In getting ready for the iPhone or Brew Pal RyePA, I needed to do a little more research on our special ingredient to insure success on the first go around. Side Note, looks like my Twitter Friend @blakejarolim will also be brewing this recipe, we will swap, compare and enjoy. God Bless Web 2.0 for its many beer blessings.
I will be using Malted Rye. If you have done any basic brewing reading you know that malted barley is a partial modified grain. The Malster has kick started the germination process and then "paused" it as the best possible moment for starch to sugar conversion. This is great, cause it means I can throw it in with the rest of my grist and use a single infusion mash. EASY..but wait..
Rye kernels are smaller than barley and do not have husks. When we mill barley we leave the husks partially in tact to act as a filter bed for lautering. If I mill my rye at the same gap as my barley i will not get the appropriate crush. So I will need to crush my normal grist and then change the gap for the rye. If you mill at your LHBS then you can place your rye portion in a sturdy Zip Lock bag, steal grandma's rolling pin and carefully crush your rye. Also, similar to Wheat, Rye has a much higher beta-glucan content. This can gummy up your mash in grist's portion's over 10%, possibly resulting in slow run off or the dreaded stuck mash. Using rice hulls as a filter bed will combat this problem. I also read of raising the mash temp by a few degrees to allow for easier run off. Apparently Rye is a little more thirsty than your typical grain. I usually multiply my dry grain weight by .20 to figure for quarts lost in grain. You might raise that slightly to accommodate for water volume.
From what I read most Pro Brewers use Rye in portions of 10-20% to act as flavor enhance to an established style, ie RyePA or Rye Stout. 30 - 50% to dominate a style, like Roggenbier or American Rye Ale. Imagine replacing the wheat with rye in a typical Heffeweizen malt bill. Sounds delicious to You and I but not for everyone.
I hope this summary helps anyone using Rye for the first time. If you have experience with the grain and you would like to correct my information, please comment.
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