making sense of it, starting over & Recipe - honey wheat

Brewing processes and methods. How to brew using extract, partial or all-grain. Tips and tricks.

Moderator: slothrob

making sense of it, starting over & Recipe - honey wheat

Postby mule » Thu Mar 19, 2009 1:02 pm

Hi all, another newb here.... I brewed 3 batches about 15+ years ago and have had to re learn most of it now. I can't believe how much things and thoughts have changed. But, never had it nailed down the first time. FYI, I'm in Colorado.

So, here is the deal. I'm starting with a Honey Wheat, the recipe was made up by the local home brew store to what I wanted for taste ect. I've modified it a tiny bit based on info I have found. I'm having some issues with what to do and when. I have the Palmer book now, have been on here for a week reading everything I can find and talking to the two stores in town.
I'm using Sierra Springs bottled water - but can't find the analysis, it's not posted on the web. Is this OK?

What I want is a little of the honey flavor/sweet, just enough for a hint of taste.

My ingredients & info.
6# unhopped Wheat malt extract - but I have 7# in the container.
Can I use the 7# with this recipe? what will happen?

Grains; cracked - will steep in 160* water for 45 min.
1/4# honey malt
3/4# Carastan 20 (crystal 20)
1# American wheat malt

Hops;
1 oz Germ. Tradition - added at boil.
1 oz Germ. Select - @ 30 min

Honey - 1/2# at flame out - @ 60 minutes.
My understanding is it will add to alcohol content a little and dry the taste just a tiny bit.

Yeast CA ale.
oxygenate for 30 minutes with an aquarium air pump......

let primary fermentation go 2-6 days - till 1-5 bubbles a minute then transfer to glass carboy for secondary fermentation.

The newest plan is to add 1# of honey at the time of transfer to a secondary ferminter - mixed with 1/2 cup hot water and poured into 2ndary before transfer.

secondary 2-4 weeks - to taste then bottle with 3/4 cup corn sugar dissolved in 2 cups water.

Another question before secondary fermentation.
My wild hair is to put some CO2 into the secondary carboy to drive out the O2 before I transfer. Make sense or am I a serious nut case?

So. What do you guys think? Any pointers, rants or raves? Complicated enough for my first batch - again????
Thanks
Greg
Knowledge not shared is knowledge lost.
mule
Light Lager
Light Lager
 
Posts: 34
Joined: Fri Mar 13, 2009 11:43 am
Location: Lakewood, CO

Postby Suthrncomfrt1884 » Thu Mar 19, 2009 5:36 pm

I'm not 100% sure on this, but wheat maltt may need to me mashed, not steeped. Since you're using a wheat extract, you really don't even need the malt.

As far as the hops go, you may want to cut down on them a bit. This is of course your preference. If you like hoppy beers, by all means add them. I'm the same way. Most wheat beers though, don't have much hop flavor. If it were me, I'd cut the amount down to around 1.5oz. Half at the beginning of your boil, and the rest at around 5 minutes. This will give you less of a bitterness while still being able to notice them a little bit.

I would also up the honey to about a pound. Again, this is my personal preference.

Your water should be fine.

The Co2 idea has been done by many brewers. I assume you are planning on transferring from one fermenter to the next by using co2? This allows it to never touch oxygen, which is great. I've never been that picky as I'm careful to not open my fermenters unless absolutely necessary and I never splash.

Good luck on getting back into it.
Primary - Belgian Dubbel, Belgian IPA
Secondary - Cherry Lambic
Bottled - Bourbon Barrel Coffee Porter, Double Chocolate Raspberry Stout, Imperial Nut Brown, Apfelwein, American Amber Ale w/Homegrown Hops, Breakfast Stout
Kegged - Bass Clone, ESB
User avatar
Suthrncomfrt1884
Double IPA
Double IPA
 
