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Author Topic: Wheat ...  (Read 979 times)

Offline Village Taphouse

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Wheat ...
« on: January 13, 2024, 03:16:02 pm »
I don't use it often and when I do it's typically in small percentages.  Today I made my American Wheat which is 50% Pilsner, 47.5% wheat and 2.5% Copper Malt.  I have made this beer a number of times and it usually comes out like this ...



But I have also had it come out like this ...



Today's batch was super cloudy no matter what I did.  I added my Whirfloc and got a super-quick chill (January in Chicago) and usually when I get the temp down below 75° I see the wort begin to drop clear.  Not today.  The pH, the mash schedule and everything else would be exactly the same.  I looked at the wheat I used and it's Briess White Wheat.  Is it possible that the brand and type of wheat I used would cause the cloudiness?  I remember one year I made it and I drank it out of a ceramic German mug and my wife kept saying, "What's with that mug?".   :(  I tasted the wort and nothing seems off about it .. it's just cloudy AF.  Cheers Beerheads. 
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Offline denny

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Re: Wheat ...
« Reply #1 on: January 13, 2024, 03:27:11 pm »
I don't use it often and when I do it's typically in small percentages.  Today I made my American Wheat which is 50% Pilsner, 47.5% wheat and 2.5% Copper Malt.  I have made this beer a number of times and it usually comes out like this ...



But I have also had it come out like this ...



Today's batch was super cloudy no matter what I did.  I added my Whirfloc and got a super-quick chill (January in Chicago) and usually when I get the temp down below 75° I see the wort begin to drop clear.  Not today.  The pH, the mash schedule and everything else would be exactly the same.  I looked at the wheat I used and it's Briess White Wheat.  Is it possible that the brand and type of wheat I used would cause the cloudiness?  I remember one year I made it and I drank it out of a ceramic German mug and my wife kept saying, "What's with that mug?".   :(  I tasted the wort and nothing seems off about it .. it's just cloudy AF.  Cheers Beerheads.

It's definitely possible. In fact, it's likely. Grains from different sources are not necessarily the same.
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Offline Village Taphouse

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Re: Wheat ...
« Reply #2 on: January 13, 2024, 03:40:30 pm »
It's definitely possible. In fact, it's likely. Grains from different sources are not necessarily the same.
Is there anything I can follow that would steer me away from the cloudiness?  Red Wheat instead of white?  Use a Euro wheat product from Weyermann (or something) instead of a domestic wheat?  I assume the beer will taste fine but I would bet some serious money on it staying cloudy until the keg is kicked so I'm really just trying to understand what wheat to use and what to steer clear of.  At least I know which wheat to use if I want a cloudy beer!   ;D  Thanks Denny. 
« Last Edit: January 13, 2024, 03:42:57 pm by Village Taphouse »
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Offline Megary

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Re: Wheat ...
« Reply #3 on: January 13, 2024, 03:47:37 pm »
I have had the same issue.  As a matter of fact, I have it right now with a “Red Winter Wheat” that’s 49% Pale, 49% Wheat and 2% Roasted Barley.  All Deer Creek craft malt that I’ve been using almost exclusively for years.  3 weeks in the keg and it’s only now showing the slightest signs of clearing.  This beer was fermented with 1450, a yeast I’ve never had issues with dropping bright. 

I can’t post pix here, but this is what my “American Wheat” usually looks like:
https://www.brewersfriend.com/images/9/2/6/6/1/2/American-Wheat.jpeg

Here’s a shot of the Red Winter Wheat, which tastes clean and crushable by the way.  Very happy with the taste, not so much the appearance.
https://www.brewersfriend.com/forum/attachments/img_1514-jpeg.28004/

Is it the wheat?  That’s what I’d like to think.  I can’t 100% rule out fermentation issues, but everything I wanted from 1450 is right there in my face: 79% attenuation, clean, that characteristic mouthfeel, a touch of maltiness, hops (Liberty) are shining.  Just not the clarity.  Maybe in another few weeks it’ll drop bright, if it lasts that long.

