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Chris Kennedy
05/27/09 03:38 PM  
Using Flour as a Turbid Mash Substitute
On Big Brew Day, I brewed a lambic using the WY modified mash method from Wild Brews that I modified further.

The modified mash method is basically just a cereal mash of the unmalted wheat. Instead of adding the entire cereal mash to the rest of the mash, I withheld 2-3qts of it, never mashing that portion, in the hopes that I would get more starch as a result. I figured that adding the entirety of the cereal mash would result in fairly close to complete conversion of the starches from the unmalted wheat.

So anyway, that lambic is going just fine.

I want to brew another lambic, but the cereal mash was extra gas, more time, and honestly, if I never have to hand crank a mill while grinding unmalted wheat, that still is too soon.

So, correct me if I am wrong, but the difference between a 60% Pilsner, 40% unmalted wheat grain bill with a turbid mash, and a 60% Pilsner, 40% malted wheat with a normal mash is the temperature steps and the resulting starches that have not been converted, correct?

So could you just add starches to the boil, in the form of a flour? Would this accomplish a very similar goal as the turbid mash? What would be missing by using this short cut? I understand the steps in the mash would be different, but I wonder how this would affect a beer like a lambic?

Should I bite the bullet and just do things right and do another turbid/modified turbid mash?

05/27/09 04:19 PM  
Re: Using Flour as a Turbid Mash Substitute
I have been wondering the same thing!

In a Hefe we brewed once flour was added to the boil to put a permanent haze in it. That way we didn't have to worry about the yeast dropping out.

Reading Wild Brews and the turbid mash section for Lambic I was thinking mashing high and adding flour would accomplish the same thing.

Chris Kennedy, what did you pitch your Lambic with?

Chris Kennedy
05/27/09 04:48 PM  
Re: Using Flour as a Turbid Mash Substitute
I pitched a smack pack of the Wyeast Lambic Blend, and have thrown in all sorts of bugs/dregs since then, including Lindeman's Cuvee Renee, Cantillon Kriek, a lactic starter I let get too hot that I was going to use for my BWeiss, and I think that is about it for now. I like having a bunch of sours on hand that give me an excuse to drink more commercial examples just so I can dump the dregs in there.
05/28/09 12:42 PM  
Re: Using Flour as a Turbid Mash Substitute
Very good question. I don't have any answer for you, but a semi educated guess would at least make me think that it would get you in the ballpark. At least closer than the single infusions I usually do. ;-)
Caped Brewsader
05/29/09 07:21 AM  
Re: Using Flour as a Turbid Mash Substitute
I 've been wondering about other ways to do it as well. I think I remember hearing from someone who had good results by doing a normal single infusion, but then towards the end of the boil (just a few minutes to go) they threw in a small amount of crushed, unmalted wheat into the boil (in a grain sack)... Or maybe I am just dreaming this up. I actually don't know.
05/29/09 02:19 PM  
Re: Using Flour as a Turbid Mash Substitute
So far I am thinking of mashing high, sparging hot and adding a little wheat flour to the boil.

If guys are brewing good lambics with extract and maltodextrin, this should be close.

05/29/09 02:23 PM  
Re: Using Flour as a Turbid Mash Substitute
Crap!!! Any way to get my email off??? Crap!!!!!
Chris Kennedy
05/31/09 05:32 PM  
Re: Using Flour as a Turbid Mash Substitute
Anybody have any idea about amounts?

I think I am brewing 10gal tomorrow, and I picked up a 5lb bag of whole wheat flour, with no ingredients on the list besides whole wheat. What would be overboard? I was thinking 1lb in the 10gallons.

Will the flour, once gelatinized and semi-dissolved, contribute to a gravity reading?

05/31/09 05:40 PM  
Re: Using Flour as a Turbid Mash Substitute
I would think 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup would be plenty. A pound of flour sounds like allot.

Maybe start on the low end and add it to the boil at 60 min.

06/01/09 11:14 AM  
Re: Using Flour as a Turbid Mash Substitute
I agree. A pound sounds like a lot. I know when I've added it to Witbiers that 1 tbsp is enough to give me a permanent starch haze (which is why I added it).
Chris Kennedy
06/01/09 03:32 PM  
Re: Using Flour as a Turbid Mash Substitute
Note to self: Dumping 6oz (by weight) of whole wheat flour into a warm pot of wort is not the most brilliant idea I have had.

Would it have been better if I stirred it in to cold water first?

I am also going to end up with around 14gal of wort, so 6oz doesn't seem like a whole lot anymore. I may add another 2oz of flour. I did mash at 158F for 30min, so that should help with the dextrins as well.

06/01/09 05:27 PM  
Re: Using Flour as a Turbid Mash Substitute


Are you going to treat the whole batch the same?

Any idea how many tbsp you added in 6oz?

Chris Kennedy
06/01/09 06:56 PM  
Re: Using Flour as a Turbid Mash Substitute
I did the entire batch the same way. A horrible experiment to be sure, especially since this will be fermented in an HDPE plastic barrel (the ones bulk extract come in at LHBS).

The amount of flour that actually got into the beer is variable as well, since so much clumped and never came apart in the boil.

6oz of the whole wheat flour was probably about 10oz by volume. If I had to guess, I would say about .5-.75 actually got into solution and the rest clumped and fell to the bottom, nearly clogging my diptube in the kettle.

06/01/09 07:13 PM  
Re: Using Flour as a Turbid Mash Substitute
Chris, never made gravy before, eh? ;)

I guess the amount of flour will depend on how hazy you want it to be. I'd wager just a couple ounces with be enough to cause a noticeble hazy. But then maybe you want your beer to look like sawmill gravy. ;)

In a way, I feel using flour to make the beer hazy is cheating kind of like adding bottled lactic acid instead of making your own. When I make a wibier, I draw off about a pint of wort after doing the acid rest but before raising the temp. I boil that for a few minutes to set the starches and then pitch it back into the mash tun. Seems to work alright.

Chris Kennedy
06/01/09 07:23 PM  
Re: Using Flour as a Turbid Mash Substitute
The flour wasn't for the haze, it was for the longterm bug food.

I have made gravy and roux, but I just had a brain fart. Right when I threw it in I just said "crud".

Tom from Raleigh
06/02/09 11:36 PM  
Re: Using Flour as a Turbid Mash Substitute
Why not pitch maltodextrin rather than flour? Is there a reason beyond availability and cost?

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