Homebrewers Association | AHA Forum

General Category => Ingredients => Topic started by: RPIScotty on October 01, 2015, 11:05:51 AM

Title: The use of Torrified Wheat/Wheat Starch
Post by: RPIScotty on October 01, 2015, 11:05:51 AM
I have made some observations about the head quality/retention of the Trappist beers I have had in the last 6 months or so, including beers from Westmalle, Chimay, Rochefort, Achel, etc.

I have noticed that the Chimay beers, the Grand Reserve in particular, retains a big, puffy head for a good 10 or so minutes following the pour. I normally pour straight from the fridge and allow the beers to warm a little. I also pour rather vigorously with all the beers. Now granted, all the beers above exhibit great head, it just seems that the Chimay stays frothy and fuller for longer.

Looking over some of the recipes out there for Chimay's beers (BLAM, CSI, etc.) I consistently see either Torrified Wheat (CSI and others) and Wheat Starch (Chimay/BLAM) as a nice portion of the grist. I also see Wheat Starch used in Rochefort as well.

Is the use of Torrified Wheat/Wheat Starch/Wheat in general contributing to this magnificent plume of foam and the subsequent retention? Is it all in my head?
Title: Re: The use of Torrified Wheat/Wheat Starch
Post by: erockrph on October 01, 2015, 12:08:46 PM
I use torrified wheat in my English ales quite a bit, and it will definitely do wonders for your head. The extra proteins from unmalted wheat kind of make up the difference when you're using simple sugar for a good portion of your malt bill. I would imagine that it does the same thing in Belgian styles.

Torrified wheat has a bit of a nutty character that I equate with English ales. Flaked wheat does the same thing as far as building head goes, but it is a bit more neutral/grainy in flavor. I've never used wheat starch, so I'm not sure what that does or how it tastes.
Title: Re: The use of Torrified Wheat/Wheat Starch
Post by: morticaixavier on October 01, 2015, 12:14:37 PM
I'm sure the wheat has something to do with it but I also suspect the yeast plays a part. I've noticed some yeasts, particularly Belgian yeasts, tend to produce more and more stable foam even with the same grist.
Title: Re: The use of Torrified Wheat/Wheat Starch
Post by: RPIScotty on October 01, 2015, 12:21:04 PM
I've never used wheat starch, so I'm not sure what that does or how it tastes.

I'm assuming it does the same thing and larger breweries use it because it's easier to work with? Note sure really.

I'm sure the wheat has something to do with it but I also suspect the yeast plays a part. I've noticed some yeasts, particularly Belgian yeasts, tend to produce more and more stable foam even with the same grist.

I notice it with Chimay in particular. Although no one would accuse Orval or Westmalle of lacking in head size and retention!
Title: Re: The use of Torrified Wheat/Wheat Starch
Post by: denny on October 01, 2015, 04:09:55 PM
I'd say the wheat plats very little to no part in the foam.  It's more likely due to proper brewing techniques.  Look at Duvel, for instance...about the best foam stand there is and nothing but sugar and pils malt.  Check out this great article....http://byo.com/stories/article/indices/35-head-retention/697-getting-good-beer-foam-techniques
Title: Re: The use of Torrified Wheat/Wheat Starch
Post by: erockrph on October 01, 2015, 06:04:21 PM
I'd say the wheat plats very little to no part in the foam.  It's more likely due to proper brewing techniques.  Look at Duvel, for instance...about the best foam stand there is and nothing but sugar and pils malt.  Check out this great article....http://byo.com/stories/article/indices/35-head-retention/697-getting-good-beer-foam-techniques
Good point, Denny. Putting my skeptic hat on, I'd be willing to bet that whoever wrote these recipes either needed a boost because of issues with their brewing technique, or copied the recipe from someone who did.
Title: Re: The use of Torrified Wheat/Wheat Starch
Post by: denny on October 01, 2015, 06:18:38 PM
I'd say the wheat plats very little to no part in the foam.  It's more likely due to proper brewing techniques.  Look at Duvel, for instance...about the best foam stand there is and nothing but sugar and pils malt.  Check out this great article....http://byo.com/stories/article/indices/35-head-retention/697-getting-good-beer-foam-techniques
Good point, Denny. Putting my skeptic hat on, I'd be willing to bet that whoever wrote these recipes either needed a boost because of issues with their brewing technique, or copied the recipe from someone who did.

