HOMEBREW Digest #5854 Sun 03 July 2011

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  Poorly fermentable wort (Fred L Johnson)

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Sun, 3 Jul 2011 13:06:07 -0400 From: Fred L Johnson <fljohnson52 at nc.rr.com> Subject: Poorly fermentable wort I just had the following experience with a poorly fermentable wort. I would greatly appreciate any insight from anyone who could explain why this wort was so poorly fermentable. I brewed a Belgian witbier (6 gal) with 50% Weyermann pilsner malt (5 lb), 30% raw wheat (3 lb), 20% torrified wheat (20 lb). I would have used 50% wheat or 50% torrified wheat, but I had 3 lb of raw wheat lying around that I wanted to get rid of. I boiled the raw wheat and the torrified wheat on the stove top in several quarts of water for about 30 min. I then used a food processor on the wheat to fully expose the wheat starch to the rest of the grist. I mixed the blended wheat into the ground pilsner malt and mashed in with a protein rest (127 degrees F, not the target 122 degrees F) for 10 min. I raised the temperature of the mash to 152 degrees F by direct heat (stainless steel mash tun) on a burner, stirring constantly. Because my mash tun is only insulated on the top with a styrofoam lid and no side insulation, I give the mash a little heat about every 20 min to maintain the mash temp at 152 degrees F. The total mash time was 1 hr and 50 min. I transfered the mash to a lauter tun with no mashout and sparged into the boil kettle, collecting a total volume of 6.6 gal. Mash efficiency was 85.4%. O.G.= 1.050. The boil was 90 min, adding hops to 17 IBUs and ground coriander just before flame out. I pitched Wyeast 3944 from a two liter starter, ~ 350 billion cells after oxygenating the wort with pure oxygen. Fermented at 69 degrees F for 7 days when the fermentation stopped, but the yeast were not flocculating very well. I raised the temp to 72 degrees F for the last 24 h. The yeast were still not flocculating. I crash cooled to 35 degrees F and a good bit of the yeast fell out, but many were obviously in suspension and still dropping. I transferred to a keg and discovered the gravity was 1.021! I force fermented a 200 mL sample of this beer with an 11 g packet of Notingham dry yeast at 76-78 degrees F to prove to myself that the fermentation was not stuck. The gravity only 1.020-1.021 after the forced fermentation, so I am convinced that the problem was not the yeast. Can anyone explain to me how I generated such a poorly fermentable wort? Fred L Johnson Apex, North Carolina, USA Return to table of contents
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