Author Topic: Witbier grain bill: Unmalted wheat vs flaked wheat  (Read 2230 times)

Offline guido

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Witbier grain bill: Unmalted wheat vs flaked wheat
« on: May 22, 2013, 09:42:31 AM »
Is there a real advantage to using unmalted wheat for my Witbier rather than flaked wheat.  I understand that unmalted wheat is difficult to grind (it has to be almost flour, right), that I'll need an extended protein rest, and lots of rice hulls--just to be sure.   I've also heard that I might need 6-row for more enzymatic power.  But everyone says the wheat flavor and body is outstanding.  It's really tempting.
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Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Witbier grain bill: Unmalted wheat vs flaked wheat
« Reply #1 on: May 22, 2013, 12:40:20 PM »
flaked wheat IS unmalted.

However flaked is pre-gelatinizated so you don't have to worry about that aspect. whole unmalted wheat berries have a gelatinization temp around the mid to high 150s if I recall. but that is best case scenario with a grind close to flour.

so with the flaked wheat the starch will be readily available to the enzymes for conversion where the un-flaked wheat the starch has to gelatinize first. which is may or may not do completely.
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Offline guido

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Re: Witbier grain bill: Unmalted wheat vs flaked wheat
« Reply #2 on: May 22, 2013, 01:41:27 PM »
flaked wheat IS unmalted.

However flaked is pre-gelatinizated so you don't have to worry about that aspect. whole unmalted wheat berries have a gelatinization temp around the mid to high 150s if I recall. but that is best case scenario with a grind close to flour.

so with the flaked wheat the starch will be readily available to the enzymes for conversion where the un-flaked wheat the starch has to gelatinize first. which is may or may not do completely.

I did know the flaked wheat was unmalted.  I should have mentioned that so it wouldn't be confusing.  I have heard of people "cooking" the wheat berries separately to gelatinize them, and then adding the berries to the mash.  Of course, if I didn't get a total conversion, the mash would be a little cloudy--which isn't a bad thing for a witbier.
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Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Witbier grain bill: Unmalted wheat vs flaked wheat
« Reply #3 on: May 22, 2013, 01:43:40 PM »
Your efficiency will likely suffer as well but yeah, that's the main concern. I would hazard a guess that whole wheat berries will taste a lot fresher than flaked ones as well.

Puffed is another option, just to make things more complicated.
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Offline tygo

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Re: Witbier grain bill: Unmalted wheat vs flaked wheat
« Reply #4 on: May 22, 2013, 05:07:18 PM »
I would hazard a guess that whole wheat berries will taste a lot fresher than flaked ones as well.

That was my thinking when I picked up a bag of these to use in the wit I'll be brewing in a couple of weeks:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005XDUA9K/ref=oh_details_o00_s00_i01?ie=UTF8&psc=1
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Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Witbier grain bill: Unmalted wheat vs flaked wheat
« Reply #5 on: May 22, 2013, 10:11:51 PM »
Or you could use flour.
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Offline kylekohlmorgen

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Re: Witbier grain bill: Unmalted wheat vs flaked wheat
« Reply #6 on: May 23, 2013, 05:40:44 AM »
In my opinion: flaked wheat is not a passable substitute for unmalted wheat.

Maybe its an issue with freshness in flaked wheat, or something that the process of gelatinizing raw wheat at home contributes, but I have always found beers made with raw wheat to be far superior.

A cereal mash is not terribly complicated. I think its easier than a single decoction.

Torrefied ('puffed') wheat is another option. Never tried it in a witbier, but I like it as a substitute for flaked wheat in smaller quantities (small amount for head retention, body, etc.). It has a subtle, fresh popcorn flavor.
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Offline guido

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Re: Witbier grain bill: Unmalted wheat vs flaked wheat
« Reply #7 on: May 23, 2013, 06:02:51 PM »
In my opinion: flaked wheat is not a passable substitute for unmalted wheat.

Maybe its an issue with freshness in flaked wheat, or something that the process of gelatinizing raw wheat at home contributes, but I have always found beers made with raw wheat to be far superior.

A cereal mash is not terribly complicated. I think its easier than a single decoction.

Torrefied ('puffed') wheat is another option. Never tried it in a witbier, but I like it as a substitute for flaked wheat in smaller quantities (small amount for head retention, body, etc.). It has a subtle, fresh popcorn flavor.

I had a feeling that's what someone was going to say.  If you're gonna brew it, ya might as well brew it right.  That's why we homebrew.  Looks like I'll be doing a cereal mash.  BTW, are you the one giving the wild house strain lecture at the conference?  If so, I'm looking forward to it.
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Offline nateo

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Re: Witbier grain bill: Unmalted wheat vs flaked wheat
« Reply #8 on: May 27, 2013, 11:19:29 AM »
Here's my super rad trick for using wheat berries, no cereal mash or rice hulls necessary:
http://nateobrew.blogspot.com/2012/12/a-better-way-to-brew-with-raw-wheat.html
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Offline guido

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Re: Witbier grain bill: Unmalted wheat vs flaked wheat
« Reply #9 on: May 27, 2013, 12:07:07 PM »
Here's my super rad trick for using wheat berries, no cereal mash or rice hulls necessary:
http://nateobrew.blogspot.com/2012/12/a-better-way-to-brew-with-raw-wheat.html

Interesting.  I have heard of people wetting their grain before grinding.  I have a regular mill, not a Corona one, so  I might experiment with a pound or so.  I would still do a protein rest, and I'd still use rice hulls.  No offense.

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Offline nateo

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Re: Witbier grain bill: Unmalted wheat vs flaked wheat
« Reply #10 on: May 27, 2013, 12:21:49 PM »
If you try my technique with a roller mill, make sure the outside of the grain is as dry as possible. I'd towel it off at least, or let it dry out over night or something. If the grain is still sopping wet when you run it through a roller mill, it will definitely ruin your day.
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Offline kylekohlmorgen

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Re: Witbier grain bill: Unmalted wheat vs flaked wheat
« Reply #11 on: May 28, 2013, 01:04:22 PM »
Here's my super rad trick for using wheat berries, no cereal mash or rice hulls necessary:
http://nateobrew.blogspot.com/2012/12/a-better-way-to-brew-with-raw-wheat.html

Isnt this the same idea behind "wet milling"?
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Offline kylekohlmorgen

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Re: Witbier grain bill: Unmalted wheat vs flaked wheat
« Reply #12 on: May 28, 2013, 01:05:26 PM »
BTW, are you the one giving the wild house strain lecture at the conference?  If so, I'm looking forward to it.

Yessir - as am I!
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Offline nateo

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Re: Witbier grain bill: Unmalted wheat vs flaked wheat
« Reply #13 on: May 28, 2013, 01:06:28 PM »
Isnt this the same idea behind "wet milling"?

Sort of, only you actually cook the grain. You wouldn't want to boil malt, but since there are no enzymes in raw wheat there's no problem parboiling it. The boiling softens up the pericarp enough that it'll mill easily.
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