Jump to content

Looking for suggestions on Wheat Vodka Mashing


Recommended Posts

We plan on creating a malted white wheat vodka. Plan to use 60-75% wheat and 25-40% malted barley (we have not finalized the exact ratio). We plan to use 100lb Rice hulls in the mash to help filtration and have the mash temp around 145-148.  

Do any of you have any suggestion or things to watch out for when doing a higher malted wheat grain bill? Would would like to go to 100% wheat but dont have much information on steps for that.

So anything you all could help with would be great. Thanks 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guessing that you are lautering, so I'll go from there..

At 60-75% wheat, I'm sure you know that sticking the mash is a good possibility, even with rice hulls (why you are asking).  Beta-glucanase and xylanase enzymes will help, since wheat is high in glucan and AZ.  Sebflo, Ultraflo, Distilazyme BG, etc etc.  Though keep in mind that if you are using 100% malted grains, it's an easier workflow than raw wheat.

While step mashing (glucan rest) can accomplish similar, it is nowhere near as effective as enzyme.

With that high of a wheat percentage, you'll want to be careful with rest times and yeast selection, using a POF+  (phenolic off flavor positive) yeast may result in a high level of 4-VG (spicy medicinal bandaid).  IMHO, some of these volatile phenols tend to smear across the distillation, meaning it's not as simple as cutting them out.  Think of what is distinctive and characteristic of a hefeweizen getting concentrated in the distillate.  Whatever a brewer would do to get a more hefe tasting hefe, go the other way.

You are in grain country, consider using unmalted wheat from local suppliers.  Not only is it tremendously more cost effective than buying malted wheat, it aligns with your marketing.

IMHO - I think you'll find that unmalted wheat provides an all around more subtle flavor profile.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

So after some digging, reading and a few calls. here is what I have come up with for a 100% wheat vodka mash.

Are there anything adjustments that I should make or is this inline with what others have seen or done? Thanks for all your help!!

15bbl batch

1200lbs Raw Wheat

DistilaZyme BG

DistilaZyme AA

Mash 160 for 2hrs

Pitch HT yeast at 90F and then follow up with GA and Nutrient at 2 hrs. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm not familiar with those enzymes, but they look like an Alpha Amylase, and a Beta Glucanase, which just help with viscosity. Your second recipe lists only raw wheat. You will also need a conversion enzyme like glucoamylase if using only unmalted grains, and needs to rest at 130-140F. 160F is too hot for the enzymes other than the AA. It might not be hot enough to gelatinize the wheat if you are lautering and are just cracking the grain. You will also want to  adjust the ph to the correct tolerance of the enzymes.

That's also a lot of wheat to lauter through. You may want to start smaller and work up to that. I know first hand that 1200#s of stuck mash is not fun to deal with.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I make malted white winter wheat vodka once a year for our tasting room (didn't make it last year tasting room was closed, waiting on grain for this years. It's a finicky ferment and starch source, very sticky. Enzymes help better then a gluten rest. You've gotten a lot of really good advice so far on this, definitely mind the yeast.  As my boy Silk said it's tough to wrap your head around but heavy wheats smear like nothing else I've ever used. What type of spirit are you looking for? I like malted winter wheat because if I fuck with it enough it can't be distilled to neutral and I am left with a light floral bouquet even at 191.6 proof. If you are looking for a traditional neutral you need to really mind a clean quick ferment with a yeast suited for the job. Good luck boss, hmu with any questions.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

@BismarckDistillery we are just north of you in Winnipeg.  We don't have ready access to winter winter wheat you use hard red spring.  Having said that we use wheat (95%/5% malted barley) for our vodka which is also the base spirit for our gin.  We've been distilling three years and am happy to share our struggles and triumphs if you'd like to chat.  Just a few comparisons to your proposed mash and ours.  We mash 400 gallons and use 800lbs wheat - you are using a fair bit more wheat/gallon.  As mentioned by AdamOVD if you use raw wheat (as we do) you'll want to use GA.  We take our wheat to 180F as we were not getting the gelatinization we needed at 160F - although I would guess that is at least partially depending on the grind of your flour.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...