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Old 08-01-2012, 06:08 PM   #1
mcbethenstein
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Lately I really dove into trying to perfect my hefeweizen. I've run a few side by side trials for the yeast and it is chronicled here:

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f163/definitive-hefe-yeast-thread-fermentation-profiles-flavor-results-317195/

Now I plan to compare the base malts. I am constantly tweaking my recipe, but really haven't tasted the difference between the different suppliers or varieties throughout the process. So tonight I will start a mini-mash experiment. I will mash 1/2 lb of the following malts in a glass jar at 154 deg for 1 hour. Taste and compare. Record my findings. Then boil just to kill off any nasties, and chill and pitch my yeast (WLP 380). I know that I should use a neutral yeast, but since this is to determine the flavors that each gives in a hefe, I will use a hefe yeast. Fermentation will take place in my 69 deg basement. I will compare again after fermentation and then after bottling a single bottle of each with a coopers carb drop. At that point I will decide which to go forward with. Photos will be included.

Malts being compared :

German pilsner from NB (schill malz?)
Weyermann bohemian pilsner
Best maltz pilsner

Weyermann German pale wheat malt
Weyermann floor malted bohemian wheat malt
Rahr red wheat malt



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Old 08-02-2012, 02:27 AM   #2
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German Pilsner: light, slightly sweet, starchy, plain, relatively flavorless, smells grainy
Best Maltz Pilsner: drier than german, powdery, starchy, basically the same as the german if a little less flavorful, but better aroma
Bohemian pilsner: nutty flavor and smell, sweeter than the other two, most complexity

Bohemian floor malted wheat: crunchy hard kernel, grape nuts like flavor, complex, full flavor
German pale wheat: softer kernel, doughy, like dry pizza crust
Rahr Red Wheat: much harder kernel, starchy, a little nutty, more complex than pale, but not as complex as bohemian

Based solely on my dry malt taste test at this point I am ranking the bohemian wheat and pilsner as the best, then the rahr red wheat and the best maltz pilsner, and lastly the german pale wheat and pilsner.

Time got away from me tonight, so I will be doing the mini mash on Friday or saturday. Tomorrow I head to the inaugural meeting of the Milwaukee chapter of Barley's Angels!!! So excited!



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Old 08-05-2012, 02:15 AM   #3
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Today I was able to make the wort for my malt comparison. I started by heating up strike water to 160. I mashed in 1 qt glass jars for about 50 min around 154 degrees.
img_1327.jpgimg_1328.jpg
After the mash I strained and sparged the grains and collected around a quart of each wort.
img_1330.jpg
I "boiled" the wort... Not really. I heated the wort up to 165 and held for about a min to effectively "pasteurize" the wort and kill any bacteria. After that point I chilled the wort with ice and put the pot in the fridge to help any proteins and trub settle out. Despite the lack of roiling boil I did get a protein break...and I am fully prepared to have DMS in my pilsner samples...It was just too small a sample size to boil for any length of time and loose any more wort.
img_1331.jpg
More notes to follow in the next post.

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Old 08-05-2012, 02:25 AM   #4
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After chilling I strained the wort through a coffee filter and back into a sanitized jar.
img_1334.jpg
After collecting all my samples I mixed up 1/8 tsp of yeast nutrient in some hot water and used a syringe to dispense. Shook up the jars to aerate, and dosed with 6 ml of yeast per jar.
img_1335.jpg
Here are the finished jars and my samples. I put the jars down in the basement at about 70 deg ambient, which is around what they were pitched at.
img_1337.jpg
Tasting note to follow....

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Old 08-05-2012, 02:52 AM   #5
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Tasting notes:

German Pilsner: Very sweet, pleasant, grainy/husky/almost dirt like flavor
Best Maltz Pilsner: Super sweet, corny (is it possible to taste DMS before fermentation?)
Bohemian Pilsner: Sweet (least sweet of the pilsners), lightest color of the 3, pleasant, slight hint nuttiness, nicest of the 3.

