First Wheat Beer

Hey Guys,
Doing my first all wheat beer and was wondering if the mashing process is any different with wheat than with barley? It’s not 100% wheat there will be a few pounds of barley in it. Any advice?

Getting above 60% wheat you have a good possibility of making cement. Depending on the crush of the grains.

Stay in the 50/50 range for your 1st AG wheat beer unless you have some rice hulls handy.

Otherwise there is nothing different.

My recipe is right around 60% wheat and 40% barley. Do you think that will be ok? I have a pretty firm mash paddle. That sounds… wrong… haha but I should be able to stir thicker mashes easily with it. I can probably lose a little bit of the wheat if the ratio is off.

I usually throw in a handful of rice hulls to prevent stuck sparges. Otherwise it mashes about the same as barley.

I try not to crush wheat malt too finely either. and I usually don’t get quite as much sugar from wheat malt as I do from barley malt.

I agree with Nighthawk. I wouldn’t exceed 50/50 and even then I would use rice hulls. 50% is a lot of wheat and should achieve the desired effect.

I just brewed a wheat IPA on Saturday with 45% wheat and got my first stuck sparge (third time I’ve brewed this recipe) and channeling, which effects your overall efficiency. Rice hulls are cheap insurance.

The mash paddle has nothing to due with the ability of the wort to drain from the MT. If the flour to hulls ratio is wrong, you will get concrete.

Your ration may work just fine. I’ve never had a problem with 50/50. kcbeersnob had issues with 65/45. It will depend on your crush.

50?50 is usually the lower limit, 60% wheat is quite normal. I think the crush is more important than whether you use 50 or 60%.

I’d go with a fairly thin mash myself. I would also plan to rake the mash, that is, score the very top of the grain bed whenever it starts to slow down. Wheat has a lot of protein and it tends to stick on the top of the mash. By raking the top you keep some flow happening.

I have 12 lbs of grain overall, I can cut back on the amount of wheat so it’s 50/50 or below and still be around 10 lbs of total grain which should still be more than enough for a good all grain beer. I can’t control the crush since I ordered it pre-crushed. So whatever they give me will be what I get. If it’s really powdery I’ll definitely cut back on the wheat. But if it seems pretty coarsely cracked I may keep it a bit higher. I definitely don’t want a mash that looks like a paper mache paste or oatmeal.

Don’t forget to use a campden tab (1/4 per 5 gallons of strike water).

There is a compound more prevalent in wheat malt (maybe an acid or a protein?) that can lead to 4-ethylphenol production, and it will come off as the dreaded band-aid phenolic. Certain yeasts are more prone to produce this phenol as well.

I had it once in an American wheat (though it was made with slightly old US-05 and a starter as well), and that was enough for me to buy a $3.95 pack of campden tabs that will likely last me the next 50 brews or so.

Happy guzzlin’ (that’s the best thing IMHO to do with wheats!)

Thanks for the heads up. I always use campden tablets because I use city water and the chloramine gives the beer a licorice/clovey flavor if I don’t. Wheat is certainly not my favorite beer but a lot of my friends have been asking me to make a batch. Hopefully it turns out well, I’ll be brewing this weekend.