Brewed 2 Sep 2017 | Kegged 9 Sep 2017 | Yield 20.5 L / 4.6% (10.7°P → 2.0°P)
yes, the label has an error on it. counting is hard.
This is an attempt to get something that kind of tastes like a Belgian wit without having to go to all the trouble of dealing with unmalted wheat. So, half barley, half wheat, all malted: half wit.
The name is a reference to Zaventem, a village at the edge of the historical range of Witbier brewing in Flanders, which is now home to Brussels Airport, where I spend a fair amount of time.
- 2270g Pilsner malt (7 EBC)
- 2270g Light Wheat malt (4 EBC)
- 80g Carapils (5 EBC)
- 80g Acid malt (5 EBC)
- 25g organic orange peel
- 25g whole coriander seeds
For the first time, I started with whole grains, and crushed them in a stone flour mill set to a coarseness beyond its design. I could claim this was in the spirit of experimentation, but it was really more in the spirit of forgetting to click the “please crush my grainbill” box on the website when I ordered it.
I’ll need to tweak the setting a bit next time, because while most of the grains shattered nicely, I did notice quite a few intact grains with cracked hulls on mashing out. I suspect this contributed to the slightly lower gravity extraction compared to Sheepgoat.
After a bit of research (mainly on homebrew sites written in Dutch, which it turns out are basically intelligible if you speak homebrewer in English and German) I decided to go with a longer mash program, as follows:
- Mash in 23L @ 54°C
- 30 min @ 62°C
- 40 min @ 65°C
- 10 min @ 72°C
- 5 min @ 75°C
- 5 min @ 78°C
Mashing out took a relatively short 15 minutes, with 7.7L of water, for a boil volume of 26L.
I boiled the wort for five minutes before adding the first hops, then added hops and spices as follows:
- Bittering: 60 min 25g 5.7% Mandarina Bavaria
- Flavor: 30 min 12g 5.7% Mandarina Bavaria
- Flavor: 30 min 25g whole coriander seeds
- Aroma: 3 min 8g 5.7% Mandarina Bavaria
- Aroma: 3 min 25g chopped organic orange peel
Pitching and Fermentation
Cooling to 24°C with an immersion cooler took about 45 minutes; my usual trick of using the Braumeister’s pump to circulate the wort doesn’t work very well with orange peel in the mix. Initial gravity was 10.7°P. I pitched Wyeast 3944 Belgian Wit to 23L of wort. Enthusiastic fermentation started after about 6 hours, and continued for three days.
Bottling and Kegging
Final yield was 20.5L, primed with 107g table sugar in 500mL of water, kegged 7.75L and bottled the remainder.
How is it, then?
It tastes pretty much like I hoped it would: while going full halfwit would add some body, this is an easier recipe to manage. This style or something like it has replaced Sheepgoat as the beer-I-brew-‘cause-I-want-to-drink-it, at least until I get tired of it…