Wheat beer woes!

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Wheat beer woes!

Postby Monte Cristo » Wed Nov 16, 2016 17:43

Evening chaps

Over my brewing career (37AGs) I have done 6 wheat beers so far, i'm about to bottle No. 6 and had a taste yesterday and it has a burn flavour to it :scratch: it doesn't take a Sherlock to identify where it came from as my element was black after i emptied my boiler, this has really p*ssed me off as out of the 6 I've done probably 1 was pretty good, the others have suffered from things like being really thin, gusher infection, a nasty after taste from me forgetting to rinse oxy cleaner out properly and a belgian wit i just didn't like.

Wheat beers are one of my favourite styles and I had high hopes for No.6 as i used WLP380 and its a fantastic smelling yeast if a little lively. I can only think it is the break material that has stuck to the element and burnt on, has anyone else had this experience or can you learned chaps think of a remedy?

My boiler is a Peco digital affair which will have to suffice until i get a braumeister
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Re: Wheat beer woes!

Postby Saccharomyces » Wed Nov 16, 2016 20:53

MC,

I would say commiserations on a run of bad luck with wheat beers, but it looks like you might have a problem with your cleaning and sanitising. It isn't luck in that case and it can be fixed!

The gusher and perhaps even the thin beer suggest sanitising issues and the current brew has a cleaning problem. I don't have an element but do have SS, brass and copper at the bottom of my brew kettle and all get black 'stuff' accumulating over time. The brass and copper get scrubbed with a scouring pad and Oxi/washing soda after each brew and with vinegar when that isn't things as clean as I would like. The stainless steel gets an acid/alkali treatment with an extended soak in both. Everything on the cold side gets Oxi and star San with a yearly treatment with bleach.

What is your element made from, and what are you using as a sanitiser (not Oxi, I hope)?
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Re: Wheat beer woes!

Postby robwalker » Wed Nov 16, 2016 21:21

False bottom will keep most of the crap out bud
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Re: Wheat beer woes!

Postby Bad 'Ed » Wed Nov 16, 2016 23:44

Won't a false bottom in a boiler mean that you'll have two vastly different temperatures in the boiler?

I'm about to do a wheat beer so I'm keen to learn off your mistakes if you ever divine your problem.

Do you normally use dried yeast or fresh?

Never enough time....
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Re: Wheat beer woes!

Postby Monte Cristo » Thu Nov 17, 2016 00:38

Saccharomyces wrote:MC,

I would say commiserations on a run of bad luck with wheat beers, but it looks like you might have a problem with your cleaning and sanitising. It isn't luck in that case and it can be fixed!

The gusher and perhaps even the thin beer suggest sanitising issues and the current brew has a cleaning problem. I don't have an element but do have SS, brass and copper at the bottom of my brew kettle and all get black 'stuff' accumulating over time. The brass and copper get scrubbed with a scouring pad and Oxi/washing soda after each brew and with vinegar when that isn't things as clean as I would like. The stainless steel gets an acid/alkali treatment with an extended soak in both. Everything on the cold side gets Oxi and star San with a yearly treatment with bleach.

What is your element made from, and what are you using as a sanitiser (not Oxi, I hope)?


The sanitising problem i have solved, i used to use a no rinse one called Brew safe it was pap tbh, switched to star san!
The oxy i used to clean my bottles but for some reason it had left a white film inside the bottles, i rarely use it now.
The element is stainless steel i remove it after every brew to give it a good clean with a scourer and astonish.
The thin beer issue is to do with me adding water after the mash to bring the volume up i do BIAB and after removing the bag i dunk/soak it in the amount to bring the volume up - this works for others except wheat beers for some reason, so next time i am going to leave the addition water out and go with the resulting volume. This may be a blessing as for wheat beer No.6 i used WLP380 and it climbed out through my remote airlock to mess up my fridge!

robwalker wrote:False bottom will keep most of the crap out bud


That's not a bad idea i'll look into that, wheat beers do seem to be extra crappy when boiling.

Bad 'Ed wrote:Won't a false bottom in a boiler mean that you'll have two vastly different temperatures in the boiler?

I'm about to do a wheat beer so I'm keen to learn off your mistakes if you ever divine your problem.

Do you normally use dried yeast or fresh?


Used mainly liquid so far i have used WLP 400 belgian wit wasn't keen, Wyeast 3068 weihanstephan which had a great flavour but was watery, WLP 380 which smells divide and needs plenty of headspace for the volcanic ferment. The dry yeast i used was Mangrove jack Bavarian wheat which turned out pretty good.
Step mashing is a must if you want some body in your wheat beer this is a good thread to read with some great advice.

Cheers Chaps :hat:

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Re: Wheat beer woes!

