Author Topic: Best Method to Crush Raw Wheat?  (Read 1722 times)

Offline Bitter Alchemist

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Best Method to Crush Raw Wheat?
« on: March 22, 2017, 07:35:10 PM »
Hello!  New to the forum, but not new to AG brewing.

With summer approaching, I've been thinking about trying Raw Wheat in my Witbier recipe. I've always just used flaked wheat, but I would like to see if the raw wheat gives any better taste as it is more "authentic."

I have never brewed with raw wheat so I am wondering what is the best method to grind the berries?

I currently have a 3-roller monster mill, but from what I've read, a corona mill may be better.   I also saw a post about a guy who boils the berries for 15mins and then runs them through a corona mill.  Has anyone had success with this method?

Thanks in advance for any help.

Offline dmtaylor

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Re: Best Method to Crush Raw Wheat?
« Reply #1 on: March 22, 2017, 07:53:27 PM »
I've not used raw wheat, but I'm thinking some heavy artillery may be required.  If you have 3 rollers, that's awesome.  Set the final gap tight.  I'm wondering also how well a food processor might work; however, I also wonder if the berries would just fly around inside and take friggin forever to get cracked.  In any case, I do bet that adding a little water should help give the mill or processor a little something more to grab onto to get the job done.  Just go easy on it.  A very light spritz with a water spray bottle might be all that's needed to help move things along.

Let us know what you learn.  And hopefully someone else will be more helpful than I am.
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Offline coolman26

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Re: Best Method to Crush Raw Wheat?
« Reply #2 on: March 22, 2017, 08:02:10 PM »
I have an MM-3 and just run it though. I make sure the mill is running and I slowly add it by itself. I then dump that in with my normal grain bill and run it through again. I'm set on
.030 I think. I run everything through and don't change my setting.


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Offline stpug

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Re: Best Method to Crush Raw Wheat?
« Reply #3 on: March 22, 2017, 08:11:51 PM »
I have an MM-3 and just run it though. I make sure the mill is running and I slowly add it by itself. I then dump that in with my normal grain bill and run it through again. I'm set on
.030 I think. I run everything through and don't change my setting.


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I use a MM2 and do about the same (I also don't adjust gap).  Make sure my mill is going (I only need to do this for raw wheat); pour grain slowly because it'll quickly bind up my drill (malts won't but raw wheat does).  Once crushed, I'll actually put it back through two more times but it goes much faster these times.  Also, soft white wheat berries are much easier to mill than hard wheat berries, AND they're preferred for beer since there is less protein / more starch.
« Last Edit: March 22, 2017, 08:39:11 PM by stpug »

Offline narvin

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Re: Best Method to Crush Raw Wheat?
« Reply #4 on: March 22, 2017, 08:23:12 PM »
A flour mill works best, if you happen to have one.  This is one place in brewing where a corona mill or even a Kitchenaid flour mill attachment is better than a barley roller mill.  Beware, you're going to get a workout if it's not electric.
« Last Edit: March 22, 2017, 08:24:46 PM by narvin »
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Offline stpug

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Re: Best Method to Crush Raw Wheat?
« Reply #5 on: March 22, 2017, 08:44:16 PM »
My flour mill would give me flour :D, and I don't like adding flour to my mashes, but it's made specifically for flour (no cracked wheat in my flour mill :().  I much prefer the small bits produced by my MM2 mill.

I've also done precooking wheat berries, as well as pressure cooked wheat berries.  Both of these methods produce fully gelatinized starches ready for conversion, but you'll need to mash them up prior to adding to the mash.  It was this latter steps that made these methods kind of a PITA.  After the couple attempts at precooking, I opted for the less efficient/convertible mill grinding method mentioned in my previous post.

Offline narvin

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Re: Best Method to Crush Raw Wheat?
« Reply #6 on: March 22, 2017, 09:35:40 PM »
My flour mill would give me flour :D, and I don't like adding flour to my mashes, but it's made specifically for flour (no cracked wheat in my flour mill :().  I much prefer the small bits produced by my MM2 mill.

I've also done precooking wheat berries, as well as pressure cooked wheat berries.  Both of these methods produce fully gelatinized starches ready for conversion, but you'll need to mash them up prior to adding to the mash.  It was this latter steps that made these methods kind of a PITA.  After the couple attempts at precooking, I opted for the less efficient/convertible mill grinding method mentioned in my previous post.

