Sixpoint: Alpenflo Helles Lager

Discussion in 'Beer News & Releases' started by CNoj012, Dec 28, 2017.

  1. CNoj012

    CNoj012 Meyvn (1,463) Dec 7, 2014 New York
    Premium Trader

    Seriously excited for this one. 12 pack cans, Bavarian hops, and over two years spent dialing in the recipe.

    Distributed across all of the @Sixpoint footprint starting in January 2018.

    [​IMG]
     
  2. TongoRad

    TongoRad Poo-Bah (2,504) Jun 3, 2004 New Jersey
    Premium Trader

    I was seriously jonesing for a quality Pils last week and the Crisp was there to do the job. Here's hoping this one does the same for those Helles urges :slight_smile:.
     
  3. ESHBG

    ESHBG Aspirant (223) Jul 30, 2011 Pennsylvania

    One of my favorite styles of beer, can't wait!
     
  4. Tamarack

    Tamarack Initiate (51) Sep 22, 2016 Massachusetts

    12 pack sub-5% Helles? That's that shit I do like.
     
  5. Jacobier10

    Jacobier10 Poo-Bah (1,923) Feb 23, 2004 New Jersey
    Premium

    Really excited to try this. Found some additional info:
    [​IMG]
     
  6. invertalon

    invertalon Devotee (432) Jan 27, 2009 Ohio

    Surprised at the SRM of 7 for a Helles, which is typically in the 3-5 range. Should be a little darker than usual.

    Really excited to try this one though! Will def be picking it up.
     
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  7. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (2,104) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois

    100% 2-row barley. Hmm.
     
  8. ecpho

    ecpho Aspirant (230) Mar 28, 2011 New York

    Along with the darker color - I guess not really a Helles then?
     
  9. SCW

    SCW Poo-Bah (1,692) Jul 25, 2004 New York
    Premium Industry

    Are you implying that a Helles typically has 6-row barley?
     
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  10. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (2,104) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois

    Dunkles Helles?:thinking_face::wink:

    I know that there are some breweries who are making good beers with only 2-row, but they aren't calling it a Helles. I'll reserve an opinion on the Sixpoint until I can try it -- if I can find it. Looks like Sixpoint isn't distributing in my area anymore.
     
  11. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (2,104) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois

    Well, I was doing the implicating, but I was implying that a Helles typically has Pilsner malt as its malt bill mainstay. And yes, Pilsner malt is typically a 2-row malt, but it's more than that. You see "2-row" as an ingredient and you think American 2-row barley, not Moravian barley.

    End the speculation, what 2-row is being used?
     
  12. SCW

    SCW Poo-Bah (1,692) Jul 25, 2004 New York
    Premium Industry

    The base malt is 100% 2-row German Pilsner malt. Delicious stuff!

    The confusion here is you and presumably @ecpho automatically assumed that 2-row malt meant 2-row American Pale Ale malt. The 2-row universe is much, much bigger than that.

    The key distinction here is that nearly all American lager is made from domestic 6-row barley, which simply does not have the genuine and authentic flavor of 2-row Moravian, Bohemian, or Palatinate malt. These prime growing regions in Germany and the Czech Republic are our favorite for this style and also where we source our malt for the Crisp. The proof is in the taste!

    Its a double-edged sword though; a beer with 100% 2-row barley malt from these regions will have a completely different protein (amino acid) composition than one made form 6-row barley (which is typically blended with adjunct grains, further diluting the flavor). After many rounds of testing, we found that boiling the wort for an extended period of time gave us the fuller bodied flavor and drove off all of the volatiles we wanted to expel from the beer. Naturally, if you are boiling twice as long, it will result in a darker color, as there is more contact time with the surface area of the kettle.

    To be clear though, this is not a dark beer at all, it is more of a deep gold. The last actual refractometer reading of the beer came out at 5.8 SRM, fwiw. But we would have to do multiple rounds of testing with a spectrophotometer of the final product to confirm its exact range.

    Really exciting to see that there are still people who care about awesome lager!

    cheers
     
  13. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (2,104) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois

    So... why isn't Pilsner malt specified in the ingredients? Yes, American 2-row doesn't attract my attention as mush as Pilsner malt. Now I'm willing to really give this beer a go.
     
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  14. SCW

    SCW Poo-Bah (1,692) Jul 25, 2004 New York
    Premium Industry

    We believe it was implied that if you are making a Helles, you are going to be using Pilsner malt. The only remaining question is whether or not you are using 6-row North American barley, or authentic 2-row barley from the original regions. Apologies if there was any confusion.
     
