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BIAB Witbier / Blanche / Belgian Wheat Beer 2 (ph, salts, fermentation temp...)

Discussion in 'All Grain Brewing' started by Hez, 2/1/18.

 

  1. Hez

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    Posted 2/1/18
    Hi,
    Last year I made my first Witbier (belgian style wheat beer), I was quite happy with the result and it was very successful, everyone who tasted loved it, but let's be honest, it wasn't a very good beer. It was too silky/oily, not acidic enough, not dry enough and a little bland (I was too cautious with the spices).
    Original post: https://aussiehomebrewer.com/threads/biab-witbier-blanche-belgian-wheat-beer.96040/

    So for my next version I will:
    - reduce the amount of flaked oats (too oily)
    - adapt it to my new efficiency
    - increase a tiny little bit the spices (without going too crazy, still subtle, keep in mind I'm using fresh peel wich is heavier than the dry one and chinese coriander which has much less aroma than the indian one, but that's what I have).
    - use East Kent Goldings instead of the usual hops for this beer. This is not an improvement, it's just because that's what I have right now in the fridge and I want to use them... this beer is not hoppy, they are only for bitterness, I know "thinking all hops for bitterness are the same is ludicrous", but with the spices and this yeast I don't think they won't leave any noticeable aroma at all and even if they did, they are from the same family as the noble hops and the styrian goldings, so... whatever...
    - added the water adjustments (new!)
    - added the fermentation temperature control (new!)

    P.S. I use an immersion chiller discarding the first bucket of water and recirculating with a pond pump to the coldest I can and then transfer to the fermenter and finish chilling into the fridge before pitching the yeast. This time I plan on keeping the spices inside the kettle (using a hop sock) until I transfer the wort to the fermenter. Last time I removed them just after boil.


    So... my questions are about the "new" stuff for me:
    1.- Do you think this water adjustments are alright?
    2.- Do you think the fermentation temp is alright?
    3.- What would you change (from all the recipe)?


    GRAIN:
    50% Flaked wheat
    45% Pilsner
    5% Flaked Oats

    12L batch (including trub)
    75% efficiency
    SRM: 3.48 ; EBC: 6.85
    Preboil OG: 1.032
    OG: 1.050
    FG: 1.014 -> ABV: 4.73%
    FG: 1.012 -> ABV: 5.09%


    BOIL:
    60' 12g East Kent Goldings 5.1%AA
    10' 1.1g Gypsum/Calcium Sulphate/CaSO4
    10' 0.8g Calcium Chloride/CaCl2
    05' 10g fresh seville orange peel
    05' 5g fresh grapefruit peel
    05' 10g chinese coriander (roasted and crushed)

    IBU: 15.21


    MASH:
    30' at 48.8º (protein rest)
    60' at 66º (saccharification)
    10' at 75.5º (mash out)
    Sparge at 75.5º


    FERMENT:
    Belgian Wit Ale Yeast WLP400 74-78% Low-Med 19.5ºC-23.3ºC Medium
    20º for 3 days -> 22º until finish


    WATER ADJUSTMENTS:
    Add Gypsum/Calcium Sulphate/CaSO4, Calcium Chloride/CaCl2 and Lactic Acid 88% to mash and sparge water to:

    Ca: 66 <- Palmer's recommended range 50-150
    Mg: 23 <- Palmer's recommended range 10-30
    Na: 16 <- Palmer's recommended range 0-150
    Cl: 71 <- Palmer's recommended range 0-250
    SO4: 79 <- Palmer's recommended range 50-350
    Cl to SO4 Ratio: 0,90 <- .77 to 1.3 = Balanced
    Estimated pH (room temp): 5,32 <- Palmer's recommended range 5.4-5.6
     
  2. Dan Pratt

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    Posted 2/1/18
    mash it dryer at 63c for 60mins which will dry it out and carbonate it to 3.5% volumes which balances the dryness.
     
    Hez likes this.
  3. Coodgee

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    Posted 2/1/18
    all looks pretty good really. I find wits to be a fairly easy style to brew actually. To be honest you might need to adjust your expectations of a wit a little bit. When was the last time you had a hoegaarden? They don't really taste like much except for the flavour and aroma coming from the yeast and a little bit of spice. I find the underlying beer is neither crisp nor malty really.

    If you get the plain old Hoyts whole coriander seeds from coles or woolies they do the job quite nicely. No need to roast them. I just crush them up a little bit and 11 grams.

