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Old 12-22-2009, 02:17 PM   #1
ForRealBeer
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Default Honey Witbier Recipe - Comments?

Four days ago, I kegged the next step in the evolution of a long-standing wit recipe I brew ... it's one of the standard house beers because everyone seems to like it and it goes down pretty easily. Too easily, actually, because I am already thinking I need to get more in the fermenter ASAP.

I added honey in order to extend the brew a little and thought that the residuals left over from the honey would add a bit of sweetness that I could balance out with malt and hops. It worked and is now something that will probably remain as part of next few iterations...

Any comments you might have would be appreciated. One thing I've heard is that I use a LOT of coriander in this, but that's due to the lower quality of spice I seem to find and it takes a lot to get the flavor profile I want -- something between Hooegarden and Blue Moon in terms of its spice bite. The stuff I get from my LHBS seems to be harder to get than others.

Recipe: Honey Witbier - Wolfpack White v1
TYPE: All Grain

Recipe Specifications
--------------------------
Batch Size: 6.50 gal
Boil Size: 8.54 gal
Estimated OG: 1.058 SG
Estimated Color: 4.6 SRM
Estimated IBU: 13.8 IBU
Brewhouse Efficiency: 72.90 %
Boil Time: 60 Minutes

Ingredients:
------------
Amount Item Type % or IBU
1.00 lb Rice Hulls (0.0 SRM) Adjunct 7.02 %
6.00 lb Pilsner (2 Row) Ger (2.0 SRM) Grain 42.11 %
6.00 lb White Wheat Malt (2.4 SRM) Grain 42.11 %
0.25 lb Aromatic Malt (26.0 SRM) Grain 1.75 %
0.50 oz Styrian Goldings [5.40 %] (60 min) Hops 7.4 IBU
0.50 oz Styrian Goldings [5.40 %] (15 min) Hops 3.7 IBU
0.50 oz Saaz [4.00 %] (15 min) Hops 2.7 IBU
0.70 oz Coriander Seed (Boil 5.0 min) Misc
0.75 oz Coriander Seed (Boil 0.0 min) Misc
1.00 items Orange Peel, Bitter (Boil 5.0 min) Misc
1.00 items Whirlfloc Tablet (Boil 15.0 min) Misc
1.00 lb Honey (1.0 SRM) Sugar 7.02 %
1 Pkgs Belgian Witbier (Wyeast Labs #3944) Yeast-Wheat


Mash Schedule: Single Infusion, Light Body, Batch Sparge
Total Grain Weight: 13.25 lb
----------------------------
Single Infusion, Light Body, Batch Sparge
Step Time Name Description Step Temp
75 min Mash In Add 16.56 qt of water at 165.3 F 150.0 F


Notes:
------
Adding honey as as experiment. Honey was Gallberry raw and unfiltered.
Kegged 12/18

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Old 12-22-2009, 09:54 PM   #2
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I brewed a peach wheat that uses honey like this, but want to try this one. Already plugged into beersmith. Thanks!

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Old 12-22-2009, 11:34 PM   #3
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Quote:
I added honey in order to extend the brew a little and thought that the residuals left over from the honey would add a bit of sweetness that I could balance out with malt and hops. It worked and is now something that will probably remain as part of next few iterations.
Honey does not lend residual sweetness. Honey is basically invert sugar that will get completely fermented. If you want a lingering honey-like taste, go with a pound of honey malt.
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Old 12-23-2009, 12:28 AM   #4
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rocketman, I've read that honey is anywhere between 95-98% fermentable (see: National Honey Board Doc) but not completely. That PDF does agree with you that honey won't add sweetness, but in my experience that's not completely true, in my opinion anyway, though YMMV.

Perhaps one thing I should mention is that I always use unfiltered honey in the boil. This stuff will crystallize within a week if left on a cupboard shelf. Perhaps that's the source of the disagreement between various sources? (I've also read that it is 100% fermentable, but like I said, it just doesn't seem to work out that way for me.)

A dozen or so years ago in my then-local club we even completed split batches to test out our perceptions about honey using a hefeweizen as our base. There was definitely a somewhat sweeter taste in the brews that had some of the bee barf in it. What we saw was a touch of a dry, crisp sweetness that one would not ordinarily see with a glucose/fructose invert.

At any rate, I think I got what I wanted here -- a cheap way to add simple sugars that had a little heart and soul to them (I know a local apiarist pretty well) and an improvement to a beer I hadn't otherwise used honey in before.

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Last edited by ForRealBeer; 12-23-2009 at 12:33 AM.
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