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Snowball's Chance (in) Helles (Previous Recipes)


This is the archive page for Snowball's Chance (in) Helles, my  SheppyBrew Styles rrepresentative of Category 1 Light Lager

"Snowball's Chance (in) Helles" is a German Helles Lager. The first batch of it was bottled and very disappointing due to inconsistent carbonation. Still, it scored respectable in the Denver Regional of the 2013 National Homebrew Competition.


For the most current recipe of this beer see Snowball's Chance (in) Helles

For more about this beer on my blog see:

Snowball's Chance Helles --- Batch 1

Munich Helles
Batch Size
5.50 gal
All Grain
Boil Size
7.76 gal
Brewhouse Efficiency
Boil Time
90 minutes

Recipe Characteristics

Recipe Gravity
1.047 SG
Estimated FG
1.010 SG
Recipe Bitterness
21.2 IBUs (Rager)
Alcohol by Volume
4.8 %

Recipe Color
4.3 SRM

Measured OG:

Measured FG:

Measured ABV:


9 lbsPilsner (2 Row) Ger (2.0 SRM)Grain190.6 %
11.0 ozMunich Malt - 10L (10.0 SRM)Grain26.9 %
4.0 ozMelanoiden Malt (20.0 SRM)Grain32.5 %
0.125 ozColumbus (Tomahawk) [17.00 %] - Boil 60.0 minHop48.3 IBUs
0.375 ozMagnum [15.20 %] - Boil 30.0 minHop511.4 IBUs
1.00 tspYeast Nutrient (Boil 15.0 mins)Other6-
0.50 tspIrish Moss (Boil 10.0 mins)Fining7-
0.500 ozHallertauer [4.60 %] - Boil 5.0 minHop81.5 IBUs
1.0 pkgBohemian Lager (Wyeast Labs #2124) [124.21 ml]Yeast9-
5.00 mlClarity-Ferm (Primary 2.0 weeks)Fining10-

Mash Profile

Mash Steps
NameDescriptionStep TemperatureStep Time
Mash InAdd 12.42 qt of water at 159.1 F148.0 F75 min

Batch sparge with 2 steps (1.97gal, 3.88gal) of 168.0 F water 
Recipe Notes
A week before brewing, make a 2 liter starter. Let ferment out, cool, decant, and make another 2 liter starter with the resulting yeast.
Cool wort to below 55 degrees before pitching.
Ferment for 2 weeks as close to 55 as possible. After 2 weeks, let temperature rise into mid to upper 60s for a week.
Keg. Save the yeast to use in another batch of beer.

Brewing Record

Brew Date:

Strike Temp:

Mash Temps:
Pre-boil OG
1.042 (1.038 SG)
Pre-boil Vol
7.75 (7.76 gal)
Actual Mash Efficiency

Pitch Temp

Day 1: Signs of fermentation, but not active yet 52 F.
Day 6: 54F. Kraussen still on top
Day 9: 60 F.

Brewing Notes:
01/16/2013 esheppy
Bought ingredients today. LHBS didn't have WY2124, so I am going with WLP830, which seems to be the same strain according to the interwebs. ( 
01/20/2013 Brew Day esheppy
Brewed today. Had less ctz than I thought, so I added in some magnum. Mash through church. Chilled to 70, then put carboy in ice. Pitched right at 50 into Rutt and Tuke. Also put 3/4 gallon into milk jug. 
01/24/2013 esheppy
Well, I guess fermentation is going on. The extra gallon actually seems to be done, but it was at room temperature. The others have been between 48ish and 54ish. The fermentation has been different than any other beer I've ever made. After 24 hours or so, the yeast congregated on the top (at least that it what I think it was ... hoping it was not an infection). Actual Kraussen showed up a bit later. I have yet to see what I am used to as far as active fermentation. This is probably just because of the lager temperatures, although none of my other lagers have ever seemed this lethargic. RDWHAHB. 
01/26/2013 esheppy
Put the extra beer into a growler with MrB suggested priming sugar for 2 liter bottles. Gravity was at 1.009, which puts the beer at 4.8% ABV. It is real pale colored and had good clarity. It has a nice slightly grainy malt flavor. I thought the aroma was somewhat cidery, but that does not really come through in the flavor. There are some subtle esters, giving it a somewhat fruity flavor. Actually, I think this would be a great yeast for a California Common fermented in the 60s instead of the 50s. 
01/29/2013 esheppy
Temp at 60. Going to let it rise to room temp and then put in secondary. 
02/03/2013 esheppy
Moved both Mr. Beer fermenters into my 5 gallon Better Botlle carboy. Added in a tiny bit of table sugar to provide some CO2. Gravity is at 1.010. Tastes exactly what I would expect a helles to taste like. Might be a bit on the bitter side, but of course that is in line with my taste preference. Not sure when I will bottle this up. Probably next weekend. 
02/09/2013 esheppy
Bottled with 4 oz sugar using the beer gun. Got 18 12 oz bottles; 6 bombers; 7 liter bottles. Sample was 1.008 FG. Color was a light yellow. Tasted grainy. Not as sweet as I think maybe a helles is intended to be, but I like it this way. Can't wait to try this in a couple of weeks. 
02/24/2013 esheppy
Shared the growler of the "extra" beer with the Beer Model. Very good. Also added a few of the lager bottles to the fridge. They look very light in color and very clear. 
03/03/2013 esheppy
Had the lb. No carbonation. Malt flavor very good, but the lack of carbonation is very disappointing. Hope there was just a fluke with this bottle. 
03/06/2013 esheppy
After a few more bottles with low to no carbonation have decided to open bottles and add about half the Mr. Beer suggested sugar to each bottle. Finished my first set this morning (everything that was in the home-brew beer fridge). 
03/30/2013 esheppy
Was going to add sugar to another set, but the first one I opened fizzed like it was ok carb-wise. I guess the issue was lack of mixing the sugar. 
09/18/2013 esheppy
Going to have to brew this again .. just to prove I can do it. 

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