Thursday 8 February 2024

Munich Helles - Tasting Results & Review

After a far from perfect brew day, we're a little surprised but certainly very pleased at how well this beer has turned out. It just goes to show that even when things don't go exactly to plan, it's worth sticking it out, making adjustments on the fly and seeing how it all plays out.

Starting with appearance and we've got a classic slightly golden hue with a nice, pure white, fluffy head that's surprisingly persistent with good retention. After several weeks in the keg it's dropped pretty clear as well, with the only thing we used to clarify being a half whirlfloc tablet in the boil. It definitely looks like a lager.

Aroma is that of a classic lager with some slightly herbal notes from the saaz hops.

In regards to flavour, we were a little concerned that because of our extended boil/hot time due to issues with using our counter flow chiller for the first time we might have had a bit too much bitterness, however it turns out we had nothing to worry about as it's pretty much spot on.

There was a large amount of saaz hops used in the boil because of their relatively low alpha acid percentage, but the end flavour in the beer is great and exactly what you'd expect from a noble hop variety like saaz in a lager.

The malt flavour is fairly restrained which isn't a great surprise considering we only had 6.5% of the grist made up of a combination of vienna and aurora malt. We could potentially look at adjusting these ratios to add a little more depth of flavour, but the relatively neutral nature of this one makes it incredibly easy to drink and approachable to just about anyone who enjoys the occasional beer. The restrained flavour could also be partially attributed to the low pre-boil gravity which we corrected by adding some dextrose back into the wort.

W34/70 yeast is amazing as well and is fast becoming a real favourite of ours - especially considering how fast we turned this beer around without really requiring much of a lagering period at all - it took no longer than most of our ales do.

We're definitely going to try and brew more lagers moving forward with the goal of always having one on tap - they're definitely not as hard or tricky as we once thought they would be.

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