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  • Recipe decisions

    Hi all,
    I'm currently working with a brewing consultant to fine tune my initial recipes for commercial use. In effect taking the tried and tested home brew recipes and modifying them for commercial production.

    Just two things. For our wheat beer I'm being pushed to drop the wheat content to 8%, with the rest being mainly pale ale malt.... Im really not comfortable with that as I was planning on a wheat content of 40%.

    Also in terms of yeast, he is pushing for dried yeast. I can see his point in term,s of ease of use and consistency, but I would prefer to use liquid yeast, as I have found it gives more flavour and a lot of breweries are using the dried stuff.

    I'm torn here between the professional advice and my experience to date so any comments would be great

    thanks

    kevin

  • #2
    8% Wheat in a WHEAT beer sounds like nothing...
    I use 30% in mine, but 40% doesn't sound like too much to me.

    Dry or liquid yeast seems like a personal preference to me. I have always used liquid yeast from White Labs in San Diego (which I have been very happy with), but we mainly use one strain and re-pitch for many generations. I see the value of dry yeast if you are using many strains and want to keep the yeast in storage for longer.

    Trust your instincts.
    __
    Kushal Hall
    Common Space Brewery
    Hawthorne, CA

    Comment


    • #3
      I wouldn't copnsider that a wheat beer. We used to add about 10 % (as torriefied wheat admittedly) to standard beers to improve head retention (and because it ws a big brewing company, undoubtedly cost came into it).

      I have to say I have never brewed a wheat beer, but would expect 40 to 50 % ish of wheat in the grist.
      dick

      Comment


      • #4
        Why does he want to drop the wheat %, and can you taste a difference? If he has a compelling reason, it'd be worth making a homebrew batch and doing a blind tasting to see which you prefer.

        Comment


        • #5
          wheat beer ideas

          Kevin,
          At 8% the wheat acts as a body builder and foam stabilizer, but not apparent in the flavor like I think you want. I have done some remarkable wheat beers, and over time have found that several things contribute to an excellent product. I wonder how much experience your consultant has with this and if he is thinking only in terms of process efficiency and cost. This last round of wheat beer I did was with white wheat malt, and I will never do back. The flavor of red wheat always seemed muddy to me, and I find that the white gives a clean and wonderful character. Wheat mills differently than barley, and not so much a problem in 10-15 bbl batches, but if you are going bigger than that you might want to open the mill gap slightly to produce less flour, the main culprit in stuck mashes. I always use a protien rest, prior to saccrification, this really cleans up the product in regard to flavor and clarity, reducing protien haze and improving head retention and shelf life, IMHO. It also had the side benefit of increasing extract efficiency, which readily ofsets costs of extra time and higher priced ingredients. 40% is standard, so it should be workable in any scenario with some adjustment to lautering times. In regard to yeast, find out why he is recommending dry, if this is to be a contract brew, then its all about reuse. BSI now offers pitchable quantities at far better prices and yeast counts, you may want to look at them for yeast if you have to buy new every time and still want to use liquid. David Logsden shared a very unique protocol with me in the late 90's in regard to wheat beer, and I have never put it out there in such a large way as I am about to here, and it has its plusses and minuses, but if you can pilot a batch, you may be very surprised at the results, as I was. Firstly I am talking about an American Wheat Ale, 40% with a protien rest, not the Bavarian style. I used Wyeast Scottish Ale yeast, and strong pitch rates, fermenting at the bottom end of its temperature range, 57 degrees for both pitch and hi limit. It only takes a day longer, but gives the beer such a soft quality on the pallet, most people might assume its done with a lager strain. I am a huge fan of step cooling, post ferment, especially with a powdery yeast like Scottish. That is 6-7 degrees drop per day until you hit cellar or aging temp (39deg). Then its just one more step to carb temp. If you want some reviews, look at the the Alaskan blog, "Fermento's Foamy Rant" put out by James "Dr Fermento" Roberts, or contact him at james dot roberts at gci.net. And feel free to get back up with me if you have any questions.
          I hope this gives you some food for thought. Good Luck, Cheers!
          Last edited by Ray Hodge; 12-22-2012, 08:40 AM.

