Author Topic: Crushing and Gelatinizing Raw Wheat Berries  (Read 2659 times)

Offline skyler

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Crushing and Gelatinizing Raw Wheat Berries
« on: September 24, 2010, 11:06:35 AM »
Hey, the LHBS was out of flaked wheat and low on torrified, so I went over to the grocery store and bought a few lbs of raw wheat berries to make another witbier. If I pre-gelatinize them by cooking them, do I crush them before or after I boil them? And should I soak them overnight before boiling for 15 min (as I would if I was cooking with them)?

I used raw wheat berries heavily in a past witbier and, while the yield was much lower than with torrified and flaked wheat, the flavor was actually very good. Last time I didn't pre-gelatinize the berries, though (and went for a 20 min protein rest at 124F). For the record, this is the recipe (it's a variation on my Citrus Wit, which still stands as the best witbier I've had, IMHO).

Baby Shower Lime Wit (5.5 gal)

6 lbs US 2-row
2.75 lbs Raw Wheat Berries
2 lbs Torrified Wheat
.5 lbs Instant Oats
2 lbs Rice Hulls

.32 oz Cascade (9.3% AA) 60 min
.67 oz Cascade (9.3% AA) 10 min
1 oz Cascade (9.3% AA) 0 min

1 lime peel 5 min
.25 oz Indian Coriander 5 min

3711 French Saison (fermented in the high 70's)

Mash Schedule undecided

OG ~1.048, FG ~1.008, ~18 IBU

Offline narvin

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Re: Crushing and Gelatinizing Raw Wheat Berries
« Reply #1 on: September 24, 2010, 11:21:40 AM »
I haven't made a wit with raw wheat, but I use it in my lambics.  Since I do a turbid mash, I am not gelatinizing the berries by boiling first.  If you're doing something similar in a wit, you will definitely want to do a protein rest.

A good crush on raw wheat is hard to get with a grain mill since the berries are small and very hard.  I would use a flour mill if I had one, but I don't, so I actually take some of the strike water and throw it in my blender with the wheat berries and pulse it until it's somewhat lumpy.  It takes a few batches to do it all, but I get pretty good yield with this method.
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Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Crushing and Gelatinizing Raw Wheat Berries
« Reply #2 on: September 24, 2010, 11:36:11 AM »
The difference is, with your lambic you have bugs in there to digest the starches, the saison yeast won't take care of them.

I think you can go either way though - I would probably grind them up as best as you can before cooking them.  Blender, food processor, something like that.  But running them through a blender after cooking them should work too.
Tom Schmidlin

Offline narvin

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Re: Crushing and Gelatinizing Raw Wheat Berries
« Reply #3 on: September 24, 2010, 01:33:20 PM »
The difference is, with your lambic you have bugs in there to digest the starches, the saison yeast won't take care of them.


Actually, it's the turbid mash procedure (pulling wort from the mash that has not been brought up to saccharification temp) that produces the unfermentable starches.  Even raw wheat should be converted at mash temp in the presence of enzymatic barley malt since the gelatinization temp is below that range.  A good grind helps, though, if you aren't boiling it first.
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Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Crushing and Gelatinizing Raw Wheat Berries
« Reply #4 on: September 24, 2010, 02:02:18 PM »
The difference is, with your lambic you have bugs in there to digest the starches, the saison yeast won't take care of them.


Actually, it's the turbid mash procedure (pulling wort from the mash that has not been brought up to saccharification temp) that produces the unfermentable starches.  Even raw wheat should be converted at mash temp in the presence of enzymatic barley malt since the gelatinization temp is below that range.  A good grind helps, though, if you aren't boiling it first.

My bad, I assumed the gelatinization temp of wheat was higher than mash temps.  Nevermind. :)
Tom Schmidlin

Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Crushing and Gelatinizing Raw Wheat Berries
« Reply #5 on: September 24, 2010, 02:21:53 PM »
Narvin is correct, wheat will gelantanize below the barley mash temperatures.  I have done wits using raw wheat and a step mash.  Make sure to do a good crush and a protein rest.  If you have some starch, Wits are a little hazy anyhow.  This is the easy way to do it.

The hard way to do it is to do a cereal mash. Randy Mosher does say that doing a cereal mash with raw wheat will give better mouthfeel.  You would do a cereal mash by adding some malted barley to the wheat, crush, bring it to a 155F step and hold for 15-20 minutes, then go up to boil for 30 minutes or so.  Stir to keep from scortching.  Add back to the main mash.

Jeff Renner covers it better than I can, here, as the Classic American Double Mash in the CAP article.  Pay more attention to it that what I wrote above, as my times may be off.
http://www.homebrewersassociation.org/attachments/0000/1298/SOzym00-Pilsner.pdf
Jeff Rankert
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Offline skyler

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Re: Crushing and Gelatinizing Raw Wheat Berries
« Reply #6 on: September 24, 2010, 09:54:33 PM »
Well, I successfully used raw berries in a wit before - I just didn't pre-gelatinize them. I also used a baller giant professional mill, and not my brand new crankandstein. I suppose I will food-process them, boil them, then food-process them some more before putting it into the mash. I can go for a 20 min 124F rest, followed by a 60 min 149F rest.

Offline Malticulous

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Re: Crushing and Gelatinizing Raw Wheat Berries
« Reply #7 on: September 25, 2010, 07:53:33 AM »
I've used raw wheat different ways. Crushing it and just mashing with a single infusion works well it just doesn't yield as much extract as the other ways. The beers all cleared and I've used up to 40% in recipes like that.

A cereal mash works well. I've tried just boiling the grain but it makes a pasty mess. The enzymes make it boil better.

The best way is to just put it in a hot oven until it torrifies. I use it like that as specialty grain in my pale ales. It adds a toasted aspect.It also crushes much more easily.
« Last Edit: September 25, 2010, 07:55:38 AM by Malticulous »

Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Crushing and Gelatinizing Raw Wheat Berries
« Reply #8 on: September 25, 2010, 07:57:19 AM »
A cereal mash will give you higher extraction from the wheat, for the same reason a decoction will give a higher extraction from malted barley.  You make more of the starch available.
Jeff Rankert
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Home-brewing, not just a hobby, it is a lifestyle!

Offline Malticulous

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Re: Crushing and Gelatinizing Raw Wheat Berries
« Reply #9 on: September 25, 2010, 08:04:18 AM »
I also think that it doesn't completely gelatinize at mash temps in a short enough amount of time.

Offline akr71

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Re: Crushing and Gelatinizing Raw Wheat Berries
« Reply #10 on: September 30, 2010, 09:54:00 AM »
The one time of used raw wheat, it was for a wit.  I did cereal mash on the stove, then grabbed the potato masher and had at it. 
Whether or not that was a smart idea, I don't know, but it tasted like a wit and looked like a wit.
Andy

Amherst, NS - Canada