Category Archives: helles 3v 1

Helles 3V 1

This last year I set out two goals for myself – medaling at NHC and winning the Southeastern Homebrewers Association Brewer of the Year award.  I fully planned out the entire years brew schedule and put in hundreds of hours of work to get there.  Incredibly enough, I was able to pull off both.  I was able to win Gold at NHC for my Schwarzbier (which after checking with me twice they still got the name wrong in Zymurgy…booooo -> It’s name is “Pizza the Hutt” not “Entry 2”) and win Brewer of the Year by a handful of points.
After brewing 2-3 times a month and doing an immense amount of planning and cold-side work I decided to give myself and my family a bit of a break and just focus on NHC this year.  So that means planning enough beers for the first round and entering one other competition to get additional feedback.  For the first round last year, I got 5 entries and I brewed 7 so I could pick the best ones to send.  Since I have a set of beers that I love to drink and do really well in competition I decided to just brew 5 beers this year.  I was a bit surprised to see that I only got 4 entries in Tampa (I requested 5 from all sites within two days shipping from me in North Carolina) but so it goes.  The beers I brewed are Vienna, Schwarzbier, Cal Common, Best Bitter and Hefeweizen.
My plan for the Vienna and Schwarzbier was to brew a low alcohol beer with German Lager WLP830 and then harvest two large pitches from that to repitch into the Vienna and Schwarzbier.  And that (long story short) is how this Helles was born 🙂 . I took the recipe from an old NHC winning recipe and then tweaked it for my 3 Vessel Electric HERMS setup (aka 3V).  Pretty basic and I didn’t bother to gelatin it since it was really just a big yeast starter and not going to be entered in competition.  It turned out to be a really delicious beer that went over really well at my homebrew club meeting.

Recipe Info
Recipe: helles 3v 1
Style: Munich Helles 4A BJCP 2015
Date: 11-19-2017

Recipe Guideline Min Guideline Max
OG 1.048 1.044 1.048
FG 1.011 1.006 1.012
Color 4.2 3.0 5.0
ABV 4.9 4.7 5.4
IBU 21.0 16.0 22.0

Brewery Info
Efficiency: 72 %
Attenuation: 78 %
Mash Info
Weight: 13.0 Lbs
Thickness: 1.25 Qt per Lb
Deadspace: 2.0 G
Strikewater: 6.06 G
Volume: 7.1 G
Temp: 152.0 F
Boil Info
Kettle Gravity: 1.037
Predicted Mash Run-off: 4.89 G
Target Starting Boil Volume: 9.25 G
Boil Duration: 90 min
Evaporation Rate: 1.5 G per Hour
Final Boil Volume: 7.0 G

Weight % by Weight Name Yield SRM
12.000 Lb 92.0 % Pilsen (BestMälz) 78.3 1.5
1.000 Lb 8.0 % Munich Dark (BestMälz) 76.1 12.7


Weight Name AAU Time Use IBUs
0.5 Oz Magnum 12.0 90 mins Boil 20.0
0.25 Oz Hallertau Mittelfrüh 3.0 15 mins Boil 1.0
0.25 Oz Hallertau Mittelfrüh 3.0 10 mins Aroma 0.0


Amount Name
2.000 units German Lager White Labs WLP830


Amount Name Time Use
1.000 tablet Whirlfloc Tablet 15 mins Boil
0.500 tsp Yeast Nutrient (Wyeast) 10 mins Boil

Predicted Mash Ph: 5.47

Ca Mg Na Cl So Bicarbonate
Water 7 3 21 30 24 30
Mash 52 3 21 72 73 30
Sparge 60 3 21 81 83 30
Final 87 5 33 120 122 47
Target 75 0 0 0 0 0

Target Profile Name: standard
Mash Water
Total Water Treated: 6.000 G
Percent RO / Distlled: 0 %
Water Used: 6.000 G
Mash Water Adjustments
Gypsum: 2.0 g
Calcium Chloride: 2.0 g
Lactic Acid: 4.0 ml @ 88.000 %
Sparge Water
Leftover Mash Water Used: Yes
Total Water Treated: 5.000 G
Percent RO / Distlled: 0 %
Water Used: 5.000 G
Sparge Water Adjustments
Gypsum: 2.0 g
Calcium Chloride: 2.0 g
Mash 154f 60 mins
169 10 mins
Pitch at 48f
Raise to 50f over 24 hrs
Hold 2 weeks
Raise to 60 over 48 hrs
Hold through 3 weeks
Lager 1 month
Carb to 2.5-2.6 vols

12-10-17 1L starter w (2) WLP 830 100g DME
12-12-17 regular 3V brewday.  changed process a bit.  cooled to 50F then put in fridge and cooled to 48F (took 2 hours!) and then pitched.  pitch was warm so raised temp to 49F and then i raised it from there to 50F over 24 hours.
12-13-17 8am no activity
2pm kreusen started to form and slow steady bubbling
12-15-17 nice 1/2″ kreusen and steady bubbling
12-18-17 maybe slowed a hair
12-21-17 slow steady ~4 sec.  kreusen dropped
12-24-17 ~10 sec
12-26-17 no activity
1-4-18 racked to keg.  2 x 400mL of slurry collected in sterilized mason jars.  barely enough slurry.  FG 1.012
really nice beer.  a hint of sulfur.  clean otherwise.  pretty clear.  needs some lager time and carb but very promising.
This ended up being a great beer.  it dropped really clear after a month with no gelatin.  tasted fantastic.  nice malt character with just a hint of breadiness and nice solid hop character but appropriate for the style.