Author Topic: wit beer  (Read 2231 times)

Offline hulkavitch

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wit beer
« on: December 15, 2012, 06:38:22 PM »
Thinking about using the following recipe for a wit beer. My question is, is a step mash necessary? I am not able to heat my mash tun. if a step mash is necessary, what should be the initial water/grist ratio? What ratio should i end at?

Blanche Oreiller
(5 gallons/19 L, all-grain)
OG = 1.050 (12.4 °P)  FG = 1.011 (2.8 °P) 
IBU = 20  SRM: 4  ABV = 5.0%

Ingredients
 
4.5 lb. (2.0 kg) flaked wheat (1 °L)
4.9 lb. (2.2 kg) Pilsner malt (1.6 °L)
1.1 lb. (0.5 kg) flaked oats (1 °L)
0.25 lb. (113 g) Munich malt (8 °L)
0.5 lb. (227 g) rice hulls or other natural filter
4 AAU Hallertau hops (60 mins) (1.0 oz/28 g of 4% alpha acids)
1.5 oz. (43 g) fresh citrus zest (5 mins)
0.4 oz. (11 g) crushed coriander seed (5 mins)
0.03 oz. (1 g) dried chamomile flowers (5 mins)
Wyeast 3944 (Belgian Witbier), White Labs WLP400 (Belgian Wit Ale) or Brewferm Blanche dried yeast

Step by Step

Mill the grains (including the flaked grains, but excluding the rice hulls). Mix the rice hulls into the grain post milling and dough-in targeting a mash of around 1.5 quarts of water to one pound of grain (a liquor-to-grist ratio of about 3:1 by weight) and a temperature of 122 °F (50 °C). Hold the mash at 122 °F (50 °C) for 15 minutes then raise the temperature over the next 15 minutes to 154 °F (68 °C). Hold until conversion is complete, about 60 to 90 minutes. Raise the temperature to mash out at 168 °F (76 °C). Sparge slowly with 170 °F (77 °C) water, collecting wort until the pre-boil kettle volume is around 6.5 gallons (25 L) and the gravity is 1.039 (9.7 °P).

Offline thebigbaker

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Re: wit beer
« Reply #1 on: December 15, 2012, 07:27:09 PM »
I've done a few Hefes and Wits w/out a step mash and they have all turned out great.  I brew these mainly for my wife and she loves them.  I haven't tried a step mash, so couldn't tell you from experience if a step mash would produce a better beer.  I have read on here a few times that a step mash really isn't necessary.  Although, I have read that a 90 minute boil is a good idea when using that much pilsner...although, I've only done 60 min boils w/ mine.
Jeremy Baker

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Offline guido

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Re: wit beer
« Reply #2 on: December 15, 2012, 07:29:59 PM »
Thinking about using the following recipe for a wit beer. My question is, is a step mash necessary? I am not able to heat my mash tun. if a step mash is necessary, what should be the initial water/grist ratio? What ratio should i end at?

Blanche Oreiller
(5 gallons/19 L, all-grain)
OG = 1.050 (12.4 °P)  FG = 1.011 (2.8 °P) 
IBU = 20  SRM: 4  ABV = 5.0%

Ingredients
 
4.5 lb. (2.0 kg) flaked wheat (1 °L)
4.9 lb. (2.2 kg) Pilsner malt (1.6 °L)
1.1 lb. (0.5 kg) flaked oats (1 °L)
0.25 lb. (113 g) Munich malt (8 °L)
0.5 lb. (227 g) rice hulls or other natural filter
4 AAU Hallertau hops (60 mins) (1.0 oz/28 g of 4% alpha acids)
1.5 oz. (43 g) fresh citrus zest (5 mins)
0.4 oz. (11 g) crushed coriander seed (5 mins)
0.03 oz. (1 g) dried chamomile flowers (5 mins)
Wyeast 3944 (Belgian Witbier), White Labs WLP400 (Belgian Wit Ale) or Brewferm Blanche dried yeast

Step by Step

Mill the grains (including the flaked grains, but excluding the rice hulls). Mix the rice hulls into the grain post milling and dough-in targeting a mash of around 1.5 quarts of water to one pound of grain (a liquor-to-grist ratio of about 3:1 by weight) and a temperature of 122 °F (50 °C). Hold the mash at 122 °F (50 °C) for 15 minutes then raise the temperature over the next 15 minutes to 154 °F (68 °C). Hold until conversion is complete, about 60 to 90 minutes. Raise the temperature to mash out at 168 °F (76 °C). Sparge slowly with 170 °F (77 °C) water, collecting wort until the pre-boil kettle volume is around 6.5 gallons (25 L) and the gravity is 1.039 (9.7 °P).

If you have the means, I HIGHLY recommend a step mash.  Especially, the mash out.  The higher temp thins the wort and helps avoid the dreaded struck mash.
Well...I woke up this morning and I got myself a beer

     -"Roadhouse Blues,"  Jim Morrison

Offline gmac

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Re: wit beer
« Reply #3 on: December 15, 2012, 07:30:12 PM »
I've used the wit recipe from mdixon in this thread with great success.
http://www.homebrewersassociation.org/forum/index.php?topic=8193.0

I mash in a cooler but I do the step mashes by using my boil kettle to do the steps and then transfer the mash into my cooler when I get to the final rest temp (pre-heat it first with some hot water so that you don't get a big temp drop).
Not sure what you mean when you say you can't heat your mash tun but if you can heat the water (unless you're all electric I guess), you can do the step and make it work.

