History, Brewing Techniques, Recipes
(Classic Beer Style)
Horst D. Dornbusch
Bavarian Helles is a subtle beer that can pose challenges to the brewer. Bavarian German native Horst Dornbusch has written extensively about beer in German and English and has been a frequent media guest on public radio and TV networks from Europe to North America and the South Pacific whenever the subject of beer comes up. He left Germany in 1999, worked for the CBC for a spell, began homebrewing in 1972 and went pro in 1995. He combines decades of brewing experience with professional communications skills. Bavarian Helles: History, Brewing Techniques, Recipes (Classic Beer Style) demonstrates his skills. The book follows the same organization as other books in the series. He traces the history of Helles, gives a profile of the style, describes the ingredients and then walks the brewer through the steps of brewing Helles. He finishes up with a handful of recipes, providing 5 gallon extract, 5 gallon all grain, and one barrel all grain versions for each recipe. In his appendices he profiles commercial examples of Helles and provides important information on hop utilization, extract efficiency, mash thickness, and German style brewing equipment. Dornbusch's charm makes the book easy to read. His discussion of the profile is especially important because many imported versions of the style have suffered untold abuse in the journey from German brewers to North American store shelves. Dornbusch has very good insights on water treatment and his discussion of the pros and cons of decoction and infusion mash is very good even for brewers not interested in this particular style. If you are brewing an all grain Bavarian Helles, his steps on mashing will lead you to a superior Helles. Dornbusch explains to the brewer why each step and each specific parameter is needed and also explains the result if this advice goes unheeded. This book is highly recommended for those wanting to brew a Bavarian Helles and for those studying for the Beer Judge Certification Program written exam. I highly recommend this book.