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First Wit Beer Attempt - Thoughts?

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maldridge

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Hey all, after a very very successful first AG batch (of Dr Smurto's Golden Ale), I'm up for trying something a bit different.

With summer coming up I thought I'd have a crack at a Wit beer. I've basically gone with something very basic, using a BeerSmith recipe. I've contacted Grain and Grape and have made a couple of changes to suit what they have in stock.

Here's what I've got planned for a 25 L batch:

3kg - Briess Torrefied Wheat - Soft red wheat
3kg - Bestmalz Pilsner
38g - East Kent Goldings
1 pk - Wyeast 3944 Belgian Witbier yeast

I'll also be adding 20g each of crushed coriander seed, and orange zest - both added at 5 min or close to flameout.

After doing some research I've gathered I certainly don't want to overdo it with the coriander or orange zest, I definitely want to avoid the dreaded ham/celery soup!! I've toned it back from what the recipe recommends, but have still added enough (I think) for a distinctive taste and aroma.

I plan on buying plain navel oranges. Will these do the trick?

If there is anything else people recommend please go right ahead! Although this is a relatively simple recipe I'm happy to experiment a bit being my second AG attempt :)
 

white.grant

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Looks fine to me, though I usually use a saaz or tettnang in my wits. Unlikely to make a significant difference.

I'd be getting some preserved bitter peel from the asian grocery, naval orange skin lacks the zing and while you're there get some indian coriander - it has a slightly oval shape and has a much nicer flavour than the South East asian varieties you see around your standard supermarkets. Getting the balance right is the trick, but it's worth persevering.

Many recipes add a bit of chamomile with the spices too.
 

RdeVjun

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Sounds like you're very much on the right track. For some variation or if you find low efficiency issues then some wheat malt won't hurt, even 100% malted wheat is fine. You saw this evidently.
 

maldridge

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Thanks guys. Yes I've seen that thread RdeVjun.

Would it be crazy to add about 15g of Amarillo? I've got some left over from a batch I did a few weeks back. Actually I never put them in the fridge. Probably farked now anyway?
 

jimi

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Thanks guys. Yes I've seen that thread RdeVjun.

Would it be crazy to add about 15g of Amarillo? I've got some left over from a batch I did a few weeks back. Actually I never put them in the fridge. Probably farked now anyway?
IMO the big bold citrus yank hops are way out of place in a wit. It's a very low bitterness style and hops should barely be present. It's your second AG so stay true to style and make what you produce easy to compare to the classic examples.
 

nathan_madness

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Maybe some Oats about 3-5% of your grain bill. It will smooth it out and make it a little creamy.

Also lightly toast the Coriander in a dry pan then crush it lightly. Navel oranges work well I used the zest of 5 oranges (45g) in the wit I made last week and it tastes great
 

jimmy01

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IMO the big bold citrus yank hops are way out of place in a wit. It's a very low bitterness style and hops should barely be present. It's your second AG so stay true to style and make what you produce easy to compare to the classic examples.
Agree with you jimi. Go easy with the bitterness. I have tried dried peel including curaao peel and find navel orange zest just as good. Watch the coriander too. 20g should be ok.
 

RdeVjun

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Thanks guys. Yes I've seen that thread RdeVjun.

Would it be crazy to add about 15g of Amarillo? I've got some left over from a batch I did a few weeks back. Actually I never put them in the fridge. Probably farked now anyway?
No, as per Jimis, wouldn't really suit except perhaps as bittering where flavour & aroma effects are fairly subdued. You don't want much, if any, hops presence with a Wit, so I'd only use the American stuff if it was all I had.
I'd use them as a late supplement in an American Pale of some sort, best kept refrigerated but might still be ok, just don't count on it.
 

humulus

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Where do you guys get your curaao peel from? If you have used it,bloody hard to findMHB was trying to get through Customs and Quarantine bollocks to try and import some al while back,don't know how he faired
 

maldridge

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Thanks for the replies. I think I'll leave out the amarillo then. I'll stick with the navel orange zest, people seem to have positive experiences with them so hopefully will be ok.

When you say Oats, are we talking 'malted oats', or 'flaked/rolled oats'? Whichever is the right one, I might chuck in about 300g or so....That equates to about 5% of the grain bill.

Almost ready to put through my G&G order, just want to double check everything is in order :)

Thanks in advance.
 

ben_sa

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My usual wit (which is on tap now), is 50/50 wheat/pils with hallertau at 60minutes to 14-15ibu, brewed with 3068.

Simple piece of piss!
 

maldridge

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So I brewed this yesterday.