  15. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (2,104) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois

    Now who's making assumptions? :wink:
    Honestly, that was never a question and never crossed my mind. Anchor uses 2-row exclusively in their California Lager and it's a great beer -- it's just not a Bavarian Helles.
    None necessary, thanks for the clarification(s).
     
  16. SCW

    SCW Poo-Bah (1,692) Jul 25, 2004 New York
    Premium Industry

    To further clarify, we didn't want to say "made with 100% 2-row pilsner malt" because we thought that would imply there are no specialty malts in the grain bill, which there are. These specialty malts are also 2-row barleys, but they are not base pilsner malts (which is why they are specialty malts).

    cheers
     
  17. ecpho

    ecpho Aspirant (230) Mar 28, 2011 New York

    I was thinking of the California Lager too, a great beer.
    So if this is pilsner malt and noble hops (I avoid most "innovative" takes on traditional styles) I might actually give this one a try.
     
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  18. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (2,104) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois

    Ah hah -- the plot (and mash) thickens!
     
  19. TongoRad

    TongoRad Poo-Bah (2,504) Jun 3, 2004 New Jersey
    Premium Trader

    I guess this has already been clarified, but a numerical SRM reading doesn't necessarily relate to color. It's more based on shining a light through the beer and reading what passes through, so a saturated gold as well as a fainter amber would have the same number.
     
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  20. SCW

    SCW Poo-Bah (1,692) Jul 25, 2004 New York
    Premium Industry

    Yes, and Alpenflo is a saturated gold color.

    It gets its name from the Alpenglow, or the low-angle hue of the sun before it sets below the horizon on the side of the mountains (Bavarian Alps).

    For those of you who ski/hike/snowboard or live anywhere near the mountains you've probably seen this before. Its pretty stunning.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  21. AlcahueteJ

    AlcahueteJ Champion (853) Dec 4, 2004 Massachusetts

    Since the 2-row universe is so large, and to @steveh's point, why not at least say imported 2-row, or more specifically, Pilsner malt?

    This would be akin to making an Oktoberfest and just saying you used all German malts.

    And there's plenty of breweries using American 2-row for their lagers, some do it well and use a blend of American and German (Summerfest comes to mind). And some may use all American 2-row and hop the hell out of it with Noble hops and call it a "German" lager.

    That being said, excited to try this, there's more Pilsners on the shelves, but Helles is a style seriously lacking.

    Sounds like it might come in around the same color as a pale Oktoberfest or pale Maibock even.
     
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  22. TongoRad

    TongoRad Poo-Bah (2,504) Jun 3, 2004 New Jersey
    Premium Trader

    But aren't German brewers these days going away from decoction mashing and replacing a part of the grist with something like carafoam to get the same (or similar) flavor?
     
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  23. SCW

    SCW Poo-Bah (1,692) Jul 25, 2004 New York
    Premium Industry

    The two-row varieties we sourced are from several favorite regions of ours spanning two countries in Europe, so there was no real concise way to say it without a further generic descriptor like "imported 2-row malt." As mentioned, the most important fact here is that the base malt is not cheap 6-row north american barley...but we definitely see your point of view on where the confusion may be.

    "Sounds like it might come in around the same color as a pale Oktoberfest or pale Maibock even"

    I believe its lighter than that, but I'll try to grab a photo of it soon and post to this thread. I'm planning on hooking a fresh keg up to my kegerator imminently. :-)
     
  24. StartedwithSAM

    StartedwithSAM Initiate (0) Feb 17, 2015 Virginia
    Premium

    I enjoy this style, I'm interested to try this interpretation. I appreciate the inspiration for the name as well. Very nice. :slight_smile:
     
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  25. ecpho

    ecpho Aspirant (230) Mar 28, 2011 New York

    My favorite domestic Helles is Cigar City's Tampa Style Lager. Its classified on this site as an American lager but I believe it uses German malt, hops and yeast.
     
  26. meefmoff

    meefmoff Zealot (539) Jul 6, 2014 Massachusetts
    Premium

    Man did that hit the spot on a 90 degree day in Key West.

    Definitely interested in trying this one, especially with the 12 pack format and the Crisp's track record.
     
