Torrified wheat is an unmalted adjunct used in making beer.
Wheat as a cereal has been used in beer ever since it was first cultivated, so almost as old as civilisation. The term “torrified” refers to the process the wheat is treated with. Basically, you take wheat kernels and subject them to a high-temperature heat treatment that breaks down the cellular structure of the grain.
Wheat that hasn’t been torrified has starch that needs to be gelatinised before the brewer can extract fermentable sugars from it. The way to gelatinise the starch in wheat is to heat it up to over 85°C before mashing. The torrification process pre-gelatinises the starches in the wheat so that they are easily broken down at mash temperatures.
The key thing that wheat brings to foam stability is high protein content. Protein is known to aid foam qualities and whilst malted barley does contain some protein, wheat contains a larger percentage.
If you are using it in an effort to promote head retention and increase the stability and body of a beer a good starting point is to use torrified wheat to make up between 5 – 10% of the grist which would be around a couple of handfuls in a 20-litre batch. We always shoot for around 8% and think this is around the right mark to get some nice lacing on the glass when drinking a beer.
Torrified wheat can be used in larger quantities, most maltsters have a maximum figure of around 40% of the grist. Used in this kind of quantity instead of wheat malt you are in the territory of making beers like witbiers and German wheat beers.
Country of Origin – United Kingdom
Type – Adjuncts
EBC – 3.0-5.0
Brand – Bairds
Up to of the mix – 40%