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Old 09-04-2007, 10:50 PM   #1
SenorWanderer
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Default Critique my first Partial Mash

I'll get right to it. I'd love to hear how you would have done things differently/what I did wrong/what I did right.

Recipe is one I "created" after reading EVERY wheat/wit/hefe recipe I could get my hands on.

5lbs Wheat LME (65-35)
1lb Flaked Wheat
1lb Dingemans Pilsner

1oz hallertauer 4.2% 60min
.5oz " " 15min
.5oz " " 0min

.5oz crushed coriander seed 15min
.5oz sweet orange peel 15min

Wyeast 3942 Belgian Wheat

According to Beersmith:

OG 1.047
FG 1.011
color 6.6
IBU 16.5

So the Mash was just the 1lb of pilsner and 1lb of flaked wheat. I decided to do a protein rest so I mashed in with 1q/g at 139F to reach 125F (I was shooting for 122F) for 30 mins. Then I added 1.5 q/g to try to get to 156F. I don 't remember what the water temp was, i used whatever Beersmith told me to use, but the mash temp came in low, about 148F. being worried about water volume I did 3 1 pint decoctions in a row to get to 154F. so all in all 10 mins at 148F, and then 20 mins at 154F. after that I opened the valve to start collecting the runnings and started the batch sparge with 2q/g in 1 pint increments with 180F water, when the water level dropped to the top of the grain bed. I also vorlaufed for a while before sparging just because the decoctions I was pulling out had a lot of pretty big chunks. I don't know my pre-boil volume, and i don't know the pre-boil gravity. The iodine test i did after 30min of sacc rest looked good at first so I started sparging, but when glanced at the plate later the grains had black staining, so maybe I should let the iodine soak in a little in the future. My measured OG was 1.046, and FG was 1.010, so I must not have messed anything up to badly! Beersmiths color is SPOT ON. I find it a little spooky that a computer can produce a dead accurate color based on a recipe. Really neat!

Questions I have:

I used 1 quart/gallon for mash-in / protein rest, 1.5 quarts/gallon for sacc rest, and 2 quarts/gallon for sparging. I found these numbers in a post here. Does this sound accurate?

It seems that based on my iodine test that i probably should have let the sacc rest go for an hour?

The taste is a little too hoppy, but i can't decided if it's too bitter, or if that last half ounce at the end added some flavor i don't like- any guidance?

The Wyeast 3942 is really banana-y, which is fine, but not what i was going for, i just ordered some stuff to do this recipe again and this time i ordered american wheat #1010. we'll see what the difference is like.

critique away, i'm really looking forward to improving my technique!

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Old 09-04-2007, 11:49 PM   #2
eddie
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When you pull your decoctions, are you remembering to pull from the thickest part of the grain bed? Most of the enzymes will be left behind in the liquid so the purpose of the decoction is to free up the starches in the grain as well as provide heat for your step infusion.

I don't trust the iodine test and skip it. It's far too easy to get false positives with it which will lead to overconversion if you succumb to it. I just mash for the prescribed length and taste a little bit of the wort at the end. Also, iodine will often turn black if it comes into contact with grain hulls even if the conversion is complete.

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Old 09-05-2007, 01:13 AM   #3
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time spent aging in the bottle can help mellow hops and banana aromas, and keeping the fermentation temp under 70 will help minimize the esters too (expect some since taht yeast is meant to easily produce those esters).

i think you had plenty of conversion...like eddie says actual hulls that get iodine on them tend to react. its the wort/runnings you want to stay clear when tested.

i've not really messed with decoction techniques. so far a simple single infusion and batch sparging has made a wickedly good kolsch PM, and my first AG is clearing in secondary, also a no-frills single infusion/batch sparge.

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Old 09-05-2007, 02:06 AM   #4
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maybe i don't understand the terms properly. i didn't know that a decoction involved grain as well as the wort. the "decoction" i was doing was just runnings from the valve. after i boiled each of those i'd just add it back slowly and evenly to the mash. is that a bad thing, or as malkore eluded to, was i just cooking off the enzymes and leaving the starches behind?

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Old 09-05-2007, 12:44 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SenorWanderer
maybe i don't understand the terms properly. i didn't know that a decoction involved grain as well as the wort. the "decoction" i was doing was just runnings from the valve. after i boiled each of those i'd just add it back slowly and evenly to the mash. is that a bad thing, or as malkore eluded to, was i just cooking off the enzymes and leaving the starches behind?
Yeah, boiling just the liquid is a bad thing. The enzymes are freed from the grains pretty easily and will be in the liquid early in the mash. If you boil the liquid, you end up denaturing the enzymes that are in the boil. The good thing is that most grains have surplus enzymes so you can kill off some and not affect the mash. However, if you boil to much liquid you run the risk of denaturing more enzymes than necessary resulting in poor conversion. The way most modern grains are, though, decoctions aren't really necessary as the starches are easily converted and are readily accessible to the enzymes. The purpose of the decoction is to gelatinize the staches so the enzymes that are left in the mash can do their thing. There was probably enough enzymes in your partial mash to still give you some conversion but not as much as if you had boiled more grains. When you pull your decoction, pull it from the thickest part of the grain bed. I use a metal strainer and then ladel enough liquid to loosen it up. You want your first decoction looking sort of like watery oatmeal.

Something you might want to consider when doing a decoction is bringing your decoction up to 150F and giving it a 15 min. rest. and cranking it up to boiling after that. This will allow the enzymes in the decoction a chance to do their thing before you boil them off.
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Last edited by eddie; 09-05-2007 at 12:47 PM.
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