Posts: 223
Joined: Sun Oct 26, 2008 12:39 am
Location: Rockford, Illinois

Postby Legman » Thu Mar 19, 2009 8:08 pm

Yes, wheat malt does need to be mashed. If you just steep it, I think all you'll do is pull out the starch and it will create haze....which is ok it's a wheat beer anyways. But the starches will not convert to sugar and increase your Original Gravity. Technically I guess you could hold it for about 30 min. @ 150-155F and that my help convert it some. Either way, I probably wouldn't stress it too much. You're really relying on the extract for your gravity.
As for you adding an extra pound of extract, it will increase your gravity and basically increase your alcohol. Your honey will add to the alcohol content as well. If you add 7# of extract and a pound of honey, you could possibly have around 7% ABV. That's rather high for a wheat beer, but it's your beer. Do what you want with it. Honey adds a sweet dryness to beer. The kind of honey you use will also effect the flavor. I personally like Orange Blossom Honey. The slight citrus flavor/aroma would go well with a wheat beer.

Your water will be fine. Don't worry with it at this point.
As far as using a secondary fermenter, that is entirely up to you. It not necessary for most beers(this is an opinion). I never secondary. 3 weeks in the fermenter then bottle or keg. A lot less work with good results.

But I'd say for the most part, just relax and get a few more batches under you belt. Sanitation is the most important thing you need to worry about right now. You'll be all thumbs for awhile, but it all falls into place.

Have fun, and welcome back to the best hobby around! :mrgreen:
User avatar
Legman
Strong Ale
Strong Ale
 
Posts: 349
Joined: Sat Dec 08, 2007 9:02 pm
Location: North Carolina

Recipe

Postby slothrob » Thu Mar 19, 2009 8:08 pm

Southerncomfort is right, the Wheat Malt needs to be mashed, not steeped, and won't add much to the recipe; I'd leave it out.

For my taste, 3/4# Carastan and 1/4# Honey Malt will make for a sweet beer. The Honey will reduce that, but you should be aware that these will make a sweeter and darker beer than a typical Wheat Beer.

The extra pound of extract and extra honey would make the beer higher alcohol and the extra extract would make it finish a bit sweeter, still.

This beer has about twice the bitterness of a typical Wheat Beer, but the person who formulated the recipe may have done that to counter the sweetness from the Carastan and Honey Malts.

This is more of a Pale Ale made with Wheat Extract, than a Wheat Beer. It may be a very nice beer, and I've made experimental beers similar to this (without the Honey) that came out somewhat similar to Dead Guy Ale.

The current thinking on Primary fermentation is not to move the beer until fermentation has completely stopped plus a few days at least, but even a week or more. This gives the yeast a chance to clean up fermentation byproducts and reduces the chance of additional off-flavors caused by stressing the yeast. I usually leave a beer in primary for 2 weeks, if I'm using a secondary.
BTP v2.0.* Windows XP
User avatar
slothrob
Moderator
Moderator
 
Posts: 1768
Joined: Mon Apr 10, 2006 1:36 pm
Location: Greater Boston

Wheat malt

Postby Legman » Thu Mar 19, 2009 8:16 pm

He probably can't leave the wheat malt out. If it's like my LHBS, it has already been milled together with the other steeping grains.

When I first started brewing, my LHBS also included in the their kit recipes, grains(that I later found out) needed to be mashed. I've read other occurrences where this happens. I don't understand why they do this. :shock:

I quickly stopped using their pre-made kits and started doing my own recipes.
Ahhhhh.......the good old extract days. 'sigh' :)
User avatar
Legman
Strong Ale
Strong Ale
 
Posts: 349
Joined: Sat Dec 08, 2007 9:02 pm
Location: North Carolina

Postby mule » Thu Mar 19, 2009 8:51 pm

Legman - Bingo! you got it. They put it all together and then milled it. This wasn't a boxed kit though. We stood there talking about what I was looking for in taste and he started writing down a recipe. Most wheat beers are a bit too mellow for me, but I still like them.

So, what about the idea of 1/2# honey at flame out and another 1# when transferring to the secondary?

So remind me here. If I get the same gravity reading 3 days in a row, then primary fermentation is done? Then give it another couple of days for cleanup?
I'll go back and read up on this more tonight. I need to go over the mashing process too. I don't remember that. Crap, I feel like I'm back in college studying for an exam. That was 18+ yrs ago. which means it was 19 tears since I brewed last.

