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The Color of Honey

This entry may seem a bit disjointed inasmuch as it constitutes an introduction AND an update, but what the hell. Given that I spend a pretty solid fraction of my allegedly free time thinking about brewing, I’ve decided to include a new category to that effect in my blog – a category that may even get updated on occasion. So there will in all likelihood be some more general entries in the new future concerning equipment, techniques, &c, but for the time being I’ll just present my most recent recipe:

The Color of Honey

This is essentially a plain-Jane American wheat, which gives me an opportunity to try out a couple things:  some honey I have left over from cooking, and the new(-ish) dry hefeweizen yeast from Fermentis, WB-06 (presumably WB stands for Wheat Beer, and the first five iterations weren’t fit for public consumption).

Brew day went fairly well; a couple minor inconveniences: tornado-spawned winds blew out the propane burner a couple times, and for some reason I was 10°F under my target saccharification rest temperature of 156°F (I wanted to mash a little high to compensate for the drying effects of using honey for 20% of my fermentables). In the end I decided to do a decoction to get the mash temperature up, and took it to 159°F, which hopefully balanced out the 15 minutes it spent at 146°F. The only explanation I can think of is that the extremely low thermal mass of a 6.5 pound grain bill and a stiff mash lost a significant amount of heat to the tun. OG (checked refractometer against hydrometer, just for kicks) and volume were spot on, meaning efficiency was right at 80%. The Great Fermentations crush definitely results in a little lower efficiency than using Linda’s mill, but not enough to be worrisome.

This boil also provided another data point for my hypothesis that either a large proportion of malted wheat, a protein rest, or both results in a reduced hot break and lessens the chance of a boil-over. I may try a protein rest with a 100% barley recipe in the future for comparison.

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