Gowanus Brewery

Gowanus Wheat Beer – Bottled by Jeremy
March 17, 2008, 12:00 am
Filed under: all-grain, beer, label, naming, wheat

Yesterday, I bottled the Gowanus Wheat Beer, which is what I named the American Wheat Beer I brewed a few weeks ago. I’m over the clever names. It’s just Gowanus Wheat Beer.

Bottling went great, but something went screwy with the fermentation. OG was 38 and final was 16, which means ABV is about 3% (rather than the 5% that an OG should produce). What’s odd is that the specific gravity was 16 when it went in secondary a couple weeks ago. There was no change between then end of primary and yesterday. It stopped, prematurely.

In Papazian’s The Complete Joy of Home Brewing, he suggests that the most common explanation for stuck fermentation is high levels of dextrin. Dextrins are starch chains of four or more glucose molecules and are unfermentable. Smaller starch chains and individual glucose molecules are fermentable. The ratio of the sugars depend on how the mash goes. If the temperature is on the high end, you promote beta-amylase and get more dextrins. If it’s on the low end, you promote alpha-amylaze and get more fermentable sugars. In the future, I’m going to do this mash at 150 degrees to promote alpha-amylaze. I’ll also have to hold the rest longer because this enzyme is relatively slower than the other. In the end, this beer should be drier and lighter than it actually came out.

The label came out great, even if the ABV isn’t totally on point.


5 Comments so far
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are you using yeast starters? under pitching your yeast is a common problem for your beers not finishing where they should.

Comment by Ray

I am not using a yeast starter, but I will be on the next batch. Of course, I’m changing the mash procedure too so, if the batch comes out better, I won’t know whether its that or the yeast starter.

I thought the primary drawback to under pitching was a drawn out fermentation. I did some preliminary digging around on this topic last week and obviously haven’t gotten a clear answer on this.

Comment by Jeremy

[…] recipe I’m working on a recipe to enter into competition and, after finishing up the Gowanus Wheat Beer the other day, I’m making a couple of […]

Pingback by Gowanus Raspberry Wheat Ale - Recipe Rewrite « Gowanus Brewery

[…] I hoped to achieve a lighter, drier beer with this recipe, so I utilized a cooler and longer sugar rest. In the end, although I was thinking I could hold it right at 145 degrees for the 90 minutes, the temperature of the wort fluctuated between 140 and 150 degrees as it cooled and was reheated. That range is optimal for the enzyme I was trying to promote, so still all went well.  Unfortunately for me, I forgot to measure the starting gravity before I pitched the yeast, but I will estimate approximately 38 based on the last batch. […]

Pingback by Gowanus Raspberry Wheat Ale - Started « Gowanus Brewery

[…] Beer Goes Over April 6, 2008, 12:00 am Filed under: beer, recipe, review I served up the Gowanus Wheat beer at my buddy’s studio opening party last night and, aside from a little confusion over […]

Pingback by Gowanus Wheat Beer Goes Over « Gowanus Brewery

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