Sunday, 15 December 2013

AG #15: Blackberry Hefeweizen

Elsewhere on this blog, I have posted the recipe for this.

The yeast, after being a bit slow, really kicked into action, and then stopped in a cold snap. THE FG was still rather high, so I roused and put it in somewhere warm. Nice bit of krausen, and then stopped again. My final gravity is still really too high (by about a full tenth of a point!!).

Well, it went in the keg anyway. A hefeweizen tends to primed scarily high (about 100g of sugar in my 10 litres). I replaced 10 g of this with the crushed juice of 200 g of foraged blackberries (assumed a 5g/100g sugar content, as per the Internet). So this could all go wrong in a scary pink explosion!

This efficiency/gravity thing is getting annoying now. So much so, I am thinking of mashing in a large esky to make sure I maintain heat. Yes, the yeast may have been a bit old - it was on the last month where I could use it. But it had been in the fridge all that time, and smelt OK. The beer also smelt and tasted just won't ferment out fully.

Given that I have experienced this phenomenon more than once, with different yeasts, suggests that it must be me and my technique, not my ingredients. I am sure my worry about hitting temperatures leads me to warming the water too much, adding the grain, mashing high. As the saying goes M.A.L.T. (more alcohol, less temperature).

To be honest, the temperature loss in my kettle/mash tun is pretty small over 90 mins, so I wonder if it is better to dough in a few degrees under, and the add hot water?

As it is, I've ended up with a lighter beer than I thought (3.7% not the 5% I aimed for), perhaps sweeter (thank goodness I added more hops than I did in my original attempt), and potentially explosive to boot :-{

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