Friday, May 4, 2012

Already Slammed Enough... Shortened My Brewday

As I reflected on my schedule, and the two beers I was getting ready to brew, it dawned on me, I don’t have to make this so much work.  I was slated for 2 separate brews, 2 mashes, 2 boils.  1 American Wheat with all Amarillo - a Gumballhead clone with Wheat Malt, Pale Malt, and CaraVienne.  The other, a Belgian Wit with Flaked Wheat, Flaked Oats, and Pils, which would call for a 90 minute boil.  I have been slammed enough already that I didn’t need a 9+ hour brew day.  So I decided to make a switch.  

I swapped the Wheat Malt for Flaked Wheat, which works since Gumballhead uses Red Wheat (Flaked) not White (Malt).  I also swapped the Pils for Pale Malt since the flavor isn’t going to shift too far - if it was nearly 90% Pale opposed to Pils it would show, but at less than 50% it won’t matter too much.  This dropped the boil time for the Wit to less than 90.  It also allowed me to combine the base malts and do a large single mash and run it all off into one giant kettle.  After mashing for 60 minutes, I will run it off into 1 kettle, stir, test my gravity, then split, leaving slightly more in the American Wheat than the Wit to account for higher hop losses.  I also adjusted each recipe for a 45 minute boil to shorten the day by another ½ hour.  I will steep the Caravienne in the wort for Gumballhead, and I will toss the Oats into the boil for the last 10 minutes on the Wit (contributing the mouthfeel as well as starches that will help keep the haze around), a tip I picked up from Michael Tonsmeire, that he got from a The Alchemist.  Should make for a much shorter, easier brewday, and two great beers.

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