Author Topic: Wit Recipe  (Read 4118 times)

Offline gmac

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Wit Recipe
« on: July 05, 2011, 05:30:27 PM »
A good friend asked me to brew him a wit similar to Blanche de Chambly, a Quebec beer that I'm sure most of you have not had before.  Since its probably not that familiar to most of you, I know it will be hard to answer some of my questions but I'd appreciate some starting comments.

I know I won't hit it 100% the first time but I have a few questions.  I'm going to use bitter orange and coriander for this and I don't want to over do it so some guidance there would be appreciated.  How much is a good starting point for each (I know I can probably find recipes with this but what does the group think)?  Further though, one of the comments that come up on-line when you see reviews of this beer is that it has a lemony character.  Not sure if this is coming from the yeast that they use or from the use of lemon.  I was thinking of using lemon grass and I asked in another post about how much but it's sort of buried in there.  So, any thoughts on a good starting point if using lemon grass and how to use it?  Lastly, I've read that chamomile flowers are also nice and I've ordered some.  How much is a good start?  I want to make a nicely layered assortment of flavours without being overly busy but am I reaching too far on this first attempt?

I also don't have any flaked wheat although I do have flaked oats and malted wheat.  Can I live without the flaked wheat?  Is there anything else that I could sub in? 

Sorry for asking so many recipe questions lately but I've got a few yeast strains headed my way so my mind is working on about 3 different recipes at once.  I'm even getting them confused in my mind (sometimes I can remember if I'm thinking about a kolsch or a saison or a stout or an APA or what?)

Offline MDixon

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Re: Wit Recipe
« Reply #1 on: July 05, 2011, 05:51:33 PM »
I made a bunch of them trying to perfect the recipe. You may find that recipe good as a starting point:
www.ipass.net/mpdixon see Wit or Witout

Edit: Link was loading slow, here is a different link:
http://carboyclub.com/recipes/wit3.htm
« Last Edit: July 05, 2011, 05:53:05 PM by MDixon »
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Offline denny

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Re: Wit Recipe
« Reply #2 on: July 06, 2011, 08:47:07 AM »
BIG thumbs up to Mike's wit recipe!  It's the only one I use.  Whenever I recommend it to other people they're always happy with the results. 
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

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Offline gmac

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Re: Wit Recipe
« Reply #3 on: July 06, 2011, 09:28:43 AM »
OK, help me understand.  I boil the wheat first and then I drop the temp back to 104 etc?  I assume somewhere along the lines I add in some pale malt for enzymes.  This is going to be awfully hard to do with a cooler style mash tun as far as I can tell and hit all the temps properly.  I know it could be done but I'm concerned.  Also, I don't have raw wheat.  What about malted wheat instead? 5lbs pale malt and 5 lbs wheat malt?  Can this be converted to an infusion mash?  How much water to grain?  I have rice hulls on order for this so I'm going to add them.
I'll give it a go but I need to figure out the subtleties of hitting the temps with the equipment I have.  Worst case I guess I could mash in my boil kettle, transfer it all to the cooler, lauter and then back to the kettle. 

Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Wit Recipe
« Reply #4 on: July 06, 2011, 09:33:25 AM »
I don't have raw wheat.  What about malted wheat instead? 5lbs pale malt and 5 lbs wheat malt?
You could make the substitution, but it's a pretty big change for a wit.  If you do it, then switching to an infusion mash is no big deal.  With raw wheat though, gelatinize it first.
Tom Schmidlin

Offline gmac

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Re: Wit Recipe
« Reply #5 on: July 06, 2011, 10:03:55 AM »
I found a Morebeer string where Denny, Keith and Mike discussed this and I'm still not sure if they decided wheat would gelatinize at mash temps or not.  Don't care, I'll cook it but can someone explain that boiling then mashing procedure and where and when I'd add the 2-row?
I'll try to find regular wheat.  Harvest will start here in a few weeks so I'll grab 20 lbs and put it in the freezer for future but right now I'm not sure where to find it.
Thanks

