Ah, Helles Bock. A classic German style that dates back centuries. I remember my first sip of this golden brew, and it was love at first taste. Over the years, I’ve brewed many batches of Helles Bock, tweaking the recipe here and there to perfect the flavor and aroma. And now, I’m excited to share my latest all-grain version with you. This Helles Bock recipe is a carefully crafted blend of Pilsner malt, Munich malt, and Vienna malt, with a touch of light crystal malt for complexity. The Hersbrucker hops provide a subtle bitterness, while the Perle hops add a delightful aroma that will transport you to the rolling hills of Bavaria. If you’re a fan of classic German lagers, then you won’t want to miss this brew. So grab your favorite stein and let’s raise a toast to Helles Bock – a beer style that has stood the test of time and continues to delight beer lovers around the world. Here’s the recipe for you to now enjoy:
- 9.0 lbs of Pilsner malt
- 1.0 lb of Munich malt (10L)
- 0.5 lb of Vienna malt
- 0.5 lb of light crystal malt (40L)
- 1 oz of Hersbrucker hops (bittering)
- 1 oz of Perle hops (aroma)
- 1 package of German lager yeast
- 5 oz of corn sugar (for priming)
- Heat 4 gallons of water in your brew kettle to 163°F.
- Add the crushed grains (Pilsner, Munich, Vienna, and light crystal malt) to the water in your mash tun and stir well.
- Maintain the temperature at 152°F for 60 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Sparge with 170°F water until you collect 6.5 gallons of wort.
- Bring the wort to a boil and add Hersbrucker hops.
- Boil for 60 minutes, then add Perle hops for the last 10 minutes of the boil.
- After the boil, cool the wort to 50-55°F.
- Transfer the cooled wort to a sanitized fermenter and pitch the German lager yeast.
- Ferment at 50-55°F for 2-3 weeks or until fermentation is complete.
- Once primary fermentation is complete, perform a diacetyl rest by raising the temperature to 65-70°F for 1-2 days.
- After the diacetyl rest, transfer the beer to a secondary fermenter or lagering vessel.
- Lager the beer at 34-40°F for 4-6 weeks or until the desired clarity and flavor are achieved.
- Bottle (carbonate it with corn sugar over two weeks) or keg the beer.
- Original Gravity (OG): 1.069
- Final Gravity (FG): 1.017
- ABV: 6.7%
- IBU: 27
- SRM: 10
This recipe assumes a 75% efficiency, adjust your grain quantities to match your own brewing setup if necessary.
I recommend doing a diacetyl rest with this brew (step 10). Diacetyl is a natural byproduct of fermentation, particularly with lager yeast, and can give the beer a buttery or butterscotch flavor. To assist the yeast to clean up this molecule, a diacetyl rest entails increasing the fermentation temperature for a brief period of time, often around 65-70°F, for a day or two at the conclusion of fermentation. This helps to guarantee that the beer is diacetyl-free and has a clean, crisp taste character.
Congratulations! You’ve now completed the all-grain Helles Bock recipe. After weeks of anticipation and hard work, you finally have a delicious beer that you can be proud of. So grab a cold one, sit back, and enjoy the fruits of your labor. This Helles Bock has a beautiful golden color, a hoppy bitterness that’s balanced by a smooth malt backbone, and a crisp finish that will leave you wanting more. It’s perfect for those lazy afternoons on the porch or for sharing with friends at your next backyard barbecue. And don’t forget to toast to the centuries-old tradition of German brewing that inspired this brew. Prost!