Friday, November 23, 2018

Fire up the big kettle! | Dunkelweissen 10 Gallon Brew Day and Recipe

Following the announcement of acquiring new brewing hardware, the only logical thing to do from there was to make some beer with it. Idle hands are the devil's plaything, so let's get to work.
The first beer batch this season is a Dunkelweissen. After making the Kolsch earlier this year, I wanted to use that strain of yeast to make a wheat beer. This also would be the first beer I've made with a significant quantity of wheat in the grain bill. A quick trip to the store to select, buy, and crush the grain and we're on our way to getting this batch started.

To start off brew day, I decided to try out some new techniques. First, with the larger kettle, I can accomodate putting my mash tun to the full capacity with out worrying about getting too much wort.
To help keep track of the recipe and what I have and haven't done, I wrote up and printed out a batch record to record what I do when I do it while making the beer. This was helpful in keeping track of start and stop times for certain steps, like mashing in and heating to boil. Plus with my scanner, I can scan it in once complete for my own records. On my way to becoming GMP*!.
The flow for this batch would be to heat up the mash water in the individual brew kettles indoors on my stove before transferring that to the mash tun, and then finally boiling up the wort on my propane burner in the keg kettle.
So while heating up the mash water inside, it was time to test my burner to ensure it worked. The video above and photo below will show you that it functioned properly. Time to brew!
With the water heated to temperature, mashing in was a fun process. My coworker joined in the fun as we would be splitting this into two 5 gallon batches. You can see how the mash in went in the below video.


After allowing the mash to go for 90 minutes (stirring every 15 min), it was time to decant the wort. Much more sparge water was preheated while the mash was going, and that was thrown on top to wash all the sugars off the grains. All in all, pulled off about 14 gallons of wort from the mash. Into the kettle it goes! (video #1)
With the burner lit and the kettle filled, the wort was brought to a boil.

The wort did end up boiling over, but some manipulation of the propane regulator stopped the flow of foam from the top while allowing the wort to keep a vigorous rolling boil. There wasn't a convenient place to put the hop sack, but it somehow was able to remain in place with the help of the spoon. Also with the recipe only calling for one hop addition, this was ideal as we wouldn't be needing to manipulate the sack any further.
After 1 hour of boiling, it came time to cool the batch. With the wort chiller working as intended (after tightening some fittings to stop some leaks), the batch was cooled to pitching temperature in about 30 minutes. Not bad at all!
The tubing with the craigslist siphon was the perfect size for the nipple attached to the valve on the kettle. That really helped with filling up the fermenters!
A total of about 11 gallons of wort was collected. I kept 6 of it, in which the last remaining gallon was a trub filled mess that settled out in the 1 gallon glass fermenter. Even with splitting one packet of yeast without a starter between the three fermenters, the yeast started work fast!
The next morning we were both contending with blowoff of grand proportions. I guess we had this coming after filling our fermenters so full. In any case, this brew started out at a gravity of 1.050, which was slightly less than what was predicted at 1.060. This could be due to the extra 1 gallon of liquid recovered.
This batch will be fermenting in my garage, which at this time of the year is starting to get cold, but not freezing; perfect conditions for the Kolsch strain. It should finish up in about 10 - 14 days before being allowed to settle some. Since my keg setup is not ready at this time, I expect to bottle most of it off. Until then, cheers!

Dunkelweissen (10 gallons)
7.5 lb 2 Row
10.5 lb Wheat Malt
0.75 lb Chocolate Wheat
0.75 lb Crystal 60
1.5 lb Munich
0.75 lb Rye Malt

2 oz Hallertau (60 min)

WLP029 German Ale/Kolsch Yeast

Packaging Day (Coming soon)
See more Homebrew Beer Recipes

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