Author Topic: Cold Crash Belgian Wit  (Read 1687 times)

Offline SecondRow_Sean

  • Assistant Brewer
  • ***
  • Posts: 104
  • Lake Ridge, VA
    • View Profile
Cold Crash Belgian Wit
« on: March 05, 2012, 02:08:51 PM »
Hello all,

I've been lurking on the forum awhile now, after having started the obsession right around the New Year. This might be on the only place on the internet that has a wealth of knowledge and no trolls.

I've got a belgian wit in the fermenter right now and wanted to know if cold crashing before I bottle would be appropriate. I know one of the things that makes a wit a wit is the haziness from the yeast. I took a hydrometer reading today and it was very, very cloudy. Just wanted to get your input on what seemed to work for you guys. Thanks.


Offline richardt

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1227
    • View Profile
Re: Cold Crash Belgian Wit
« Reply #1 on: March 05, 2012, 02:20:29 PM »
I do the same thing.  I prefer less yeast haze--I think it tastes better that way (less yeast bite when kristal-style), but it may not be to BJCP style guidelines.  I cheat a little and toss in tangerine juice for a little aroma and haze (pectin?) since I like a little citrus flavor and aroma in my wits.  But those beers aren't for competition--they're for me.  I use 32 oz of Noble brand gently pasteurized Tangerine juice in a 5 gallon keg of crash chilled, i.e., cold-clarified, wit.  You could do the same when bottling (if using a bottling bucket)--just be sure to account for the sugar contribution of the juice and cut back on the priming sugar by the appropriate amount.
« Last Edit: March 06, 2012, 08:51:18 AM by richardt »

Offline nateo

  • Brewmaster General
  • *******
  • Posts: 2162
  • Aachen, DE
    • View Profile
Re: Cold Crash Belgian Wit
« Reply #2 on: March 05, 2012, 03:37:02 PM »
This might be on the only place on the internet that has a wealth of knowledge and no trolls.

I've got a belgian wit in the fermenter right now and wanted to know if cold crashing before I bottle would be appropriate.

Welcome! I know what you mean about the trolls. I post at some other forums sometimes, but I usually just end up annoyed and/or frustrated. 

Depending on the recipe, you might end up with way more haze than you want, maybe from starch, or protein, or yeast. I cold crash to knock out most of the junk, then when transfering to the bottling bucket, I suck up a little "junk" to get it cloudy again.
In der Kürze liegt die Würze.

Offline jmcamerlengo

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 625
    • View Profile
Re: Cold Crash Belgian Wit
« Reply #3 on: March 06, 2012, 08:29:52 AM »
I do exactly what nateo said with hefs and wits. Cold crash around 40 degrees over night and pick up a little of that yeast on the way to the keg or bottling bucket.  That way you can control it. Also some yeast will still remain in suspension since those strains are very low flocculating strains.
Jason
-Head Brewer, Brewtus Brewers in the Shenango Valley. Hopefully opening a brewpub/nano brewery in the next couple years.

Offline SecondRow_Sean

  • Assistant Brewer
  • ***
  • Posts: 104
  • Lake Ridge, VA
    • View Profile
Re: Cold Crash Belgian Wit
« Reply #4 on: March 06, 2012, 09:48:04 AM »
Great, thanks for the info!

Offline jeffy

  • Brewmaster General
  • *******
  • Posts: 2440
  • Tampa, Fl
    • View Profile
Re: Cold Crash Belgian Wit
« Reply #5 on: March 06, 2012, 11:52:56 AM »
This kinda bothers me just a little bit in a pet peave sort of way. 
Belgian Wits are cloudy not because of yeast in suspension.  That would be German/Bavarian Wheat beers.  Belgian Wits are generally cloudy with protein haze from raw wheat and a turbid mash.
If your Witbier starts to clear while cold conditioning, which mine do quite often in the keg, throw in a little flour.
Jeff Gladish, Tampa (989.3, 175.1 Apparent Rennarian)
Homebrewing since 1990
AHA member since 1991, now a lifetime member
BJCP judge since 1995

Offline nateo

  • Brewmaster General
  • *******
  • Posts: 2162
  • Aachen, DE
    • View Profile
Re: Cold Crash Belgian Wit
« Reply #6 on: March 06, 2012, 11:57:02 AM »
This kinda bothers me just a little bit in a pet peave sort of way. 
Belgian Wits are cloudy not because of yeast in suspension.  That would be German/Bavarian Wheat beers.  Belgian Wits are generally cloudy with protein haze from raw wheat and a turbid mash.
If your Witbier starts to clear while cold conditioning, which mine do quite often in the keg, throw in a little flour.

Are wits made traditionally with a turbid mash? I have a copy of Brewing with Wheat but don't remember it that well. Wits were traditionally sour, to very sour, with very low attenuation too. The beer people call "Wit" today would be unrecognizable to a Belgian person from the 1930's. I blame Pierre Celis.
In der Kürze liegt die Würze.

Offline jeffy

  • Brewmaster General
  • *******
  • Posts: 2440
  • Tampa, Fl
    • View Profile
Re: Cold Crash Belgian Wit
« Reply #7 on: March 06, 2012, 12:03:27 PM »
This kinda bothers me just a little bit in a pet peave sort of way. 
Belgian Wits are cloudy not because of yeast in suspension.  That would be German/Bavarian Wheat beers.  Belgian Wits are generally cloudy with protein haze from raw wheat and a turbid mash.
If your Witbier starts to clear while cold conditioning, which mine do quite often in the keg, throw in a little flour.

Are wits made traditionally with a turbid mash? I have a copy of Brewing with Wheat but don't remember it that well. Wits were traditionally sour, to very sour, with very low attenuation too. The beer people call "Wit" today would be unrecognizable to a Belgian person from the 1930's. I blame Pierre Celis.

I remember pictures of this process in one of Michael Jackson's books, but it may have been a lambic brewery.  Now you've got me wondering.....
Jeff Gladish, Tampa (989.3, 175.1 Apparent Rennarian)
Homebrewing since 1990
AHA member since 1991, now a lifetime member
BJCP judge since 1995

Offline richardt

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1227
    • View Profile
Re: Cold Crash Belgian Wit
« Reply #8 on: March 06, 2012, 05:56:35 PM »

Offline MDixon

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1005
    • View Profile
    • Mike's Homebrewing Page
Re: Cold Crash Belgian Wit
« Reply #9 on: March 07, 2012, 05:34:07 AM »
I say leave it cloudy.
It's not a popularity contest, it's beer!