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Old 09-08-2014, 01:15 AM   #21
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Okay, I can now tell you something else that doesn't work. Instead of double-milling I went for a decoction, as a real-world friend suggested I give that a shot to improve efficiency. While it was fun (I'd never done a decoction before), it did not improve efficiency; in fact, I even lost a point (now I'm down to 71% efficiency). Fortunately, I really like hefeweizens, so I'm going to keep brewing this until I figure out how to get it up to my typical 80%. Next time I'm double-milling the wheat on my mill's finest setting, I swear. Stay tuned.

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Old 09-09-2014, 04:37 PM   #22
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Wow, this thread is awesome timing. I did my first-ever AG brew on Labor Day and it was a dunkel (because it's my favorite) and was disappointed in my 61% efficiency batch sparge. I thought I was being super-cautious by expecting 70% so that was kind of a bummer...makes me feel better to know that wheat in general might just be tougher to deal with than your average grain, and so maybe that's not an indictment on me as a brewer! Also, that maybe I should have chose an easier beer the first time out...

One thing I did identify after reviewing my process is I didn't mash nearly long enough. I have long thought that you can count the time spent at mash-out temperature in the overall amount of time spent mashing...just now learning that's not true. So my mash was effectively 45 minutes...given that, maybe 61% was actually pretty good under the circumstances.

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Old 09-09-2014, 07:41 PM   #23
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I usually get ~80% efficiency with hefes which is equal to my barley based beers, and my hefes are 70% wheat. I do grind the wheat separately -which I suspect like most people here to be the problem, at a much finer setting at my LHBS' nice roller mill. (and finer than they recommend) and do a double decoction, with an infusion to mash out. And around a 90min sac rest. (I use some enzymes in the decoction sac rests to get conversion in 30, as a time saver, cause its already a long day) I aim for a ph of 5.2/5.3.

I use a few handfuls of rice hulls, but never had anything close to stuck sparge with my set up.

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Old 09-09-2014, 08:26 PM   #24
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I too mill my wheat separately from other grains. I have a separate mill for each. I also use a corona style mill for wheat I find that it grinds better then it crushes and I go pretty fine since there is no worry about shredding husks. I use a mm2 for barley. A handful or two of rice hulls and have never had a stuck sparge. and average about 77% for efficiency.

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Old 09-10-2014, 02:20 AM   #25
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This is great to hear everybody else's techniques. Also reassuring to know that I'm not alone in having particular difficulty with wheat. I've just got to remember to keep my wheat separate when milling next time I use it!

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Old 01-10-2015, 11:18 PM   #26
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Finally got around to brewing my third iteration in my hefeweizen experiment, and the results are in! The best way to get the most out of your wheat is... *drumroll* double milling!

Today I double milled the wheat on the tightest setting on my mill (and the torque caused by the grinding almost wrenched the drill right out of my hand!), and, all other brewing factors being the same as my first two experiments, my efficiency was right back up to where it should be.

Here are the results. The ingredients are the same for each recipe, the only difference being listed before the resulting OG.

Target OG: 1.048 (80% brewhouse efficiency)

Batch 1 (single fine grind): 1.044 (72.5% brewhouse efficiency)
Batch 2 (single fine grind & decoction mash): 1.043 (71% brewhouse efficiency)
Batch 3 (double fine grind): 1.048 (80% brewhouse efficiency)

I'm glad to have gotten to this point as hefeweizen is one of my favorite styles, and now that I can hit my target I can start experimenting.

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Old 01-11-2015, 12:11 AM   #27
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Awesome! This is great information. I just recently got my own mill so I'll be doing this for sure. Before that I asked my shop to do a double grind on a high percentage wheat brew and the results were definitely better than a single grind.

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