There appear to be two main approaches to hop Bavarian Helles or Oktoberfest.

  1. Just like with wheat beer, add all hops in one charge early in the boil.  This often happens 5-20 minutes after the boil started to minimise loss of bittering agents due to the hot break formation.
  2. The other widespread option seems to be the almost classic triple hop schedule as follows:
    Amount g/hl Hop Type Bloil Time α-acids g/hl
    40 High Alpha/Bittering 60 3.5
    30 Aroma (Perle) 40 1.5
    30 Aroma (Tradition, Mittelfrüh, Hersbrucker, Saaz) 15 1.5

I tend to boil my lagers and wheat beers for 90 minutes. This means the first hop charge occurs 30 minutes after the hot break formed and the rolling boil started.

The way I interpret the schedule above, is that the ratio of α-acids in g/hl should remain the same.  For a classic schedule consisting of Magnum @12.7%, Perle @6.7% and Hersbrucker @2.0%, the resulting schedule for 45 litres of Helles would be:

Amount g Hop Type Bloil Time α-acids g
18 Magnum 60 2.286
13 Perle 40 0.871
45 Hersbrucker 15 0.900

I’m not that exactly in the same ratio, there is a slight difference in bitterness contributed by Perle as opposed to the Hersbrucker, but this can be considered as negligible.

In fact, tomorrow I will brew a Helles with precisely this configuration…