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Wheat starch?

Discussion in 'Grain, Malt and Adjuncts' started by mondestrunken, 6/11/17.

 

  1. mondestrunken

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    Posted 6/11/17
    Hi all.

    Just reading "Brew Like a Monk". There a few references to wheat starch, especially for the Chimay recipes. To be honest I'm not sure what that is.

    My initial thought was basic flour but who puts that in a mash? Alternatively it would be something like cornflour but that just seems even stupider.

    Any ideas what "wheat starch" is referring to?

    Thanks.
     
  2. Lyrebird_Cycles

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    Posted 6/11/17
    The major difference between starches is the gelatinisation temperature, so wheat starch is much the same as any other starch, just harder to use (high Tgel). You can substitute another starch such as common cornflour and probably get better results.

    Most "cornflour" sold in Australia used to be wheat starch. These days with the increasing number of people who believe themselves to be gluten intolerant it's a lot rarer but can still be found if you insist on being correct: I think "Kream" brand is still wheat starch or you could try one of the no name brands such as "black and gold".
     
    Last edited: 6/11/17
  3. mondestrunken

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    Posted 6/11/17
    So like the yellow packets of wheaten cornflour?
    Maybe I've led a sheltered existence but do people actually put flour in a mash?
     
  4. Bribie G

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    Posted 6/11/17
    Brewers flour was often used in the old days.

    There's a post years ago from a member who knew a brewer at the old Coopers brewery, who stated that wheat flour was used at Leabrook but not in the new factory.

    I've got a bag of the wheaten cornflour but haven't got round to it. I whipped up a Dry stout with 500g of potato starch, turned out great.
     
  5. mondestrunken

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    Posted 7/11/17
    OK cool, thanks. How come I've never read about using flour in any books?
    I currently BIAB so no wuckas, but wouldn't it be cause problems with lautering?
     
  6. Lyrebird_Cycles

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    Posted 7/11/17
    Starch of whatever stripe is basically an adjunct, useful to make a beer lighter in body and lower in cost. If the starch is pure, can be gelatinised adequately and there's enough enzyme activity in the mash, it will have much the same effect as adding sugar.

    Before the rise of industrial scale production sugar was very expensive and starch adjuncts made a lot of sense. Now, when sugar is so cheap we are drowning ourselves in it, not so much.
     
    Last edited: 7/11/17
  7. Bribie G

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  8. MHB

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    Posted 7/11/17
    Posted before, but good information. With adjuncts it is worth making sure they are gelatinized before use (boiled).
    Also worth looking at where the book was published US and UK derived recipes can use the same names for quite different ingredients.
    Personally I find "Brew Like a Monk" to be a book of two half's, the first looks at how monks make beer the second is how Americans **** it up. If you are looking for more reliable Belgian beer recipes look elsewhere; try the Candi Syrup website I find these pretty good and probably a lot closer to what is actually used in the Chimay brewery, they use torrefied wheat (gelatinized) rather than corn/wheat flour.
    Mind you a spoonful or two of plain flour late in the boil will make a white beer very white.
    Gelatinisation temperatures.JPG
     
  9. manticle

    Standing up for the Aussie Bottler

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    Posted 7/11/17
    My inderstanding from researching rochefort recipes is that wheat starch was used in very small amounts, mostly as a protein source. When I've emulated/homaged that kind of beer, I've just used a hint of wheat malt. Torrified wheat would be another option.

    Alternatively, paper conservators use pure wheat starch as a basis for adhesive. Easily found in powder form from various sources including Preservation Australia (no affiliation although I have trained as a paper conservator and do buy wheat starch from them).

    The minimum purchase would last for many brews - personally I'd just go torrified wheat or wheat malt.
     
  10. manticle

    Standing up for the Aussie Bottler

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    Posted 7/11/17
    The info about wheat starch in BLAM is purportedly straight from the horse's mouth and in the first(better) part.

    As far as I know, Candi Syrup.com is actually US based too, although I do agree that their recipes are tried, tested and generally look very simple (not simplistic) and well researched. Their syrups are also delicious although there is some interesting rivalry between them and dark candi.com (also US based I believe, purely based on their contact page).

    I've tried products from both - no complaints, no chance replicating it.
     
  11. Lyrebird_Cycles

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    Posted 7/11/17
    Wheat flour is used as a protein source, not wheat starch. Starch is basically made from what remains after pulling the proteins out of a flour slurry. Literally pulling: the process is almost entirely mechanical.