Offline thebigbaker

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Re: wit beer
« Reply #4 on: December 15, 2012, 07:31:23 PM »
And here's a water/grist ration thread from earlier in the year:
https://www.homebrewersassociation.org/forum/index.php?topic=11027.0

I've been using 2qt/lb since reading this thread earlier in the year.
Jeremy Baker

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Offline hulkavitch

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wit beer
« Reply #5 on: December 15, 2012, 08:24:45 PM »

I mash in a cooler but I do the step mashes by using my boil kettle to do the steps and then transfer the mash into my cooler when I get to the final rest temp (pre-heat it first with some hot water so that you don't get a big temp drop).
Not sure what you mean when you say you can't heat your mash tun but if you can heat the water (unless you're all electric I guess), you can do the step and make it work.
[/quote]

I never thought to mash in my boil kettle initially.  When I say I cant heat my tun i mean it is a cooler and i cant put it on a burner. What   is the temp of your pre-heated ?  Dont you lose a lot of temperature in the transfer? Do you overshoot your mash temperature to compensate for the transfer to the cooler?

Offline gmac

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Re: wit beer
« Reply #6 on: December 15, 2012, 09:10:59 PM »

I mash in a cooler but I do the step mashes by using my boil kettle to do the steps and then transfer the mash into my cooler when I get to the final rest temp (pre-heat it first with some hot water so that you don't get a big temp drop).
Not sure what you mean when you say you can't heat your mash tun but if you can heat the water (unless you're all electric I guess), you can do the step and make it work.

I never thought to mash in my boil kettle initially.  When I say I cant heat my tun i mean it is a cooler and i cant put it on a burner. What   is the temp of your pre-heated ?  Dont you lose a lot of temperature in the transfer? Do you overshoot your mash temperature to compensate for the transfer to the cooler?
[/quote]

I put hot tap water in the cooler while I'm doing the steps.  I only do 5 gal batches of wit cause I don't drink it as much as other beers so when I hit 153 or so on my Thermapen, I just turn off the heat, dump out the water and dump the wort into the cooler (hot-side-aeration-a-phobes begin wails of disapproval now).  Close the lid.  Takes about 10 seconds total if you've got the cooler beside the kettle.  Because the wort usually rises a bit anyway when I turn off the heat, it's probably over-shot slightly. 

I take the temp after a few minutes in the cooler and if it's too hot I leave it open and stir a bit (or toss in a couple ice cubes).  If it's way low, you could pull a decoction but for me I've always been more than close enough.  I must admit, if the target temp is 152 and I get 150 or 153 etc, I really don't worry about it. Alternatively, you could have a pot of boiling water on the kitchen stove to do any fine-tuning of temp adjustments.  Admittedly this could be more complicated in the winter than in the summer because of the larger temperature differences unless you have an indoor brewery.  I usually make wit in the spring for summer drinking so it's not as much of an issue.

The only thing that is missing in this process is the mash out but I don't normally ever mash out.  It could be helpful in this case cause of all the wheat but I use a good amount of rice hulls.  If you really wanted to mash out, you could use your now empty boil kettle to boil some water and dump it in to raise the temp over 173F.  The extra water shouldn't matter to the water:grain ratio because you're done mashing at this point. 

Offline hulkavitch

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wit beer
« Reply #7 on: December 16, 2012, 01:11:58 PM »
on a side note, i have never understood the whole hot side aeration bit. any o2 is going to be driven off in the boil right?

Offline gmac

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Re: wit beer
« Reply #8 on: December 16, 2012, 02:04:01 PM »
Lots of folks feel that when you aerate the mash or wort it forms staling compounds that can cause off-flavours after the beer ages for a while.  So it's not that the O2 will get driven off but that it's been transformed into a compound that will make the O2 inaccessible to the yeast and won't be driven off.
Personally, I do a lot of things wrong (pouring etc) and I've never found an issue but I'm sure that there are more trained palates that could note problems. 

Offline hubie

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Re: wit beer
« Reply #9 on: December 17, 2012, 07:24:47 AM »
Lots of folks feel . . .

I'd probably change it to: Some folks feel . . .

Offline dordway29

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Re: wit beer
« Reply #10 on: December 25, 2012, 12:50:12 PM »
With modern malts the protein rest is mainly for clarity. So for a wit, it really is not necessary. Mash out will improve your lautering efficiency but is also not necessary, just remember to include the rice hulls. You should be fine with just a single infusion and batch sparging. I'm usually in the 148-150 range for a witbier.

Offline jeffy

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Re: wit beer
« Reply #11 on: December 25, 2012, 02:39:28 PM »
I have found that witbier recipes are very forgiving.  The kind of wheat can vary from white to red and from raw to flaked or torrified and it still will turn out well.  I tend to mash at lower temps (150 or so) to get the final gravity down. I would leave the Munich malt out since this style is probably the palest of all beers and doesn't need the color or the Munich sweetness that it would contribute.
If you find the spice level too light you can always add more corriander in the secondary (or after tasting in the primary if you don't use a secondary) or in the keg.
I once made a witbier by mashing in at 122 and adding boiling water additions to raise the mash in steps to 132, 148, 156 and would have made a final addition to get 168, but I ran out of space in the mash tun.  It was just as good as one I made with a single infusion at 152.
Jeff Gladish, Tampa (989.3, 175.1 Apparent Rennarian)
Homebrewing since 1990
AHA member since 1991, now a lifetime member
BJCP judge since 1995