Author Topic: Wee Heavy Tricks?  (Read 5847 times)

Offline Wildrover

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Wee Heavy Tricks?
« on: October 30, 2009, 04:35:19 PM »
I know a lot of this has been discussed in other threads but I'd figure I'd just ask about them all in this one thread.  I'm going to give my first wee heavy an attempt tomorrow and I'd like to know about the pros and cons to the tricks I've read about:

1.  Boiling a portion of the mash liquor, say a gallon or so of the first runnings.  I wasn't sure I saw a consensus about whether or not this is a good idea or not.  Does it work?  What are the cons to this?  And how long and how much do you boil?

2.  A regular decocotion mash schedule for this.  Well, does it work, how much and how often (how many steps in the decocotion mash schedule, single, double, etc.)

3.  Extra long boil, I've read somewhere where some do a three hour boil.  Yikes?  I'm sure an hour long boil isn't going to cut it but do you really need to do that long of a boil?  How about 90 minutes or 120 maybe?  Do you need to add water to the kettle or should you sparge with more water if using this "trick"

4.  Can you use any of these tricks in conjunction with another one?  If I boil for two hours plus the first two gallons of the first runnings will this add too much maltiness for example or is it overkill or is there a point of diminishing returns where I might not be hurting myself per se but its more work for little to no influence on the final product?  

5.  Where does the Wee come from anyway?

Thanks in advance

WR
« Last Edit: October 30, 2009, 04:37:13 PM by Wildrover »

dhaenerbrewer

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Re: Wee Heavy Tricks?
« Reply #1 on: October 30, 2009, 07:42:30 PM »
If you are going to go ahead and do a long boil ( I would for a wee heavy ), I wouldn't do the pre-boil. It doesn't seem necessary. A three hour boil is a bit excessive but it all depends on how much caramelization you want. I wouldn't add any extra water to the extra long boil, as it would essentially defeat the purpose ( caramelization, extra gravity, etc. ). I don't think a decoction mash is necessary or beneficial for this beer. Though I would suggest a double infusion. With a 15 minute rest at 148F and a 45 minute rest at 158F. My two cents. Good luck!

Darin

Offline Wildrover

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Re: Wee Heavy Tricks?
« Reply #2 on: October 30, 2009, 10:19:41 PM »
Thanks for the input,

Double infusion it is

Offline bonjour

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Re: Wee Heavy Tricks?
« Reply #3 on: October 31, 2009, 08:29:10 AM »
1.  Boiling a portion of the mash liquor, say a gallon or so of the first runnings.  I wasn't sure I saw a consensus about whether or not this is a good idea or not.  Does it work?  What are the cons to this?  And how long and how much do you boil?
While this does work, I'm more in favor of the apparently excessive three hour boil.  Just ask anyone who has tasted my beers.
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2.  A regular decocotion mash schedule for this.  Well, does it work, how much and how often (how many steps in the decocotion mash schedule, single, double, etc.)
A decoction is not required, and is not traditional, but IMHO it really contributes to the flavor in this style.  Either a single or a double.  Keep in mind that this will extend your mash time which is a good thing, especially if you are on the north side of 1.120 og
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3.  Extra long boil, I've read somewhere where some do a three hour boil.  Yikes?  I'm sure an hour long boil isn't going to cut it but do you really need to do that long of a boil?  How about 90 minutes or 120 maybe?  Do you need to add water to the kettle or should you sparge with more water if using this "trick"
I usually sparge longer to get the OG that I am shooting for and often am boiling in two pots 9-10 gallons to get 5, I like my OG around 1.130 in this style.  IMHO it is the single biggest factor that contributes to the flavor of this brew.
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4.  Can you use any of these tricks in conjunction with another one?  If I boil for two hours plus the first two gallons of the first runnings will this add too much maltiness for example or is it overkill or is there a point of diminishing returns where I might not be hurting myself per se but its more work for little to no influence on the final product?  
Absolutely,  that is the realm of the homebrewer, to experiment and do something different.  As for me I NEVER break ANY of the established RULES,   ;)
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5.  Where does the Wee come from anyway?
The Scottish are a sarcastic bunch, eh!
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Thanks in advance
aTdHvAaNnKcSe


Fred
(Is my Scottish side (McPhee) showing?)

