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Old 04-16-2007, 07:14 PM   #1
ski36t
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Default Wisdoms and problems

Yesterday I had a bunch of friends over to have a good time, grill out, and observe the brewing process. Everything was going fine until people showed up and it starting thunderstorming. With all the guests I could not give my beer to be the attention that it needed. The boil was hardly a boil and I only managed to boil off a half gallon of wort over a 60 minute boil. Maybe it was the rain constantly trying to get in it or just the humidity. The wind didn't help things out either and I was constantly worrying about my flame going out. That in combination with trying to prepare food and chat it up made for an exhausting night. Apparently the homebrew is pretty good though because my friends pounded it and almost cleaned me out. Thank goodness for secret stashes!

After most of the crowd had left I checked my gravity and it appears that I only got a measly 57% efficiency. (I normally run right at 70%) I have been having problems with keeping my temperature up on the mash but luckily that didn't give me too much trouble this time. I still can't get my sparge temperature high enough even when I am sparging with 180 degree water....it is max 160. (fly sparging)

The recipe I found on here was
Bavarian Weizenbier
7lb wheat malt
4lb pilsner malt

1.5 oz hallertau - 60 min
.5 oz hallertau - 20 min

did single infusion with 3.5 gallons of water

My main question is though...since this is my first time using wheat....are wheat recipes prone to having lower efficiencies or did my distractions and mother natures fiery prevent me from getting everything I could out of this wort? My SG was 1.040...still within the range but on the opposite side from where I wanted it.

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Old 04-16-2007, 07:39 PM   #2
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How long did you mash for? For me, wheats seem to take longer to convert fully.

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Old 04-16-2007, 07:40 PM   #3
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Yes, mashing with wheat can have much lower yields. You probably would've done better with a protein rest at 122' and then stepped up the temp for your sacc rest.

But hey, at least you had a good time w/ your peeps brewing, drinking some good homebrew, and enjoying some good eats!

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Old 04-17-2007, 04:14 AM   #4
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Also, if you have trouble reaching mashout temps, try taking 6-8qt of runoff (pre-vorlauft) and bringing it to a boil. Gently infuse this back into the mash to give you a "head-start." And if you let it boil for 10-15m before infusing, you can actually get the mash to filter some of the hot break.

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Old 04-17-2007, 01:53 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by abt
Also, if you have trouble reaching mashout temps, try taking 6-8qt of runoff (pre-vorlauft) and bringing it to a boil. Gently infuse this back into the mash to give you a "head-start." And if you let it boil for 10-15m before infusing, you can actually get the mash to filter some of the hot break.
Thanks, I'll give that a try.

I had heard to mash longer so I did it for 90 mins. Would it have helped any to go longer than this?
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Old 04-17-2007, 02:02 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ski36t
Thanks, I'll give that a try.

I had heard to mash longer so I did it for 90 mins. Would it have helped any to go longer than this?
Well without doing an Iodine conversion test, you really won't know for sure. If you haven't done this, pick up a bottle (CVS, Walgreens, Rite Aid, etc should indeed have them) for about $3, it will last a very long time. I always Vorlauf before testing to make sure I am getting a good representation of the wort, place a Tbs full of wort onto a white plate and then a few drops of Iodine to it. If there are unconverted starches they'll turn black...but it actually tells you more than that if you know what to look for.

If you see:

Immediate black then you are pretty much unconverted.
Brown and then turns black in a few seconds then you are probably 1/4 of the way
Brown and then slowy turns slightly darker then you are probably 2/3 there
Brown and then really really slowly turns dark (but not black or maybe like tiny black specs) then you are almost there (give it 10 minutes and test again)
Brown and really really really slowly turns a 'buff' color there is a small amount of starch which will most likely convert by the time you get to a boil
Brown and no color change = done
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Old 04-17-2007, 05:51 PM   #7
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Can Idophor be used for conversion test ?

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Old 04-17-2007, 05:54 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnBarleycorn
Can Idophor be used for conversion test ?
I've heard it can be, but I've always used tincture, so I don't know for sure. It's not like tincture is expensive, though.
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.primary | bright:
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Old 04-17-2007, 05:58 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ski36t
Thanks, I'll give that a try.

I had heard to mash longer so I did it for 90 mins. Would it have helped any to go longer than this?
Like Zoe said, you gotta do the conversion test if you're mashing.

I'd suggest step-mashing each time you use wheat. In fact, I step mash every time I mash, period. Yields excellent efficiencies. My sched goes like this:

133f for 30 mins
149-155f for 45 mins
158f for 20 mins or until iodine test confirms conversion
167f mashout
170f sparge water.

That's Papazian's way, and mine now too. I may not always need stepped mashing, but I like it anyway. And since I direct-heat my mash, it's no problem.
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MOSS HOLLOW BREWING CO.
Aristocratic Ales, Lascivious Lagers


.planned:
•Scottish 80/- •Sweet Stout •Roggenbier
.primary | bright:
98: Moss Hollow Soured '09 72: Oude Kriek 99: B-Weisse 102: Brett'd BDSA 104: Feat of Strength Helles Bock 105: Merkin Brown
.on tap | kegged:
XX: Moss Hollow Springs Sparkling Water 95: Gott Mit Uns German Pils 91b: Brown Willie's Oaked Abbey Ale 103: Merkin Stout
98: Yorkshire Special 100: Maple Porter 89: Cidre Saison 101: Steffiweizen '09 (#3)
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