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Old 12-04-2011, 02:38 AM   #1
Stephonovich
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Default Agave Wit - Critiques/help with color

I made AHS Imperial Agave Wit last year (partial mash), and although I thought it was quite good, SWMBO went crazy for it. So, I managed to get away with making it for her again as a Christmas present However, I decided to do it AG this time (2nd AG batch), and I made my own recipe, loosely based on the AHS card, and other recipes on the internet.

The flavor is a bit different than the kit; I think if I do it again I'd lower the Oats to about 0.5 lbs, as it's a bit oatmeal-ish for the style. (I'd probably replace them with wheat).

The color is the... interesting thing. Beersmith has it coming in at 3.3 SRM, with the range being 2-4 SRM. It looked OK, until I added the hops. I like Tettnang's spicy kick, but apparently they're rather vivid in color. The finished wort is some brownish/greenish/yellowish mix. Looks a bit like the color of trub from a light beer. Would adding 4 oz. or so of Carawheat (it seemed like a good fit; really anything for color that doesn't fight the flavor) help out? I don't mind being a little outside the normal range, say 6-8 SRM. The Agave helped some, although I imagine there's some trade off between color development due to a long boil, or flavor retention by adding it late, as I did (45 minutes into the boil). I used Light Agave because Amber seemed way too dark; in retrospect, maybe one of each would have been good.

Starter was a 2 L, with one drop of olive oil added. Cold crashed, decanted, pitched the slurry into 80 F wort for esters. Aerated wort for 30 minutes with an aquarium stone.

I ended up having to add about a gallon extra of water during the mash in to hold temps at 152 F, so I took the final runnings out and froze them for use as a starter later (wound up with about 7 gallons total of wort, boiled about 6).

I did a protein/beta rest at 122 F due to the high percentage of oats and wheats, and I think it paid off. There was a large protein float which formed during the boil, and also, I nailed the OG - there was some confusion when I saw 1.038, and expected 1.045. I realized Beersmith was including the 1 lb of Agave as being added during the entire boil. I pulled it out of the recipe quickly, and expected OG dropped down to... 1.038!

Finally, perhaps of note, the propane was running out about during the boil. I had a good rolling boil at the start, which dwindled down to a soft boil within about 15 minutes. About 40 minutes in, the boiling had stopped, and temps stayed around 210 F for the rest of the time. I'm not sure how that may have affected the hot break and/or color, if at all.

Recipe Specifications
--------------------------
Boil Size: 6 gal
Post Boil Volume: 5.5 gal
Batch Size (fermenter): 5.00 gal
Bottling Volume: 4.80 gal
Estimated OG: 1.051 SG
Estimated Color: 3.2 SRM
Estimated IBU: 16.9 IBUs
Brewhouse Efficiency: 72.00 %
Measured Mash Efficiency: 80.3 %
Boil Time: 60 Minutes

Ingredients:
------------
Amt Name Type # %/IBU
4.0 oz Rice Hulls (0.0 SRM) Adjunct 1 2.6 %
4 lbs Pilsner (2 Row) Bel (2.0 SRM) Grain 2 41.0 %
3 lbs 8.0 oz Wheat, Flaked (1.6 SRM) Grain 3 35.9 %
1 lbs Oats, Flaked (1.0 SRM) Grain 4 10.3 %
1 lbs Agave Extract (1.5 SRM) Sugar 5 10.3 %
1.00 oz Tettnang [4.50 %] - Boil 60.0 min Hop 6 16.9 IBUs
1.00 Items Whirlfloc Tablet (Boil 15.0 mins) Fining 7 -
1.00 oz Orange Peel, Sweet (Boil 5.0 mins) Spice 8 -
0.50 oz Coriander Seed (Boil 5.0 mins) Spice 9 -
0.50 oz Orange Peel, Bitter (Boil 5.0 mins) Spice 10 -
0.50 oz Tettnang [4.50 %] - Aroma Steep 5.0 min Hop 11 0.0 IBUs
1.0 pkg Belgian Witbier (Wyeast Labs #3944) Yeast 12 -

Mash Schedule: Single Infusion, Full Body, Batch Sparge
Total Grain Weight: 9 lbs 12.0 oz
----------------------------
Protein Rest Add 8.75 qt of water and heat to 122.0 122.0 F 20 min
Mash In Add 5.30 qt of water at 210.5 F 152.0 F 60 min

Sparge: Batch sparge with 2 steps (0.64gal, 3.10gal) of 168.0 F water

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Old 12-04-2011, 10:24 PM   #2
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Interesting thing of note, has anyone ever had the hops turn the wort greenish? The SRM of this beer is pretty low (3ish), and as soon as the 1 oz. of Tettnang hit it, it turned a sickly shade of green/brown. This remained after cooling.

I'm thinking of maybe adding some isinglass later to see if it'll help out. I did use a Whirlfloc, as noted above.

Also, for future use, does anyone have any experience adding very small amounts of Carafa or something similar just to add a tiny bit of color, and maybe hide things like this? I'm wondering how much it'd affect the taste.

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Old 01-01-2012, 07:14 PM   #3
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Bottled this yesterday. Notes as follows:

The color cleared up after the month or so in the primary. It's now a nice straw.

The bitter orange peel proved to be a bit much. It's not overpowering, and the wife still likes it, but I'd probably either halve it, or replace it with equal sweet orange peel.

Hops are present, but fairly muted. Especially with dropping the bitter orange peel, I'd maybe considering adding in an extra 1/4 oz. or so of bittering hops.

The FG ended up at 1.011 (ABV 4.9%), with a surprising amount of residual sugars. I thought Agave was pretty fermentable; maybe the 20 minute boil isn't enough. Again, wife still loves it, and it's definitely drinkable - just thoughts for improvement.

I'll post again in a couple weeks when I can give the carbed product a try.

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Old 01-08-2012, 10:47 PM   #4
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Popped a bottle open today. The carb level is probably on the high level of acceptable, but it's OK. However, it does add to the dryness quite a bit.

I'm assuming adding the priming sugar and/or racking into bottles woke up the yeast, as all sweetness is now gone. I think a month in the primary should have been enough to ferment out everything initially.

Great head retention, and good flavor, but as I said, a little on the dry side. I'm thinking either play with mash temps some more, or add some maltodextrine.

Pic of the pour, showing a nice head and lacing.

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