All Rye Porter/ Stout experiment- Thoughts/ assistance please

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prohl84

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So I really like rye beer and the lady of the house also likes anything with rye which is a bonus. I have only ever used 1.75# of rye in a beer before (my 'Soul Proprietor' which is the only recipe I have posted so far) I didn't use rice hulls and had no problems sparging. Based on my reading I have decided to use 1.5# rice hulls (1.75# may be ideal so I may grab more from LHBS) and to try a double infusion for the first time.

I had a coupon from midwest supplies so I ordered some of the specialty rye they carry (though in the future I will likely just roast my own from LHBS)

Going for a robust porter or dry stout; here is the recipe and method I have devised for 6.5 gal:

1.5# rice hulls 8.6%
13# rye malt 74.3%
2# crystal rye 11.4%
1# choc rye 5.7%

b-Glucanase rest: 110 F 14 qt. @ 122 F for 30 min. (.8 qt./ lb.)
Sacch rest: 156 F 18 qt. @ 205 F for 60 min. (1.77 qt./ lb.)
Batch sparge: 11 qt. @ 168 F for 20 min. and collect 8.3 gal

.50 oz nugget 60 min. (first wort)
.25 oz nugget 30 min.

S 05 yeast

.25 oz nugget. dry hop 14 days
bottle carb @ 2.5 vols

Any thoughts especially regarding my mash schedule?
I feel like 1.77 qt/ lb. is super thin for a mash but if I went any thicker I would need steam injection to raise to sacch temp. I could decoct but I don't want to do that since rye DP is only 75 Lintner and adding near boiling water won't be as detrimental to enzymes as actually boiling wort. I am mashing in a cooler so direct heat is out.

I plan on sparging very slowly maybe with 5 qt. for 20 min then begin runoff and then add other 6 qt. (total 11) as runoff continues. Or should I just add all 11 at once, wait 20, and runoff?
 
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My personal sense (as someone who likes rye) is that 100% rye isn't a good idea. Have you had a roggenbier or anything else in the 50-60% range? I would try something like that before going for this.
 

ardonthorn5

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there was an episode of Basic Brewing where they did a 100 percent rye ... i remember it being described as viscous....
 

eulipion2

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I was considering doing the same thing, so if you do this, please report back! I haven't brewed with much rye so I really can't say how it'll turn out, but that's why we do what we do, right?
 

TheZymurgist

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Yeah, that much rye will give you a very syrupy mouthfeel. You also should do a decoction mash, resting at 122, then boiling part of the grain to raise it to sacc rest. I just did a lot of research for a rye barleywine, and just brewed a roggenbier. The decoction helps keep the rye from turning to mush, which causes stuck sparges. Rice hulls will not be enough.

https://www.homebrewtalk.com/f14/roggenbier-1st-decoction-didnt-go-quite-planned-422025/

https://www.homebrewtalk.com/f12/trying-again-rye-barleywine-416171/

https://www.homebrewtalk.com/f12/rye-barleywine-advice-416086/
 
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prohl84

prohl84

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Brewed yesterday... meanwhile the replies began. :cross:

My personal sense (as someone who likes rye) is that 100% rye isn't a good idea. Have you had a roggenbier or anything else in the 50-60% range? I would try something like that before going for this.
Prudence is not my forte! :drunk: Also I thought roggenbier was fermented with wheat yeasts (I am trying to like wit and weizen... I don't like banana runts)
I might like it if a "clean" strain were used similar to Lagunitas' little sumpin' sumpin' ale (lots of wheat; doesn't taste like a wheat beer)

... i remember it being described as viscous
the first runnings were one step below hot LME.

Yeah, that much rye will give you a very syrupy mouthfeel. You also should do a decoction mash, resting at 122, then boiling part of the grain to raise it to sacc rest. I just did a lot of research for a rye barleywine, and just brewed a roggenbier. The decoction helps keep the rye from turning to mush, which causes stuck sparges. Rice hulls will not be enough.
Is it really syrupy? My experience with rye is that it is very crisp and dry. I am not doubting you, I see by your threads you have made far more rye beer than I. I researched this a long while ago and had bookmarks but now that I read your posts I maybe would have changed my method a bit (Where were you two days ago!? :D) I should have combed the forums better.

