Brew Day — 1 Gal Lemongrass Ginger Wheat

Finished my second 1 gallon batch – closer to 1.5 – a lemongrass ginger wheat.  I’ve written about trying this beer in Atlanta and have wanted to get it dialed in for a summer cooler.  So today, my first steps, a 1.5 gallon batch.

I got rather lousy conversion, probably due to low temperatures in the mash.  My mash-in was at 148 degrees, I’d planned 151.  I got it back up there after about 15 minutes, then it drifted down in the tun again to about 145 degrees by the end of the mash.  So, likely bad conversion.  And using the hotplate in my brewery to boil is not a good idea.  Next time it’s the stove, or my burner, the boil never got really vigorous.  So starting with 66% conversion efficiency when I’m used to 80% throws the calculations off.  And boiling off at a very slow rate doesn’t help – I ended up six points light on my wort.  Since this is to be a summer cooler, 1.045 vs. 1.051 is not a big deal.  Still I don’t like it.  I should have checked grain temps as I’d stored them in the basement, it was cool down there and I’d made an assumption about their temperature that resulted in low mash-in temps.  Another lesson learned.

Dried lemongrass is not very potent, either.  I ended up using 10 grams in 1.5 gallons when I’d planned a much smaller amount.  I threw it in at 10 minutes, then threw the second batch in during a 10 minute extension to the boil.  Ginger worked well at about 10 grams for this size recipe.  I ended up with a nice aroma that reminded me of the beer in Georgia.  Will see how it comes out.

Meanwhile, I got around to racking the Baltic Porter.  Sample tasted great!  I lost a bunch of the beer to trub and to yeast.  The BIAB process puts a lot of trub into the wort I don’t get with my big rig but this is experimentation – I can take a little more trub than normal and still get close to what I want.

Another test today, souring Kottbusser. I started adding food-grade lactic acid to the Kottbusser and quickly determined, soured tastes much better.

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