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Old 05-31-2009, 08:23 PM   #1
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Default Different problem with wheat beer

Tried my first american wheat today. I just grabbed the northern brewer recipe b/c it was simple and didn't call for a fly sparge...no recirc here yet. My efficiency was somewhere near 50% and I think I may have figured out at least part of the problem. My bigger issue is color. This thing is the same color as every pale ale i have brewed. Red/Brown. Shouldn't it be a yellow color? The only thing I can think of is that my lhbs didn't have the right grains? Maybe I did something wrong? Or should it have been a different recipe? Or is American Wheat this color and German Wheat is yellow? Here is the recipe:

4 lbs white wheat
4 lbs 2 row pale
mash was at 152-155

boil for 60 min
1 oz willamette 60 min
1 oz 15 min (I did mine at 5)

On the efficiency problem: my OG was just over 1.030 and was supposed to be 1.044-1.050. I think it's because I couldn't quite get the grainbed temp up to 170 for mashout and sparge. I don't quite understand why. I was taking boiling water (which wasn't boiling by the time I transferred it to the grains) and dumping it on the grains. Oh well, win some, lose some. guess I need to invest in a pump and start recirculating through an HLT.

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Old 06-01-2009, 02:34 AM   #2
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Those grains should give you a light yellow/orange wort. However, during active ferment it will be darker. Wait a few days. I'm looking at my hefe right now and it is fairly light.

1.030 is going to produce a fairly light beer. I don't think your mashout temp is your problem. Make sure you are 150 - 160 during mash. You might invest in a little bottle of tincture of iodine which will tell you if starches have converted to sugars.

BTW, I use a converted igloo cooler without any pumps, etc, and I get ~75% efficiency just doing 2 or 3 batch sparges. I always preheat my cooler with hot water, add grains, and dump exactly the amount and temperature water that Beersmith tells me to (usually about 3g @170 F).

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Old 06-01-2009, 04:20 AM   #3
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"BTW, I use a converted igloo cooler without any pumps, etc, and I get ~75% efficiency just doing 2 or 3 batch sparges. I always preheat my cooler with hot water, add grains, and dump exactly the amount and temperature water that Beersmith tells me to (usually about 3g @170 F). "


What size boil do you use to do a 2-3 batch sparge? I usually just do one batch sparge and only get 70% or so. If just a 60 min, I would like an example recipe and detailed instructions of your process. I am only usually able to do a single batch sparge and it might be the cause of my inefficiency.

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Old 06-01-2009, 10:06 AM   #4
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10 gallon rubbermaid. It was yellow when it first came out of the mash but after the boil, red/brown. My mash temp was spot on for the recipe for the full hour. 153.

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Old 06-01-2009, 02:41 PM   #5
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This is actually a fairly common occurrence. It's called a Maillard reaction, and is similar to caramelization. It is still poorly understood, but Wikipedia has a page on it. This happens a lot with boiling on an electric coil stovetop, where the heat is concentrated on the rings, and to a lesser extent with a propane cooker. However, I would still let the fermentation end and see what you end up with.

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Old 06-01-2009, 05:08 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MaynardX View Post
What size boil do you use to do a 2-3 batch sparge? I usually just do one batch sparge and only get 70% or so. If just a 60 min, I would like an example recipe and detailed instructions of your process. I am only usually able to do a single batch sparge and it might be the cause of my inefficiency.
I break my sparges up into smaller increments. I.e., if my brewsheet instructs me to sparge a total of 3 gallons, I will do 3 1g sparges. I stir each, and let it rest for about 5 minutes.

I usually want about 5g into the fermenter, so 6 gallons into boil pot. I just keep batch sparging until I hit this number.
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Old 06-01-2009, 06:06 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MaynardX View Post
What size boil do you use to do a 2-3 batch sparge? I usually just do one batch sparge and only get 70% or so. If just a 60 min, I would like an example recipe and detailed instructions of your process. I am only usually able to do a single batch sparge and it might be the cause of my inefficiency.
Just take whatever volume you need after draining your mash tun and add half of your sparge water, vorlauf, drain, and repeat.
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Old 06-01-2009, 08:03 PM   #8
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hmmm...mailard reaction. I'll look into it. I was using a propane cooker and a keggle, but a five gallon batch. I probably left the heat on too high. I was a little worried about the chiller not getting completely sanitized so I cranked the heat for a few minutes at the end of the boil, right before my finishing hops. Anyway, It's been sitting a day and now the wort is more of a straw to school bus yellow, closer to what I expected. We will see what it looks like in a few days.

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Old 06-02-2009, 02:04 AM   #9
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Was your wheat malted? If not, this may have contributed to your low eff.

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Old 06-02-2009, 08:33 PM   #10
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Pretty sure it was. At least it should have been. It's really nice and yellow now! Cloudy too. Which is exactly what I was expecting.

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