I employed a b-glucanase rest at 110F for 30min. the .77 qt./ lb. was just enough to wet the grains comfortably and it worked like a charm. B-glucan is the protein that makes wheat, rye, and oats sticky as hell. I haven't tried the rest @ 122 I thought that was primarily to reduce haze forming proteins but now I see that the rests sort of overlap.

https://www.homebrewtalk.com/wiki/index.php/Mash_temperatures

I did not decoct because I didn't want to destroy my enzymes since rye DP is lower than barley. I use beersmith because I find the temperature/ volume calculations to be fairly accurate. I added strike water for sacch. rest and hit my temp dead on.

I batch sparged really, painfully slowly. I ended up using 2 batches of 11 qts. instead of one and I collected 8.3 gallons successfully. It only got stuck one time but a quick poke and stir of the mash paddle got her going again. (Does that sound dirty to anyone else?) I found intermittent stirring to be fairly necessary because the grain bed would become super compact. Also I sparged at 170, rested, and let it run- when it slowed to a trickle I did second batch at 180 to make sure it would run off thoroughly- which it did. If you are sparging through anything better than 14" of braided SS hose then you are better off than I am. If I did this again I would use the same qty. of rice hulls in the mash and then add another 1/2 lb. or so when sparging.

My post boil volume was high at 7 gal instead of 6.5 but the gravity was one point higher than estimated. Sweet, 80% efficiency and four extra pints! The brew gods must delight in my ambition.

So far this has been successful. I did another sparge and collected 3 gallons for a gruit- braggot experiment gravity was 1.028 so I will be adding lots of honey and perhaps some LME in a few days once fermentation has started.

I will continue to follow up with developments.
I suppose it's worth mentioning that the specialty rye malts smelled even more like coffee and chocolate in the boil than some of the dark malts. Mash smelled like I was baking pumpernickel.
 

Yooper

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I had a beer once that whatsleftofyou made, and I think it was something like 70% rye. I could drink it, but that was about it.

I LOVE rye, but I find that the sweet spot for most beers with rye is about 30%. It has great flavor and richness, but not that intense spicy syrup flavor.
 

Yooper

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I did not decoct because I didn't want to destroy my enzymes since rye DP is lower than barley. I use beersmith because I find the temperature/ volume calculations to be fairly accurate. I added strike water for sacch. rest and hit my temp dead on.
You can still decoct, as you don't destroy the enzymes when you decoct. You hold at the conversion temperature before boiling, and then add that back to the mash. You pull mostly grain, not liquid, so you don't ruin the ability to convert. Still, I don't see an advantage to decoction here anyway so it's a moot point.
 

TheZymurgist

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You can still decoct, as you don't destroy the enzymes when you decoct. You hold at the conversion temperature before boiling, and then add that back to the mash. You pull mostly grain, not liquid, so you don't ruin the ability to convert. Still, I don't see an advantage to decoction here anyway so it's a moot point.
My understanding was that the decoction helps prevent stuck sparges, but it's looking like that may be incorrect, or at least unnecessary. That's the whole reason I did it, but I didn't have anything to compare it to.
 

TheZymurgist

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Is it really syrupy? My experience with rye is that it is very crisp and dry. I am not doubting you, I see by your threads you have made far more rye beer than I. I researched this a long while ago and had bookmarks but now that I read your posts I maybe would have changed my method a bit (Where were you two days ago!? :D) I should have combed the forums better.

I employed a b-glucanase rest at 110F for 30min. the .77 qt./ lb. was just enough to wet the grains comfortably and it worked like a charm. B-glucan is the protein that makes wheat, rye, and oats sticky as hell. I haven't tried the rest @ 122 I thought that was primarily to reduce haze forming proteins but now I see that the rests sort of overlap.

https://www.homebrewtalk.com/wiki/index.php/Mash_temperatures

I did not decoct because I didn't want to destroy my enzymes since rye DP is lower than barley. I use beersmith because I find the temperature/ volume calculations to be fairly accurate. I added strike water for sacch. rest and hit my temp dead on.

