Lautering is an essential part of brewing, and recently I was thinking about exploring the limits of the process. One thing running through my head was how an all-wheat brew would lauter. Considering wheat has no husk and plenty of flour is generated through milling, my initial thought was probably not very well.
So, my options were struggling through a hard lauter, using rice hulls as a filtering aid, or removing the flour. Struggling through a hard lauter was immediately off the table; that would be not only frustrating but also time-consuming. Adding rice hulls could be considered common practice in an all-wheat brew, but after reviewing past sensory notes and our 2020 MaltGems® blog, adding unwanted flavors to the brew was also something I wanted to avoid.
Fortunately, the process of removing flour during milling is something we refined through the development and introduction of MaltGems® in 2020. I started with 80 lbs. of white wheat and removed approximately 16 lbs. of flour.
The same flour removing process was used on Caracrystal® Wheat and Midnight Wheat
This brew was mashed in at 125°F, then ramped and held at 149°F for 30 minutes. Temperature was finally taken up to 157°F where it was held for 30 minutes. A single infusion mash could also be used, but step mashing is my preference.
Lautering took 100 min, which is a reasonable amount of time. If the flour weren’t removed, there most likely would have been multiple bed turns along with vorlauf time. With the flour removed, the filtering process that happens in the lauter is greatly improved. Think of it as wort flowing through sand vs. through small pebbles.
The spent grains looked great and show why lautering went as well as it did.
“Nothing But Wheat” Brown Ale Recipe
OG – 1.059
FG – 1.015
- California Ale Yeast
- East Kent Goldings (60 min)
- Northern Brewer (60 min)
Heat 18 gal. of 20% tap water and 80% deionized/distilled water to 125°F. Mash in.
Ramp to 144°F, hold for 30 min.
Ramp to 157°F, hold for 30 min.
Mash off at 170°F. Transfer to lauter, sparge with 170°F deionized/distilled water.
Boil for 60 min.
Cool wort to <70°F.
Fermentation temp 65-69°F.
After reaching FG, transfer to secondary storage and allow 10-14 days at 45°F before bottling
Finish by transferring to a keg and agitating (rolling and shaking) the keg to reach equilibrium.
Carbonate to 2.7 volumes of CO2 and serve through a traditional faucet.