Author Topic: Full-Flavored Belgian Wit.  (Read 1279 times)

Offline jaredkent

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Full-Flavored Belgian Wit.
« on: May 20, 2011, 07:12:56 PM »
This is my first time posting here, also my first home brew. I'm planning on brewing up a Belgian Wit. I plan on going the all-grain route instead of extracts. I don't have a planned recipe yet but I'll be discussing with the owner of the local homebrew shop on recipes.

Just curious what you guys recommend for adjuncts to provide a nice flavorful Witbier, that takes it to the next level. Any methods or tips are more than welcome.

Offline jaredkent

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Re: Full-Flavored Belgian Wit.
« Reply #1 on: May 21, 2011, 06:49:36 AM »
Specifically I was looking at adding some Lemon Balm once I turned the flame off on my boil. I figured it would add a nice lemony flavor to compliment the bitter orange peel. Not sure how much to add though. I'll probably add it sparingly and taste it after 1st the first fermentation. If I feel it needs some more I'll look into "dry hopping" with it during a 2nd fermentation.

What do you guys think?

Offline tumarkin

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Re: Full-Flavored Belgian Wit.
« Reply #2 on: May 21, 2011, 07:10:09 AM »
you've got the right idea in adding sparingly. you can add more, but you can't take it away. making a tincture in alcohol allows you to add slowly till you get the level you're after. lemon grass (used a lot in Thai cooking) is another option.
Mark Tumarkin
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Gainesville, FL

Offline majorvices

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Re: Full-Flavored Belgian Wit.
« Reply #3 on: May 21, 2011, 07:13:28 AM »
I'm impressed that you are going to jump on the AG bandwagon first thing. That said, I am thinking that a Wit is not the best AG to start with. First of all most wits use a large amount of unmalted, starchy ingredients and these can be a nightmare to sparge. Even a standard hefeweizen with 50% malted wheat can give nightmare problems. I'd really recommend going with a pale ale or something with a more simpler grain bill for your first all grain beer.
Keith Y.

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Offline Will's Swill

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Re: Full-Flavored Belgian Wit.
« Reply #4 on: May 21, 2011, 09:02:39 AM »
But if you do brew the Wit, I like coriander in mine.
Is that a counter-pressure bottle filler in your pocket, or are you just happy to see me?

Offline jaredkent

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Re: Full-Flavored Belgian Wit.
« Reply #5 on: May 21, 2011, 09:11:29 AM »
But if you do brew the Wit, I like coriander in mine.

I was going to go the traditional route of bitter orange peel and coriander. I was just thinking about what other adjuncts to throw into it to give it another level of flavor.

EDIT:
you've got the right idea in adding sparingly. you can add more, but you can't take it away. making a tincture in alcohol allows you to add slowly till you get the level you're after. lemon grass (used a lot in Thai cooking) is another option.

Didn't see this until now. I was thinking lemongrass initially, but I have a ton of lemon balm growing in my garden, (stuff grows like weeds), so I figured I'd make some use out of it and see how it worked in a beer.
« Last Edit: May 21, 2011, 09:49:22 AM by jaredkent »

Offline jeffy

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Re: Full-Flavored Belgian Wit.
« Reply #6 on: May 21, 2011, 10:10:57 AM »
A little chamomile is nice in a witbier too.
Jeff Gladish, Tampa (989.3, 175.1 Apparent Rennarian)
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Offline ryang

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Re: Full-Flavored Belgian Wit.
« Reply #7 on: May 23, 2011, 02:45:13 PM »
Flaked oats and flaked wheat add a sexy mouthfeel.

Light handed sterling hops.

My wit has won a couple golds and I spice with: sweet orange zest, lemon zest, grapefruit zest (use fresh fruit, not the dried packaged up kind), grains of paradise, cumin seed, coriander seed, and cardamom seed.  It seems like a lot, but use all very lightly, and it creates a great spice complexity.

I like the lemon balm idea.

Offline jaredkent

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Re: Full-Flavored Belgian Wit.
« Reply #8 on: May 23, 2011, 03:03:17 PM »
That does sound delicious, I can see why it's won golds.

I didn't update, but I ended up buying the ingredients I'm going to use, over the weekend. I did end up going with an extract. I'm also going with a munich, flaked oat, and flaked wheat partial mash. Also going with EKG as my bittering hops and some Saaz at 5 min and flame out.

We'll see how it turns out. I like the sound of yours. I'll have to try a few of those things when I make a second batch.

Offline majorvices

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Re: Full-Flavored Belgian Wit.
« Reply #9 on: May 23, 2011, 04:12:13 PM »
That does sound delicious, I can see why it's won golds.

I didn't update, but I ended up buying the ingredients I'm going to use, over the weekend. I did end up going with an extract. I'm also going with a munich, flaked oat, and flaked wheat partial mash. Also going with EKG as my bittering hops and some Saaz at 5 min and flame out.

We'll see how it turns out. I like the sound of yours. I'll have to try a few of those things when I make a second batch.

Munich is lower in enzymes than pilsner or 2 row. If you are doing a partial mash you would be better off using pilsner malt to convert the starches in the oats and flaked wheat. I would be concerned that you will not get full conversion unless you are using a couple pounds of munich and only a few ounces of flaked wheat/oats.
Keith Y.

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Offline gmac

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Re: Full-Flavored Belgian Wit.
« Reply #10 on: July 04, 2011, 08:31:39 AM »
How much lemongrass would you suggest (inches of stalk)?  I'm going to do a wit soon and I was actually thinking the same thing.  I've got bitter orange, sweet orange (maybe), chamomile flowers and coriander that I was going to use sparingly and I like the idea of adding a lemon note too.  I'm trying to copy a beer from Quebec called Blanche de Chambly which is noted for having some lemony notes so this may work.  I was going to use a touch of lemon zest but I like the "exotic" feel of using lemongrass.

Offline thomasbarnes

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Re: Full-Flavored Belgian Wit.
« Reply #11 on: July 04, 2011, 10:25:18 PM »
Didn't see this until now. I was thinking lemongrass initially, but I have a ton of lemon balm growing in my garden, (stuff grows like weeds), so I figured I'd make some use out of it and see how it worked in a beer.

Lemon Balm AKA Melissa has a wonderful aroma, but it can have a slightly bitter flavor. If you're going to add it, perhaps make a cordial or make an infusion and add it to secondary so you just get the aroma.

Incidentally, recent studies have shown that consuming lemon balm can actually improve memory:

  http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/2848143.stm

As for the beer, one of the things that I find refreshing in a wit is a bit of lactic character to give a slightly sour, crisp flavor and finish. This is very difficult to achieve without ruining the beer (if the lacto takes over) and requires special yeast blend. I wouldn't recommend it for your first wit, but as you gain experience it's something to consider.
« Last Edit: July 04, 2011, 10:27:31 PM by thomasbarnes »