Author Topic: first Witbier  (Read 1352 times)

Offline redzim

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first Witbier
« on: August 09, 2011, 05:17:09 AM »
Hello,

Planning my first witbier tomorrow (all grain). Going to use Jamil's BCS recipe, at least as a starting point.  2 questions though:

1) fermentation temp.  he says to start at 68F and then slowly ramp to 72F for the last third of fermentation.  now I'm generally of the opinion that the ale ferm temps in BCS are a little high (for lagers he's good) ... often he specs 65-68 and I prefer to use 60 or 62 for APAs, ambers, IPAs, etc. But in this case, using T-58 dry belgian yeast, should I go with this high temp to get the esters going? or should I still shoot lower, maybe 64 or 65?  i've never used T-58 before so any help would be nice

2) mashing. most of Jamil's recipes just call for a single infusion mash which i'm comfortable with.  but for this belgian he says hold at 122F for 15 mins, then ramp up to 154F over 15min, then hold until "conversion is complete".  can I just do this by starting my mash (in a cooler chest of course) at 122F, and have it thick, like 1.25qts/lbs, and then after 15mins start adding boiling water a couple quarts at a time until I hit 154? I figure that will get me to about 2.0qts/lbs when I'm done.  and then how long should I hold at 154?   I do most single infusion mashes for 90mins and get 85% to 90% efficiency. so should I hold at 154F for 60mins, to get my 90min total?

thanks in advance
-red

Offline hamiltont

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Re: first Witbier
« Reply #1 on: August 09, 2011, 07:04:55 AM »
I don't think it's too far off. I start fermentation @ 65F & let it rise up to 68F using T-58 in a Witbier.  Mashing 75 minutes @ 154F should work fine. Adding boiling water is one way to raise the temp in a step mash. Generally I just do a single infusion @ 155F for 75 minutes.  Then a good rolling boil for 90 minutes due to the Pilsner Malt. YMMV...  Cheers!!
« Last Edit: August 09, 2011, 07:06:56 AM by hamiltont »
If Homebrew & BBQ aren't the answer, then you're askin' the wrong questions... Cheers!!!

Offline redzim

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Re: first Witbier
« Reply #2 on: August 09, 2011, 07:34:51 AM »
Thanks. What lag time do you see with 1st gen (dry packets) of the T-58? 

Offline bluesman

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Re: first Witbier
« Reply #3 on: August 09, 2011, 08:40:17 AM »
Thanks. What lag time do you see with 1st gen (dry packets) of the T-58? 

I recommend rehydrating the yeast and would expect no more than 24 hr lag time @ 65F.
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Offline tomsawyer

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Re: first Witbier
« Reply #4 on: August 09, 2011, 09:10:54 AM »
Like about any dry ale yeast, 24-48hr is typical.

My last wit is newly bottle conditioned, we opened a bottle last night and it is excellent.  Cloudy, kind of a white bread flavor with a slight sweetness, some spicy pepper from yeast (WLP550), coriander and orange peel.  You can't really detect orange per se, I might have to bump this up a little next time.  I didn't use oats either, but it has good body nonetheless.

I fermented pretty cool, and didn't do a ferulic acid rest.  I think I have plenty of spiciness, I wouldn't go with the warmer temp regime unless you really like the spicy character.

Just thought I'd inspire you to look forward to your result.
Lennie
Hannibal, MO

Offline redzim

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Re: first Witbier
« Reply #5 on: August 09, 2011, 10:30:46 AM »

I fermented pretty cool, and didn't do a ferulic acid rest.  I think I have plenty of spiciness, I wouldn't go with the warmer temp regime unless you really like the spicy character.

Just thought I'd inspire you to look forward to your result.

Oh I'm inspired all right!  What do you mean by pretty cool.... 60? 64?   I like some spiciness, Hoegaarden is one of my fave hot weather beers, but I don't want to get it up into the Franziskaner-type super-fruity-clovey regions.

And I am assuming that this is a "quick" beer, maybe 6-9 days in primary, crash the yeast out, and keg it, set-and-forget at 12psi for maybe 2 weeks, and then drink it?  At least that's what I'm hoping, so I can still drink it this summer.

Offline tomsawyer

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Re: first Witbier
« Reply #6 on: August 09, 2011, 10:45:15 AM »
I started it in a swamp cooler in my basement at 62F and it rose into the mid-60's at the highest point.  I think I let mine ferment for close to two weeks (I'll check when I get home), and its only been bottled for about 10 days and its ready.  If you leave it in primary for a few extra days you probably wouldn't need to cold crash.
Lennie
Hannibal, MO

Offline kramerog

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Re: first Witbier
« Reply #7 on: August 09, 2011, 11:11:10 AM »
 I like some spiciness, Hoegaarden is one of my fave hot weather beers, but I don't want to get it up into the Franziskaner-type super-fruity-clovey regions.


Wit yeast don't make clove flavors so you can easily ferment at 70-72 F to get a nice spice character. 

Typically Belgian wits require a more complicated mash schedule due to the unmalted wheat and pilsener. The more complicated mash schedule helps maintain the efficiency and avoid stuck mashes.
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Offline redzim

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Re: first Witbier
« Reply #8 on: August 09, 2011, 12:02:32 PM »
 I like some spiciness, Hoegaarden is one of my fave hot weather beers, but I don't want to get it up into the Franziskaner-type super-fruity-clovey regions.


Wit yeast don't make clove flavors so you can easily ferment at 70-72 F to get a nice spice character. 


Nice to know...

Typically Belgian wits require a more complicated mash schedule due to the unmalted wheat and pilsener.

I will be using flaked wheat (and some flaked oats), not raw unmalted wheat, but I'll follow this mash schedule anyways.
 -red

Offline tomsawyer

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Re: first Witbier
« Reply #9 on: August 09, 2011, 04:38:23 PM »
I'm looking at my notes now.  This recipe was 40% unmalted wheat, 40% pils and 20% 2-row.  I step mashed, 145F for 2hr then 20min at 160F.  The OG was 1.048, FG was 1.013 (73% attenuation).  I fermented for 18days, then bottled two weeks ago.  I used orange blossom honey as my priming sugar.
Lennie
Hannibal, MO

Offline hubie

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Re: first Witbier
« Reply #10 on: August 09, 2011, 06:30:41 PM »
To understand where Jamil was coming from for the witbier recipe, I was going to suggest that you listen to his podcast on witbiers (http://www.thebrewingnetwork.com/membersarchive/Jamil03-13-06.mp3), but it turns out that he was out of the country for that show and someone else filled in for him.  You can see what he wrote about for this in his style column in BYO:  http://www.byo.com/stories/beer-styles/article/indices/11-beer-styles/1679-witbier-style-profile , but since I don't have his book in front of me, I don't know if the recipes are the same.

Keep in mind that (I believe) BYO recipes assume a 60% efficiency, while his and Palmer's Classic Styles book assumes 75% (or maybe 70%).

Offline redzim

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Re: first Witbier
« Reply #11 on: August 10, 2011, 04:45:11 AM »
Thanks Hubie.   I also don't have BCS in front of me right now but after a quick read of that BYO article, the recipe seems very close, if not identical, to the BCS recipe.  The background info in the article definitely fills in some gaps.