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Old 10-01-2010, 01:51 AM   #1
br3wklyn
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Default Steeping Grains for an Extract Berliner Weisse

I'm planning on brewing a Berliner Weisse soon. In my last batch I used half wheat LME and half pilsner LME and it came out pretty well, but this time I'd like to give it a bit more depth with some steeping grains.

Does anyone have any recommendations on what to use?

I know that steeping unmalted wheat won't yield any added fermnatables, but will it enhance the mouthfeel, flavor, or cloudiness of the final product? How about malted wheat?

Would throwing in some CaraPils be helpful for the style?

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Old 10-01-2010, 12:24 PM   #2
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Yes, steeping some rolled wheat will add mouthfeel and cloudiness. CaraPils will also add mouthfeel and help with head retention, I believe.

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Old 10-01-2010, 06:05 PM   #3
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Thanks for the advice! I'll try steeping a half pound of each and see how it comes out.

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Old 10-01-2010, 06:18 PM   #4
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I'd steep 2lbs of pilsner malt at 90F for two days.

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Old 10-01-2010, 06:30 PM   #5
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Two pounds for two days? That's a lot of steeping grain and quite a long boil!

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Old 10-01-2010, 06:41 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by br3wklyn View Post
Two pounds for two days? That's a lot of steeping grain and quite a long boil!
He's trying to get you to do a sour mash and hold the grain at 90-105F for 2 days. That's a good idea too. It will develop some lactic acid characteristic of Berliner weiss.

In any case, you should not be boiling your steeping grain. Grain should never get above 170F. Steep your grains at about 150F, remove them, then boil.

Finally, check your wheat extract. If it's not 100% wheat (it may be something like 60 wheat/ 40 pale), then drop the pils extract.
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Old 10-01-2010, 06:47 PM   #7
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Sorry for calling the steep a boil, I do hold my temp around 160 while steeping.

I don't have the equipment to do a full on sour mash - hence the extract brewing.

Now I'm confused though - why drop the pils LME? I'm basing this off the Berliner Weisse recipe in "Brewing Classic Styles" which called for equal parts Pilsner and Wheat LME.

I'm using Briess wheat extract which is 65% wheat 35% barley.

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Old 10-02-2010, 11:21 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by br3wklyn View Post
Now I'm confused though - why drop the pils LME? I'm basing this off the Berliner Weisse recipe in "Brewing Classic Styles" which called for equal parts Pilsner and Wheat LME.

I'm using Briess wheat extract which is 65% wheat 35% barley.
Does "equal parts" assume 100% Pils extract and 100% wheat extract? I don't have the book, but Berliner weiss is wheat beer (at least 50% wheat). So at 65% wheat, equal parts would give you only 32.5% wheat in total. To get to 50-50 in total, you'd want 1 part wheat extract to 0.3 parts pils extract, or 77% of the total extract being wheat extract, and 23% of the total being pils extract.

Getting more wheat % may be all you need to give it more of the character you're seeking (steeping grain is an excellent tool as well).
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Old 10-02-2010, 11:38 PM   #9
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Just out of curiosity, why would you want to steep grains for more mouthfeel in a BW? They should really have very light body and be very dry. Although steeping some unmalted wheat to pull some starch in the beer....this will leave more food for the bugs.

I would just go straight wheat extract and maybe the sour mash if you feel like it. What kind of depth are you looking for?

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Old 10-03-2010, 05:59 PM   #10
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Thanks to all for the advice. I switched to DME and adjusted the ratio of pilsner extract to wheat extract ratio to get the actual wheat percentage to about 50-50.

I know the style is supposed to be quite light bodied, but the malt flavor seemed one dimensional when I used only the extract even compared to other examples I've tasted. The improved head retention is a plus as well.

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