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Old 08-25-2009, 08:00 PM   #1
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Default Wheat in belgian beers

I've been meaning to brew a Wit again, but this time AG. I don't have any wheat yet, and I am unsure what to use. When I brewed this extract method I just bought pale wheat DME.

So what should I use?

Also I now have some Pilsner malt, so should I use that, or go with US 2-row?

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Old 08-25-2009, 08:10 PM   #2
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A Belgian wit is traditionally about 50% pilsner and 50% flaked wheat. Sometimes people also add a half pound or pound of flaked oat just for some mouthfeel

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Old 08-25-2009, 09:13 PM   #3
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The traditional way to go is using raw wheat in a cereal cooker, than adding it to the mash. Pierre Rajotte goes into great details about it in the book Belgian Ales (classic beer styles serie)

If you use flaked wheat, the wheat is pre-cooked for you and you do not need to cook it yourself and it can be added directly to the mash, but it will not produce the same exact flavor as the classic hoegarden for example.

Personally I always used the flaked wheat, I will try the raw stuff someday.. the problem is also that raw wheat is not that easy to find.

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Old 08-25-2009, 09:17 PM   #4
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The traditional way to go is using raw wheat in a cereal cooker, than adding it to the mash.
Doing an actual cereal mash with soft winter wheat isn't necessary; a step mash accomplishes the same end without overcomplicating matters. A 15 to 20 minute rest @ 133° then infuse up to 154° for 40 minutes for the remainder of the saccharification rest. The gelatinization temp for wheat is in range for saccharification temps.
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Old 08-25-2009, 09:26 PM   #5
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After using unmalted wheat in my last wit, I feel confident in saying I would never use flaked or malted wheat in the style again. Just my opinion, but I taste worlds of difference in a recipe that was pretty standard 47.5:47.5:5 wheat : pils : flaked oats for all three batches, using malted, flaked, and unmalted wheat varieties.

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Old 08-25-2009, 09:26 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smashed4 View Post
The traditional way to go is using raw wheat in a cereal cooker, than adding it to the mash. Pierre Rajotte goes into great details about it in the book Belgian Ales (classic beer styles serie)

If you use flaked wheat, the wheat is pre-cooked for you and you do not need to cook it yourself and it can be added directly to the mash, but it will not produce the same exact flavor as the classic hoegarden for example.

Personally I always used the flaked wheat, I will try the raw stuff someday.. the problem is also that raw wheat is not that easy to find.
I use the flaked wheat too, wheat malt isn't the way to go in a wit, and raw wheat is hard to find and hard to use.

Here's one I made recently for a friends wedding that came out awesome...

Wit Wedding
Witbier


Type: All Grain
Batch Size: 6.00 gal
Boil Size: 7.58 gal
Boil Time: 60 min
Brewhouse Efficiency: 83.00%


Ingredients

Amount Item Type % or IBU
8.0 oz Rice Hulls (0.0 SRM) Adjunct 0.00 %
5 lbs 8.0 oz Pale Malt (2 Row) US (1.8 SRM) Grain 50.27 %
4 lbs 8.0 oz Wheat, Flaked (1.6 SRM) Grain 41.13 %
8.0 oz Oats, Flaked (1.0 SRM) Grain 4.57 %
7.0 oz Acid Malt (3.0 SRM) Grain 4.02 %
1.50 oz Crystal [3.50 %] (60 min) Hops 15.5 IBU
0.40 oz Coriander Seed (Boil 1.0 min) Misc
0.50 oz Orange Peel, Bitter (Boil 1.0 min) Misc
1.00 oz Citrus Zest (Boil 1.0 min) Misc
1 Pkgs Belgian Wit Ale (White Labs #WLP400) [Starter 0 L] Yeast-Wheat



Beer Profile

Measured Original Gravity: 1.055 SG
Measured Final Gravity: 1.008 SG
Actual Alcohol by Vol: 6.13 %
Bitterness: 15.5 IBU Calories: 242 cal/pint
Est Color: 3.3 SRM


Mash Profile

Single Infusion, Light Body
60 min Mash In Add 15.00 qt of water at 163.6 F 150.0 F
10 min Mash Out Add 9.00 qt of water at 203.8 F 168.0 F
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Old 08-25-2009, 09:31 PM   #7
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After using unmalted wheat in my last wit, I feel confident in saying I would never use flaked or malted wheat in the style again. Just my opinion, but I taste worlds of difference in a recipe that was pretty standard 47.5:47.5:5 wheat : pils : flaked oats for all three batches, using malted, flaked, and unmalted wheat varieties.
That's great. Where did you find the unmalted, unflaked, i.e. raw wheat?

Did you do anything special with the wheat? Cooked it? or just added to the mash?
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Old 08-25-2009, 09:35 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by flyangler18 View Post
The gelatinization temp for wheat is in range for saccharification temps.
I've heard several people say this recently, and I have to disagree. Just think about a flour thickened sauce, that thickening is the starch gelatinizing and it doesn't really happen until it reaches a boil. When you hear food scientists (or whoever) talk about gelatinization temps they are really referring to the pure starch. When you have bigger/unprocessed pieces the starch is not available.
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Old 08-25-2009, 09:42 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by smashed4 View Post
That's great. Where did you find the unmalted, unflaked, i.e. raw wheat?

Did you do anything special with the wheat? Cooked it? or just added to the mash?
Raw Wheat available here.

I just did a Protein rest at 133 for 20 mins, then ramped up to 154 for 45 mins.
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Old 08-25-2009, 09:46 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oldsock View Post
I've heard several people say this recently, and I have to disagree. Just think about a flour thickened sauce, that thickening is the starch gelatinizing and it doesn't really happen until it reaches a boil. When you hear food scientists (or whoever) talk about gelatinization temps they are really referring to the pure starch. When you have bigger/unprocessed pieces the starch is not available.
It's good to have this discussion, Michael! That being said, I always use a protein rest when using raw unmalted wheat and have seen a marked increase in efficiency as a result.
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