Hi I am a brewer in the Indian Ocean Island of Madagascar working on a few recipes to hopefully start a microbrewery here. Our aim is to use as much locally grown fermentables as possible.

We would like to do a witbeer but my South African importer only carries malted wheat, not flake wheat. So my question is if we could work with locally grown whole soft wheat, using our three roller adjustable miller and adding rice hulks to prevent a stuck mash. I hear that wheat is hard to mill but it would allow us a grain bill 50 percent local.

Do we need a separate step infusion to gelatinize the raw wheat or is it OK to add directly to mash?

PS we also had excellent results using cooked red rice as an adjunct, works wonders for foam stability.

Thanks enter image description here

  • Do you have malted barley? I hope you realise that malted grain is the most essential part of brewing beer. – chthon Sep 2 '19 at 9:07
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    Uhm, yes of course we use malted barley. I am talking about the wheat bill. We use 50% malted pilsner barley, and that is able to convert the wheat as well. I don't want to use malted wheat because then you don't get the haze and body typical of true Belgian witbeers. But thanks for checking. – Madagascar brewer Sep 3 '19 at 11:55

Raw wheat is just all starches and proteins. Malted wheat consists of the same starches, already sugars due to the malting, proteins and all enzymes needed to convert starches to sugars.

So, you do not need to gelatinize the raw wheat (flour) separately, as you would need to do with rice or corn.

But you will need to experiment with a step mash at 45° C and 55° C, to help dissolve beta-glucans and large proteins, before you increase the temperature to the conversion temperature.

  • Thanks that is very useful. Will experiment with a step mash. – Madagascar brewer Sep 7 '19 at 7:56
  • @Madagascarbrewer: would you mind marking my answer? Thx. in advance. – chthon Sep 7 '19 at 19:20

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