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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing > A meh brewday
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Old 06-26-2009, 09:25 PM   #1
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Default A meh brewday

First day with the new rig, trying out the new March pump. In pre-brew testing it worked perfectly. During the brew it refused to prime, then lost prime twice during the transfer from boil kettle to MLT. Bleh. I guess I'll figure it out eventually.

Mash seemed to go OK. Came in a little high, so added some cool water to come down to 154F. Left it for an hour and lost about 5 degrees.

After sparging and topping up to the 6.42 gallons specified by Beersmith (I only needed about a quart), I was at 1.030, making my efficiency into the kettle a fabulous 47%.

The boil was uneventful, except I didn't realize I had plug hops instead of the pellets the recipe was designed for. Luckily I had an extra 1/4oz of pellets in the freezer, which I added at 15 minutes.

4 7/8 gallons at 1.038 went into the fermenter, for a final efficiency of 58%.

My crush looked great and my temps seemed good, so I'm not sure how I can be so far off on my efficiency numbers. Could it be water chemistry? I'm using 3 gallons bottled spring water and the rest tap water. I don't know the chemistry of either.

I would be surprised, because the last beer I did with the same equipment and water gave me 78% efficiency into the boiler.

Oh, here's the recipe:

Prepare Ingredients for Mash

4.50 lb Wheat Malt, Ger (2.0 SRM) Grain
3.00 lb Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM) Grain
0.50 lb Aromatic Malt (26.0 SRM) Grain
0.50 lb Cara-Pils/Dextrine (2.0 SRM) Grain

Mash In: Add 12.75 qt of water at 164.4 F
60 min - Hold mash at 154.0 F for 60 min

-- Drain Mash Tun
-- Batch Sparge Round 1: Sparge with 4.50 gal of 168.0 F water.
-- Add water to achieve boil volume of 6.42 gal
-- Estimated Pre-boil Gravity is: 1.039 SG with all grains/extracts added

60 min 0.50 oz Pearle [8.20 %] (60 min) Hops
15 min 0.25 oz Pearle [8.20 %] (15 min) Hops
5 min 0.25 oz Pearle [8.20 %] (5 min)

-Joe

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Old 06-26-2009, 09:31 PM   #2
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Wheat malt. I imagine you had a beast of a time lautering, and I suspect you left some sugars behind in the mash. Not having a husk, the gumminess of wheat can make things difficult.

Next time - rice hulls!

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Old 06-26-2009, 09:49 PM   #3
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A meh brewday is still better than a day at the office.....

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Old 06-26-2009, 09:52 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by flyangler18 View Post
Wheat malt. I imagine you had a beast of a time lautering, and I suspect you left some sugars behind in the mash. Not having a husk, the gumminess of wheat can make things difficult.

Next time - rice hulls!
I used a generous handful of rice hulls and had no problems lautering. Had a good flow the whole time, and there was almost no liquid left in the grains when I cleaned out the tun later. Maybe a few ounces.

The grains also tasted like wet cardboard - there was almost no flavor to them at all and definitely no sugar, so I'm guessing I had good conversion.

Unfortunately I forgot to take a sample of my first runnings, so I don't know what my conversion efficiency was. Next time!

-Joe
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Old 06-26-2009, 09:52 PM   #5
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A meh brewday is still better than a day at the office.....
Word I was well into my 4th pint by noon, which is much farther than I usually get at work

-Joe
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Old 06-27-2009, 03:37 PM   #6
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The brewday may have been meh but the Wyeast 1010 is going like gangbusters! I made a starter 5 days before, pitched it at 4pm yesterday, had a kraeusen by the time I went to bed, and it's going insane this morning. Walking towards my fermenting freezer hearing "bloopbloopbloopbloop" still doesn't get old

-Joe

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Old 06-27-2009, 04:01 PM   #7
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... so I'm not sure how I can be so far off on my efficiency numbers ...
I hear about efficiency problems with wheat all the time. I suspect the lower diastatic power of the wheat is the culprit, especially (as in your case) when the wheat outweighs the base malt.

Note that you are getting almost no enzymes from the two specialty malts. So, 3 lb.s of pale are contributing almost all the alpha amylase for the entire mash.

One solution, is just to add a bit of amylase enzymes to the mash. You can buy them at northern brewer or local, maybe. Another solution that might help a bit is to use 6-row pale malt, which has about 25% higher diastatic power. The higher protein in this malt won't be a problem with a wheat.
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Old 06-27-2009, 04:01 PM   #8
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47%. You can do an extra long boil, and jack up your gravity for a smaller batch. Esp if you have something which is uber specific with hops and you were guessing for better efficiency.

Or else you can have a light beer.

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Old 06-27-2009, 04:09 PM   #9
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Cool thanks for the options. I'm not so much concerned about ending with a lower gravity, but it would be nice to be able to formulate recipes with the expectation that I'd come close to what I'm expecting.

This is my first AG wheat (and only my 3rd AG ever) so I'm still learning. I appreciate any input

-Joe

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Old 06-28-2009, 01:38 AM   #10
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Oh my God it smells so BAD. My whole basement smells like ass, and it's fermenting inside a chest freezer. Way worse than Apfelwein

-Joe

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