As to the hops, those little suckers must be potent, I was thinking there sure isn't much here when I look at the pouches..... For this first one, I may leave a little out then, I want to see what it's like this way.

Thanks guys, much appreciated. I'm taking half the day off work tomorrow to brew this - IN THE OFFICE with the boss's brother :lol:
G
PS, on the hops, I found out a friend of mine is growing 4 varieties in his back yard..... Might have to get some rhizomes from him....
Knowledge not shared is knowledge lost.
mule
Light Lager
Light Lager
 
Posts: 34
Joined: Fri Mar 13, 2009 11:43 am
Location: Lakewood, CO

Postby Legman » Fri Mar 20, 2009 5:38 am

Don't worry about the wheat malt this time around. In general, though, unconverted starches are not really a good thing for your beer in the long run.

As far as the honey goes, I've always just put it at flame out. Can't help ya with the secondary part. But I'd watch how much you're putting in there. Your OG will be getting pretty high and you may not like what it does to the flavor.

Leave it in the primary for about 2 weeks, then take a reading. Transfer to a secondary or just bottle it.

Here's a great source for information. We refer to this quite a lot and you'll see this mentioned in many of our other posts here. Very good reference to have.
http://howtobrew.com/
User avatar
Legman
Strong Ale
Strong Ale
 
Posts: 349
Joined: Sat Dec 08, 2007 9:02 pm
Location: North Carolina

Postby slothrob » Fri Mar 20, 2009 6:45 am

mule wrote:So, what about the idea of 1/2# honey at flame out and another 1# when transferring to the secondary?

So remind me here. If I get the same gravity reading 3 days in a row, then primary fermentation is done? Then give it another couple of days for cleanup?

As to the hops, those little suckers must be potent, I was thinking there sure isn't much here when I look at the pouches..... For this first one, I may leave a little out then, I want to see what it's like this way.

IF you add the extra Honey, add it while the yeast is still a bit active in Primary, not Secondary. You want to add fermentables while there is still a lot of yeast around to deal with it. Adding it to secondary will stress the yeast, possibly causing flavor problems. Also, it defeats the purpose of secondary, which is really just a clearing step, by causing the yeast to become active again.

Yes, that's a good way to know the beer is done for sure.

You can mash the grain by holding the grain at 1-2 quarts/ pound, around 150°F, for 30 minutes to an hour.

You could probably drop the 60' addition by as much as half, if you wanted something less bitter. But, since this is more of a Pale Ale and you are probably doing a partial boil, you could leave it all in and probably get something bitter for a Wheat Beer but normal for a Pale Ale.
BTP v2.0.* Windows XP
User avatar
slothrob
Moderator
Moderator
 
Posts: 1768
Joined: Mon Apr 10, 2006 1:36 pm
Location: Greater Boston

Postby mule » Fri Mar 20, 2009 12:09 pm

Thanks guys.
I'm feeling pretty good about this one. I have a game plan now and everything is cleaned and sanitized. 2 hour countdown begins - I'm too wound up to get much work done though...... :mrgreen:

I spent an hour or so reading up on mash in the Palmer book last night. I never did that before, so I'm going to try it next go around. I'm going to hook up with the friend that grows his hops and let him "guide" me through it. :P
Knowledge not shared is knowledge lost.
mule
Light Lager
Light Lager
 
Posts: 34
Joined: Fri Mar 13, 2009 11:43 am
Location: Lakewood, CO

Postby Suthrncomfrt1884 » Fri Mar 20, 2009 1:45 pm

I'll also be growing hops this summer. I'm excited to use something other than pellets from the LHBS for once.

Believe me, once you get into all-grain, you'll wonder why you didn't do it sooner. My beers have been so much better since I started all-grain. Not to say you can't make great beers with extract...I was just looking for a little bit more control over my beers.
Primary - Belgian Dubbel, Belgian IPA
Secondary - Cherry Lambic
Bottled - Bourbon Barrel Coffee Porter, Double Chocolate Raspberry Stout, Imperial Nut Brown, Apfelwein, American Amber Ale w/Homegrown Hops, Breakfast Stout
Kegged - Bass Clone, ESB
User avatar
Suthrncomfrt1884
Double IPA
Double IPA
 
Posts: 223
Joined: Sun Oct 26, 2008 12:39 am
Location: Rockford, Illinois

Steep v. Mashing, and Growing Hops

Postby billvelek » Fri Mar 20, 2009 3:09 pm

There are two comments/questions that I'd like to make regarding, first, the steeping issue, and second, growing hops.