    The water adjustments are important for the fact that you need to be careful with extracting tannins from the grain with such a light coloured beer. I like to get my mash to pH 5.2 and sparge water to under pH 5.5. I tend to go pretty easy on the sparging and stop early.

    drink it as soon as it's carbonated.

    and carbonate the F out of it :)

    just some thoughts.
     
    Hez likes this.
  4. Hez

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    Posted 2/1/18
    Last week! I LOVE wibiers! Somebody told me at hoergaarden they use a ridiculous amount of spices (ridiculous=very little) and they have a lot of citrus flavour (not so much aroma).
    I think it's not directly proportional the amount of beer with the amount of spices or maybe they do something different than just throwing them at 5' into the kettle. But last time I used 0.6g/L of coriander and 1g/L of fresh mixed 2/3 orange and 1/3 grapefruit peel for a 10l batch (I do " half batches") and my beer didn't have that much flavour.

    I've tried several feral white (Witbier) and they are very different one from another, they are not consistent. I had one which was like drinking lemonade and another even more bland than mine.
    I had one supposedly Witbier at 4pines and it was a stupid version of a light hefeweizen with Mellon or something like that. Their hefeweizen is way better, don't bother with their Witbier, is total bullshit. Exactly the same happens with the hunter valley brewery, pots or whatever... That's not a Witbier, for God's shake!

    Maybe it happens like with the hoppy beers, you loose the aroma with the oxidation and that's why fermented under pressure and kegged or professionally bottled beer has much more flavour/aroma...
    But on the other hand I know if you use too much of them you get secondary off flavours (celery and ham?)

    I used to drink a lot of a Blanche (on tap) from the north of france when I worked in the French Pyrenees and it was amazing, that's what I would like to replicate but I don't remember the name... I asked my friends back then but nobody does, it was just "la Blanche" well maybe it wasn't so good and it is my memory and me idealizing it because they were better times...
    I remember it was crisp, acidic, dry, very light colour and hazy, almost white, and it tasted a lot like lemon.

    About the carbonation I use long neck brown bottles and last time I carbonated to 3.2 with no problem , I know it works but I don't want more risk..

    Thanks for the advice, I guess I shouldnt be so demanding with this one.. i hope version 2 is better than version one and I hope number 3 is even better! ;)
     
    Last edited: 2/1/18
  5. Hez

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    Posted 2/1/18
    63℃!!! That's very low! Should I expect lower fg? How low?1010? 1008?
     
  6. Coodgee

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    Posted 2/1/18
    I think bottles make for a better wit than kegging so you have got that in your favour. Unless you've got chilled taps it's hard to pour a good wit without getting a glass of foam. I've seen many bar girls struggle with it even with glycol chilled taps. It makes me cry watching them pour half the keg down the sink trying to pour a schooner!

    Just to throw a spanner in your works, the last wit I did was with a French Saison yeast (wyeast 3711) and it was beautiful. It won my local club's annual competition for the wheat and farmhouse category - and it was entered as a wit. You have to be really careful with this yeast and bottling though. It tends to slowly keep fermenting right down to 1.000. I kegged mine at 1.010 and it full carbonated the keg without any CO2 or added sugar in a couple of days. After that I chilled it down to stop it.
     
  7. Hez

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    Posted 2/1/18
    My previous previous beer was a saison and it took forever to ferment... But yes, it is very dry!
     
  8. Dan Pratt

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    Posted 2/1/18
    Yes the lower mash will result in a lower FG. My Belgian Witbier back in August was mashed at 63c for 90mins, went from 1043 to 1006 giving a 4.8% ABV. The wheat mouthfeel and high carbonation will balance out the thin FG
     
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  9. Hez

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    Posted 3/1/18
    I've modified my recipe for:
    - adding more spices (because I'm using fresh peel instead of dry and chinese instead of indian coriander seeds and also I don't think the proportion scales up directly, I think the smaller the batch, the bigger the proportion)
    - reducing the mash temp (for a dryer beer),
    - reducing the OG (lower mash temp -> lower FG, I'd like it to be in the 5-5.5%ABV)
    - reducing the the hops (15IBU)

    I always count with 2L of trub for the trub itself plus other losses (hydrometer, lost in transfer, etc.) I hate to be 1 or 2 bottles short! :S

    I planned on brewing it this weekend but eventually I won't be able to, so I hope I can do it next week. I'll keep you updated!