Or put it in there on the "but wheat will increase foam" theory.
Title: Re: The use of Torrified Wheat/Wheat Starch
Post by: RPIScotty on October 01, 2015, 07:18:12 PM
I'd say the wheat plats very little to no part in the foam.  It's more likely due to proper brewing techniques.  Look at Duvel, for instance...about the best foam stand there is and nothing but sugar and pils malt.  Check out this great article....http://byo.com/stories/article/indices/35-head-retention/697-getting-good-beer-foam-techniques

I'll check this out Denny.

Good point, Denny. Putting my skeptic hat on, I'd be willing to bet that whoever wrote these recipes either needed a boost because of issues with their brewing technique, or copied the recipe from someone who did.

I was just going by the recipes in BLAM for the Rochefort and Chimay beers (Wheat Starch) and the recipes over at Candi Syrup, Inc. (Torrified Wheat in all of the Chimay clone recipes).



Title: Re: The use of Torrified Wheat/Wheat Starch
Post by: narvin on October 01, 2015, 08:08:15 PM
I'd say the wheat plats very little to no part in the foam.  It's more likely due to proper brewing techniques.  Look at Duvel, for instance...about the best foam stand there is and nothing but sugar and pils malt.  Check out this great article....http://byo.com/stories/article/indices/35-head-retention/697-getting-good-beer-foam-techniques

Totally agree with this. 
Title: Re: The use of Torrified Wheat/Wheat Starch
Post by: RPIScotty on October 01, 2015, 08:18:15 PM
Good to know all around. Just wanted to see if there was a connection between these pretty reputable recipes/templates and the foam I was seeing in my Grande Reserve.

Thanks for the input everyone.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Title: Re: The use of Torrified Wheat/Wheat Starch
Post by: brewinhard on October 01, 2015, 09:57:27 PM
High carbonation levels can also help keep the head going for an initial period of time providing there are enough proper head retention proteins remaining in the finished product.  But as stated above good brewing techniques really are the key.
Title: Re: The use of Torrified Wheat/Wheat Starch
Post by: HoosierBrew on October 01, 2015, 10:08:26 PM
High carbonation levels can also help keep the head going for an initial period of time providing there are enough proper head retention proteins remaining in the finished product.  But as stated above good brewing techniques really are the key.


+1.  High carbonation levels definitely assist foam retention in Belgian beers. As great as the foam is in the mentioned Duvel, would it be the same @ 2.5 volumes ? It has to start with good brewing practices though, for sure.
Title: Re: The use of Torrified Wheat/Wheat Starch
Post by: RPIScotty on October 01, 2015, 10:57:30 PM
I personally haven't had issues with head retention. It was more curiosity that prompted my post.

The BDSA I did a few months back has a big, fat, long lasting head. 


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Title: Re: The use of Torrified Wheat/Wheat Starch
Post by: hopfenundmalz on October 02, 2015, 12:54:17 AM
High carbonation levels can also help keep the head going for an initial period of time providing there are enough proper head retention proteins remaining in the finished product.  But as stated above good brewing techniques really are the key.
+2 or more.
Title: Re: The use of Torrified Wheat/Wheat Starch
Post by: RPIScotty on October 02, 2015, 10:12:39 AM
I use torrified wheat in my English ales quite a bit, and it will definitely do wonders for your head. The extra proteins from unmalted wheat kind of make up the difference when you're using simple sugar for a good portion of your malt bill. I would imagine that it does the same thing in Belgian styles.

Torrified wheat has a bit of a nutty character...

Sounds good to me! The above statement would most likely be the reason I try it in my next Belgian brew.
Title: Re: The use of Torrified Wheat/Wheat Starch
Post by: morticaixavier on October 02, 2015, 12:29:44 PM
I would add that wheat starch should have very little to no protein left so it is almost certainly not helping the head retention on those BLAM recipes. It's a cheap sugar source though.
Title: Re: The use of Torrified Wheat/Wheat Starch
Post by: RPIScotty on October 02, 2015, 02:40:48 PM
I would add that wheat starch should have very little to no protein left so it is almost certainly not helping the head retention on those BLAM recipes. It's a cheap sugar source though.

Interesting. I did not think about it that way.