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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Techniques > Witbier dropping clear.....
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Old 04-01-2014, 04:42 PM   #1
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Default Witbier dropping clear.....

Looking for suggestions on keeping my witbier cloudy. I brewed my witbier for this years NHC which has done well in competition in the past but I have had trouble keeping it cloudy. This batch I did a step mash at 120ish in hopes of keeping it cloudy per the style. But, alas, yesterday I poured a pint from the keg and it had dropped clear. I'm assuming the bottles sitting in San Diego right now have probably dropped clear as well. (Maybe they will turn the bottles upside down before judging?) Any suggestions on keeping wits cloudy? I've heard adding a tablespoon of wheat flour at knockout may help? I've also heard that commercial brewers will deliver their wit kegs upside down to keep their beers cloudy so I'm guessing this is a common problem???

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Old 04-01-2014, 04:47 PM   #2
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I don't know your recipe, but I did a saison with 1.5lb unmalted wheat which is very cloudy and doesn't look like it will clear up all that much. Also, why are you step mashing with malted grains? I think that would defeat the purpose and make it more clear with possibly less foam.

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Old 04-01-2014, 04:59 PM   #3
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I've heard that you can add a little bit of regular flour into the beer at bottling / kegging to give it some cloudiness, if you're worried about that kinda thing.

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Old 04-01-2014, 09:32 PM   #4
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When you add unmalted wheat to your mash, the diastatic power of your pale malt is such that it converts the starches to sugar. It's the starch that makes wit beers cloudy so when you get it all converted, your beer will clear. You need to add starch after the enzymes are denatured so it stays starch and won't drop clear. Flour in the fermenter should do the trick.

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Old 04-02-2014, 12:13 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RM-MN View Post
When you add unmalted wheat to your mash, the diastatic power of your pale malt is such that it converts the starches to sugar. It's the starch that makes wit beers cloudy so when you get it all converted, your beer will clear. You need to add starch after the enzymes are denatured so it stays starch and won't drop clear. Flour in the fermenter should do the trick.
I get that, but if you added a large portion of unmalted/not well modified grains, would it take longer to do all that and if you keep your mashing time like normal you still end up with "flour" in your fermenter without having to add it after? I also understand I'm talking to someone who does 20 minuted mashes
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Old 04-02-2014, 12:28 PM   #6
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Weizen/wit is not typically a kegged beer, that is a recent development.

It is bottle conditioned, when the bottle settles you shake it up. Give you kegs a lift and a kick before serving, they'll be fine.

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Old 04-02-2014, 01:30 PM   #7
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I get that, but if you added a large portion of unmalted/not well modified grains, would it take longer to do all that and if you keep your mashing time like normal you still end up with "flour" in your fermenter without having to add it after? I also understand I'm talking to someone who does 20 minuted mashes
If your base malts have the diastatic power to convert the unmalted wheat it will do so in the same amount of time as the base malt. If your base malt doesn't have enough diastatic power, you should end up with starch left.

Who does 20 minute mashed? Not me!

I'm doing 10 minute mashes now.
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Old 04-02-2014, 03:11 PM   #8
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If your base malts have the diastatic power to convert the unmalted wheat it will do so in the same amount of time as the base malt. If your base malt doesn't have enough diastatic power, you should end up with starch left.

Who does 20 minute mashed? Not me!

I'm doing 10 minute mashes now.
Ok you've convinced me of the starches converting (actually I hit all my numbers gravity wise so that makes sense), but as far as cloudyness I would have to beg the question. I mean with the partly malted grain that's why they do a protein rest yes? Since the grain didn't have a chance to "make" enzymes in the malting process, wouldn't there be a whole bunch of just let me say "raw" protein in the unmalted grain? Does this make it cloudy?

Don't say the answer is 42!
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Old 04-02-2014, 04:18 PM   #9
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Ok you've convinced me of the starches converting (actually I hit all my numbers gravity wise so that makes sense), but as far as cloudyness I would have to beg the question. I mean with the partly malted grain that's why they do a protein rest yes? Since the grain didn't have a chance to "make" enzymes in the malting process, wouldn't there be a whole bunch of just let me say "raw" protein in the unmalted grain? Does this make it cloudy?

Don't say the answer is 42!
This is why they used to do the protein rest but nowadays the malts are so well modified that there is little need for a protein rest. You may find some European malts that are undermodified and would benefit from the protein rest.
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Old 04-02-2014, 04:49 PM   #10
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DOH! I had read somewhere that doing a quick (15 min) rest at 124 on the recipe which contained modified wheat would help it maintain cloudiness. It was sloppy of me not to research this more and I should have just gone with my first gut instinct which was to add the flour. The good news is that the beer tastes fantastic. The bad news however, is that I know at the first round NHC it will be knocked down against the style guidelines as it is as clear as a Pale Ale.

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