Couple of questions, firstly I ended up with about 27L into my fermenter when aiming for a 25L batch (and there was still some left in the kettle) - I assume this is due to my book off inputs on beersmith, as my Pre boil volumes were spot on....

Also, I checked the gravity after I added my yeast and it was about 1035 or so, I was expecting it to be a bit higher? I also checked the gravity Pre boil and it was meant to be 1037 I think, but I was only at 1022....what's going on there?

Final question - I added my wyeast 3944 at fermentation temp (19-20 deg) but I've still ha no activity today after 24 hours. From what I've read this thing usually takes off pretty quick smart. I didn't look in the fermenter (don't wanna open the lid and risk infection) but there was certainly no airlock activity.

I plan to (as the recipe states) ferment for 4 days in primary then rack to secondary for a further 2 weeks (I think). I'm worried fermentation won't be finished (or even started) by then. Will this be an issue if I rack to secondary before its finished fermenting??

Thanks again, sorry for all the questions!!!!
 

Thefatdoghead

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So I brewed this yesterday.

Couple of questions, firstly I ended up with about 27L into my fermenter when aiming for a 25L batch (and there was still some left in the kettle) - I assume this is due to my book off inputs on beersmith, as my Pre boil volumes were spot on....

Also, I checked the gravity after I added my yeast and it was about 1035 or so, I was expecting it to be a bit higher? I also checked the gravity Pre boil and it was meant to be 1037 I think, but I was only at 1022....what's going on there?

Final question - I added my wyeast 3944 at fermentation temp (19-20 deg) but I've still ha no activity today after 24 hours. From what I've read this thing usually takes off pretty quick smart. I didn't look in the fermenter (don't wanna open the lid and risk infection) but there was certainly no airlock activity.

I plan to (as the recipe states) ferment for 4 days in primary then rack to secondary for a further 2 weeks (I think). I'm worried fermentation won't be finished (or even started) by then. Will this be an issue if I rack to secondary before its finished fermenting??

Thanks again, sorry for all the questions!!!!
I could only assume your efficiency has suffered due to incorrect volume and maybe the terrified wheat or a combination of both from what you have said. What was your mash schedule?
A pre boil OG of 1.022 means for some reason your efficiency has suffered. what size crush did you have? did you check for conversion? Seems to be enough malt for that sized batch and the SG your chasing so if you have taken some notes try go back through them and figure out where it went wrong.
With the yeast...did you add it straight from the smack pack or make a starter? if you added it from the pack it will take a couple of days to get going I have found so just be patient.
Dont rack it to a secondary just let it ferment out until done then drop the temp and condition for a couple of weeks then bottle or keg it. Drink it fresh is best for these bad boys.
 

nathan_madness

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So I brewed this yesterday.

Couple of questions, firstly I ended up with about 27L into my fermenter when aiming for a 25L batch (and there was still some left in the kettle) - I assume this is due to my book off inputs on beersmith, as my Pre boil volumes were spot on....

Also, I checked the gravity after I added my yeast and it was about 1035 or so, I was expecting it to be a bit higher? I also checked the gravity Pre boil and it was meant to be 1037 I think, but I was only at 1022....what's going on there?

Final question - I added my wyeast 3944 at fermentation temp (19-20 deg) but I've still ha no activity today after 24 hours. From what I've read this thing usually takes off pretty quick smart. I didn't look in the fermenter (don't wanna open the lid and risk infection) but there was certainly no airlock activity.

I plan to (as the recipe states) ferment for 4 days in primary then rack to secondary for a further 2 weeks (I think). I'm worried fermentation won't be finished (or even started) by then. Will this be an issue if I rack to secondary before its finished fermenting??

Thanks again, sorry for all the questions!!!!
What was your full recipe and mash schedule?
 

maldridge

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Thanks for the encouragement Gav80. I didn't make a starter I just poured in the smack pack (after a good 4 hours to swell). Hopefullly this gets started in a cpl days. If you think it's not worth racking to secondary I'm happy not too. As I'll be bulk priming I'll at least be racking to another vessel before bottling to hopefully get rid of any excess trub.

Here is my full recipe and mash schedule.


