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Munich-Style Helles

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Location: European
Category: Lager
BJCP Comparable Category: 4A - Munich Helles

Style Description

This is the description of how the Munich-Style Helles style of beer should taste, feel and look. However, there may be perfectly fine beers in this style that fall outside of these ranges and descriptions. This information is just to show the most commonly accepted ranges for the Munich-Style Helles beer style.

Many beer brands known as Austrian-Style Maerzen are nearly indistinguishable from Munich-Style Helles and are appropriately categorized here.

  • Color: Pale to gold
  • Body: Medium
  • Malt Flavors & Aromas: Malt aroma and flavor are pronounced. Low levels of yeast-produced sulfur aromas and flavors may be present. Malt character is sometimes bready and suggestive of lightly toasted malted barley. There should be no caramel character.
  • Hop Flavors & Aromas: Hop aroma is not present to low. Hop flavor is very low to low, derived from noble-type hops.
  • IBUs/Bitterness: Low, derived from European noble-type hops.
  • Fermentation Characteristics: Fruity esters, DMS and diacetyl should not be present. A very low level of sulfur attributes may be present in balance with other attributes.
  • Common Ingredients: Continental Pilsner malt, traditional German Saazer-type hop varieties, clean German lager yeast.
  • Commercial Examples: Augustiner Lagerbier Hell, Bürgerbräu Wolznacher Hell Naturtrüb, Hacker-Pschorr Münchner Gold, Löwenbraü Original, Paulaner Premium Lager, Spaten Premium Lager, Weihenstephaner Original

Brewing Properties of Munich-Style Helles

These are the functional brewing properties of Munich-Style Helles beers, as descided by the Brewers Association. These guidelines reflect, as accurately as possible, the historical significance, authenticity or a common profile in the current commercial beer market.

The alcohol by volume is shows the amount of alcohol this style of beer should have.
4.8 - 5.6%
The International Bittering Units (IBU) scale is used to approximately quantify the actual (not perceived) bitterness of beer.
18 - 25 IBUs
SRM is a scale for measuring the color intensity of a beer. Low SRM grains impart a pale straw color while higher values mean it will add a darker color to the wort. Learn more »
4 - 5.5 SRM
(8 - 11 EBC)
Original Gravity
Original Gravity (OG) is a measure of the sugar content in the wort before alcoholic fermentation has started to produce the beer.
1.044 - 1.050
Final Gravity
The Final Gravity (FG) is how much sugar is left over in the beer when fermentation is complete.
1.008 - 1.012

If you see an error in our data, please let us know!

Based on Brewers Association 2020 Beer Style Guidelines with changes. Used with permission of Brewers Association.