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Old 07-14-2013, 04:47 AM   #1
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Default Hefeweizen with VERY low OG

Hey all,

My first post here - was hoping someone could help as this was a real downer.

My friend and I are pretty new to this and we brewed our first hefeweizen last night. We were shooting for an OG of 1.057, and it came out to be 1.032. Ouch. Here's the recipe we used:

7# American Pilsner
7# American Wheat
8 oz rice hulls

60 minute boil, 1oz Hersbrucker at 45min, Wyeast 3068.

In order to avoid a stuck mash, the guy at my homebrew shop recommended a layer of rice hulls at the bottom of the mash tun, followed by a layer of pilsner, alternating until both were used up. Then, layer the wheat on top of all that.

Mash in at 136f for 20 min.
Raise to 150f for 60 min.
Drain, sparged with 180f water.

The pot we're using is a little small (upgrading soon) so we collected about 6 gallons of wort, so a little under 5 gallons went into the fermenter. We did have one small boilover, but otherwise the boil went well.

Hopefully this is enough info...anyone have any advice?

Thanks!!

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Old 07-14-2013, 04:51 AM   #2
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So you layered all your malts and never stirred it? Huh... I wouldn't be returning to that shop, or at least taking advice from that dude.

After doughing in (and a couple times during the mash, for me), it's imperative to stir.

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Old 07-14-2013, 04:57 AM   #3
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Ugh...that hurts. He told me specifically not to stir after mashing in.

Thank you - if that's really all it was, I'm kicking myself. I thought that sounded odd.

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Old 07-14-2013, 05:01 AM   #4
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it's more than that. not stirring can affect it probably 4-5 points. a bad crack on the grain can affect it. what temp did you mash at?

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Old 07-14-2013, 05:23 AM   #5
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it's more than that. not stirring can affect it probably 4-5 points. a bad crack on the grain can affect it. what temp did you mash at?
We mashed in at 136 for 20 minutes, raised it to 150 for a 60 minute rest. We then sparged with 180f water until we filled the kettle as much as we could.
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Old 07-14-2013, 06:05 AM   #6
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Wheat's a bit smaller. Maybe it wasn't ground fine enough. Had that happen to me years ago. Basically didn't convert the wheat portion much at all.

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Old 07-14-2013, 05:19 PM   #7
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We mashed in at 136 for 20 minutes, raised it to 150 for a 60 minute rest. We then sparged with 180f water until we filled the kettle as much as we could.
It's weird for me to think about you doing a step mash without stirring. Either way, you'll still make beer, just much more sessionable than you expected. It sounds like you're fly sparging, which means setting your grain bed is slightly more important than with batch sparge... so don't stir for the last 5 minutes of the mash or so. I (primarily) batch sparge these days (in a 70 qt cooler) and stir the mash 3-4 times during the duration of my mash. Last brew day I hit 80%+ efficiency.

Stir. Definitely no need to layer your grains, even rice hulls. Just throw everything together, stir the sh!t out of it for 3-5 minutes, or until all dough balls are broken up, and you're good to go.

Cheers!
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Old 07-14-2013, 05:42 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TotalNV View Post
Ugh...that hurts. He told me specifically not to stir after mashing in.

Thank you - if that's really all it was, I'm kicking myself. I thought that sounded odd.
You need to stir thoroughly, and then stir some more. Then check the temperature in at least three places- if it's different, stir some more. Stirring to thoroughly wet the grain is imperative. When doing a step mash, it's even more important so that you have equalized temperatures throughout and a thoroughly wetted grain mix.


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it's more than that. not stirring can affect it probably 4-5 points. a bad crack on the grain can affect it. what temp did you mash at?
I don't agree. I think 100% of the issue is not doughing in, not stirring, and not allowing the grain to fully in contact with the water. The thorough stirring is what gets the grain to the right temperature with the water mix, so that the enzymatic activity can occur.
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Old 07-14-2013, 06:47 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brulosopher View Post
It's weird for me to think about you doing a step mash without stirring.
As we're new to this...we always assumed it was best to stir your mash a couple of times no matter what. Our LHBS guy's advice was odd at the time, but we figured he's been doing this longer than we have, so....


Quote:
Originally Posted by Brulosopher View Post
It sounds like you're fly sparging, which means setting your grain bed is slightly more important than with batch sparge... so don't stir for the last 5 minutes of the mash or so. I (primarily) batch sparge these days (in a 70 qt cooler) and stir the mash 3-4 times during the duration of my mash. Last brew day I hit 80%+ efficiency.

We're batch sparging, actually. We're currently using a large rectangular Coleman cooler for a mashtun. Wasn't sure if fly sparging was conducive in one of those.

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Originally Posted by Brulosopher View Post
Stir. Definitely no need to layer your grains, even rice hulls. Just throw everything together, stir the sh!t out of it for 3-5 minutes, or until all dough balls are broken up, and you're good to go.

Got it - thanks so much for all the help!
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Old 07-14-2013, 06:49 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yooper View Post
You need to stir thoroughly, and then stir some more. Then check the temperature in at least three places- if it's different, stir some more. Stirring to thoroughly wet the grain is imperative. When doing a step mash, it's even more important so that you have equalized temperatures throughout and a thoroughly wetted grain mix.




I don't agree. I think 100% of the issue is not doughing in, not stirring, and not allowing the grain to fully in contact with the water. The thorough stirring is what gets the grain to the right temperature with the water mix, so that the enzymatic activity can occur.

I should've listened to my gut when I got the advice not to stir. Won't make that mistake again. Hopefully we come out with something that's at least drinkable. Thanks much!
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