AG#6 Belgian Wit (Greg Hughes)

Discussion in 'Beer Brewdays!' started by matt76, Jan 13, 2019.

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  1. Jan 13, 2019 #1

    matt76

    matt76

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    Feel like I've got my process pretty much sorted now after this brew (famous last words!). I've a good feel now how much liquid I'll lose in the grain and how much will boil off.

    This is the first be I've tried from Hughes, is pretty much the standard Belgian Wit recipe from his book except I cut it in half to fit my normal 12L brew size:
    -1150g Wheat malt
    -950g Maris Otter
    -200g Flaked barley (a small change I made)
    -20g Saaz hops @ 3.0% AAU
    -13g each of coriander seeds and bitter orange peel
    -Wyeast 3944 Belgian Wit (used my large FV as I gather this yeast goes a bit crazy!)

    Having punched my numbers into Brewers Friend I think I'm pretty much bang on with recipe - also very useful to calculate the amount of hops needed to get the right number of IBUs.

    For this brew I stuck with the recommended 60 mins mash at 65degC - might have a play in the future with stepped or decoction mashing. I'd also like to play with other flavour additions but for now I'll keep it stock.

    Wort chillers are awesome! athumb.. Took only 5 mins to get down to 20degC (typically takes about 10 mins but I think the tap water was particularly cold today)

    Only thing that's not clear to me, and it's not urgent yet, is how many volumes of CO2 are recommended for this type of beer - any suggestions appreciated! aunsure....

    All being well, in a few weeks I would have a load of wit ready to go at around 4.5% :beer1:

    Cheers,

    Matt acheers.
     
  2. Jan 13, 2019 #2

    Zephyr259

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    Good to hear, I've been tempted by that recipe but always had other things to brew. Might do one for the summer, but as I have a German wheat yeast on the go I'll probably do a hefeweizen instead.

    Carbonation is stated as high in the BJCP guidelines, that normally means 2.5 vol for me unless I'm using thicker bottles. But recently I told by a member that he carbs up to 3.3 vol for some styles even in kopparberg bottles no bother.
     
  3. Jan 13, 2019 #3

    Clint

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    Brewed this in August..massive fermentation,took nearly a month to finish!
     
  4. Jan 13, 2019 #4

    darrellm

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    Snap - I brewed this Sat morning. Only change I made was to use all Wheat (2/3 wheat malt and a bag of wheat DME). Fermenting with MJ21 Belgian Wit, it was off within 6 hours and is going crazy this morning.

    I was in the Brouwerij de Halve Maan in Bruges a few weeks ago, which was the inspiration for making this - if I can get even close to a decent Belgian Wit I'll be a happy man.
    https://www.halvemaan.be/en/home
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2019
  5. Jan 13, 2019 #5

    matt76

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    Ah interesting - I had one in the Van Moll Brewery in Eindhoven a couple of months ago, flavoured with lychee and rosewater - sounds weird, tasted amazing!
     
  6. Jan 27, 2019 #6

    matt76

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    Update: Exactly 30 x 330ml bottles filled and capped this evening. Gravity down from 1.044 to 1.010 giving me 4.5% ABV.

    It's looking a little dark, not sure why. Taste wise, hmm... Not sure... It's maybe got more of a German Weizen about it than Belgian Witbier... Not as light in flavour as it's expect... oh well, we'll see in a few weeks once it's carbonated and conditioned... I'm pretty sure it'll be beer of some sort :beer1:

    Speaking of carbonation, after some googling i settled on 2.4 vols CO2 - but since i forgot to account for trub losses I've ended up more like 2.6 vols asad1 Any ideas what this means in practical terms? I'm guessing not much, just overall it'll be fizzier than my bitters and IPAs which i normally do around 2.0 vols aunsure....
     
  7. Feb 8, 2019 #7

    matt76

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    Update:
    After 12 days carbonating/conditioning (yeeesss, i know!!!) I caved and cracked a couple open:
    20190208_194932.jpg
    20190208_195113.jpg
    On the left is without pouring the yeast, on the right i swirled it up and in it went!

    Honestly from this early taste i don't feel I've quite nailed the style - not sure about the coriander but the bitter orange peel is a little over the top.

    Both glasses taste quite yeasty - it seems more like German weizen than Belgian witbier. It's a little heavy, i think witbier should be rather lighter than weizen.

    Without the yeast is like drinking the rinsings of a glass of orange squash - it's a little too bitter. With the yeast is better, more balanced and rounded somehow.

    I think it's good and perfectly drinkable - i have made beer! :beer1: But perhaps i need to work on it a little for next time, reconsider the additions to get that refreshing lightness in there.

