A few months back my friend Conrad made a trip back to his family farm in Montana to get something for us to brew with. Fresh Unmalted Red Wheat.
And he brought a bunch of it, too! Being that Conrad and myself are tinkerers and would prefer to do everything from scratch our original intention was to malt it ourselves.
I’ll make bread and pizza and ice cream from scratch. I’ve even made ramen noodles from scratch. Belgian style fries that I’ve cultivated the potatoes to make. But, the more I read about malting, I decided this might not be something that was actually feasible to do in my small area and with the limited time and attention I was willing to devote to this.
So, what else can you do with raw wheat?
Belgian Witbier is one such thing you can make with it. So, I purchased a few additional ingredients to supplement what I already had and I did some research to develop a recipe that would fit our system, timeline, and ingredients on hand.
I opted to use up some Belgian Pale 2-Row Malt I had sitting around instead of using the more common Pilsner Malt. That was 65% of the grain bill. I then ground up the raw wheat pretty finely and used 32 perfect of wheat. And, for good measure we put in 3% acid malt to assist with mash ph.
Our hop schedule was pretty standard for this type of beer. Low AA hops. We used a combinaton of Saaz and Tettnangs, both at 2.6AA. We put half the amount of both at 45mins and half at 5 minutes, hoping to end up with 16 IBU’s. Our additions were interesting. We put in 3/4oz of Coriander, 1-oz of Orange zest and 1-oz of Grapefruit zest at 10 minutes. When the boil finished, we gravity fed the beer through the plate chiller, which cooled it to about 68 degrees.
For the yeast, I had made a 1.8L Starter of Wyeast 3944, Belgian Witbier yeast. I was going to decant my yeast beer off the slurry, but i decided to just add it in there, as our yield wasn’t as good this time around. Most likely because the unmalted wheat absorbed more water than anticipated. In 20 days this beer should be done.
Our OG was 1.046 Hoping to get it down to 1.010…
Crossing fingers, only time will tell.