on tap during the holidays and didn’t last long. I’ll definitely be brewing a Helles style beer in the future.

What The Helles – 5%