100% Rye Beer

Rye is an interesting malt, one which I don’t generally use too much (mainly due to it’s spicy character, and I don’t make a lot of beer with that character). I can occasionally enjoy a nice rye beer, but I tend to like more when used with lagers and lower hoppy beers.

I think it was on The Brewing Network (maybe the Session) where they had a brewer on who tried to make a 100% rye malt beer, which ended up ruing his brew day as he had a bad stuck mash, which resulted in hours of fixing. This can happen with rye due to the high amounts of beta-glucans, which is a gummy sugar that really stick up the mash if precautions are not taken.

The optimum temperature range for the beta glucanase enzyme (which is an enzyme that can help break up beta-glucans) is 98 -113°F. If you let it rest for 20 minutes at that temp, it will help break down the gums without affecting the proteins responsible for head retention and body. Another option would be to add rice hulls, which help separate the mash a bit, which help with everything not sticking together.

Fortunately, I’m dealing with such small amounts of malt in my mash, stuck mashes are not really a concern because I can stir everything around if needed. In a 10 gallon batch, a stuck mash would be near impossible to move or stir to “dislodge” the gummy beta-glucans. Adding rice hulls, along with my smaller batch sizes, and the chances of my mash sticking are extremely low.

Brew day video:

Recipe:

Batch Size: 1 Gallon
OG: 1.060
SRM: 9.5
Est ABV: 6%-ish
IBU: 40
Boil Time: 60 Min

Malt:
(100%) – Rye Malt

Mash:
70 Min @ 149F

Hops:
Boil
.10 oz (40 IBUs) Summit (13.6% AA) @ 45 Min

Yeast:
Wyeast Kolsch 2565

Here’s what went down:

Brewed 9/9/17

9/28/17 Tasting notes:

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