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  27. StartedwithSAM

    StartedwithSAM Initiate (0) Feb 17, 2015 Virginia
    Premium

  28. Jacobier10

    Jacobier10 Poo-Bah (1,923) Feb 23, 2004 New Jersey
    Premium

    @Sixpoint Interested in the reasons behind using horizontal tanks for lagering and what you feel the final effects are on the beer vs. using vertical or conicals. Do you use horizontal tanks for any of your other lagers? Thanks for your insight into this beer so far.
     
  29. TongoRad

    TongoRad Poo-Bah (2,504) Jun 3, 2004 New Jersey
    Premium Trader

    I suppose I should check that out some day. Do you really think it's on par with Von Trapp?
     
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  30. frozyn

    frozyn Zealot (572) May 16, 2015 New York
    Premium Trader

    Not sure if what's hitting distro is the same as what you guys had on tap a couple releases ago, but I'm guessing it's going to be pretty similar, in which case I'm looking forward to this being available more often. I remember it being very crisp and refreshing, nice malt presence with just the right amount of noble hops to go along with it (for my tastes, anyway). Pretty sure I went through 5 or 6 of the 4 oz tasters that day as it was smooth and easy drinking, very delicious. I'm not a helles connoisseur, but I enjoyed it quite a bit.
     
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  31. ecpho

    ecpho Aspirant (230) Mar 28, 2011 New York

    You know I haven't had the Von Trapp in awhile, I usually only see the Pils and Vienna - they are pretty rare around here anyway. I really like them, I wish they had a bigger presence in NY. I do like everything about Cigar City's - not easy to find either. Oh and I buy the 15 packs of Jack's Abby House Lager too.
     
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  32. ESHBG

    ESHBG Aspirant (223) Jul 30, 2011 Pennsylvania

    Yes! I would take one over an IPA just about any day and I am happy to see others with Lager love.
     
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  33. beernuts

    beernuts Disciple (324) Jan 23, 2014 Virginia
    Trader

    Interesting explanation for the darker color, I'll have to read about how kettle contact influences color. Is this the same reason your recent Kolsch was slightly darker than others?
     
  34. invertalon

    invertalon Devotee (432) Jan 27, 2009 Ohio

    This more than ever. I buy more lagers than ales these days, same as my brewing (soon 3 out of 4 taps will be lagers). The past few months, while I have always enjoyed them, have a far more aggressive love of well done German lager. I don't get excited to see NE IPA's on tap lists anymore, or big BBA stouts and crazy sours... But a Helles? Dunkel? Festbier? Send a 0.5L over, ASAP!
     
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  35. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (2,104) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois

    Larger breweries, but I've seen many smaller ones that still proudly advertise their decoction method.
    Not sure about carafoam, but there are definitely malts that claim to provide that melanoidin character without decoction mashing.

    On the other hand, if you look at Paulaner's web site they list only Pilsner malt in their Helles. I suppose you can take that with a grain of salt, but the fresh bottles I had recently had the best toasty malt goodness I've had from a German beer in a long time.
     
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  36. herrburgess

    herrburgess Meyvn (1,075) Nov 4, 2009 South Carolina
    Industry

    You guys are always up-front about whether yours are "traditional" takes, or have a little something unique going on. All the language on this one (and the explanations here) seem to point to more traditional. That so?
     
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  37. Ranbot

    Ranbot Zealot (545) Nov 27, 2006 Pennsylvania

    Man, you guys are grilling @Sixpoint over these malts... this might be the hardest I've seen @Sixpoint work to sell a beer to maybe 4 to 6 people... :wink:

    I'll grab some Alpenflo if I see it.... I am curious to see how it stacks up to Sly Fox Helles, which is a regular in my house.
     
  38. Squire

    Squire Poo-Bah (2,031) Jul 16, 2015 Mississippi
    Premium Trader

    I'll take two.
     
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  39. ESHBG

    ESHBG Aspirant (223) Jul 30, 2011 Pennsylvania

    Same! I was somewhere recently and saw tons of IPAs and was excited to be able to order a solid Lager. I said this in another thread but to me IPAs have become the macros of craft :stuck_out_tongue:
     
  40. SCW

    SCW Poo-Bah (1,692) Jul 25, 2004 New York
    Premium Industry

    I break to handle some business stuff, call my wife, take lunch, and come back to the Spanish Inquisition! :-)

    No worries, I enjoy answering the questions that others may have...you should put the same amount of care into it whether you are selling to 4 people or 4,000 people or 4,000,000. Scale without intimacy is hollow.
     
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