Yeast Strain for Helles?

Discussion in 'Homebrewing' started by VikeMan, Oct 16, 2019.

?

Which strain for a Helles Lager?

Poll closed Oct 19, 2019.
  1. WLP830

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  2. WLP838

    25.0%
  3. W-34/70

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  4. Other (write in post)

    75.0%
  1. VikeMan

    VikeMan Poo-Bah (1,571) Jul 12, 2009 Pennsylvania

    I've never brewed a Helles Lager, but will rectify that soon. For those who have, and have used two or more of the following strains, which of these strains works best for you in a Helles Lager?
     
  2. deadwolfbones

    deadwolfbones Initiate (125) Jun 21, 2014 Oregon

    I haven't used two, but I used W-34/70 for mine. The yeast character was good, though the beer was off for other reasons.
     
    VikeMan likes this.
  3. invertalon

    invertalon Crusader (778) Jan 27, 2009 Ohio
    Society Trader

    I've used 830, 2206 and W-34/70 in Helles and all were fantastic. Will be trying 833 in my next one, actually.

    Between the three I have used, no real preference. One is 'easier' than the other two, as I can pitch 2 packets and call it a day versus a few days to do a 1.5L to 3L step starter to prep the proper yeast pitch. The grain bill and hops used had more influence IMO. The type of Pils malt or Munich/Vienna addition %'s.

    Can't go wrong with any, IMO. But again, not have done 833 yet but is coming up.
     
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  4. Supergenious

    Supergenious Disciple (363) May 9, 2011 Michigan

    I put a vote in for WLP838. I think it has a little more character than the other two. Especially 34/70, which I find very bland. However, it should be noted I find it difficult to distinguish the difference between a lot of lager strains out there. I agree with @invertalon - malt, hops and brewing techniques make the biggest difference in this type of beer. Whatever you choose, I’m sure it’ll be stellar. Cheers man!
     
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  5. invertalon

    invertalon Crusader (778) Jan 27, 2009 Ohio
    Society Trader

    I actually misread the 838 for the 833... Never used 838, but I may have to give it a whirl next time I refresh my yeast stash.
     
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  6. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (4,189) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
    Society

    Hopefully Jeff (@hopfenunmaltz) will chime into this discussion.

    He recently posted about a Helles he made last year:

    “Imperial Harvest is said to be Augustiner's lager strain. I used it on a Helles last year, liked it.”

    Cheers!
     
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  7. hopfenunmaltz

    hopfenunmaltz Meyvn (1,470) Jun 8, 2005 Michigan

    Yes, Imperial Organic Harvest is the Augustiner strain. Makes for a malty, clean Helles.
     
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  8. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (4,189) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
    Society

    Jeff, have you used any of the specifically mentioned strains in the poll (i.e., WLP830, WLP838, W-34/70) to ferment a Helles? If so, is it safe to say you prefer Imperial Harvest for this style of beer?

    Cheers!
     
  9. hopfenunmaltz

    hopfenunmaltz Meyvn (1,470) Jun 8, 2005 Michigan

    I have not used WLP838 for. Helles. WLP830 and 34/70 (same strain, last it dried) could be used, but those finish dry. The grain bill might need more CaraHell or other grain to compensate.

    I'm a fan of Augustiner's Helles. The yeast is worth a try if someone hasn't used it.
     
  10. wasatchback

    wasatchback Disciple (328) Jan 12, 2014 Bahamas
    Trader

    wlp835 German Lager X

    Andechs strain. Clean and creamy and really easy to use.

    According to BSI, their Andechs strain is their best selling lager yeast. Wish White Labs had it available year round. Or any other yeast lab made it available.
     
  11. hopfenunmaltz

    hopfenunmaltz Meyvn (1,470) Jun 8, 2005 Michigan

    I find 835 to be between 833 and 850, as far as the finish goes.

    Edit Andechs does make a nice Helles though.
     
  12. dmtaylor

    dmtaylor Aspirant (223) Dec 30, 2003 Wisconsin

    WLP833

    Actually I'm going to split a batch with WLP833 vs. S-189 on my next one. Soon.
     
  13. pweis909

    pweis909 Poo-Bah (1,846) Aug 13, 2005 Wisconsin
    Society

    The WYeast Hella Bock is available now, I believe. Allegedly same as WLP 833. Never tried it. Don't lager enough to feel I really know the different strains I have used very well, except to say that S-23 has been terrible for me (a three time loser) and 34/70 has always been good to me (more than three times). I also never brewed a bad beer with San Francisco/California strains. None of my lagers have been of the helles variety, but it's been on my list.
     
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  14. dmtaylor

    dmtaylor Aspirant (223) Dec 30, 2003 Wisconsin

    Personally I've been more impressed by S-189 than the dried 34/70... for other lager styles... Haven't made a helles in a little while, but it's on the list.
     
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  15. paulaner

    paulaner Initiate (89) Jan 10, 2004 Wisconsin

    I'd focus more on the fresh sauergut for a Helles than the yeast. When making a Helles, yeast is not the primary importance any good floc'g yeast like 2206 works, but the true taste of a Helles lies in the Sauergut, of course you need a nice balance of caramalt also.
     
