Suggestions and Ideas for Unmalted Wheat

Tue Jun 09, 2015 6:24 pm

A coworker of mine got 30lbs of wheat off his grandparent's farm and asked me to help him brew with it (he is primarily an extract/grain steeping homebrewer). Other than a small amount of torrified wheat in my IPA recipe I have yet to brew with wheat on my all grain setup. Can I treat this wheat as unmalted wheat and thus whip up a belgian wit or two? I had Hoegarden when I was touring the Netherlands a few years ago and enjoyed that better than my college days of sucking down Blue Moon.

My plan is to have my local HBS crack the wheat since I don't yet have a mill. A few questions:

1. How much unmalted wheat--by percentage--can I use in the mash? I am guessing a pilsner malt would make up the rest of the grain bill?

2. Any ideas of other beer styles which I can use unmalted wheat? How versatile is it?

3. Rice hulls?

Thanks brewing nation,
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Re: Suggestions and Ideas for Unmalted Wheat

Wed Jun 10, 2015 7:47 am

1. I never use more than 15% specialty/adjuncts in a recipe. You can use less, but everything (combined) that's not your base malt shouldn't be more than 15% of the grist.

2. Any hazy wheat beer. It would work well with a hef, a wit, etc.

3. Yes. When in doubt, yes.

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Re: Suggestions and Ideas for Unmalted Wheat

Wed Jun 10, 2015 10:39 am

Unmalted wheat can also be used in a traditional lambic where it provides extra starches for long term nourishment of bacteria and brettanomyces.

FYI, since unmalted wheat (raw wheat berries), have not been malted, they must undergo a proper cereal mash in order to "pre-gelatinize" the starches within the berry and make them more accessible to the enzymes from the additional grains in the mash. Otherwise you will not get much sugar out of them. Only a persistent starch haze in the final product.

If you did not want to perform a cereal mash with the raw wheat you could always use another form of raw unmalted wheat known as flaked wheat which has already been pre-gelatinized and can be mashed directly in a single infusion mash with the rest of your grains as normal.
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