    (or maybe it just needs more than 12 days in the bottle! :laugh8:)

    Cheers,

    Matt :cheers3:
     
  8. Feb 8, 2019 #8

    Clint

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    Drinking this earlier...it's dropped crystal clear...the orange comes through nicely. One on the repeat list.
     
  9. Feb 8, 2019 #9

    matt76

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    Pics or it didn't happen, @Clint ! :laugh8:

    Seriously i have to question if it should be crystal clear (not just because mine isn't ;)) but if it's blowing your skirt up then fill your boots dude athumb..
     
  10. Feb 8, 2019 #10

    Clint

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    Dunno if it SHOULD be...mine is unless you tip the yeast...I'm on a stout ATM...give me a mo...
     
  11. Feb 8, 2019 #11

    Clint

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    IMG_20190208_233946.jpg just poured....
     
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  12. Feb 8, 2019 #12

    matt76

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    Looking good Clint - enjoy! :cheers3:
     
  13. Feb 8, 2019 #13

    Clint

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    No 7 ....and a vindaloo...Mrs Clint says "that's enough!"....parp!ยก!!
     
  14. Feb 9, 2019 #14

    prog99

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    That recipe looks a bit odd, should there not be a large % of the grain bill as unmalted wheat?
     
  15. Feb 9, 2019 #15

    Zephyr259

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    It's a simpler way of doing a wit; you are correct that traditionally it's unmalted wheat that is used but then you have to do a cereal mash to get it to convert which is a lot of hassle and malted wheat should get you close enough.
     
  16. Feb 9, 2019 #16

    matt76

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    Now THAT is a very interesting question.....

    Hughes calls for 50/50 "wheat malt" and "pale malt".

    (I subbed in a little flaked barley as is my wont)

    But when I was googling last night I found one source saying one of the differences between Witbier and Weizen is the former uses unmarked wheat while the latter uses malted wheat.

    Maybe that's my issue.....

    But as @Zephyr259 says, the use of malted wheat is probably a cheat by Hughes to make brewing it simpler. Hmm.....
     
  17. Feb 9, 2019 #17

    darrellm

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    Here's mine, misread the recipe and used 100% wheat rather than a mix but still came out OK.
    GH Belgian Witbier.JPG
     
  18. Feb 9, 2019 #18

    AdeDunn

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    I did the Greg Hughes recipe once, and yeah it's definitely more German than Belgian for certain, especially if like me you go the rest of the way and use a German yeast in it... lmao That's why when I cam to do a Wit again I hunted down a proper Wit recipe. Thing is though, there's that much unmalted flaked wheat in it I had to do a stepped mashed to avoid a gummy mess (flaked oats too, but mine were malted flaked oats...). Worth it though, as came out perfect. The Greg Hughes recipe is a lot simpler to do though, even if it doesn't actually give you a Wit....
     
  19. Feb 10, 2019 #19

    matt76

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    I gave mine a second tasting this evening (well, if we're being pedantic and counting bottles it was actually a fifth tasting :laugh8:)

    I drank it thinking of German Weizen - and I've had a lot of Erdinger in my time - and sure, it's an enjoyable beer, it would be cracking with some sausage and mustard actually! :beer1:

    But it's not a Belgian witbier asad. It's a subtle distinction, they are two quite similar styles - these two articles are helpful to explain each:
    https://byo.com/article/witbier-style-profile/
    https://byo.com/article/german-hefeweizen-style-profile/

    In my experience, wit is more light bodied, delicate and refreshing where weizen is more robust and full bodied - it's more German!

    It's quite clear to me, if you want to make a Belgian witbier i think you've got to use unmalted wheat, however much more painful it might be too mash - or at least, I'm really keen to have another crack at this to try and nail it and this is the approach i would take.

    (I think i also read something somewhere about using pilsner malt rather than pale malt. Also personally, i would probably have the account of coriander and bitter orange peel suggested by Hughes - for me the latter in particular is a little over the top)

    It's a hobby not a job, and it's a learning experience. I've made a nice beer, just not exactly what i was going for. I'm well up for giving it another go.

    Cheers,

    Matt athumb..
     
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  20. Feb 10, 2019 #20

    AdeDunn

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    Pretty much what I did, the base was 2000g Dingemans Pilsen malt, 2000g unmalted flaked wheat, then a bit of malted wheat, bit of malted flaked barley etc. I did use coriander and bitter orange peel though, and went with Mandarina Bavaria hops rather than Saaz, and it was and is delicious (not fresh any more, but still tasty). Recipe etc here. Wasn't that much work as my boiler is a kettle rims type biab system.
     

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