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Oct
25
2012

Brewing with Unmalted Wheat

I received some White Sonoran organic heritage wheat from Hayden Flour Mills the other day. I decided to brew up a wheat beer using this full flavored, nutrient rich, unmalted wheat. I had never brewed with unmalted wheat so I quite a bit of research was in order. I found about 50% of homebrewers will do a protein rest and 50% do a single infusion. Since I like to keep it simple I decided to do a single infusion mash @ 152 degrees. Many brewers also recommended a cereal mash but I decided to just add it to the mash.

My grain was about 56% two row, 37% unmalted wheat, and 4% flaked oats. I used Magnum for the bittering hops, and Centennial for the flavor and aroma hops. For yeast I went with WLP029 Kölsch Yeast. I wanted some fruity esters but not the banana phenols from a hefeweizen. When creating the recipe in Brewgr I set the efficiency at 60% and didn’t really know what to set the PPG at for the unmalted wheat. You can view my recipe here, Unmalted Wheat Recipe.

My first obstacle was grinding the wheat. I tried a blender but it didn’t get it fine enough. I tried to beat it with a rolling pin but that just ripped up the bag.

A coffee grinder seemed to be the best option. Although it did overheat at one point. I had to let it sit for a while and then I did about a cup every 15 minutes.

I was going for a consistency of something like cornmeal. I knew this might cause issues with a stuck mash so I added rice hulls.

Here are the grains that went into this brew. Two-row (before it was ground), Flaked oats, Rice hulls to help prevent a stuck mash, and the unmalted wheat.

I mashed at 152 degrees for 60 minutes.

Collecting first runnings into my brew kettle.

Measuring ingredients for boil; hops, irish moss, and a yeast nutrient.

This is my recirculating wort chiller I made from an old pond pump. This was a warm day so I went through quite a bit of ice. I fill one load in the washing machine and then start circulating. I use the left over water in teh cooler for clean up.

I collected about 6 gallons since I wasn’t going to keg this brew. The original gravity was 1.048. I fermented this unmalted wheat beer at 66 degrees for 20 days.

The brew finished very clear and around a 1.013 final gravity.

Primed and bottled. I am taking this to a wedding so I decided to bottle instead of keg. It tasted great without the carbonation so I am eager to taste it with some bubbles. The wheat flavor was amazing and I am sure the Hayden Flour Mill wheat made a big difference.

If you try brewing with unmalted wheat make sure you are careful you don’t get a stuck mash, expect lower than normal efficiencies, and find some real wheat like the stuff from Hayden Flour Mills. Other than that, the process wasn't much different than other beers I have brewed. If you brew an unmalted wheat beer be sure to share your recipe on Brewgr.com. Start crafting great beer!

Thanks to Hayden Flour Mills for the amazing wheat and thanks to my little helper.