Offline Village Taphouse

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Re: Wheat ...
« Reply #4 on: January 13, 2024, 04:20:33 pm »
I have had the same issue.  As a matter of fact, I have it right now with a “Red Winter Wheat” that’s 49% Pale, 49% Wheat and 2% Roasted Barley.  All Deer Creek craft malt that I’ve been using almost exclusively for years.  3 weeks in the keg and it’s only now showing the slightest signs of clearing.  This beer was fermented with 1450, a yeast I’ve never had issues with dropping bright. 

I can’t post pix here, but this is what my “American Wheat” usually looks like:
https://www.brewersfriend.com/images/9/2/6/6/1/2/American-Wheat.jpeg

Here’s a shot of the Red Winter Wheat, which tastes clean and crushable by the way.  Very happy with the taste, not so much the appearance.
https://www.brewersfriend.com/forum/attachments/img_1514-jpeg.28004/

Is it the wheat?  That’s what I’d like to think.  I can’t 100% rule out fermentation issues, but everything I wanted from 1450 is right there in my face: 79% attenuation, clean, that characteristic mouthfeel, a touch of maltiness, hops (Liberty) are shining.  Just not the clarity.  Maybe in another few weeks it’ll drop bright, if it lasts that long.
Mmm, frustrating.  You'd think that after 25 years of brewing I'd be posting the answer to this .. not the question but I just don't use wheat that often and when I do it's just about any wheat that I can get my hands on as if "wheat is wheat" .. red, white, domestic, imported, etc.  If anyone else has been down this road and knows a brand/type of wheat that would not cause this hella-cloudiness, I'd love to hear from you.  I have to assume it's a high protein content or something, right? 
Ken from Chicago. 
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Offline Megary

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Re: Wheat ...
« Reply #5 on: January 13, 2024, 04:40:06 pm »
I don’t think it’s as simple as saying, “Brand X’s Pale Wheat will always produce crystal clear beers”.  There are so many factors that go into this.  Growing season, protein content, % of grist, yeast, fermentation, time conditioning, temp….

It is frustrating, but I think when homebrewing a beer with a substantial portion of wheat…well, the brewer is rolling the dice a bit.  Still, not every beer has to be crystal clear to be a great beer.  How much is appearance worth for BJCP judges??   :)

Offline Village Taphouse

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Re: Wheat ...
« Reply #6 on: January 13, 2024, 05:06:34 pm »
I don’t think it’s as simple as saying, “Brand X’s Pale Wheat will always produce crystal clear beers”.  There are so many factors that go into this.  Growing season, protein content, % of grist, yeast, fermentation, time conditioning, temp….

It is frustrating, but I think when homebrewing a beer with a substantial portion of wheat…well, the brewer is rolling the dice a bit.  Still, not every beer has to be crystal clear to be a great beer.  How much is appearance worth for BJCP judges??   :)
I assume you're right but I have streamlined my process so much and make the same recipes over and over so when I see this I scratch my head.  You're right though .. we roll the dice.  Even the most casual beer-drinker might hear the term "American Wheat" and assume it would be cloudy.  In a situation like this I usually have some lemon wedges in the pub fridge to distract anyone from the cloudiness.   :D
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Offline Village Taphouse

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Re: Wheat ...
« Reply #7 on: January 13, 2024, 06:11:48 pm »
I checked my notes and see that I made this beer in March 2023 and used Weyermann Wheat.  That batch was clear.  It may or may nor mean anything but I guaran-damn-tee you that I'll be looking for Weyermann wheat next time I have a large percentage of wheat in a beer.  I went to the PICS thread and found it ...



