I recently came across this post at GermanBrewing.net about how ensuring low oxygen in the brewing process can dramatically improve the quality of beers such as a Bavarian Helles, and probably all beer. It’s a fascinating set of instructions.
I have been following along on the Homebrewtalk forum here, and there is a fair amount of debate on the topic. But I figure it’s certainly worth a go and see if it works for me, especially as Helles was the beer that ultimately caused me to progress my homebrewing past the kit stage. I have not found a good Helles in New Zealand (they may exist, but I have not found them) and it is a passion of mine to brew one of these as good as any at the Hofbräuhaus or from Paulaner.
Unfortunately, to do it fully (and it appears to be an all-or-nothing prospect) I need to modify my brewing process a little. But only a little as (to me at least) it seems reasonably well suited to the BIAB and bottle conditioning methods I use.
The two biggest things I need to change are:
- replacing my copper wort chiller, and
- using a mash cap during the mash.
I have ideas to remedy both of these, and in fact I have already begun work on project to allow the use of a mash cap (not that I have one or have quite worked out how to make one). My problem is currently I need to stir the mash vigourously to keep the mash from over-heating.
So, having now provided brief background detail, I will shortly be posting details of the mash improvement project I have already begun!