First, "mule" started this post with a recipe which indicates that he will "steep [his grains] in 160* water for 45 min"; comments have been made that his grains need to be mashed. Aside from the fact that the temperature is a bit higher than normal mash temperatures, is there some reason to believe that the starches in his grains will not be converted to at least unfermentable dextrins for that amount of time and temperature? I might be wrong, but I don't believe that all of the enzymes will denature so quickly at 160F that he won't have full conversion. The ideal temp, as far as I'm concerned, is about 152F, but it is my understanding that mash-out temps, which are for the purpose of denaturing the amylase, are at about 170F, so I don't think that 160F is going to accomplish a very quick denaturing of all of the amylase. Although it is a bit "dated" (and I also don't know how accurate it is), Charlie Papazian's "The New Complete Joy of Homebrewing" states that 'Alpha Amylase' will become deactivated within TWO hours at 153F; the 'Beta Amylase' deactivates quicker -- within 40 to 60 minutes at 149F. Still, "steeping" is mashing as long as there is some amylase present; I don't know how much diastatic power the wheat malt has, but I suspect that it is probably sufficient (at least under ideal conditions) for self-conversion; the crystal has already been converted and doesn't need enzymes. So, the question, I think, is whether 45 minutes at 160F will convert the starches to at least unfermentable dextrins, and I suspect that it will -- at least substantially to the point that starch is probably not going to be a huge problem, but I defer to the better brewers amongst us to comment further.

Now, considering that most of the fermentables are coming from his extract and the honey, a high temperature for the small percentage of his steeping grains which will probably cause them to yield mostly non-fermentable dextrins rather than simple sugars ... (lower mash temps, such as below 152F, increasingly yield more fermentable beer with higher alcohol, and higher temps less-fermentable beer) ... is probably just the right ticket to add the maltieness* and mouth-feel that this beer probably needs, considering the thinning that the honey will contribute. Please correct me if I'm wrong. So, I think that the "steeping" in this case, instead of "mashing" (if there is really a difference other than the sparging step), is probably just fine. I will admit that I have never 'steeped' grains before (all I do is all-grain), and that I do not have the experience with fine recipe development (e.g., selection and use of of particular yeast varieties, etc.), so I hope that I am not speaking 'out-of-turn' here and making an azz of myself.

*EDIT: I don't know if non-fermentable dextrins contribute to "maltiness", so I might be wrong on that point.

Second, "Southrncomfrt" commented about growing hops. I hope that you have noticed my signature lines which include a link to my 'Grow-Hops' group. We currently have 2,771 members in our group which is dedicated exclusively to the combined topics of gardening and growing beer ingredients; mostly it is about growing hops, with a very small percentage about barley and brewing herbs. Probably half or more of our group are newbies, but we do have some extremely knowledgable gardeners and some commercial hop growers as members, and I don't think you'll find a resource anywhere on the Internet as good as ours. Sure, you can get answers to hop-growing questions here and in other brewing forums, but our group specializes in the topic, so I warmly invite you and other brewers to join us. If interested, please see my signature line.

Cheers.
Visit www.tinyurl.com/bvelek - portal to my brewing sites: 3,100+ members on 'Grow-Hops', and 1,350+ brewers on my 'BrewingEquip' group.
Running BTP v1.5.3 on WinXP 2005 SP3 w/AMD Athlon 64@3800+, 1GigRam, Res 1024x768
User avatar
billvelek
Imperial Stout
Imperial Stout
 
Posts: 801
Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2004 10:44 am
Location: Arkansas, USA

steep/mash

Postby slothrob » Fri Mar 20, 2009 4:51 pm

Bill, while I haven't done it and I can't say it won't work, I'd be a bit concerned about steeping at 160oF and getting good conversion. Primarily because most extract brewers probably steep in their "full" partial boil volume of 2-2.5 gallons, which would make a mash thickness of 4 quarts/gallon. The more dilute the mash the more rapidly the enzymes will denature. The denaturing effects of elevated temperatures are increased in more dilute mashes.

