Brewed my Grodziskie* last night and on and on into the wee hours. I never should have started such a complicated brew at 8:40pm. Needless to say, I wasn't the best dad this morning when my kids let me “sleep in” until 8:15.
The Grodziskie was an ... interesting brew, to say the least.
In retrospect, it may not have been the best choice for my second ever all grain brew. There were four mash steps, a 90 minute boil (I considered an even longer boil) and a bed time of around 2:30 am. The mash alone took about two hours.
Here's what happened.
At the recommendation of this brief but excellent article, I did a several step mash. According to that research, the last known recipe for a Grätzer called for a mash with three to four rests. So, I mashed in at 100ºF and rested there for 30 minutes. This was the beta-glucans rest.
I then raised my mash 25 degrees for the protein rest. Wheat, which made up my entire grist, has a higher amount of both protein and beta-glucans. These lower temperatures are sufficient to break down each of these components of the grain.
After that first hour I raised the temperature to 158 for my saccharificatoin rest. Or, that is, I tried to. For reasons that I didn't understand at the time, my second two infusions of hotter water failed to raise the mash to the correct temperature. This necessitated adding more water, in one case, and settling for a lower temp in the second. Oh well, what's the saying? "relax, have a homebrew." I'm not exactly known for relaxing when it comes to brewing, so I count this metaphorical shrug of the shoulders about missing my temperature steps as a positive step in my brewing career. It may not produce a perfect ale but it should prove better for my psyche.
So what happened with the temperature steps?
I think I failed to properly account for the amount of rice hulls I added. It's likely that I didn't need nearly as many hulls as I put in. These extra hulls must have absorbed much of the heat intended for the smoked wheat.
After the endless mash and the hop additions, I sparged and transferred and found, to my horror, that I didn't have my full gallon of liquid! Now what happened?
Alas, that mystery still lingers (the rice hulls again?). I need to figure that one out before I brew again. And, I may need to do a less complicated brew in order to properly determine my volumes throughout every phase.
As for this beer, well all I can tell you is that it's fermenting. Yippee! However, I can't tell you much more. I recently broke my hydrometer and forgot that fact until moments before I needed it. So no original gravity. Again, yippee!
So I'm flying blind while hoping for a light, effervescent, smoky and refreshing brew.
Time will tell.
*I'm officially using the Polish name, i.e. “Grodziskie” but may lapse into the German “Grätzer” at times.Last modified on