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Old 06-02-2008, 02:41 AM   #1
danotts
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Default First AG weizen; first single decoction

I spent my Sunday afternoon (from 1 pm until 9 pm) brewing an all grain single decoction hefeweizen. Having recently acquired Eric Warner's book "German Wheat Beer" (#7 in the classic beer style series) and being on the verge of a solar meltdown here in Jacksonville, FL, I figured it was time to brew another "summer beer." The recipe fairly closely followed the "Isar Weizen" recipe on pages 105-107 of Warner's book. The grist was 70/30 Briess pale wheat malt to Weyermann Pilsner malt with 1.0 oz of Hallertauer pellets added over three additions.

I did everything up to the sparge indoors in the comfort of my air conditioned home. I used a 5 gal aluminum pot (my first brew kettle for partial boil, extract and partial mash batches) for the main mash and a 4 gal All-Clad stainless pot with a heavy bottom for the decoction boil (to mitigate scorching). It worked out beautifully. I nailed all my rest temperatures (104, 122, 147, 160, all deg. F). The best part was the aroma of the decoction boil.. oh my gosh did it smell yummy! The one thing that did not happen that I was expecting was the protein scum rising to the top in the decoction. So, I did not skim anything. You can see in the linked photo though, that there's plenty of protein dough in the lauter tun (top view of 10 gal cooler).



Another surprise was the relatively little amount of hot and cold break in the brewpot; apparently the decoction took care of most of that, and it stayed in the lauter tun.

o.g. was 1.049, a little lower than the recipe called for (1.055). I'm assuming I either didn't get a good enough grind on the wheat (used the LHBS JSP malt mill at the standard barley setting), or my batch sparge method resulted in channeling in my lauter tun (you can kind of see the unevenness in the photo; my manifold is a square loop of 1/2" CPVC).

I plan to take a picture of the finished product in a couple of weeks. Until then.

Prost!

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Old 06-24-2008, 02:28 AM   #2
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Default Weissbier results - awesome!

Well, it doesn't appear that this was a very interesting thread. But anyway, for the sake of completeness, the single decoction mash was totally worth it. This wheat beer is the best I've ever had in the United States!

O.G. was 1.049. F.G. was 1.012 for an estimated % ABV of 4.9 %. I artificially carbed to about 3.5 volumes of CO2 at 20 psi. The flavor profile is a very nice balance of the clove and banana esters, perhaps leaning toward stronger banana. The clove is very subtle, and adds more back-of-tongue bitterness than anything else.

Overall, I am very pleased with these results. If anyone wants to make an awesome German style hefeweizen "the old fashioned way," let me know, and I'll be happy to share my technique with you.

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Old 06-24-2008, 08:51 AM   #3
Kauai_Kahuna
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I actually liked your post, I just had nothing interesting to ask or comment on. I had never thought of deconating (Is that a real word?) a wheat beer. I think I need to read that book.

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Old 06-24-2008, 01:32 PM   #4
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I brewed a very similar wheat that I just bottled. The only difference is that I didn't do decoctions, just a single infusion. My beer tasted simply amazing at bottling, can't wait to taste the finished product.

This brings up a good point I've been wondering. I wonder how much my recipe would benifet from the stepped decoctions. One huge advantage is clearing out most of the protien break from the wort. I ended up with a fairly thick sediment at the bottom of the carboy. It compacted nicely though.

Glad to see it worked out. I might be contacting you about your methods if I plan to do this beer again.

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