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2013-06-28 · Chhhhwheat

Spec

Beer Style:
All-Wheat
Batch Size:
4L
Brew Type:
All Grain
Boil Duration:
60mins
Mash Type:
Decoction (see description)
Mash Method:
BIAB
Chill Method:
No-Chill Cube
Original Gravity:
1.075
Final Gravity:
1.019 (estimated)
ABV:
7.4% (estimated)

Dates

2013-06-28:
Brewed
2013-06-29:
Pitched
2013-07-19:
Bottled

This was a small experimental batch of a beer entirely made out of wheat malt. An all-wheat beer is very uncommon, mostly due to claims that wheat does not have enough diastatic power to convert its own starches into sugars.

My recipe was based on the Basic Brewing recipe from December 2010. To add some complexity (taste and color) to the beer, I took 200g out of the 2000g wheat malt I bought at the LHBS, and roasted it in the oven at 150C for 30 minutes.

I started mashing at 45C for 25 minutes, with a volume of about 2 gallons. After that, about 30% of the mash was taken out and raised separately to 70C for 15 minutes, then boiled for 20 minutes. The two mashes were then recombined, settling on 64C, where it stayed for 20 minutes. I then raised it to 70C for 30 minutes, at which point the BIAB bag of wheat was taken out, squeezed, and dunked into 2 liters of water at about 70C to sparge.

The wort was heating towards a boil, the sparge water was added, and the wort was boiled for 60 minutes. When done, I transferred the beer to a 5L no-chill cube.

The day after brewing, I rehydrated half a package of Nottingham yeast, transferred the wort to a 1G glass jug, and pitched the yeast. The beer fermented for 21 days at 21C, then primed with 48g corn sugar and conditioned at 21C for 21 days.

Notes and Impressions

  • Color: medium brown color. I did not expect the portion of the grist I roasted to make that much of a difference on color, but it did.
  • Clarity: fairly cloudy.
  • Head: large head, small bubbles, not at all creamy, surprisingly inadequate head retention (disappeared rather quickly), almost no lacing.
  • Aroma: "wheaty", malty, not very yeasty, somewhat estery, smells like a traditional Hefeweizen really.
  • Taste: this is a hefeweizen if I've ever tasted one. Medium bodied, a touch of roastiness from the roasted wheat, well balanced if a bit on the malty side, some acidity attributed to relatively higher carbonation.
  • Drinkability: definitely not a session beer as per relatively high ABV. A bottle of 25oz (740ml) gave me a bit of a buzz.

Overall I was surprised at how good this beer tasted, and how much it reminded me of Franziskaner Weissbier and other Hefes, though ever since I started brewing I hardly ever drink commercial beers so it's been a while since I drank some Franziskaner (I used to drink a lot of it) and I may be wrong about the similarity.

This experiment definitely put to rest any doubts I had about the diastatic power of wheat malt and whether an all-wheat beer is possible or any good. The beer was not sweet/watery/overly malty/just a mess of unfermentable wort. Rather, it was a well balanced Hefeweizen, leaning a bit towards the malty side.

Recipe

Stage Ingredient Duration Quantity
Mash Light Wheat Malt 1800g
Dark Wheat Malt* 200g
Boil Fuggle (4.8%) 60mins (40mins)** 8g
Fuggle (4.8%) 30mins (10mins)** 6g
Belma (11.3%) 20mins (0mins)** 6g
Fermentation Danstar Nottingham 5g

* The dark wheat malt was created by roasting some light wheat malt, see notes in the description.

** Bittering hop additions adjusted 20 minutes down to account for greater hop utilization due to the no-chill method.

Pictures

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