Brewing is a tricky process. The decisions you make in every step can change the end result a lot.
The perfect grain to choose is the most difficult dilemma.
So which one should you get among flaked oats vs flaked wheat vs wheat malt?
The choice between flaked oats, flaked wheat and wheat malt depends on what kind of beer you want. Flaked oats have a creamy flavor, flaked wheat crispy, and wheat malt a bready and citrusy flavor. If you want high starch count then flaked is the best option. Wheat malt is more cost-friendly.
That’s the basic idea. But to understand the differences better we need a detailed discussion.
So let’s jump right into it!
Quick Comparison: Flaked Oats, Flaked Wheat, And Wheat Malt
Brewing isn’t an easy task based on how many choices you have to make. And all of them directly affect your end result. Such as while brewing along with lavender, a little overdose can make your beer taste like soap.
Selecting your base might be the most important of all of them. Because it sets the base of what your end product will be.
Using various grains will give you different results. As well as you have the freedom to treat the grains in different ways. Which will completely change the texture, feel, and taste of your brew.
Some people prefer a cloudy texture. Some prefer smooth silky, or some want a crispy taste in their brew. And a few processes can help in head retention as well.
Flaked oats and flaked wheat, and malted wheat or wheat malt, 3 are pretty popular when you start finding home brewing bases. But which one should you go for?
Well, to make a smart decision based on your needs. You should firstly know what are the key differences between the three variants. And then you can compare them and choose one that fits your taste and feel.
So let’s go take a look at a quick comparison chart between the three grains.
|Factor||Flaked Oats||Flaked Wheat||Wheat Malt|
|Flavor||Creamy and silky||Crispy||Citrusy|
|Usage Percentage||Upto 20%||5-10%||Differs with usage, 5-15% in some and 50-70% in others|
|Beer Style||New England IPA, Oatmeal Stout||Wheat beers, Saison||Bitter, Scotch Ale, White IPA|
|Color||Pale Straw Color||Slightly Golden & Yellowish||Darker in comparison|
Well, that paints quite a clear picture of the differences that they have. But to take the final decision and choose the perfect grain for your brew. We need a bit more.
Because when you’re home brewing, every little decision matters. So if you want to get the perfect taste and feel in your beer. You need to pay attention to what’s next in the article.
Detailed Comparison: Finding the Best Grain
Most home brewers have a specific taste in mind when they want to brew beer. And that taste mostly depends on what grain they use and how much they use it. And what process that grain has gone through.
If you are wondering which grain to choose, decide what kind of beer you want first. Because there is no bad grain in this context. It’s just whether it’s suitable for your taste or not.
So, let’s start the comparison with the most basic difference of all. And that is how it tastes.
Taste & Feel:
This has to be the primary piece of information that anyone looks for. How your beer will taste at the end, depends totally on the grain you use.
Flaked oats give the beer a creamy texture. Beer made from flaked oats leaves a silky mouthfeel which is generally pretty soothing.
Flaked wheat in beer gives a more crispy texture. It also helps in head retention. But if flaked wheat is not what you want then look for a flaked wheat substitute. There are also malt substitutes made by companies, such as carahell and carapils.
On the other hand, wheat malt has a bready flavor and adds a citrusy tinge to it.
Well, according to these, you might choose whichever flavor you want. And select your mash grain accordingly.
Final Color Output:
There are a few scales which are used to measure the color of beers. And the final color that your beer is going to achieve depends totally on the base grain.
There are SRM, EBC and Lovibond scales to measure the color of your beer. Here we are taking the reference of the EBC method. To show the color contrast between the three.
Flaked wheat is in the range of 1.5 – 2 in the EBC scale. Where Flaked oats are 2.5 – 3.5. That means faked wheat beers are lighter in color. They have a golden yellowish hue.
Flaked oats have a color resembling pale straw color. Which is slightly darker than flaked wheat.
But definitely the darkest of them is wheat malt. Having the EBC range of 3.5-6.
So if the end color means anything to you, or you’re aiming for a specific coloured beer. You need to take the effect of the base grain into account.
Because the base grain that you use in the mash has the biggest contribution. To the final color that your beer is going to end up.
Usage percentage is very important when you’re preparing your mash for the brew. Because a slight difference can change the feel and taste of your beer.
And underusing and overusing a grain in a mash. Can lead to totally different kinds of beer.
Flaked oats and Flaked Wheat both take up a little percentage of the total mash. Flakes oats can be used up to 20% depending on how strong of a flavor you want. And Flaked wheat is used nearly 5-10% only.
But Wheat Malt has quite the range. It can be added from 5% to up to 15% to light beers to increase foam stability. And add flavor and haze.
And as the base, it is often added 60-70% for wheat-based beers. So ultimately it depends on how you want your beer to taste.
Different Beer Styles From Different Grains:
Different grains make totally different kinds of beers. And depending on the availability or taste, lots of different types of beers have been invented.
Wheat Malt takes up nearly 5-15% of the mash. This is in bitter, scotch ale, and white IPA beers. And if it’s used as the base taking 50-70% then they are wheat beers.
Flaked wheat vs wheat malt neipa or New England IPA is also there. As flaked wheat and flaked oats both contribute to making the New England IPA with varied percentages.
Flaked wheat in ipa takes nearly 10 percent of the mash. Flaked wheat also contributes to wheat bears and saison. White wheat is also used in IPA’s.
Flaked oats make a great oatmeal stout. There are various oatmeal stout variations for you to enjoy.
So depending on the style of beer, you need to choose your grains. Ultimately it’s the matter of your desired product that should dictate your choice in grain.
From the discussion so far, it’s totally clear that there isn’t a matter of quality or good and bad here. Different types of grains will yield different tastes and feelings. They contribute to beer in their own different ways.
So it depends on you what you want to go for. We’ve laid out all the information for you. Now you should look through them carefully and see which one matches your tastes best.
But if we had to suggest, for a newcomer to the brewing scene, wheat malt would be the easiest choice to make. Because between flaked wheat vs wheat malt, you can use it as a base. And it is much more cost-efficient and easy to calculate the amount.
Here’s our recommendation for the best wheat malts out there.
- Brewmaster – GR390E Malt – White Wheat – If you want a good starting gravity, this grain is the way to go! You can check latest price on amazon.
- White Wheat Malt 10 lb- For a robust flavoring, this is the ideal pick. You can check latest price on amazon.
- Briess White Wheat Malt 2.5L – 1 lb- If you are an absolute beginner, this grain would be perfect for you. You can check latest price on amazon.
So if you’re looking for a starter tip for quick, cheap, and easy brewing. Then we say go for wheat malt. Otherwise, it’s your playground and you can choose whatever you want!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What Should Be The Ideal Mash pH?
Your mash pH should be low or acidic. The ideal mash pH is around 5.2. It helps better enzyme activities. And helps starch convert into sugar easily. And in the finished wort, if the pH is low, it results in better yeast health. And helps in bacteria growth.
What Type Of Grain Is Better For Higher Starch Count?
Between flaked and malted grains, for a higher starch count, you need to use flaked grains. Malted grains are basically giving the grain time to convert a certain amount of starch to sugar. That increases the sugar count. But flaked wheat has a higher starch and protein amount.
Is Head Retention Important For Beer?
Yes, head retention is very important for the overall flavor of your beer. Improving head retention should be a concern when brewing. As it displays aroma and pleasing attributes in a beer. A good quality beer can be chosen by its head.
That should make it easier for you to choose between flaked oats vs flaked wheat vs wheat malt. In the end, it all comes down to experience and your choice. Of what kind of beer you want to have.
So until next time, happy brewing!