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  16. TheBeerery

    TheBeerery Initiate (92) May 2, 2016 Minnesota

    Preach.
     
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  17. Uprightfever

    Uprightfever Initiate (20) Apr 23, 2019 California

    I did 9 gallons of festbier and split the fermentation between S-189 and 34/70. I preferred the S-189.
     
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  18. Ten_SeventySix_Brewhouse

    Ten_SeventySix_Brewhouse Disciple (328) Jul 20, 2016 Indiana
    Society

    From my non-controlled, anecdotal experience, I’d go with 838. I’ve made festbier with 848 and 34/70, plus a similar grain bill with Mexican lager yeast. I feel like the 838 highlighted the malt more and produced more esters (fermented at around 48° ambient). It didn’t leave the beer overly sulfury to my palate, which is a criticism of that yeast, from what I’ve read. (Full disclosure, I don’t mind a bit of sulfur in lagers.)

    Never brewed a Helles before, but I plan to soon with 838.
     
  19. pweis909

    pweis909 Poo-Bah (1,846) Aug 13, 2005 Wisconsin
    Society

    I was just about to ask a yeast question of @dmtaylor and @Uprightfever (Question: why do you prefer S-189 to 34/70?). While the yeast question remains, I am now trying to figure out exactly what the two of you are thinking re:sauergut. I am not really familiar with the term, and my quick googling seemed to lead me in different directions (lactic souring vs. acid rest). What is a fresh sauergut and how do you optimally achieve it?
     
    #19 pweis909, Oct 20, 2019
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2019
  20. paulaner

    paulaner Initiate (89) Jan 10, 2004 Wisconsin

    Sauergut is a natural acid made from your wort and malt that is used to control mash and boil PH, which also lends a distinct flavor to your beer, which is a key element to any proper Helles. To avoid typing up a long post, since there is already a good resource for this here's a link to @TheBeerery website, he typed up a very in-depth guide of what sauergut is and how to make it. http://www.lowoxygenbrewing.com/ingredients/a-sauergut-reactor/
     
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  21. dmtaylor

    dmtaylor Aspirant (223) Dec 30, 2003 Wisconsin

    I have not tried sauergut yet, as I'm trying to see if I can get away with not using it, AND since with my water and recipes I seem to have the opposite pH problem -- pH is often too low already rather than too high, so if I used sauergut then I'd just have to offset it with pickling lime to bring pH back up again anyway, which seems silly to me. Eventually though I will give it a try, door is not closed on this and jury's still out.

    Regarding W-34/70 -- in the DRIED form -- I have had relatively mediocre results, versus the one time I used S-189 and was impressed. But I really should run a side-by-side split batch experiment to know for sure, so that's still coming in the future. My next experiment will test S-189 vs. WLP833 as I planned that for a while and already have the yeast. Sorry, not going three-way split on this one.

    So that's my bases for previous statements.
     
  22. hoptualBrew

    hoptualBrew Defender (620) May 29, 2011 Florida
    Trader

    I did read @TheBeerery ’s Sauergut Reactor post but still have some questions maybe y’all can help me with.

    Other than reinheitsgebot, what is the benefit of this sauergut method versus just using 88% Lactic Acid for acidification? Would similar results not be produced from dosing in 88%LA in the mash and then again post boil to achieve desired pH?
     
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  23. wasatchback

    wasatchback Disciple (328) Jan 12, 2014 Bahamas
    Trader

    You have to use more of it vs. just lactic acid so you get a more pronounced flavor contribution from it.
     
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  24. pweis909

    pweis909 Poo-Bah (1,846) Aug 13, 2005 Wisconsin
    Society

    This suggests to me that the pronounced flavor is another microbial byproduct, which would be subtle at this dilution rates. Thoughts on what that could be?
     
  25. paulaner

    paulaner Initiate (89) Jan 10, 2004 Wisconsin

    The sauergut is added near the end of the boil to drop the PH to 5-5.1, this boil addition is what we taste in the final product, some have likened it to a grape flavor or somewhat of a tangy flavor. Coincidentally Paulaner Helles when fresh has this taste quite pronounced which is why I love Paulaner so much hence the name I chose.
     
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  26. dmtaylor

    dmtaylor Aspirant (223) Dec 30, 2003 Wisconsin

    After much investigation, I found that the grape comes from ethyl heptanoate, which is a yeast-derived ester. My guess is that there may be something special in sauergut that generates extra chemical precursors to ethyl heptanoate, in the same way that DMS or diacetyl also have precursors which can be minimized or promoted depending on the brewer's desires.

    What I failed to recognize, if true, is that sauergut might be added to the END of the boil, not to the mash?! Okay, now I am intrigued.
     
  27. paulaner

    paulaner Initiate (89) Jan 10, 2004 Wisconsin

    If true? Read any German brewing textbook if you don't believe me.
     
  28. wasatchback

    wasatchback Disciple (328) Jan 12, 2014 Bahamas
    Trader

    It’s added to the mash and the end of the boil traditionally.

    If you have a really alkaline water and have to use a bunch of lactic acid to adjust mash and then add even more to the end of the boil the. I bet you could get that grape taste just by using lactic acid. Not sure what the threshold is though.
     
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