I batch sparged really, painfully slowly. I ended up using 2 batches of 11 qts. instead of one and I collected 8.3 gallons successfully. It only got stuck one time but a quick poke and stir of the mash paddle got her going again. (Does that sound dirty to anyone else?) I found intermittent stirring to be fairly necessary because the grain bed would become super compact. Also I sparged at 170, rested, and let it run- when it slowed to a trickle I did second batch at 180 to make sure it would run off thoroughly- which it did. If you are sparging through anything better than 14" of braided SS hose then you are better off than I am. If I did this again I would use the same qty. of rice hulls in the mash and then add another 1/2 lb. or so when sparging.

My post boil volume was high at 7 gal instead of 6.5 but the gravity was one point higher than estimated. Sweet, 80% efficiency and four extra pints! The brew gods must delight in my ambition.

So far this has been successful. I did another sparge and collected 3 gallons for a gruit- braggot experiment gravity was 1.028 so I will be adding lots of honey and perhaps some LME in a few days once fermentation has started.

I will continue to follow up with developments.
I suppose it's worth mentioning that the specialty rye malts smelled even more like coffee and chocolate in the boil than some of the dark malts. Mash smelled like I was baking pumpernickel.
My roggenbier has a very thick mouthfeel, and the mash never went over 152. I do wish there was less yeast character, because I think it masks the rye.

It sounds like you were successful, so I think I have something to learn from your experience. Maybe decoctions aren't as crucial as I thought they were for rye-heavy beers.
 

TheZymurgist

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Wait, I'm just remembering I decoted because I didn't have enough room to do a double infusion mash. So you did the lower rest to keep it from gumming up, but you had enough room in the mash tun to add more water for the next rest. That was my issue, that I needed to bring the temp up to the sacc rest, but didn't have enough room to add the required amount of water. That's why I chose to decoct. That, and I thought it would be fun to try.
 
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prohl84

prohl84

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I mash in a 52 qt. cooler so I can some day grow into 10 gal batches- as a result I had plenty of room. If it's waaaay syrup/ spicy in secondary maybe I'll blend it with another beer(s).

Admittedly the moment I found out that rye specialty grains existed (duh...) I thought hey, wouldn't it be cool to make an all rye stout/ porter? I can mash that- after all whiskey is often made 100% of rye. Not that I had anything to prove to myself but the fact I have gotten this far has given me a lot of confidence in experimentation. Hopefully I won't prove to myself that all rye makes acrid, bitter, syrup-y medicine! If it works I have decided to call it ArdRye (Ardrigh was the high king of Ireland).

You can still decoct, as you don't destroy the enzymes when you decoct. You hold at the conversion temperature before boiling, and then add that back to the mash. You pull mostly grain, not liquid, so you don't ruin the ability to convert.
Thanks Yooper, apparently I really did not actually know what a decoction was; I assumed you pull wort. :smack: Maybe now I'll try a decoction since I know what it really means. Also thanks for reminding me just cuz' I made a few good beers I'm still noob as hell and always will be! Now if you'll excuse me I have some reading to do... :rockin:
 
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prohl84

prohl84

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Here's an update: Yesterday I pulled a sample that was 1.020 and racked 6.5 gal to secondary and pitched the bottom minus the yeast into the second runnings batch I have going that is going to get more fermentables/ herbs soon. Definitely syrupy and the rye flavor is pungent but the roasted, nutty, caramel flavors are all there and quite pleasant. I think the caramel rye lends a much smoother caramel flavor to the beer that doesn't stick to your tongue- despite the fact that it is so thick. This tastes like it will blend well; so I guess it can become my excuse to make several batches quickly so I can blend it all out w/o spoilage. :D
 

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