Ludwig Narziss was employed by the Löwenbräu Brewery in Munich as head brewer before he accepted his chair in Brewing Sciences at the Technical University in Weihenstephan (near Munich).

For people in possession of  a copy of his 8th edition “Die Bierbrauerei:  Band 2: Die Technologie der Wuerzebereitung”, page 389 illustrates the typical grist compositions for a Bavarian Helles

Hell Lager
  • Colour 5-7 EBC (but can be up to 9-10 EBC)
  • Bitterness 15-22 EBC
  • Residual Alkalinity at 1-2° dH
  • Mash in at 58-62° Celsius
  • Typical Mash Schedule:  Hochkurz
  • Water to Grist Ratio: 1:3.3
  • EVG (attenuation): 82-87%
  • Possible addition of Acidulated malt or biological lactic acid
  • Base Malt:  Very light (3 – 3.5 EBC)
  • Possible use of Caramalt in the proportion of 1-2% (Colour 25 EBC)
  • Sometimes 0.5 – 1.0% Caramalt at 100 EBC
  • Mash pH 5.5
  • Adjusted wort pH (boil) 5.1

I find it quite interesting that although a decoction mash is used, there is still the presence of Cara malts.  I never tried this with an infusion mash, but my guess would be that it should work equally well but the colour should be about 10% higher.

There is also the issue of fermentation (probably the most important aspect apart from the ingredients), and I found that not all yeast strains labelled as Bavarian or Munich are suitable.   What I noticed is that german lager strains requiring slightly higher fermentation temperatures (11 – 14°Celsius) are much better suited for the Bavarian style.  More of this later…

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