What's wrong with flour​?  The purpose of raw wheat in a wit or lambic is those unfermentables.  You're just wasting money if you don't mill it fine.
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Offline stpug

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Re: Best Method to Crush Raw Wheat?
« Reply #7 on: March 22, 2017, 10:17:45 PM »
My flour mill would give me flour :D, and I don't like adding flour to my mashes, but it's made specifically for flour (no cracked wheat in my flour mill :().  I much prefer the small bits produced by my MM2 mill.

I've also done precooking wheat berries, as well as pressure cooked wheat berries.  Both of these methods produce fully gelatinized starches ready for conversion, but you'll need to mash them up prior to adding to the mash.  It was this latter steps that made these methods kind of a PITA.  After the couple attempts at precooking, I opted for the less efficient/convertible mill grinding method mentioned in my previous post.

What's wrong with flour​?  The purpose of raw wheat in a wit or lambic is those unfermentables.  You're just wasting money if you don't mill it fine.

I find flour in my mash tends to ball up too much for me to mix it in efficiently.  I prefer a grit-like texture when I mill raw wheat berries.  You're probably right that I'm not getting every last pennies worth from the raw wheat when I use it directly in my mash, but I've found I'm still getting about 1.035-1.036 extract potential from it, which isn't too bad considering it gets milled in the same session using the same mill as the rest of the malt.  Plus, it's great at cleaning any bits that might be stuck in the rollers :D.  Different strokes is all.

Offline chumley

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Re: Best Method to Crush Raw Wheat?
« Reply #8 on: March 22, 2017, 10:59:01 PM »
I crush it into flour and use rice hulls.  The most raw wheat I have used this way, without getting stuck, was 35%.

I should add that the raw wheat that I have used, a white winter wheat with low protein content grown by a farmer friend of mine in eastern Montana, has not contributed much in the way of flavor.  I get more wheat flavor out of malted wheat.
« Last Edit: March 22, 2017, 11:00:53 PM by chumley »

Offline brewinhard

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Re: Best Method to Crush Raw Wheat?
« Reply #9 on: March 22, 2017, 11:14:03 PM »
Run it through my mill 2x by itself (maybe 3 if need be) and call it good.

Offline Bitter Alchemist

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Re: Best Method to Crush Raw Wheat?
« Reply #10 on: March 22, 2017, 11:26:05 PM »
Thank you for all of the great responses. 

I currently use an electric HERMS. I'm worried about a stuck recirculation/sparge with using flour. I plan to use 50% Raw Wheat in the recipe. I've had no problem using 50% flaked oats with 0.5lb rice hulls added. I think using flour may be pushing it though? Maybe not?

Offline Bitter Alchemist

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Re: Best Method to Crush Raw Wheat?
« Reply #11 on: March 22, 2017, 11:31:58 PM »
Here is the recipe I am using... copied from MDixon

Wit or Witout

by Mike Dixon
1st place TRUB 2002

Belgian Witbier - 5 gallons

   5 lb. Belgian pale malt
   5 lb. Raw wheat

Gelatinize raw wheat by boiling for 15 min then
104° F 10 min
122° F 30 min
153° F 60 min
170° F 10 min

   1.25 oz. Saaz (4% AA, 60 min.)
   0.5 oz. Saaz (4% AA, 5 min.)

5 min before end of boil add spices processed in electric coffee grinder
   0.75 oz Coriander
   0.5 oz Sweet Orange Peel
   0.5 oz Bitter Orange Peel
   15 black peppercorns

Wyeast 3944
Ferment at 68° F

OG 1.051
FG 1.010
IBU 21

Offline reverseapachemaster

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Re: Best Method to Crush Raw Wheat?
« Reply #12 on: March 23, 2017, 03:34:20 PM »
I mill unmalted wheat in my old corona mill set to a small gap. I hit it with a boil to gelatinize unless I'm turbid mashing.
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Offline edward

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Re: Best Method to Crush Raw Wheat?
« Reply #13 on: March 23, 2017, 04:59:47 PM »
I've milled it with everything else as normal in my Barley Crusher.  I got my normal efficiency. 

Hold on tight though!  The drill will almost rip out of your hand - it requires a lot of torque to crush them up.

Offline MDixon

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Re: Best Method to Crush Raw Wheat?
« Reply #14 on: March 23, 2017, 11:30:57 PM »
I bought my wheat already cracked in the past. I cannot remember where. It always reminded me of steel cut oats.
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