brewing a wit, have a few questions.

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brewing a wit, have a few questions.

Postby Suthrncomfrt1884 » Wed Feb 25, 2009 10:15 am

I'll be brewing a belgian wit on friday, and just wanted to get a few questions out of the way first. This is my first try at wheat beer since I've heard it's a little hard to mash.

1. Since the recipe I've come up with is 50% wheat and flaked wheat, is there anything special I can do to prevent a stuck sparge? I've read that rice hulls help, so should I just use those like I would any other grain?

2. When it comes to orange peel, I've read a few different opinions. Some say that the pre-packaged dry peel you can find at your LHBS loses a lot of flavor by the time it gets to your brew. Others say that fresh orange peel will give off a metallic flavor. Any input?

3. I'm using 2lbs of flaked wheat in my recipe. Should this be milled or left alone?
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RE: brewing a wit, have a few questions.

Postby wottaguy » Wed Feb 25, 2009 10:32 am

Suthrncomfrt1884...

Wits are awesome and fast to the glass!

Concerning your question 1 & 3...Due to the amount of flaked wheat you want to use, you will definitely need to use some rice hulls to avoid a stuck mash. I would probably use at least a half a pound or even up to a full pound which should do the trick. Milling the flakes is not necessary as they are pre gelatinized and will break down quickly.

Your question #2: I have tried using both the LHBS supplied orange peels and fresh orange "zest" (i have my own orange trees here), andI prefer to use the homegrown zest for my wits. I use less and the flavors and aroma's are much more prominent than using the prepackaged ones from the brew store. But...if you can't get fresh oranges, then go with the ones that your LHBS has. They will still work out. You'll probably have to experiment with both to see what you prefer anyways.

Hope this helps and good luck with your session too!

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Postby jawbox » Wed Feb 25, 2009 11:19 am

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I'd use the hulls. I just brewed a wit a few weeks back and used 1/2lb of hulls. No stuck sparge (i batch sparge).

I just tried fresh zest (4 oranges) for the first time. I should be kegging this week so I'll report back.
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Postby slothrob » Wed Feb 25, 2009 6:42 pm

jawbox wrote:I'd use the hulls. I just brewed a wit a few weeks back and used 1/2lb of hulls. No stuck sparge (i batch sparge).

I've never used rice hulls, do you pre-wet them?

Also, does anyone step mash a Wit through a B-glucanase or Proteinase rest to reduce the goop? The B-glucanase rest seems to help when I use oats, but they're a different beast than Flaked Wheat.
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Postby Suthrncomfrt1884 » Wed Feb 25, 2009 10:43 pm

I'm also wondering about the rice hulls. Is it something that can just be treated as an extra grain? Dump it in the mash with everything else and let it work it's magic?
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Pre-rinse rice hulls

Postby slothrob » Thu Feb 26, 2009 1:09 am

Well, John Palmer had the answer, once again:

Oat and Rice Hulls Not an adjunct per se, the hulls of oats and rice are not fermentable, but they can be useful in the mash. The hulls provide bulk and help prevent the mash from settling and becoming stuck during the sparge. This can be very helpful when making wheat or rye beers with a low percentage of barley malt and barley husks. Use 2 - 4 quarts of oat or rice hulls for 6 - 10 lbs. of wheat if doing an all-wheat beer. Rinse thoroughly before using.
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