View Full Version : First Time Doing American Wheat Help....

04-16-2008, 10:02 AM
this will be my first crack at doing a wheat. former recipe at brewpub calls for 75% pils to 20% wheat malt ratio with a little honey malt thrown in (this is a 6 barrel batch). i was thinking of changing that ratio a little closer to 50/50%. is one type of wheat better than the other or could a mixture of different types benefit the flavor? looking for a nice easy drinking, hazy wheat that i might add some fruit extracts to through out the spring/summer (just had some abita purple haze last night and that seems to be what i'd like to match).

i am worried about the whole stuck mash issue so i thought i'd add some rice hulls to the recipe but i don't know how much?

some tips i've gotten are...
thin mash, roughly 100#grain to 1 bbl h20
couple inches of foundation h20 before mashing in
feed pils malt in first and alternate pils and wheat into hopper
use rice hulls

should i start with a 122 rest to help break it down better and help runoff? use a higher, 168, mash temp to help reduce viscosity? knife throught the bed while recirculating and sparging?

i guess i could go on and on......what tips can you guys give me?

thanks from a newbie

04-16-2008, 10:57 AM
I helped brew a GABF Gold-winning American wheat, and it was 50/50 malted wheat with malted barley and fairly low IBUs (we liked fragrant noble hops!). No rests, mashed in at our usual temperature, etc.

Mixed the grains pretty evenly, did a fairly wet mash, no stuck runoff!

Couldn't be simpler or more enjoyable to brew or drink!

Cheers, Tim

04-16-2008, 11:22 AM
I have brewed many @ 50/50. Rice hulls help, but are not necessary if you are gentle. I have found the most important things are not to start your runoff too fast, and keep up on your sparge water, i.e. don't compress the bed or you will end up with a giant granola bar in the MT.

04-16-2008, 02:40 PM
I do a 50/50 wheat/pale malt beer. I add a 5 gallon bucket of rice hulls to my grist hopper evenly throughout the mash in. I use a single step infusion mash at a relatively low 150 F. Even with the lower mash temp, run-off is never an issue. Actually since I used the hulls in that wheat beer I started using them for all of my brews and have gotten an increase in lauter efficiency and have decreased the gravity in my final runnings (obviously two things that are very related). I say go for the hulls. They're cheap and they don't impart any character and they can help save some money in malt and some time in the brewhouse. Just my two cents...

04-17-2008, 09:41 AM
just realized.....

we just put out a "light" beer recently and its grain bill is 57/32% pils to wheat. it is pretty much a wheat beer but we advertise it as a "light" beer. (at least it was created and sucessfully eliminated bud light from the tap selection!)

of course that beer is filtered pretty tight and is a kolsch yeast.
will my new wheat beer, being unfiltered and made with an american ale yeast, think it'll vary enough in taste?
would the addition of some munich, honey malt, or white/flaked wheat change the taste up nicely?
what about using american wheat yeast instead?
right now i'm looking at 53%pils, 35 wheat, 5 honey malt...

any input from the wheat gods would be greatly appreciated!

04-17-2008, 10:25 AM
Honey in the kettle adds a nice flavor too an American Wheat...

04-17-2008, 10:30 AM
Sounds like a tasty wheat to me. I have always liked Flaked Oats in a wheat beer, it may do some more to set it apart from your "light". I have never used Honey Malt, but i like to add real honey at the start of WP.

Side note on using the term "Light Beer". I not sure on the exact details, but the TTB has their own definition "Light Beer". I don't know that anyone would cause a stink about it in a brewpub, but thought you may at least want to be aware.
(at least this is what i was told when we had to change the name of ours, i still can't find a legal definition)

04-19-2008, 12:17 PM
You can add rice hulls if you want, but I found that as long as I milled all of my wheat malt together with barley malt, I had absolutely no problem with runoff. Just make sure you don't have a solid layer of wheat malt, because that will cake and create difficulties. It only takes having a stuck runoff once to quickly learn how to avoid it (luckily, you can avoid it if you're careful)!

brewery master
04-23-2008, 12:16 PM
I Use 10 Percrnt Grise With My Wheat ,rest At 68 C 30 Min. Boil For 30 Min.scooping The Poop To Avoid Boil Over,then Add To Main Mash,no Problems Lautering Here.

04-28-2008, 10:50 AM
I make a hefe-weizen, 50/50. I used to get a stuck mash everytime before I started using rice hulls. I get them in a 50# bag and use about a third of the hulls per batch. 7bbl system. I sprinkle them directly into the mash during mash in. I run 3 bags of pale male to create a nice bed, then 4 bags of wheat, mixing the hulls in then, then finish with one bag of pale. Havent had a problem since. Clear run-off and no more late nights!!:D

05-23-2008, 07:57 AM
finally brewed that wheat...
thanks for all the advice and tips!
i did a 50/50 pils/wheat and ended up using some rice hulls just in case.
no stuck mash and hit my numbers!

thanks again! now we'll see how it tastes in a couple weeks

i was thinking of racking off a keg and trying some fruit extracts with it.
anyone have any success with that.

05-23-2008, 10:34 AM
i was thinking of racking off a keg and trying some fruit extracts with it.
anyone have any success with that.
Just Say No to Beerdles & James :rolleyes:

But seriously, you should think about puree instead of extracts. Not that extracts are bad, but real fruit is way better IMO.

05-23-2008, 01:15 PM
Extracts are good for what you are talking about. Peeling a keg off and adding and extract its good way to experiment. I like purees too, but they are expensive. Also, to be honest, customers seem to prefer beers made with extracts than the puree, even though I like them better with a puree. Dont overdo the extract, try less than an ounce per gallon to start. .75oz/gallon.

05-28-2008, 06:29 AM
WONF is some nasty stuff, most people do not taste the glycol used to stabilize it, but if you work around it you know it. It will also destroy your tap-lines, although if you dedicate a single line to the products that people with a preference to drinking antifreeze prefer you should be just fine.