Postby Monte Cristo » Fri Apr 28, 2017 22:52

An update on my thread.

Well Chaps things haven't got any better

Wheat beer No. 8 - I thought i would try skimming all the crap off the top of the brew as it came up to boil.

Result - burnt with black bit floating in the brew, I didn't even add the yeast, tipped down the drain.

Wheat beer No.9 - I bought a false bottom for my boiler from Geterbrewed, pretty fine mesh (which worked fine the day before with a dark beer) my result - BURNT! FFS and once again tipped down the drain, yeast put back in the fridge!

No.9 wasn't as burnt, the false bottom had limited the amount but the flavour was there.


Where do I go from here?

Do i buy a new element - I could, but it works fine with other beers?
Should i put a split silicone pipe around the false bottom for a tighter fit?
Buy wheat beer from the shop?

Any input more than welcome and would be interested to hear from other Peco owners re: wheat beer

Cheers Chaps :hat:

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Re: Wheat beer woes!

Postby Aleman » Sat Apr 29, 2017 14:33

Buy a new boiler!

It looks as though the extra protein that you get from wheat malt is burning on your high watt density Peco element. That won't be helped, indeed it will be exacerbated by the fact that you BIAB.

I'd look at replacing the element with a low watt density one from The Malt Miller or Homebrew Builder

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Re: Wheat beer woes!

Postby jonnymorris » Sun Apr 30, 2017 18:29

You're persistent if nothing else. I'd have given up on wheat long before attempting #9 given what you've suffered.

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Wheat beer woes!

Postby Monte Cristo » Sun Apr 30, 2017 19:52

Aleman wrote:Buy a new boiler!

It looks as though the extra protein that you get from wheat malt is burning on your high watt density Peco element. That won't be helped, indeed it will be exacerbated by the fact that you BIAB.

I'd look at replacing the element with a low watt density one from The Malt Miller or Homebrew Builder


My plan is to get a Grainfather or a Braumeister but at the moment I have dare I say other things more important to spend money on so I'm going to have to stick with the peco.

Ha! Can see this boiler turning into "Trigger's broom".



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Re: Wheat beer woes!

Postby pittsy » Sun Apr 30, 2017 21:26

Can you lower the boil intensity , maybe add more volume so the element isn't getting as hot ? I've had a burnt problem doing dunkel once but that was scorched grain from not stirring enough doing a decoction and it'sonly fit for the bin when that happens :(
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Re: Wheat beer woes!

Postby Sorcerers Apprentice » Mon May 01, 2017 09:20

Try using a combination microwave trivet (or something like it) to maintain a gap between the bottom of the BIAB bag and the element. If the bag is too low, then it won't allow the wort convection currents to circulate around the element and will cause scorching. A bit like putting a blanket over an electric fire.
Most microwaves have a trivet but the grill combination models have a taller trivet like this one, which I find ideal. If you haven't got one have a look at your local electrical recycling centre
Image
Or if you can't find one there ebay have lots for around a tenner
Look at this on eBay http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/252741507676
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Re: Wheat beer woes!

Postby robwalker » Mon May 01, 2017 09:53

Christ. Sounds like you're having trouble...

You could try a filtering stage prior to filling the kettle. Might be fiddly with biab but if you're really intent on brewing wheat beers, it'd be a worthy investment.

A simple filter is pretty useful throughout brewing if you have the connections to use it so it won't go to waste. Great for seperating wort, removing dry hops...
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Re: Wheat beer woes!

Postby Monte Cristo » Tue May 02, 2017 09:38

pittsy wrote:Can you lower the boil intensity , maybe add more volume so the element isn't getting as hot ? I've had a burnt problem doing dunkel once but that was scorched grain from not stirring enough doing a decoction and it'sonly fit for the bin when that happens :(


I've tried to do that as it does have a pretty fierce boil but when you nudge the temp down the rolling boil stops!

Sorcerers Apprentice wrote:Try using a combination microwave trivet (or something like it) to maintain a gap between the bottom of the BIAB bag and the element. If the bag is too low, then it won't allow the wort convection currents to circulate around the element and will cause scorching. A bit like putting a blanket over an electric fire.
Most microwaves have a trivet but the grill combination models have a taller trivet like this one, which I find ideal. If you haven't got one have a look at your local electrical recycling centre
Image
Or if you can't find one there ebay have lots for around a tenner
Look at this on eBay http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/252741507676
Sent from my SM-G900F using Tapatalk


The bag i have is great, it doesn't get near the element so have never had a problem with it catching on the element. The problem is during the boil with the wort from the wheat starts to burn onto the element, this doesn't happen with MO.

robwalker wrote:Christ. Sounds like you're having trouble...

You could try a filtering stage prior to filling the kettle. Might be fiddly with biab but if you're really intent on brewing wheat beers, it'd be a worthy investment.