Floor Malted Bohemian Wheat: sweet, nutty, best smell of the wheats, definitely more complex in flavor
Rahr Red Wheat: lighter sweet (OG is likely lower...I may have oversparged this one), creamy, pleasant aroma, darkest color
German Wheat: sweetish, husky, grainy, minerally

Rank at this point: 1st: Bohemian Pilsner and Floor-Malted Bohemian Wheat, 2nd: Rahr Red Wheat and German Pilsner, 3rd: German Wheat and Best Maltz Pilsner... But the Best Maltz and German Pilsners could easily be switched

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Old 08-05-2012, 05:24 PM   #6
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Nice work. Can't wait to see the final result, I'm a Hefe fan, too.

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Old 08-06-2012, 03:23 AM   #7
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image-2091973013.jpg

Fermentation notes:
German pilsner: fermentation smells pleasant, fruity, apricot, no hint of phenols
Bohemian pilsner: fairly clean, pleasant, a little clovey, fruity
Best Maltz pilsner: similar to bohemian pils, clovey, phenolic, good smell

Rahr red wheat: thick krausen, very phenolic/ clovey, best smell of the wheats
German wheat: thick krausen, sulfury, phenolic, funky perm solution smell
Floor malted bohemian wheat: all sulfur, egg farts

Based on fermentation smell alone at this point the clear winner for wheat is the rahr red wheat, and bohemian pilsner. Best maltz pilsner is right behind. The German wheat has that funkiness that I have had in all my previous batches. Maybe that is the "off" flavor I'm trying to reduce.

It's almost hard to believe that all of these malts start out so similar and at each step become more different. By the end I'm guessing that the differences will be super pronounced. The differences with the dry malt tasting was minute, compared to the fermentation smell differences.
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Old 08-06-2012, 03:56 AM   #8
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Interesting work. Thanks for being so diligent about detailing your findings.

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Old 08-10-2012, 04:46 PM   #9
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Default Nice job again!

I have been using Best Pilz malt exclusively in all my german beers along with Weyermann Pale Wheat in my Hefes and Dunkelweisse.

Are you going to bring a taste sampling of this experiment to the next BB meeting? I will have the Hefe and DW bottled we can try as well. Can you bring your DW and Hefe from GFest?

I'm making a 3Floyds GumballHead clone next called Cade's Campout Ale and the base is American Red Wheat, now to choose either Rahr or Briess.

BBBob

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On Tap: Uncle Buddy's Bock, Old Ale Jack Daniels Barrel Aged 8 Months, Stone 15th Anniversary Clone Black IIPA, Bohemian Dunkel, ABSF Spotted Cow, ThreeC IPA, Blind Red Ale, Kona Volcano Pale - Amarillo/Mosaic Dry Hopped,

Conditioning/Lagering/Carbing:

Dry Hopping:

Primary: Cade's Campout Ale, ThreeC Amarillo IPA

Next: Munich Dunkel, Oktobrfest, Bock, Schwartzbier

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Old 08-22-2012, 04:15 AM   #10
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Bob,
I'm going to bring a small sample tomorrow night. I didn't realize the meeting was this week and didn't bottle them in time.

I bottled them tonight and tasted a small amount. I have to say, alone, without hops that they are all pretty funky. It was hard to take more than a sip of each, but tomorrow night I will do that and write down our impressions. From the very little I tasted I can say the the german wheat and pilsner were downright funky!!! The german pilsner did taste like dirt... weird. The German wheat funkiness was pretty sour and intangibly like the flavor that I have been noticing and want to get rid of in my hefe. Right now I can't remember if I had any distinct thoughts on the best malz pilsner, But I can say that I preferred the Bohemian pilsner the best. I spent more time trying the 3 wheats. The Rahr red wheat was by far the darkest and clearest. It had a pretty fruity aroma, definitely fruity esters in the sample, a bit of clove, and was creamy in texture and mouthfeel if that makes sense. The floor malted Bohemian wheat was good, I got a hint of the "nuttiness" and a balance of esters and sourness.

More detailed notes to come.



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