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Low efficiency with wheat beers?

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maltMonkey

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Brewed my first (AG) wheat beer tonight--I normally get around 72%-75% efficiency and ended up with a low gravity of 1.043 (about 66% eff). I just used German white wheat malt (67%) and German 2-row pilsner (33%). I didn't change the setting on my Corona mill, and mashed at a lower temp than I normally do (153°).

I'm new to making wheat beers so I don't know if I should have expected this or not.
 

Brewsmith

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That can be expected. The wheat has more protien and is extra sticky. Make sure you use sparge water on the hot side of the temperature range, 170 or so. Also, doing a mash out step can help efficiency. Also at the beginning of the mash, a protien rest, and maybe even a single decoction for mash out can help as well.
 

malkore

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I have also seen many people state that wheat malt grains are smaller, so you need to tighten the gap on your grain mill. However, I know myself and many other Barley Crusher owners use the default .39 gap for both 2-row and wheat, and get our normal brewhouse efficiency.

If your mill looks like it did a good job crushing the wheat, then I'd follow Brewsmith's advice.
 
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maltMonkey

maltMonkey

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I did use fairly hot sparge water and I did a mash out as well....I think I will lower the gap next time I crush and see what happens.
 

Smellyglove

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Im pulling this one up.

Usually I have 73% brewhouse efficiency. Today I got 65%, my first hefe with 58% malted wheat.

Is this normal?
 

PastorofMuppets

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do you usually brew pale beers?
Do you monitor the pH or do any chemical additions?
You may have lower conversion because your pH was too high.
 

gbx

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Wheat is huskless and prone to stuck mashes or just bad run off. Add another pound of grain to compensate for the lowered efficiency when you brew with wheat. Unless you are going to brew a lot of wheat beers don't mess with your mill gap. If things are getting stuck, adding rice hulls can help but even that will cost you about the same as simply adding more grain.
 

SpeedYellow

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Last wheat (50%) beer I brewed, I got the highest efficiency I've ever seen. Single infusion, then mash out, then single batch sparge. I do tighten the mill gap for the wheat. A half pound of rice hulls makes the lautering just like any other beer.
 

atoughram

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Wheat is huskless and prone to stuck mashes or just bad run off. Add another pound of grain to compensate for the lowered efficiency when you brew with wheat. Unless you are going to brew a lot of wheat beers don't mess with your mill gap. If things are getting stuck, adding rice hulls can help but even that will cost you about the same as simply adding more grain.
Good advice!

I tried messing with the mill gap and improved my efficiency about 2% :( Increased my stuckability by about 400% and I'm a RIMS brewer so thats a major deal. I ended up sticking a pound of rice hulls into the mash and pumping sparge water under the mash bed three times before I could lauter, and my percentage went from 65% to 67%.

Every wheat beer I've made was at least 10% less efficient that a similar all barley brew. Plan for it in the front.
 

Smellyglove

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I didn't notice any slow runoffs or similar. The MLT contained more or less same amount of water when I cleaned it. so the easiest way is just to add more grain? Just scale up the recipe?
 
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