Clear. 
« Last Edit: January 13, 2024, 06:14:57 pm by Village Taphouse »
Ken from Chicago. 
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Offline HopDen

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Re: Wheat ...
« Reply #8 on: January 14, 2024, 07:21:46 am »
I checked my notes and see that I made this beer in March 2023 and used Weyermann Wheat.  That batch was clear.  It may or may nor mean anything but I guaran-damn-tee you that I'll be looking for Weyermann wheat next time I have a large percentage of wheat in a beer.  I went to the PICS thread and found it ...



Clear.

FWIW, when I dial in a recipe that I want to keep on rotation and have had great feedback, I make it a point to use the same ingredients. Cheers!

Offline denny

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Re: Wheat ...
« Reply #9 on: January 14, 2024, 08:37:41 am »
It's definitely possible. In fact, it's likely. Grains from different sources are not necessarily the same.
Is there anything I can follow that would steer me away from the cloudiness?  Red Wheat instead of white?  Use a Euro wheat product from Weyermann (or something) instead of a domestic wheat?  I assume the beer will taste fine but I would bet some serious money on it staying cloudy until the keg is kicked so I'm really just trying to understand what wheat to use and what to steer clear of.  At least I know which wheat to use if I want a cloudy beer!   ;D  Thanks Denny.

The only way to know is to try it and see.
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Offline mabrungard

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Re: Wheat ...
« Reply #10 on: January 15, 2024, 05:21:23 am »
Have you considered grain gelatinization temperature and mashing temperature?  Maybe the mash wasn’t hot enough to gel all the starch matter from the grain.
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Offline Village Taphouse

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Re: Wheat ...
« Reply #11 on: January 15, 2024, 07:29:59 am »
Have you considered grain gelatinization temperature and mashing temperature?  Maybe the mash wasn’t hot enough to gel all the starch matter from the grain.
No because I have never heard this.  The mash temp was 149.5° for 60 minutes.  Is there a threshold for this?  I could easily make another batch of this stuff and mash higher.  Thanks Martin. 
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Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: Wheat ...
« Reply #12 on: January 15, 2024, 09:43:04 am »
I think Martin's suggestion is in the realm of employing a cereal mash.  Since you used malted wheat, it should not be necessary (as I understand it) - a cereal mash will gelatinize the starches in unmalted/non-torrified wheat (then malted barley is possibly needed to add necessary enzymes for further conversion of the starches from the wheat?).  Is that the point being considered?
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Offline Village Taphouse

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Re: Wheat ...
« Reply #13 on: January 15, 2024, 09:51:34 am »
As long as you have more (or the same) percentage of pilsner/2-row, I thought it was a non-issue.  There was more pilsner malt in this beer than wheat and it would always be that way for me.  I have always just done a single-infusion mash and the cloudy wheat beers are in the vast minority .. these beers usually come out clear.  If there is a threshold for the mash temp on a high-percentage wheat grist, I do not know about it. 
Ken from Chicago. 
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Offline erockrph

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Re: Wheat ...
« Reply #14 on: January 15, 2024, 11:02:06 am »
As long as you have more (or the same) percentage of pilsner/2-row, I thought it was a non-issue.  There was more pilsner malt in this beer than wheat and it would always be that way for me.  I have always just done a single-infusion mash and the cloudy wheat beers are in the vast minority .. these beers usually come out clear.  If there is a threshold for the mash temp on a high-percentage wheat grist, I do not know about it.
I don't think the presence of pilsner malt would have an effect on the gelatinization of the starches in the wheat. That is simply a function of temperature (and being in the presence of water). That being said, according to BSG the gelatinization temperature range for wheat is a bit lower than your mash temp, so I wouldn't go too far down that particular rabbit hole unless you exhaust your other options.

From https://bsgcraftbrewing.com/mashing-cereal-vs-malt/

Gelatinization temps for commonly-used unmalted grains:

Barley: 140-150°F (60-65°C)
Wheat: 136-147°F (58-64°C)
Rye: 135-158°F (57-70°C)
Oats: 127-138°F (53-59°C)
Corn (Maize): 143-165°F (62-74°C)
Rice: 154-172°F (68-78°C)
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