HOMEBREW Digest #5855 Mon 04 July 2011

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  Poor Attenuation ("John W. Zeller")
  Re: Poorly fermentable wort ("David Houseman")
  Re: Poorly fermentable wort (Joe Walts)

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Mon, 04 Jul 2011 02:27:48 -0400 From: "John W. Zeller" <jwzell at cincic.com> Subject: Poor Attenuation Fred L Johnson inquired about why his beer is not finishing out sufficiently. Well Fred, this is a very common problem for many home brewers. You are far from alone. Here's my read on the situation. IMO, your mash temperatures were too high. I know that you think you had a good handle on the mash temperatures, but what I am trying to say is that the temps may have been much different than what you think they were. This could be a problem with the thermometer(s) or possibly with your technique. Direct firing a mash tun while manually stirring the grain bed is a very hit or miss way to go. It certainly can be done, but it's very difficult to maintain uniform mash temperatures and there is a high risk of overheating the wort. I don't know how your mash tun is set up, but if you are using a false bottom, remember that you cannot stir the wort below the FB and that is where the heat is being applied. You can circulate the wort manually, a la vorlaugh to keep the wort from pooling on the very hot kettle bottom. My solution to the temperature control was to move up to a semi-autmatic direct fired RIMS. Others will chime in and tell you that you probably under-pitched or did not properly aerate the wort, but the No. 1 suspect IMO is the mash temperature. I would look there first and foremost. -john zeller cincinnati Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 04 Jul 2011 07:37:36 -0400 From: "David Houseman" <david.houseman at verizon.net> Subject: Re: Poorly fermentable wort Fred, Was the 1.021 FG due to fermentable sugars or proteins? With 50% wheat, my step mash schedule would have been more like 95oF for 15min acid rest, 120-122oF for 20min protein rest, 130-132oF for a beta-glucan rest and then 150oF saccraffication rest until conversion indicated with iodine test, then mashout (for solubility). Perhaps the wort was adequately fermentable but the gravity is due to proteins. David Houseman Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 4 Jul 2011 09:00:12 -0500 From: Joe Walts <jwalts at gmail.com> Subject: Re: Poorly fermentable wort I'd wager that your pilsner malt had insufficient beta amylase. I don't know if German pilsner malts usually have less beta amylase than the Belgian pilsner malts usually used in witbiers, but it could be a seasonal variation of the particular malt that you used. My next guess would be that heating your mash created hot spots that denatured some of the beta amylase, which may have already been in short supply due to the high proportion of adjuncts. I don't think the raw wheat was an issue because your efficiency was good, suggesting that both starches and alpha amylase were abundant. Did you test for large starches in the wort? Joe Return to table of contents
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