One of my "holy grails" of beer brewing is to find the perfect beer for each season. One of the candidates for "best summer brew" is a witbier (white ale), however not just any witbier. Although witbiers are good, they are a little bit bland for my taste. Deschutes Brewery in Bend, OR does a fantastic witbier IPA called "Chainbreaker." This summer, I had a pint of Chainbreaker on tap before going river rafting. It had me at first sip. I knew I had to try to brew one, so I spent quite some time examining the grain and hop profile on Deschutes' website and comparing it to traditional witbiers. After a while, I had formulated the recipe below. This recipe uses cracked coriander, which is traditional in a witbier, but it also employes sweet orange peel. From what I have found, witbiers typically have bitter orange peel in them, but the substitution of sweet orange peel really compliments the hoppy character.
The hop profile is rather complex, and I've also dry hopped the batch with a solid amount of East Kent Goldings. The resulting beer was incredibly delicious. The flavor profile has citrus and guava on the nose; lemon, apple, and rose on the front end; tangerine on the back end. The color was quite close to Chainbreaker, but just a tad darker (see picture below). This recipe turned out to not be an exact clone of Chainbreaker, but when sampled side-by-side, I actually prefer my beer over Dechutes Brewery's. The White Hippo is a tad more malty and the nose is much more aromatic and hoppy than Chainbreaker's.
If you are interested in brewing a recipe that is closer to Dechutes Brewery's, I'd recommend stepping both the Pilsner and Wheat malts (but not the flaked wheat) down by 1 lb. This would bring the malty character down a bit and lighten the beer to about 4.0 SRM.
Here is a pic of the final product:
Style: Witbier IPA
Type: All Grain
ABV: 6.42 %
Boil Size: 5.88 Gal
Batch Size: 5.00 Gal
Boil Time: 90 minutes
Primary: 14 days @ 68.0°F
Secondary: 7 days @ 68.0°F
Bottle/Keg: 14 days @ 72.0°F
Grains & Adjuncts
5.00 lbs Pilsner (2 Row)
5.00 lbs Wheat Malt, US
2.00 lbs Wheat, Flaked
1.00 lbs Rice Hulls
0.50 oz Bravo - 60 mins
0.50 oz Centennial - 15 mins
1.00 ozs Citra - 15 mins
1.25 oz Goldings, East Kent - 14 days
White Labs 0400 - Belgian Wit Ale
0.50 oz Cracked Coriander Seed - 5 mins Boil
0.50 oz Sweet Orange Peel - 5 mins Boil
Medium Body Infusion - 60 min @ 154.0°F
Add 18.00 qt ( 1.50 qt/lb ) water @ 170.4°F
4.59 oz Corn Sugar or 12.3 PSI @ 40*F
2.5 CO2 Vols.
Chainbreaker on the left, my beer on the right: