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Old 04-15-2011, 11:50 PM   #1
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Default Seeking Info on unusual brewing technique

I'm attempting to replicate a beer by the Moose's Tooth Brewing Co. called White Princess Wit. This was one delicious brew and as you can guess it was a very light Belgian wit. They don't make it anymore so my only way to try this beer again is to try and replicate it. During my research on doing a home brew clone of this beer (just finished my second extract beer, a dry hopped All-Amarillo IPA) I came across this snippet on the brewing of this beer (and it's cousin, the Arctic Wit) from five years ago:

"White Princess and Arctic Wit: The Moose's Tooth Brewing Co. will pour two wits this summer, including the White Princess, which is named after a peak in the Delta Range. When making it, they took 10 percent of the mash (grain malt mixed with water) and let it sit for three days at 100 degrees Fahrenheit. A crusty cap formed on top, but the liquid underneath tasted like lemonade. On brew day, they added that tangy juice to the mash. Look for flavors like coriander, black pepper and orange peel. The Arctic Wit will taste less tart and spicy, but it includes some of the same spices, plus a dash of apricot."
I have never come across this 'evaporation' technique (for lack of a better term) in the making of wits, or any beer for that matter. Either this is an extremely rare technique or I am not as well read as I thought. And yes I did search this site and Google, for that matter, to no avail.

Can someone more enlightened share some insight into this technique and further, let me know if it is a viable for the homebrewer as well?

Thanks, all.
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Old 04-15-2011, 11:59 PM   #2
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The name of the technique you are describing is a sour mash. You could try adding lactic acid if you wanted to skip this procedure

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Old 04-16-2011, 12:56 AM   #3
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It's not really a sour mash. What they did was take a portion of the beer from brewing aside before adding yeast. Due to lack of competition the lactic fermenting bacteria used the available glucose in the wort which I'm sure was then pasteurized and added to the main batch. You can accomplish this with some raw grain or a lactic culture from one of the yeast labs. Another option would be to use some bottle sediment from a wild beer. The only issue with bottle sediment is that typically contains some sort of yeast as well. However at 100F the acid producing bacteria either lacto or pedio will readily utilize the available glucose. Sort of makes me want to do this with my next batch of wit.

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Old 04-17-2011, 12:11 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smokinghole
It's not really a sour mash. What they did was take a portion of the beer from brewing aside before adding yeast. Due to lack of competition the lactic fermenting bacteria used the available glucose in the wort which I'm sure was then pasteurized and added to the main batch. You can accomplish this with some raw grain or a lactic culture from one of the yeast labs. Another option would be to use some bottle sediment from a wild beer. The only issue with bottle sediment is that typically contains some sort of yeast as well. However at 100F the acid producing bacteria either lacto or pedio will readily utilize the available glucose. Sort of makes me want to do this with my next batch of wit.
Um, I'm pretty sure it's a sour mash as well, considering it repeatedly says "mash" and not "wort".
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Old 04-17-2011, 12:31 PM   #5
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Since it was the mash that actually took and held aside, I'd also have to concur and say this would qualify as a sour mash

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Old 04-17-2011, 01:26 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by broadbill View Post
On brew day, they added that tangy juice to the mash
Since tons of people on this site like to have semantic arguments I'll do it as well with the two of you. I think in this paragraph it takes reading a little deeper than just the word mash.

Would you not agree that the definition of a mash is the combined grain and strike water in order to accomplish starch conversion to sugar. With the language used in the paragraph like "juice" and "liquid" it leads me to believe that the word mash was used in place of the word wort. I certainly don't consider a mash juice or liquid. I consider it a mash that has juice or liquid. So my guess is they did a mash, took the wort, tossed some unmilled grain back in (for the bacteria), and let it sit at 100f.
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Old 04-17-2011, 01:39 PM   #7
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No where does it say they took the wort from mash then added back unmilled grain.

From the OP's post:

Quote:
Originally Posted by alaskana View Post
"White Princess and Arctic Wit: The Moose's Tooth Brewing Co. will pour two wits this summer, including the White Princess, which is named after a peak in the Delta Range. When making it, they took 10 percent of the mash (grain malt mixed with water) and let it sit for three days at 100 degrees Fahrenheit. A crusty cap formed on top, but the liquid underneath tasted like lemonade. On brew day, they added that tangy juice to the mash. Look for flavors like coriander, black pepper and orange peel. The Arctic Wit will taste less tart and spicy, but it includes some of the same spices, plus a dash of apricot."
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Old 04-17-2011, 03:50 PM   #8
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They sour mashed, then drained the sour wort off on brew day to use in the main mash. Semantics aside, they had a lacto ferment ahead of the boil and that is generally consider a sour mash.

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Old 04-17-2011, 04:02 PM   #9
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Bobby M, the voice of reason!

Thanks for the dose of common sense sir!

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Old 05-19-2012, 11:19 AM   #10
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Thanks, folks for all of your input regarding this brewing technique. I am ashamed to admit I forgot about this thread I started and only recently checked back on it to realize that there was all of this awesome advice awaiting me. Having said that, I will be attempting a wit using the sour mash technique I originally posted. Your input is appreciated!

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