    FWIW, the glue used for VB stubby labels and the like used to come from National Starch.
     
  12. manticle

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    Posted 7/11/17
    I think that's why I originally went for wheat malt in my recipe attempts rather than actual starch - because wheat starch made no sense and I figured it was an error in translation.
    Just checked BLAM and it suggests (Brother Santos from Rochefort monastery/brewery) that it is used to boost abv. However they also use both dark and light sugar so not sure how starch makes sense in light of that. My protein reference is possibly from Sean Paxton's visit to the monastery or elsewhere (or misremembered) but if I'm not yet senile, it was intended to aid with protein levels during fasting and for a mostly vegetarian diet.

    Will see if I can find/validate that. There's been many good dark strongs in the mean time.
     
  13. MHB

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    Posted 7/11/17
    There in is why I suggested looking at what is meant by the terms like Corn Flour and Wheat Starch if you aren't carful you can wander down the wrong garden path...

    From what I hear both the Candi companies were Belgian and were brought out by US corps who wanted to market the products in the US. Both still manufacture in Belgium in the traditional way.
    Mark
     
  14. manticle

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    Posted 7/11/17
    No argument from me. Hence the 'error in translation' potential I mentioned above. I doubt monks are adding pure starch to beer but I've been wrong many times before and will be again, no doubt.
    They (candi guys, even though they both use an 'i' instead of a 'y') both make good stuff and personally I wouldn't add paper glue base to my beer.

    It's an option, should one want to try though.
     
  15. mondestrunken

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    Posted 8/11/17
    Thanks for this. You guys are why I love AHB so much.

    I'm well aware that there is heaps of opportunity for confusion with the US terminology with wheat/starch, etc. (I'm still struggling to understand what 'grits' are as well).

    I'll probably end up staying away from the flour/starch pathway until someone convinces me otherwise. Seems like regular malt/wheat + sugar of various description is the way to go with Belgian styles.

    In terms of the book I've actually enjoyed reading it... it's probably one of the better beer-style books I've read recently and while short of recipes (the author basically said that's not the purpose of the book), it is full of inspiration.

    The whole candi/y sugar debate is another interesting one which I won't touch at this point (I've been there before!).
     
  16. Bribie G

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    Posted 11/11/17
    Hey now I know what to use to stick my bottle labels on for case swaps :p

    As I mentioned I have a bag of supermarket wheaten "cornflour" and, Saturday, about to rustle up batch of Aussie old using recultured Coopers yeast. Usually when I attempt a Tooheys Old or other dark style it misses the mark on dryness and "clean-ness" so I'll try the starch as a drying ingredient and see how that goes. I expect it will get rendered into maltose and other simple sugaz in the mash so kinder on the yeasties than just cane sugar.

    Aussie Dark
    Australian Dark/Old Ale

    Recipe Specs
    ----------------
    Batch Size (L): 22.0
    Total Grain (kg): 4.750
    Total Hops (g): 25.00
    Original Gravity (OG): 1.051 (°P): 12.6
    Final Gravity (FG): 1.013 (°P): 3.3
    Alcohol by Volume (ABV): 5.01 %
    Colour (SRM): 20.4 (EBC): 40.2
    Bitterness (IBU): 26.7 (Average)
    Brewhouse Efficiency (%): 74
    Boil Time (Minutes): 60

    Grain Bill
    ----------------
    2.000 kg Base Barrett Burston Pale (42.11%)
    2.000 kg Base Pearl (42.11%)
    0.500 kg Wheat Starch (10.53%)
    0.250 kg Carafa II malt (5.26%)

    Hop Bill
    ----------------
    25.0 g Pride of Ringwood Pellet (8.3% Alpha) @ 60 Minutes (Boil) (1.1 g/L)

    Single step Infusion at 64°C for 60 Minutes.
    Fermented at 19°C with Coopers recultured
     
  17. chthon

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    Posted 5/10/19
    I found this because I was looking for wheat starch too, but not from reading BLAM. My source is the book from Jef van den Steen about the trappist beers (he has already rewritten and/or added several times to it, but I think it has only been translated to English once). And there it says very clearly that the wheat starch is added to the fermentables to make the body of the Rochefort 10 and 8 lighter. I even think it states that it is up to 10% of the fermentables.
     

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