Offline UselessBrewing

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Re: Wee Heavy Tricks?
« Reply #4 on: November 02, 2009, 12:59:36 PM »
1. I agree, it is not necessary if you are doing a longer boil.
2. Traditional for the style? I don't know... However I do know that Decoction Mashing was the norm. So maybe! I also believe that it adds to the flavors of the beer which you cant get otherwise.
2.1. I normally pull off about 2 gallons and boil it for 30 min to an hour when time permits. I think I read (think it was "Wild Brews") that 20-30 min was all that was necessary. If it stars getting to thick I add some wort from the MT. Make sure you stir it often  (I mean this). You don't want to scorch the grains!
2.2. In the past I have taken 3-5 extra lb of 2 row and did a second mash for a smaller old ale (If you used the same yeast).
3. I think it is necessary, the benefit is you have more water for sparging. You could add it to the kettle, but you would make better use of it for sparging.
4. NOPE, NOT POSSIBLE!   ;D  Just kidding...
5. That's what happens after a few beers. You go Wee, then you have to go wee. Then there is the whole spinning room thing, Or is that just me?  :o

Cheers
Preston
The woodpecker pecks, Not to annoy, But to survive!

Offline Wildrover

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Re: Wee Heavy Tricks?
« Reply #5 on: November 03, 2009, 01:37:33 PM »
So this is what I did. 

I did a rest at 148 for approx 25 minutes than another rest at around 158 for 90 minutes.  I then pulled approx 2 gallons of wort of the mash and boiled it for around 10 minutes.  I usually do this to bring the mash up to mash out temp anyways so I figured letting it go for an extra ten minutes couldn't hurt and it might give a little head start to the caramelzation I'm looking for.  I then added it back and proceeded as usual. 

The day was getting behind me though, trick or treaters were knocking on the door when I was taking the first runnings so I figured I needed to do something to expedite the process.  So, after adding the two gallons or wort back I let it stand for around 10 minutes then let run why the first sparge round was heating up. 

Here is where I deviated from my normal process.  I took the first four gallons of the first runnings and instead of putting it in the brew pot and waiting for the next two runnings I decided to fire it up and get the first four gallons boiling why I get the remainder of the wort from the mash tun. 

So, that was brought to a boil fairly quickly and it took approx an hour to get the remaining two runnings.  I added the volume of each additional running to the brew pot as it was collected and bringing it back to a boil as soon as possible. 

After I got all of the wort into the kettle I then set my timer for a 90 minute boil which only a small portion of the wort received that.  Another, smaller portion received something longer and the bulk of the wort received god only knows, 2-2.5 hours?  So, I'm thinking I probably did what I needed to get the right amount of carmelzation for this beer. 

I was a little inefficient though but I think I know why.  I had smaller volumes of water to sparge with and the larger grain bill should have told me to make some adjustments so I'm a bit under the numbers.  Only 1.084 for a beer that was supposed to be 1.094.  I'm still within the guidelines though so for now I'll chalk it up to a lesson learned and we'll wait and see what happens. 

Offline bonjour

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Re: Wee Heavy Tricks?
« Reply #6 on: November 03, 2009, 01:43:23 PM »
Sounds good,

Keep your ferment temp below 65F (lower is even better).

Can I have some  ;D

Fred

Offline tommiwommi

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Re: Wee Heavy Tricks?
« Reply #7 on: November 10, 2009, 09:27:23 PM »
I have been considering a wee-heavy recipie for some time, you answered some of my questions I had, I may do this sooner than I thought, Thanks a bunch