Offline kramerog

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Re: Wit Recipe
« Reply #6 on: July 06, 2011, 10:32:32 AM »
freshly ground coriander has a lot of lemon flavor.
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Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Wit Recipe
« Reply #7 on: July 06, 2011, 10:38:56 AM »
I found a Morebeer string where Denny, Keith and Mike discussed this and I'm still not sure if they decided wheat would gelatinize at mash temps or not.  Don't care, I'll cook it but can someone explain that boiling then mashing procedure and where and when I'd add the 2-row?
I'll try to find regular wheat.  Harvest will start here in a few weeks so I'll grab 20 lbs and put it in the freezer for future but right now I'm not sure where to find it.
Thanks

If you have no LHBS, you could try the health food store.  Look for raw wheat berries.

<edit to add> yes, wheat will gelatinize at mash temps.  I think 148F is the temp needed.  But you can just cook it, then add cool water to it to get to a few degrees above your strike temp, then add the barley.
« Last Edit: July 06, 2011, 10:42:18 AM by tschmidlin »
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Offline gmac

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Re: Wit Recipe
« Reply #8 on: July 06, 2011, 10:44:36 AM »
You probably can't tell from my picture but I'm not the "health food store' type of guy.  I'll see what I can find but I have no idea where one of those are either.  If they sold wheat at the hardware store or the liquor store I'd be great.  After that, not so sure.

Offline matt.critchlow

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Re: Wit Recipe
« Reply #9 on: July 06, 2011, 10:56:33 AM »
I'm curious about this technique also. i've yet to try a raw wheat wit, and thinking of giving this method a try once I get a handle on the procedure.

Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Wit Recipe
« Reply #10 on: July 06, 2011, 11:13:23 AM »
You probably can't tell from my picture but I'm not the "health food store' type of guy.  I'll see what I can find but I have no idea where one of those are either.  If they sold wheat at the hardware store or the liquor store I'd be great.  After that, not so sure.
Google knows where one is :)

Something like Whole Foods should have them.  I can't remember where in Canada you are, but there are a few WF and bound to be some other stores that carry it.

BTW, you can put your location in your profile, and if you put it in "profile > forum profile information > personal text" it will show up under your picture like mine does.  It's helpful at times like this. :)

Oh, and Blanche de Chambly is good, and pretty easy to find around here.
Tom Schmidlin

Offline gmac

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Re: Wit Recipe
« Reply #11 on: July 06, 2011, 01:50:58 PM »
I found raw wheat.  I called a friend who works at a feed company and he's bringing me 5 lbs of feed wheat.  It could have a few stalks in it but I figure that will just help with the lautering process.  It's just a little straw. 
I googled it and there are only 6 Whole Foods in Canada, 4 in Vancouver and 2 in Toronto.  I'm not surprised, it seems like a West Coast thing and people in Toronto are odd (at least my wife's family is...)

Glad to hear that you can get BdC out there.  It's owned by Sapporro now that they bought out the Sleeman brewery so they probably have a lot more distribution than I anticipated. 

Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Wit Recipe
« Reply #12 on: July 06, 2011, 02:20:33 PM »
Feed wheat?  Let us know how it turns out.  It's guaranteed to be cheaper than from the store, but I don't know about the quality.  Do you know what kind of wheat it is?  WF was just an example, there is very likely to be a store near you that carries it.

We've been able to get a wide selection of Unibroue beers for a pretty long time.  We miss some of the specialties, but I've gotten Apple Ephemere, Currant Ephemere, and of course when it comes out I always get Quelque Chose.  But La Fin Du Monde is a no-brainer, great beer.
Tom Schmidlin

Offline MDixon

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Re: Wit Recipe
« Reply #13 on: July 06, 2011, 02:35:48 PM »
Actually I did quite a bit of research (the literary type) and found wheat gelatinization temps vary wildly. Some varieties do gelatinize at mash temps and others are a bit on the high side. Just boil it and you can be 100% sure it is gelatinized, easy...
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Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Wit Recipe
« Reply #14 on: July 06, 2011, 02:38:20 PM »
Good to know Mike, thanks.  Was it a red/white/hard/soft difference, or by variety, or crop year, or ??
Tom Schmidlin