Wheat Beer Efficiency ...

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The Imperial Metric Brewery
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Well I brewed a very rough hefeweizen on saturday which is my first crack at a wheat beer. I didn't do a stepped mash so there probably wont be much of a clove flavour according to what I have since read ... ahh well live and learn.

Anyway I managed to hit the final volume right on the head :) very happy. However my efficiency was crap ... worst effort yet as far as I can tell. I was aiming for 1.051 but managed a poor 1.042 (perhaps 1.040 :() I turfed 250g of light dme into the fermenter to boost it ....

Mash 90mins @ 66degC

Recipe Specifics


Batch Size (L):          19.00    Wort Size (L):     19.00

Total Grain (kg):         3.70

Anticipated OG:          1.051    Plato:             12.54

Anticipated SRM:           3.4

Anticipated IBU:          18.9

Brewhouse Efficiency:       80 %

Wort Boil Time:             90    Minutes

Pre-Boil Amounts


Evaporation Rate:       7.50    Percent Per Hour

Pre-Boil Wort Size:   21.41    L

Pre-Boil Gravity:      1.045    SG          11.19  Plato


   %     Amount     Name                          Origin        Potential SRM


 51.4     1.90 kg.  Hoepfner Wheat Malt Light     Germany        334.13      2

 45.9     1.70 kg.  IMC Pilsner                   Australia      317.42      2

  2.7     0.10 kg.  Hoepfner Caramel Malt Pils    Germany        300.71      2

** Pils malt was actually Kirin malt .... should be similar

Anyway I am wondering if there are any special points to observe when mashing wheat beers. Points I am suspecting are:

1) Stepped mash needed to get extraction from wheat?
2) Should have ground the wheat malt finer.
3) My system is much less efficient with smaller grain beds.
4) Dodgey malt.
5) I just stuffed up (most likely).

Anyway it is fermenting nicely with a fluffy white krausen (WLP300 thanks Asher) so I will see what I have created in a couple of weeks.

Any ideas on this one?


A mash with as much wheat malt needs to be decocted twice, for reasons of FAN (free amino nitrogen) as much as anything else.decocting also improves extract and flavor.

Wheat malt grains are smaller than barley grains so yes narrow the roller gap.

The aroma you get from a wheat beer depends on temperature of fermentation, as you go over 18C you move from subtle clove to banana to fruit salad to bubblegum (yechh!) For best results pitch at 12C and ferment no warmer than 18C

Jovial Monk


The Imperial Metric Brewery
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hmmm yes next one will definately be decocted, I pitched at 12deg and am fermenting at 18deg so hopefully the bubblegum will stay away :)

Anyway looks like my efficiency could have been due to blindly following promash ... doh!


Just a Hoe
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Gotta back the Monk on that one :eek:

While you'll have no problems with an infusion mash with high wheat malt ratios. I was able to achieve this with my last weizen. I did a single infusion mash with 70% wheat malt and even got pretty good efficiency.

"But" OTOH I think that my last weizen was lacking something purely from a mashing perspective. :( As much as I find decoction mashing a chore and rarely do them these days. I also think that they add something from a flavour and texture perspective to the finished product that I can't quite describe but allows one to achieve more authenticity.

Jut my two bobs worth. I think my "laziness" towards decoction mashing is why I don't produce many weizens these days.

Warren -


Doctor's Orders Brewing
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I've brewed a lot of wheat beers.
My last was 70% wheat and I did a single infusion mash.

After reading the German Wheat Beers Style Series book (by Eric Warner ?) I'd have to concur with the decoctions providing more depth in the beers. However I don't think that is necessarily the problem with your efficiency, as using Promash I hit the targets it provides for my wheat beers.
Sounds like you might have set up some defaults for your Brew Sessions and haven't configured it the same on your new install.


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