    Thank you all for your help.

    redoing the recipe, see next post
     
    Last edited: 3/1/18
  10. Hez

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    Posted 3/1/18
    OH! NO! Just after making all the calculations to finish the recipe I re-read this article (I had read it the first time I did the witbier) and now...

    https://byo.com/article/witbier-style-profile/ (luckily still free to read, byo is suscription based from now on, 30$US a year! :S)

    They say to use 5% of munich / aromatic malt, what do you think? should I try? This could use some tiny maltiness... hoergaarden has this.
    I think I could easily replace a 5% of the pilsner with belgian aromatic malt, I wouldn't need to modify anything else on the recipe.

    About the orange/zest/peel it recommends the fresh one but much more than I use! 27 - 52g / 19L batch! with 15g for the 10+2L batch I'm right on the low end. About the coriander it says if it fresh you should use 11g/19L batch, so I think I'm right on the money with my chinese-open-6months-ago one.

    It also says to go to 20IBU, but I think 15IBU is more than enough. Last time I did 15IBU and it was perfect and if I'm drying it out with the low mash temp... (the article calls for 68º for mashing!)

    I'm doubting again!

    Yes, I think I'm going to add the 5% of aromatic malt...

    I've been also reading about the protein rest, how it's neccessary for unmalted grains (flaked wheat and roller oats in this recipe) but it has an adverse effect on highly modified malts like the Weyermann Pilsner I plan on using:
    http://howtobrew.com/book/section-3/how-the-mash-works/the-protein-rest-and-modification
    Apparently it breaks the proteins leading to a worse head retention and less body.
    So I'd like this beer to be reasonably dry but not crazy dry, it is suposed to have a slightly sweetness... maybe I should settle the mash temperature to 65º. So maybe I should do the protein rest only with the wheat and oats, and throw in the pilsner and the aromatic malt when it's around 66º (compensate with the grain at room temp).

    I will re-do the recipe again...
     
    Last edited: 3/1/18
  11. manticle

    Standing up for the Aussie Bottler

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    Posted 3/1/18
    I'd consider aromatic but would not go for munich in this style.
     
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  12. mondestrunken

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    Posted 3/1/18
    Original malt bill looks good - keep it simple! Orange/spices look good too.
    Personally I use Saaz for bittering. I know bittering addition is not supposed to affect flavour but it tends to add a touch of pepper, which I think complements the rest of the flavours.

    My favourite yeast for this is Fermentis T-58. Some like to trash this yeast but I find it works well in a wit.
     
  13. manticle

    Standing up for the Aussie Bottler

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    Posted 3/1/18
    Bittering hop can absolutely affect flavour, especially in simple beers with little to no late hops.
     
  14. manticle

    Standing up for the Aussie Bottler

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    Posted 3/1/18
    Without the malted barley, the protein rest won’t affect the oats, etc unless they’re malted. The rest is to optimise certain enzymes present in the malt.

    Look at beta glucan rest and maybe short 5-10 min rest at 55 and again at 72 (as bookends to your main mash).
     
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  15. Hez

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    Posted 3/1/18
    So you recommend to:
    10' 55℃
    60' 65℃
    10' 72℃
    10' 76℃ (mash out)
    ?
     
  16. Hez

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    Posted 3/1/18
    I know... but with the spices and the strong yeast flavour... And remember I'm using east kent Golding's, not citra or Amarillo, if it contributes with flavour it is welcome!
     
  17. manticle

    Standing up for the Aussie Bottler

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    Posted 3/1/18
    Yes but switch 55 to 5 mins. And - chuck in a rest around 45 deg C for 10- 15 first. Beta Glucan as mentioned above.
     
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  18. manticle

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    Posted 3/1/18

    I absolutely agree- the fact that bittering imparts flavour is a good thing as long as you use the right hop. Don’t stick chinook in a wit and expect it to be invisible.
     
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  19. Hez

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    Posted 3/1/18
    So you recommend to:
    15' 45℃
    5' 55℃
    60' 65℃
    10' 72℃
    10' 76℃ (mash out)
    ?
     
  20. Hez

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    Posted 3/1/18
    Luckily I already finished all my Chinook ...
    But hey, I did a guiness clone without any clue of making beer (it was my 3rd beer ever) with Chinook and it turned out great! Jejeje

    I said that about the bittering hops because I know east kent Golding's is not the typical thing to use on a witbier
     
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