I'm making the move from brewing all-grain kits to a "full fledged" recipe Weizen. However, I'm having trouble with some of the details: namely quantities and sparging. Some background: I've been doing small batches (4L) with fermentation on a demijohn. Only done 2 weiss so far. For those 4L, the instructions I had ask for 3L of mash water and 4L for sparging (which I do by slowly pouring the water over the sieved grain). I've found the following 5 gallon recipe which I was intending to follow and convert. My conclusions so far were (please correct me if I'm wrong):

Batch size: 4L. Boil size: 4.9L (amount of wort ready to be boiled). Ratio from 5 gallon to 4L is 5.683 (22.73L to 4L), which I used for converting grain and hops' quantities:

  • Wheat malt: 400g
  • Pale malt: 320g
  • Hops: 2.5g + 2.5g

My first question is, how much sparge water should I use?

I believe the method I've used so far is called partial boil since the (kit) recipe says to add remaining water to fermenter to make up for any loss. How easy it'll be to make it a full boil (as most people seem to consider it "better"). Kit recipe http://www.brewcraftbeer.co.uk/ekmps/shops/hoptoc/resources/Design/brew-craft-beer-how-to-brew.jpg

Finally, are my calculations correct?

I guess the hops quantities will have to be adjusted according to the AAU of the hops I get?

up vote 2 down vote accepted

There are a bunch of mash water:grain ratios, but generally around 1.5:1 qt./lb. (that's about 1.5 litres per 500 grams).

The software BeerSmith recommends batch sparging your recipe with 4.1 and then 7.1 litres of water. So (assuming you're batch sparging) the first sparge-water addition would be 4.1 litres, and the second 7.1 litres. if you're continuously sparging, ideally you'd be close to finished after something like 4+7 => 11 litres of sparge water have passed through the grain bed.

Really sparging is "washing" sugars from the grain. You want to keep sparging until the wort coming off the grain bed has a specific gravity, say around 1.010 - that is, when nearly all sugars are collected. Obviously you can't sparge all day, and you may not be able to boil that volume of liquid, so you stop at some point.

This is then boiled down to meet the correct gravity. If something went wrong, your volume of boiled wort may not be the amount you expected.

Finally, FWIW: if you really want a "German Style" weizen (hefeweissbier), the type of yeast is very important. I suggest the "Weihenstephan 3068" yeast, available from both White Labs and Wyeast.

  • I'm slightly confused, sorry. What do you mean with "4.1 and then 7.1"? Also, can I keep checking with the hygrometer for the intended gravity while it boils? Thanks for the yeast tip. – jpjorge Mar 3 '16 at 19:23
  • @jpjorge - Yes you can just keep checking with a hydrometer. However since your wort is hot, it becomes problematic since most hydrometers are calibrated for 20C. Using a refractometer - which needs only a few drops of wort - works well. I guess you can adjust your hydrometer reader for temperature with lots of online tools. – Kingsley Mar 4 '16 at 6:17
  • @jpgeorge - 4.1 & 7.1 refers to two batches of sparge water the first having a volume of 4.1 litres, and the 2nd a volume of 7.1 litres. – Kingsley Jul 12 '16 at 2:45

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