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Efficiency with Wheat

 
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jerryt



Joined: 27 Jun 2013
Posts: 25
Location: Saline, Michigan


PostLink    Posted: Sat Apr 05, 2014 2:29 pm    Post subject: Efficiency with Wheat Reply with quote


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Hi all.

I just brewed my first Wheat Beer and missed my gravity by a mile.

After 14 batches on my Kal Clone, I normally hit 88%-95% no problem. However with this recipe:

8.5 lbs 2-Row
8.5 lbs Wheat
3.5 lbs Crystal 20
1.5 qt/lb Mash Thickness

I was aiming for 1.057 at 95% but ended up with 1.046 and 76% efficiency. All pH numbers were perfect throughout the brew so that doesn't appear to be involved.

I used Kal's water chemistry for the Weizen/Weissbier Recipe:
Water treated with brewing salts to: Ca=50, Mg=10, Na=16, Cl=71, S04=69

My only differences between other brews were:

- Wheat
- Mash Thickness (1.5 qt/lb rather than my normal 1.25 qt/lb)

I crushed my wheat with my 2-row in a barley crusher set at 0.045". Poking around the other forums has suggested crushing wheat a little finer than barley(??). I have to say that I did not pay too much attention to the wheat crush ...

Any ideas? Or is it just "one of those brew days" anomaly?

4.8% ABV will be a fine session but I was hoping for a 6%. Drunk

Jerry

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kal
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Joined: 12 Dec 2010
Posts: 10739
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Drinking: German Lager, Electric Creamsicle, London Pride, Kolsch, Belgian IPA, Red IPA, Russian Imperial Stout, Black Butte Porter

Working on: Weizen, Belgian Quad, Wit, English Pub Ale, Electric Creamsicle


PostLink    Posted: Sun Apr 06, 2014 1:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Strange. I never touch my mill gap. I wouldn't crush wheat any finer - that's probably something they're recommending for non recirculating systems (batch sparge). You shouldn't have to. There's likely some other factor that you may not have noticed. Not sure what it could be as you seem to have covered everything. It could be as simple as weighing out the wrong amount (ie: Only having, say, 6.5 lbs of of certain malt when you thought you had 8.5 lbs).

FYI - 17% crystal seems kind of high (though it won't affect your efficiency, only your FG). What kind of wheat beer you brewing?

Kal

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jerryt



Joined: 27 Jun 2013
Posts: 25
Location: Saline, Michigan


PostLink    Posted: Sun Apr 06, 2014 12:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the reply Kal. I am not sure what went wrong here. I am pretty anal about weights and measures but who knows ...

Yeah I may have went too far on the Crystal 20. I am playing with an Oberon clone with a little more sweetness - I'll let you know how it turns out.

I am curious about your FG comment. How will the high crystal percentage affect FG (other than expected by OG numbers)?

Jerry

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kal
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Joined: 12 Dec 2010
Posts: 10739
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Drinking: German Lager, Electric Creamsicle, London Pride, Kolsch, Belgian IPA, Red IPA, Russian Imperial Stout, Black Butte Porter

Working on: Weizen, Belgian Quad, Wit, English Pub Ale, Electric Creamsicle


PostLink    Posted: Sun Apr 06, 2014 2:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Crystal malts contain sugars, but some of the sugars will be fermentable and some will not. Generally speaking, the higher the lovibond (colour), the less fermentable the sugar will be.

Why? Some of the sugars caramelize during kilning and become unfermentable leaving a residual sweetness in the final beer.

Someone did an interesting experiment here: http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f128/testing-fermentability-crystal-malt-208361/

Results summarized that long thread here: http://www.woodlandbrew.com/2012/12/fermentability-of-crystal-malt.html

To quote John Palmer from How to Brew (see: http://www.howtobrew.com/section2/chapter12.html)

Quote:
Besides the lighter-colored base and toasted malts, there is another group of malts that don't need to be mashed and these are often referred to as "specialty malts". They are used for flavoring and have no diastatic power whatsoever. Some of these malts have undergone special heating processes in which the starches are converted to sugars by heat and moisture right inside the hull. As a result, these malts contain more complex sugars, some of which do not ferment, leaving a pleasant caramel-like sweetness. These pre-converted malts (called caramel or crystal malts) are available in different roasts or colors (denoted by the color unit Lovibond), each having a different degree of fermentability and characteristic sweetness (e.g. Crystal 40, Crystal 60). Also within the specialty malt group are the roasted malts. These malts have had their sugars charred by roasting at high temperatures, giving them a deep red/brown or black color (e.g. Black Patent malt). The Lovibond color scale ranges from 1 to 600. See Figure 70. To put this in perspective, most American mega-brewed light lager beers are less than 5 Lovibond. Guinness Extra Stout on the other hand, is comfortably in the 100s. Specialty malts do not need to be mashed, and can simply be steeped in hot water to release their character. These grains are very useful to the extract brewer, making it easy to increase the complexity of the wort without much effort.


Typically the amount of crystal you'd use in a recipe is so low (5-10%) that you can ignore this lack of complete fermentation in calculations. When I brew something I want dry (like the high gravity Pliny the Younger triple IPA) I make sure to not only mash low but to limit the amount of crystal malt.

Your 17% crystal seemed pretty high, hence the reason I commented. Every beer is different however - I've just never heard of anyone using close to 20% crystal in a wheat beer.

Kal

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foomench



Joined: 21 Feb 2012
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Location: Longmont, CO

Drinking: Pinot barrel aged quad

Working on: Flanders oude bruin in barrel, Flanders red fermenting to refill the barrel


PostLink    Posted: Mon Apr 07, 2014 11:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What kind of wheat? Malted wheat? Raw wheat? Flaked wheat?

I use flaked wheat in a number of recipes, and run in through my mill twice to get a finer chop than happens with the flakes which are already flattened to begin with. Malted wheat I run through normally. Raw wheat can be softer, and I don't remember how I milled it last. I do remember, however, that I did an adjunct mash with that and some 6-row because it lacks the enzymes necessary for starch conversion.

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jerryt



Joined: 27 Jun 2013
Posts: 25
Location: Saline, Michigan


PostLink    Posted: Wed Apr 09, 2014 12:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

foomench wrote:
What kind of wheat? Malted wheat? Raw wheat? Flaked wheat?

I use flaked wheat in a number of recipes, and run in through my mill twice to get a finer chop than happens with the flakes which are already flattened to begin with. Malted wheat I run through normally. Raw wheat can be softer, and I don't remember how I milled it last. I do remember, however, that I did an adjunct mash with that and some 6-row because it lacks the enzymes necessary for starch conversion.


I was using Malted Wheat. Still scratching my head as it was a very uneventful brew day. I will be making another Wheat shortly and see if I have different results.

Jerry

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foomench



Joined: 21 Feb 2012
Posts: 710
Location: Longmont, CO

Drinking: Pinot barrel aged quad

Working on: Flanders oude bruin in barrel, Flanders red fermenting to refill the barrel


PostLink    Posted: Wed Apr 09, 2014 3:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hmmmm, that doesn't help much in trying to explain things. I do adjust my mill for malted wheat, using a slightly smaller gap.
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