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Old 10-22-2008, 12:34 AM   #11
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Just a side question, I am just about to start a Wit tomorrow and am using pilsner malt instead of Pale. I am curious if it will give the typical ale a bit more "bite". I have only brewed a dozen or so beers and despite all being good, they just haven't had that taste i have gotten from any commercial brews i have tried to duplicate. I know not lagering my beers makes a difference, but am just wondering if simply using pilsner malt instead of pale 2-row would change the flavor that much?

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Old 10-22-2008, 12:47 AM   #12
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pilsner malt will be cleaner and smoother in flavor. it is kilned at a lower temperature than pale malt.

pilsner malt can supposedly leave some dms (veggie flavor), so you want to have a nice vigorous boil...some suggest 90 minutes to make sure it's all boiled off.

pilsner malt is the traditional malt for witbier as well as hefeweizens and many belgian beers. it's not just for lagers.

BJCP 2008 Style Guidelines - Category 16

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Old 10-22-2008, 01:57 AM   #13
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Awesome, thanks for the update. I am trying to come up with a recipe for something similar to Hoegaarden and will keep these tips in mind.

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Old 10-22-2008, 02:57 AM   #14
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it was excellent. a damn fine example of a belgian white, but not quite a hoegaarden...it was actually too flavorful.

i'm going to use more wheat in the next attempt, to try and get the color right and get a lighter flavor. i'm getting rid of the acid malt, too. i'll cut down on the gravity, too, make it more watery and lighter.
My wit went into the fermenter this weekend at 1.048 with 1/2# of corn sugar. It was 50% raw wheat. I'll let you know how it turns out. I was trying to clone Celis white, which has a lot more spice and orange flavor than Hoegaarden. http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f12/celis-white-clone-77698/index2.html#post822546

Hopefully between these two we'll figure out something that works.
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Old 10-22-2008, 03:05 AM   #15
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sweet, let me know. the raw wheat will probably give better color than the torrified wheat.

that's actually a great idea to use a little bit of sugar to lighten the body. it never even crossed my mind. maybe i'll give WhoGarden another shot this weekend!

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Old 10-22-2008, 03:18 AM   #16
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I did the whole protein rest, at 122* and then 154* which was a pain because the infusion to 2 qt/lb didn't quite get me there.. I had to heat with my heat stick to get the rest of the way up. I probably will do the cereal mash next time on the stove top so I can skip the protein rest.

The color with the raw wheat is amazing. It looked pure white, like Hoegaarden, whereas my last attempt with wheat malt was golden in color. I can't wait to see how this one turns out.

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Old 10-22-2008, 03:21 AM   #17
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my mash was white, too. it looked like milk. crazy stuff.

i'll have to read up on the cereal mash a bit more. my friend has been doing alot of that stuff (he did a gluten-free beer that was awesome) but i'm still slacking in that department.

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Old 10-22-2008, 03:26 AM   #18
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I didn't find much on it online. I talked about it with a few guys in the local club who make nice wits. They tell me they take the cereal grains (oats, wheat) and give them a 20-30 minute rest at 122*, then boil them to gelatinize the starch and add it to the mash. The trick seems to be to use the decoction calculations to figure out how much the temp of the main mash will rise so you can hit your sacc rest temp. It's complicated. If I try it, I will just let the cereal mash cool down to my sacc rest temp and then add it to the mash since it seems easier.

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Old 10-22-2008, 03:57 AM   #19
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that doesn't sound too bad. i've done a few decoction mashes...i think i can manage. i'll just try to hit it a little low my first time so i can heat up in the keggle to my desired saccharification rest.

just read a few things online. looks like if i want i can just do the unmalted adjuncts by themselves in the boil and forget about doing the rest for the cereal mash, then add straight to the mash which will already be in the protein rest.

i think i'll buy some unmalted wheat and oats from whole foods and give this another go soon. this weekend is out, tho. i forgot...lots of halloween parties going on

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Old 10-22-2008, 04:03 AM   #20
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Sounds like a plan. Keep in mind the raw wheat is very very hard to mill. My arm almost fell off cranking my barley crusher. And that was just 4# of the stuff.

The Hoegaarden clone seems to be a frequently requested brew. I certainly am hooked on wits now!

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