Brewing with Wheat
Wheat is Europe’s staple grain, and brewers use it alongside barley because of its soft, crisp flavor. Wheat lends itself to summer refreshers, whether Bavarian weissbiers or Belgian witbiers, and even British brewers use wheat as a secret ingredient in their ales.
Wheat is What?
Wheats are classified as “hard” or “soft,” depending on the texture of the kernel; hard wheat requires more force to disintegrate than soft wheat. Wheats are also classified by the season in which they are sown (not harvested).
Barley and Wheat
Wheat has a lower cellulose and lipid content and a higher protein and starch content than barley, as well as a different kernel shape, which is more rounded than barley and has a pronounced groove. Wheat’s higher protein levels greatly enhance its contribution to foam stability.
Most brewing wheat has been malted, which involves steeping the grain in cold water, allowing it to germinate, and then carefully drying (kilning) it. In the malthouse, the brewer picks up where the maltster left off, allowing natural enzymes to break carbohydrates down into simple sugars for fermentation.
Raw wheat produces beers that are less sweet and full-bodied than those made with malted wheat, making it an excellent choice for the more crisp and refreshing styles. At least one microbrewery has used raw wheat in its version of an American wheat beer, with up to 40% raw wheat being used.
Flaked wheat, like flaked barley, maize, and oats, can be added directly to the barley malt in any mash, but it’s much more expensive than raw wheat.
While wheat flour is virtually unknown in the United States, it has long been an acceptable brewing addition in the United Kingdom. Soft wheat flour, with its lower protein content, is preferred (homebrewers might try cake flour), and it should be thoroughly mixed with the crushed malt to avoid interfering with good lautering.
Homebrewers can get malted wheat in syrup form, either blended with barley malt or as pure wheat malt extract (how do they do that?). Using extract, of course, means that a brewer can make a wheat beer that is 100 percent wheat, though adding a mini-mash of crushed grains always seems to improve extract-based beers.
Does flaked wheat need to be mashed?
When brewing with whole rice, corn, raw oats, unmalted barley, unmalted wheat, rye, or other unmalted grains, such as those commonly used for gluten free brewing, a cereal mash step is not required because the malted, flaked, or torrified versions have already been gelatinized (see below).
Is unmalted wheat the same as flaked wheat?
Although flaked wheat is unmalted, it is pre-gelatinized, so you don’t have to worry about that.
How do you use flaked wheat?
Flaked Wheat has a crisper mouthfeel than Wheat Malt, making it ideal for a variety of European wheat beers. Other beer styles that can benefit from Flaked Wheat include New England IPAs and saisons, as well as any others that call for haze!
Do wheat beers have barley?
Most beers contain malted barley as a grain source, but wheat beers must contain at least half wheat grain by definition.
How much wheat is in an IPA?
Recipe Guidelines For any wheat IPA recipe, a good starting point would be 50% barley malt and 50% wheat malt, or 50% barley malt, 45% wheat malt, and 5% raw wheat. Crystal malts should be avoided, or at least minimized.
What is the difference between wheat and barley?
Both wheat and barley contain gluten, making them unsuitable for people with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity. Wheat is ground into flour before use in baked goods and other foods, while barley is mostly eaten whole grain or pearled.
What is a cereal mash?
A cereal mash is used to gelatinize starches in unmalted grains so that conversion enzymes can access them; the grains (rice, corn, etc.) are boiled for 10 to 15 minutes before being added to the mash.
Is Torrified wheat malted?
Torrified wheat is a pre-gelatinized unmalted brewers wheat that can be used as a cereal grain or adjunct in the mash, and can even be used in place of malted wheat if desired. It increases body and head retention while also adding a subtle toasted flavor. We recommend using Rice Hulls with this grain to avoid a stuck mash.
What does unmalted wheat mean?
malted – of grain that has been converted into malt; “malted barley” unmalted – of grain that has not been converted into malt; “unmalted barley” malted – of grain that has been converted into malt; “malted barley”
Is malted wheat healthier?
Malt is a heart-healthy mix that contains fiber, potassium, folate, and vitamin B6, all of which help lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease. Dietary fiber helps reduce insulin activity and increases cholesterol absorption from the gut, promoting cholesterol breakdown.
Is malt same as wheat?
Malt is made from a grain that has been soaked, germinated (sprouted), and dried. It can be made from a variety of grains, including wheat, corn, and rice, but the most common is whole-grain barley.
What grain is used for head retention?
Proteins and dextrins are important for head retention, and high-protein malts like crystal, wheat, flaked barley, and Carafoam can help. Consider an Irish stout, which has a lovely white head that lasts forever.
What flavor does flaked wheat Add to beer?
Flaked wheat has all of the benefits of unmalted wheat, but in a flaked form that is easier to work with. It has a strong grain flavor and is the color of light straw. Flaked wheat is commonly used in Belgian beers because it adds a deeper flavor, cloudiness, and improves head formation.
Can you steep flaked wheat?
Crush the barley malt and combine it with the flaked grain in a grain bag; the flaked grain does not need to be crushed, but it does help to break it up. Once the grains are mixed, steep the grain for 30 minutes in 150u00b0 to 158u00b0 F water, rinse the grains, and continue.