          Comment


          • #6
            Berliner Weisse

            Tried to attached a file (.pdf 3.7 Mb) published by the VLB-Berlin with information and some parameters of the grist composition of a Berliner Weisse in which they may use up to 65-75% wheat malt. IMHO, you may use up to 50% with no problem. If interested, please send me your email so I can send it.

            Comment


            • #7
              For my money (and I don't have much) I agree with most of the previous posters...40% wheat in a wheat beer sounds about right. 10% sounds like head retention or maybe a lame crystal wiess. As for yeast, I prefer liquid yeast. I think that yeast management and successive pitches on yeast through many generations is an essential skill for a brewer. I get the idea of using dry yeast, but in practice I prefer liquid cultures.

              It would be interesting to chat with your consultant, and find out what his brewing background is and his reasons for those proposed changes. Bottom line, though, he works for YOU. So you can just tell him that you want 40% wheat, period, and not even mention your good friends on ProBrewer

              Good Luck! Plenty of second opinions around here!

              Nat

              Comment


              • #8
                Thanks for all the feedback!

                All going to plan we'll be doing the pilot brews in January!

                Happy Christmas to you all

                Comment


                • #9
                  I agree with most of the previous posts. With that in mind I would start to think that your consultant might not be sending you down the right road. I would dig a bit deeper to see what his rational is for the decrease in wheat, and have there been any other red flags that have caught you off guard? As for the yeast it is a personal preference and my preference is liquid.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Time for change

                    kkkkk
                    Originally posted by kev View Post
                    Hi all,
                    I'm currently working with a brewing consultant to fine tune my initial recipes for commercial use. In effect taking the tried and tested home brew recipes and modifying them for commercial production.

                    Just two things. For our wheat beer I'm being pushed to drop the wheat content to 8%, with the rest being mainly pale ale malt.... Im really not comfortable with that as I was planning on a wheat content of 40%.

                    Also in terms of yeast, he is pushing for dried yeast. I can see his point in term,s of ease of use and consistency, but I would prefer to use liquid yeast, as I have found it gives more flavour and a lot of breweries are using the dried stuff.

                    I'm torn here between the professional advice and my experience to date so any comments would be great

                    thanks

                    kevin
                    Time to change your consulant
                    Brewer for 50 years

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Just dropping in to say I agree with the prior posters... I wouldn't consider something with only 8% wheat a wheat beer -- as Dick Murton said earlier, 40%-50% is where you want to be.
                      Kevin Shertz
                      Chester River Brewing Company
                      Chestertown, MD

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Thanks for the feedback, its pretty crucial that the beer taste nice

                        The other thing was the hop schedule. He is very against any hop additions other than at the start of the boil for bitterness and then just 5 minutes before the end of the boil for aroma/flavour. I can see a certain logic to this if the aroma from earlier additions will be boiled off, but I wasn't sure if this was the accepted norm or not.

                        Its been a busy week of home brewing so I have several variations on the recipes fermenting at the minute, so that should help me get a handle on it as well

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Guess it depends on the type of wheat beer. Typically, for a German style there are only FWH or 60/70 min. additions, the phenols and esters should be the aroma focus of this style.

                          Maybe for a US style you want 5 min. additions. Personally, even with that style, I would stay away from it.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Sorry, should have been clearer. The hop advice was more for the pale ale and red ale.

                            Im going to do a late addition in the wheat, its more american style, but just a small amount

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Again, a matter of preference. Traditionally a (American) pale ale will have 60/20/5 or KO minute additions, all a matter of taste and how your system performs. Some experts say that if you are dry hopping you don't need late additions. You can create any recipe you want, I think it simply has to taste good and can be scaled up on your system.

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