It was a Sunday brew day at my house this weekend. The dunkelweizen recipe that I had threatened to brew since last 2012 was finally put into action yesterday afternoon.
This brew day was also the inaugural run of the grain mill I bought, but silly me forgot to take a gravity reading at the end of the boil to calculate my brewhouse efficiency. Although it was nice to get the process down of crushing the grain during the time I was heating my water to mash temperature, it would have been nice to collect that piece of data to see if the mill needed any adjustment.
Oh well, we figure that one out later. Outside of that moment of forgetfulness from me, I brewed fairly well.
The base of this recipe called for 6 pounds of malted wheat and 3 pounds of munich malt. With all of that wheat, there is always a fear that a stuck sparge may happen. To protect myself, I added some rice hulls to the mash and I didn’t have any problems collecting wort at all.
The first wort collection was a deep amber color. The second collection, following the batch sparging method, the wort was running fairly clear and blond-ish by the end.
Because I had just over an ounce of homegrown Magnum left over from the harvest hanging out in my freezer, they were given a home in the Dunkelweizen boil.
Even though I have written this before, whole hops swimming in your wort may be one of the prettiest sights on a brew day. They do lose their green color after the hour in the boil but the first several minutes after you add them are pretty special – much better than the scum you get after adding pellets.
Since the fermentation temperature is crucial to this recipe and style (I need to keep it to 62°F), it was important for me to chill the wort well. When I checked it, it was at 56°F after a half hour chill period. The cold weather is good for some things.
I bought two packets of Wyeast 3068 Weihenstephan Wheat that I smacked and they swelled up nicely. Their manufacture date was less than a month ago which may be some of the freshest yeast I have ever used. I poured them right into the fermentor and because I have had problems with messy fermentations, I bought a little insurance.
This stuff called Fermcap-S is supposed to keep the krausen from getting out of hand. I followed the instructions on the bottle and add 10 drops of Fermcap to the top of the wort. They were simple instructions but unfortunately the stuff has the consistency of Elmer’s glue and was tough to collect in the dropper and add to the wort.
Pretty stuff, eh? Twenty four hours later, the krausen is beginning to form and the temperture is sitting at 61°F. If the cold weather in our area continues, I might as well use it to make great beer.