A simple filter is pretty useful throughout brewing if you have the connections to use it so it won't go to waste. Great for seperating wort, removing dry hops...


Once again Rob not a bad idea, i have a very fine mesh bag i use for dry hopping, I could drain the boiler through that into an FV then rinse the boiler and refill with the filtered wort. :thumb:

Also thought about reducing the boil time to 60 mins instead of 90 mins any thoughts on this chaps? :hat:

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Re: Wheat beer woes!

Postby Rolfster » Tue May 02, 2017 09:55

Paradoxically a shorter boil may result in a clear wheat beer.....but I've never made one, just read about it.
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Re: Wheat beer woes!

Postby Sorcerers Apprentice » Tue May 02, 2017 13:02

90 minutes is really to drive off DMS in low colour lager malts, hops only need about 30 minutes to isomerise. I've boiled wheat beers for 60 minutes without scorching issues. There's an argument that longer boils reduce bittering efficency as as some alpha acids are precipated out in the longer boil

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Re: Wheat beer woes!

Postby robwalker » Tue May 02, 2017 13:16

There's DMS to take care of with wheat too, which is why most boil for 90 mins. The clarity thing is due to a long boil breaking up larger proteins leaving the finer ones behind...I think...
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Re: Wheat beer woes!

Postby pittsy » Tue May 02, 2017 19:54

Just a thought , what wheat malt you using ? I use weyermann .
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Re: Wheat beer woes!

Postby Monte Cristo » Wed May 03, 2017 00:26

pittsy wrote:Just a thought , what wheat malt you using ? I use weyermann .

I've been using a combination of fawcett wheat malt and weyermann pilsner malt, with other adds being weyermann..


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Re: Wheat beer woes!

Postby Aleman » Wed May 03, 2017 13:39

One thing you might want to consider is something like a Burst Fire Controller or a Phase Angle Controller. That way you can reduce the power to the element. I've used a PAC on my Thermopot build otherwise I'd have it jumping out of the pot.

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Re: Wheat beer woes!

Postby Monte Cristo » Wed May 03, 2017 13:55

Aleman wrote:One thing you might want to consider is something like a Burst Fire Controller or a Phase Angle Controller. That way you can reduce the power to the element. I've used a PAC on my Thermopot build otherwise I'd have it jumping out of the pot.

That would be a great idea, unfortunately I have no idea how to do that. Is it reasonably straight forward?


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Re: Wheat beer woes!

Postby Aleman » Wed May 03, 2017 21:20

Very simple. You can get a fully assembled PAC Which simply splices into the live side. . . . You cut the brown wire, connect one wire to the brown end From the mains, and the other wire to the brown wire to the element. Job done

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please note:The use of punctuation, bold, underlining, italics, and different sized type, follows the convention used in writing, for many years, to place emphasis on the point being made, and to highlight the importance of that point in the opinion of the author. It is not the intention of the author to shout, if that was the case the author would adopt the, much more recent, convention of using all capital letters.
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Re: Wheat beer woes!

Postby Monte Cristo » Wed May 03, 2017 22:53

Aleman wrote:Very simple. You can get a fully assembled PAC Which simply splices into the live side. . . . You cut the brown wire, connect one wire to the brown end From the mains, and the other wire to the brown wire to the element. Job done

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Is this the one you mean found this It says it is suitable for heating elements.

I suppose i could take controller apart and build it into a bigger box with this controller. it also say it will need a heat sink which one have you got?

I think this could do the trick as mine too throws wort all over while boiling as well as cremating my wheat beers. :hat:

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Re: Wheat beer woes!

Postby Aleman » Wed May 03, 2017 23:01

Don't take it apart. You can still build it into a bigger box by mounting it using the knob through a hole. As for heat sinks I had a spare CPU cooler that I sacrificed, but a extruded aluminium one will do. The bigger the better for the life of the unit.

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please note:The use of punctuation, bold, underlining, italics, and different sized type, follows the convention used in writing, for many years, to place emphasis on the point being made, and to highlight the importance of that point in the opinion of the author. It is not the intention of the author to shout, if that was the case the author would adopt the, much more recent, convention of using all capital letters.
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Re: Wheat beer woes!

Postby Monte Cristo » Thu May 04, 2017 00:19

Aleman wrote:Don't take it apart. You can still build it into a bigger box by mounting it using the knob through a hole. As for heat sinks I had a spare CPU cooler that I sacrificed, but a extruded aluminium one will do. The bigger the better for the life of the unit.

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I actually meant take apart my peco controller and put it all in a new bigger box with the PAC.



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Re: Wheat beer woes!

Postby Aleman » Thu May 04, 2017 06:31

Ahhhh :thumb:

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