Chances are mule will get conversion, but I expect it will be very unfermentable, adding further to the sweetness of the beer. I know this is more of an issue for me than many, but I've had way too many homebrews, particularly extract brews, that taste like syrup instead of beer. As it is, it may be tough to get this beer below 1.020 fg, depending on how fermentable that wheat extract is and how dry the honey makes it. On the occasions that I make partial mash beer, I mash in the mid 140's to bring the fermentability more in line with an all-grain wort.

That said, the beer will be fine as is and I'm just trying to help mule make a better beer.
BTP v2.0.* Windows XP
User avatar
slothrob
Moderator
Moderator
 
Posts: 1768
Joined: Mon Apr 10, 2006 1:36 pm
Location: Greater Boston

Postby Suthrncomfrt1884 » Fri Mar 20, 2009 5:52 pm

Bill,

I actually joined your 'grow hops' group awhile back. I think I may have discontinued my membership though because I was sick of getting 25 emails a day on different posts. I couldn't figure out how to disable the automatic email reminders, so I think I just quit the group. I may have to check it out again once I get my hops planted and growing. Thanks for the invite again though.
Primary - Belgian Dubbel, Belgian IPA
Secondary - Cherry Lambic
Bottled - Bourbon Barrel Coffee Porter, Double Chocolate Raspberry Stout, Imperial Nut Brown, Apfelwein, American Amber Ale w/Homegrown Hops, Breakfast Stout
Kegged - Bass Clone, ESB
User avatar
Suthrncomfrt1884
Double IPA
Double IPA
 
Posts: 223
Joined: Sun Oct 26, 2008 12:39 am
Location: Rockford, Illinois

effect of dilution on conversion

Postby billvelek » Fri Mar 20, 2009 9:18 pm

Thanks, slothrob, for adding your comments. I was not aware that enzymes denature faster in more dilute mashes, so I've just learned something. And I wasn't thinking about sweetness resulting from unfermentable dextrines, although that makes sense if they do that, and I'll take your word for it. I have added dextrine for additional mouthfeel, and for some reason never concluded that the beer was too sweet; I guess it depends on a combination of factors, including the bitterness of the recipe, but I will keep that in mind the next time and I'll see what I can detect.

EDIT: By the way, I probably should have commented that I don't know why the steeping temp should necessarily be at 160F unless it is specifically to achieve a very high level of unfermentables; it seems to me that it could be steeped at 150F to 155F which would probably substantially increase the likelihood of full conversion, and still provide the full benefit of the flavor and color.

Suthrncomfrt, my 'Grow-Hops' group does have a lot of traffic, and there are many members who do not like to receive so much email. The easiest solution is to go to the home page, log in, and then edit your membership to either not receive any emails at all, or just a single daily digest, or just 'special announcements' from me and Don Hellen -- which are maybe a dozen/year.

Cheers.

Bill Velek
Visit www.tinyurl.com/bvelek - portal to my brewing sites: 3,100+ members on 'Grow-Hops', and 1,350+ brewers on my 'BrewingEquip' group.
Running BTP v1.5.3 on WinXP 2005 SP3 w/AMD Athlon 64@3800+, 1GigRam, Res 1024x768
User avatar
billvelek
Imperial Stout
Imperial Stout
 
Posts: 801
Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2004 10:44 am
Location: Arkansas, USA

Back to brewing

Postby Legman » Fri Mar 20, 2009 9:40 pm

Hey mule, so how many time did you drop your stir spoon in the floor or fumble around with stuff? :lol:
In all seriousness, I hope it all went well!

Last weekend when I was brewing, I dropped my digital thermometer all the way into the sanitizer......it's not water proof. I think I drank too many homebrews while I was brewing! :P
User avatar
Legman
Strong Ale
Strong Ale
 
Posts: 349
Joined: Sat Dec 08, 2007 9:02 pm
Location: North Carolina

Next

Return to Techniques, Methods, Tips & How To

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot] and 1 guest