BeerSmith 2 Recipe Printout - http://www.beersmith.com
Recipe: Wit
Style: Witbier
TYPE: All Grain
Taste: (47.0)

Recipe Specifications
--------------------------
Boil Size: 37.95 l
Post Boil Volume: 28.95 l
Batch Size (fermenter): 25.00 l
Bottling Volume: 23.30 l
Estimated OG: 1.051 SG
Estimated Color: 8.1 EBC
Estimated IBU: 18.9 IBUs
Brewhouse Efficiency: 68.00 %
Est Mash Efficiency: 75.7 %
Boil Time: 60 Minutes



3kg - Briess Torrefied Wheat - Soft red wheat
3kg - Bestmalz Pilsner
38g - East Kent Goldings
1 pk - Wyeast 3944 Belgian Witbier yeast

Ingredients:
------------
Amt Name Type # %/IBU
2.97 kg Pale Malt (2 Row) Bel (6.3 EBC) Grain 1 47.6 % (ACTUALLY USED BESTMALZ PILSNER HERE)
2.97 kg Wheat, Flaked (3.2 EBC) Grain 2 47.6 % (ACTUALLY USED BRIESS TORREFIED WHEAT - SOFT RED WHEAT HERE)
0.30 kg Oats, Flaked (2.0 EBC) Grain 3 4.8 % (I THINK ROLLED OATS WERE USED HERE FROM G&G)
37.23 g Goldings, East Kent [5.00 %] - Boil 60.0 Hop 4 18.9 IBUs
20.00 g Coriander Seed (Boil 5.0 mins) Spice 5 -
20.00 g Orange Peel, Bitter (Boil 5.0 mins) Spice 6 -
1.0 pkg Belgian Witbier (Wyeast Labs #3944) [124 Yeast 7 -


Mash Schedule: Single Infusion, Medium Body, No Mash Out
Total Grain Weight: 6.25 kg
----------------------------
Name Description Step Temperat Step Time
Mash In Add 21.29 l of water at 73.6 C 67.8 C 60 min

Sparge: Fly sparge with 27.92 l water at 75.6 C
 

nathan_madness

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Thanks for the encouragement Gav80. I didn't make a starter I just poured in the smack pack (after a good 4 hours to swell). Hopefullly this gets started in a cpl days. If you think it's not worth racking to secondary I'm happy not too. As I'll be bulk priming I'll at least be racking to another vessel before bottling to hopefully get rid of any excess trub.

Here is my full recipe and mash schedule.


BeerSmith 2 Recipe Printout - http://www.beersmith.com
Recipe: Wit
Style: Witbier
TYPE: All Grain
Taste: (47.0)

Recipe Specifications
--------------------------
Boil Size: 37.95 l
Post Boil Volume: 28.95 l
Batch Size (fermenter): 25.00 l
Bottling Volume: 23.30 l
Estimated OG: 1.051 SG
Estimated Color: 8.1 EBC
Estimated IBU: 18.9 IBUs
Brewhouse Efficiency: 68.00 %
Est Mash Efficiency: 75.7 %
Boil Time: 60 Minutes



3kg - Briess Torrefied Wheat - Soft red wheat
3kg - Bestmalz Pilsner
38g - East Kent Goldings
1 pk - Wyeast 3944 Belgian Witbier yeast

Ingredients:
------------
Amt Name Type # %/IBU
2.97 kg Pale Malt (2 Row) Bel (6.3 EBC) Grain 1 47.6 % (ACTUALLY USED BESTMALZ PILSNER HERE)
2.97 kg Wheat, Flaked (3.2 EBC) Grain 2 47.6 % (ACTUALLY USED BRIESS TORREFIED WHEAT - SOFT RED WHEAT HERE)
0.30 kg Oats, Flaked (2.0 EBC) Grain 3 4.8 % (I THINK ROLLED OATS WERE USED HERE FROM G&G)
37.23 g Goldings, East Kent [5.00 %] - Boil 60.0 Hop 4 18.9 IBUs
20.00 g Coriander Seed (Boil 5.0 mins) Spice 5 -
20.00 g Orange Peel, Bitter (Boil 5.0 mins) Spice 6 -
1.0 pkg Belgian Witbier (Wyeast Labs #3944) [124 Yeast 7 -


Mash Schedule: Single Infusion, Medium Body, No Mash Out
Total Grain Weight: 6.25 kg
----------------------------
Name Description Step Temperat Step Time
Mash In Add 21.29 l of water at 73.6 C 67.8 C 60 min

Sparge: Fly sparge with 27.92 l water at 75.6 C

I've just put that in to my Beersmith and from what I can see you should have had 1.052 with a Brewhouse Efficiency: 68.00 %.

On your design page in Beersmith there is a field called "Batch Size" you should have 25L in that field if you are aiming for 25L in your fermenter. I have put 37.95L in to the "Batch Size" field in my Beersmith and it changes the OG to 1.034. I can't see anything else wrong in the recipe.

What size pot are you using? Boil off rate all depends on pot size and how hard you boil it.
 

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