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Subject: Belgian Wit multi step mash vs. single step mash
Author: smiller
Feb 15th, 2017
9:12 pm
Brewing a Belgian Wit this weekend...have a mini brew 15 gal mash tun with false bottom (all plastic)...not really an ideal setup for a step mash. Does anyone have any recommendations on how to step mash in the mini brew? Otherwise my only other option is to do a single infusion mash. How well does the single infusion mash work for Belgian Wits? Hoping someone still looks at this site once in a while...
Subject: Re: Belgian Wit multi step mash vs. single step mash
Author: paulb
Feb 16th, 2017
10:09 am
Looking at all the all-grain recipes here I see all single infusion mashes, but there's a lot of numbers outside the guideline parameters - the White Spring recipe is close, find one you like and use the calculator to get it right.
Subject: Re: Belgian Wit multi step mash vs. single step mash
Author: DConn
Feb 16th, 2017
5:04 pm
If you want to step mash, just add boiling water til you hit your step temp. Frankly, I wouldn't bother.
Subject: Re: Belgian Wit multi step mash vs. single step mash
Author: smiller
Feb 17th, 2017
5:40 am
Thanks for the advice guys! Looks like single infusion is going to be the easier way to go.
Subject: Re: Belgian Wit multi step mash vs. single step mash
Author: smiller
Feb 22nd, 2017
6:10 pm
Follow up to my initial post...Brewed the Witbier last Saturday. Single infusion mash @ 154 deg x 1hr25 min until iodine conversion test was complete. Batch sparged to collect 7 gallons pre boil and ended up with 4 gal after 90 min. boil...was shooting for 5 gal...checked gravity of 4 gal and missed my OG by 10...Est. OG was 1.057 and measured at 1.047. Even with a 4 gal batch, this recipe should've put my gravity at est. 1.071. I've never missed my OG by this much doing a batch sparge, usually only off by 1 or 2 but never this far off. I used to fly sparge and always outperformed my efficiency but hated how long it took.
Here's the recipe:

0.50 lb Rice Hulls (0.0 SRM) Adjunct 4.55 %
5.50 lb Pilsner (2 Row) Bel (2.0 SRM) Grain 50.00 %
4.50 lb Wheat, Flaked (1.6 SRM) Grain 40.91 %
0.50 lb Oats, Flaked (1.0 SRM)

One thing I forgot to check was pH...oops I think the issue has to be in the mash/sparge process. What am I missing here?
Subject: Re: Belgian Wit multi step mash vs. single step mash
Author: DConn
Feb 23rd, 2017
4:54 pm
The other possibility is that the wheat didn't get milled well enough. The kernels are smaller than so you may have to reset your mill.
Subject: Re: Belgian Wit multi step mash vs. single step mash
Author: jtrainer
Feb 26th, 2017
6:24 pm
Crush till you're scared, then crush a little more.
Subject: Re: Belgian Wit multi step mash vs. single step mash
Author: smiller
Mar 3rd, 2017
3:45 pm
Now that I remember, I didn't crush the flaked wheat & oats with the pilsner malt. Would that make that much of a difference?
Subject: Re: Belgian Wit multi step mash vs. single step mash
Author: DConn
Mar 3rd, 2017
4:52 pm
Nope. 99% of people don't crush flaked grains and a lot of those that do wish they hadn't!
Subject: Re: Belgian Wit multi step mash vs. single step mash
Author: smiller
Mar 4th, 2017
7:31 pm
Thanks Denny! Normally use 5.2 pH stabilizer but didn't on this beer. Have been reading that 5.2 doesn't really work anyway. Looking into my water profile here in AZ. High alkalinity (175ppm), low Calcium (20PPM), pH of 7.5. I added some Gypsum to brew water before heating for mash. With the lighter kilned malts in the recipe, probably not a lot of pH reduction in the mash. Thinking this might have caused my low OG of 1.044 (OG est. 1.057 with Beersmith). Final Gravity was 1.008. ABV 4.69%. Any thoughts?
Subject: Re: Belgian Wit multi step mash vs. single step mash
Author: DConn
Mar 5th, 2017
4:57 pm
5.2 is pretty worthless. Not only will it not adjust your pH, it also leaves a strange taste in the beer. pH might be responsible for your low OG, but it could be crush, too. You might want to look into using Bru'nwater to adjust your water. At the very least, check the water knowledge page there for ideas.

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