Thursday, October 22, 2009

Here's a Cheer for Roggenbier

The Roggenbier made on Brew Day #4 is now kegged and carbonated - and delicious! This has turned out to be a fantastic brew. I used the recipe from Brewing Classic Styles by Zainasheff and Palmer, as well as their advice and guidance from their show on Brewing Network. I won't post the recipe (the book is absolutely fantastic and worth the money, and you can get the recipe for free via the webcast), but will tell you that it was about 45% rye malt, 55% barley malt, noble hops, and used Wyeast 3068. That's a LOT of rye! I started out with an Original Gravity of 1.054 and my Final Gravity was 1.016, making this beer right about 5% ABV.

We opted to use our mash tun for this batch to get higher efficiency and thankfully didn't get a stuck mash (though it was dreadfully slow to drain). The pound of rice hulls, I'm sure, helped dramatically. If you're dealing with any amount of huskless grains like wheat, oats, or rye, you really should use these. They were cheap and likely saved us a lot of distress.

As you can see, the roggenbier is naturally hazy ("naturtrüb") per the style. It's a pretty copper-brown color and smells like a spicy weizenbier. Tastes like one too - imagine some pumpernickel bread crossed with the banana & clove esters of a hefeweizen and you pretty much have roggenbier.

This beer is so interesting to drink; the mouthfeel is like no other beer I've ever had. Mouthfeel is soft and a bit feathery with just enough carbonation to keep it light. Hold it in your mouth a little longer, and it suddenly becomes silky, a lot like wheat wine. This is due to the ß-glucan soluble fiber in the rye; those little ß-glucans are also the primary active ingredient in metamucil, and are what gives oatmeal its cholesterol-reducing ability.

We've already had a lot of this beer. Let's just say I'm drinking to my health...

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