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First Roggenbier

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joe_feist:
Actually, it's my rye beer of any kind. Used the 2010 AHA winning recipe. I've been wanting to do a decoction again anyway and that's in this recipe. Recipe is roughly 45% rye and also called for wheat and flaked rice; so, I thought the rice hulls were a good idea based on what I'd read about using rye-sticky.

The mash and sparge went well until the last 1.5 gallon or so. Everything set like paste, but it finished out OK, just slow and laborious. So, my questions-
1. I know there are lots of folks using rye. Would more rice hulls help?
2. Do you think the wheat added to the slow sparge?
3. I hit the FG I was after, but the wort seemed extra slick. Sorry, that's the best descriptor I can come up with. Is that normal for a rye beer?

The recipe is 43% rye; 15% pilsner; 15% pale malt; 8% crystal; 8% flaked rice; 8% wheat plus the 1lb of rice hulls. FG was 1.060 with a 30 minute rest at 122 and a decoction to bring the mash to 160. That was the recipe, so I went with that. Thought a rest at 153 and then 160 mash out might be better.

Well; it's in the fermentor now, but ideas for next time are appreciated.

dmtaylor:
1. I know there are lots of folks using rye. Would more rice hulls help?
2. Do you think the wheat added to the slow sparge?
3. I hit the FG I was after, but the wort seemed extra slick. Sorry, that's the best descriptor I can come up with. Is that normal for a rye beer?

1. A good 1-1.5 lb rice hulls per 5 gallons seems a good amount.  If you don't think that was enough, use a little more next time.
2. Wheat might have hurt, but the rice did as well.  But mostly it's the rye's "fault".
3. Yeah, rye wort and rye beer tends to be thick and slurpy.  The final beer might get this as well, however since you did a 30-minute protein rest that might knock the body down somewhat.  When I brew 40% rye malt beers, they always have a thick slurpy feel to them.  And the foam/head is phenomenal -- you'll never see anything else like it in the world.  That is, IF your protein rest didn't kill it.  As you can see... I would not have recommended the protein rest.

Hope you love it.  I think you will.  I'm sure I would.

joe_feist:
Thanks, Dave. I always appreciate your comments. You may not know me, but I used to hang out on NB's forum a few years ago. Went into exile for whatever reason and I've recently resurfaced.

Checked the fermenter this morning and the yeast is sure chewing things up, so I'll have beer one way or another. This recipe was from 2010. I went back and checked the 2011 recipe (same guys) and they increased the rice hulls to 2 lbs. They changed more than that, so I don't know if it was just because of the rye. I have my opinion, though ;).

Thanks for the re-assurance on the 'slickness.' Not having brewed a rye before, that really threw me. I've read about brewing rye, but that particular detail escaped me. I thought maybe it was just a high protein level and it would come out in the break. I'm anticipating quite the trub level when I rack this off, but that's only my guess based on what I saw go in the fermenter.

On the protein rest, I haven't done one in ages. But, being a new process I thought I'd just follow the recipe as given. What do you think of the high mash temp after the decoction? The recipe called for 30 mins at 165 and that seemed really high. I only hit 160 and since I was already uncomfortable being that high I just left it. Do you think 153 or so would have been more appropriate? What am I trying to accomplish at 160 - 165 other than really increase the un-fermentable sugars?

kylekohlmorgen:
"RICE HULLS, RICE HULLS, RICE HULLS."   - Randy Mosher

I just made the second version of a Pale Ale with 20% rye. I used 2 lbs of rice hulls for a 5 gallon batch. In the first version, I only used 1 pound and sparging was a P.I.T.A.

I also dumped the 1st version because the 'slickness' you're talking about made the beer's bitterness stick to your tongue, not a pleasurable experience. I like the flavor from rye (especially flaked rye), but from now on I will compensate the huge increase in mouthfeel with lower mash temps, simple sugar additions, and/or yeast with high attenuation capabilities. In the next version, I will also reduce the IBUs and the sulfate levels. Bitterness + Slickness = Nastiness. Scientifically Speaking.

The slickness is a turnoff for me in most Roggenbiers, and also in some Rye IPAs/Saisons

dmtaylor:
Joe,

I think you are right on the money.  I have never heard of anyone mashing at 165 F before.  It probably kills 90% of the enzymes, and will ensure a very slurpy beer indeed.  I usually mash mine at 148-150 F and I still get plenty of body/mouthfeel, so I can only imagine how thick a rye beer at 160-165 F would be.  I too would have gone with anything from 148-153 F.  Not sure if you're going to like the final gravity of this one.  If not, you could always throw in a pound of cane sugar to jack up the alcohol to the right level, but this still won't reduce the final gravity much if at all.  I do wish you luck -- hopefully I am wrong.

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