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Old 12-01-2012, 03:13 PM   #1
Cider123
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Default Need help on my first AG -BIAB Wit

Hey folks,
So I’m looking for help on proofing my recipe. I compiled advice and recipes from a lot of folks here, reviewing many prior threads, and spliced together what I hope to be a good Wit AG recipe.
I have made several extract recipes. BUT, this will be my first AG, my first BIAB, using my brandi-new 10 gal brew pot and wort chiller.

In advance, I want to offer thanks for any advice and also want to thank those who provided so many recipes to review. This is a meld of many great ideas from members here. I call it:

My Hoegaarden Witt Ass in a Bag - Belgian Wit

Recipe Type: AG (BIAB)
Yeast: Belgian Witbier (Wyeast Labs #3944)
Yeast Starter: 16oz Starter
Batch Size (Gallons): 5
Original Gravity: Wait to see
Final Gravity: Wait to see
IBU: ?
Boiling Time (Minutes): 60
Primary Fermentation (# of Days & Temp): 21 Days at 63 Degrees
Secondary Fermentation (# of Days & Temp): N/A

Ingredients
Flaked wheat 2.50 lb, mashed
White wheat 3.00 lb, mashed
Belgian pilsner 4.50 lb, mashed
0.50 lb rice hulls
1.50 oz Hallertau [4.4AA] (60 min) Hops
0.75 oz Saaz [3.3AA] (5 min) (Aroma Hop) Hops -
0.25 oz Coriander Seed lightly crushed (Boil 10.0 min) Misc
1.00 oz Fresh Orange Peel, Sweet (Boil 10.0 min) Misc
1 Pkgs Belgian Witbier (Wyeast Labs #3944) [Starter 16 oz] Yeast-Wheat

Mash in first 4 ingredients at 153F for 60 minutes.

Mash out at 170F for 10 minutes.

Strain bag ( I will put in a colander and squeeze a few times after 30 min)

Bring to full boil. Follow hop, orange and coriander additions above.

Cool to 70-80F with wort chiller, aerate, then pitch yeast starter.


Leave in primary for 3 weeks, then bottle with 2 oz Dextrose. Which seems low but that’s what the priming calculator shows for a witbeer.



So I have a few questions and appreciate any help

1. What is a good amount of water to start with and a good strike temp to start? I was thinking 7 gallons and get it up to 160F

2. Should I mash out? I read both this is a good idea and also read that it is not done with wits and hefes.

3. Do you think a blow off tube is going to be necessary?

3. Any other suggestions. My main goal is to produce a clean, light wit with decent mouth-feel, but not something overly spiced or heavy. A good session wit, if this exists. My last wheat beer had such a strong “hefe” spice taste I was put off. I like blue moon and shock top and wanted to make something close in crispness with better flavor.

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Old 12-01-2012, 08:06 PM   #2
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So you're doing a wit and doing it BIAB? Why the rice hulls. Your fine mesh bag will be your filter and you don't need any rice hulls for that. If the wort won't just flow out you squeeze it out. Works every time. You may be onto something with the Belgian Pilsner but when I made a batch like this I used just pale malt. I also just used the wheat malt and no flaked wheat. Here's the recipe I used and the notes I made about it. (http://hopville.com/recipe/1170193) Note that this was a 2 1/2 gallon batch, not 5 gallon.

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Old 12-01-2012, 09:36 PM   #3
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Hey thanks.
Well, I just don't know, I thought folks used the rice hulls to keep the mash from getting "stuck". I didn't know what that meant yet, but I figured the hulls would prevent that.
I like the idea of some lime zest also.

One big problem is I bought a 5 gall paint strainer bag and just realized tonight that the mouth of my brew pot is too wide for it. I have to find a bigger strainer bag or some alternative. My pot is more squat than tall.

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Old 12-02-2012, 12:10 AM   #4
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How big is your pot? You can make a strainer bag from "Swiss Voile" curtain material found at Walmart or a fabric store. The weave may be a little finer but it will work OK. It's pretty cheap to do it that way and you can make a custom fit if you want or you can just drape it over the top of the pot, push it down in and then use clothespins to hold it in place.

When people use a conventional mash tun from a converted cooler, they will use a "manifold" with slots cut in the tubing or a stainless steel braid to separate the grains from the wort. If the grains are crushed too fine the husk pieces will not be large enough to form a filter so rice hulls are added, mostly because they are cheap and impart no flavor to the grain. They won't hurt your BIAB mash, its just that they aren't necessary.

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Old 12-02-2012, 12:59 PM   #5
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Yes, I see that now. Oh well, anyone want to buy a pound of rice hulls?

I read about the voile material yesterday. That will probably be my best bet then. I have a 40 quart stainless pot that is well made with riveted handles, 3 ply bottom and tight lid but it is wide rahter than tall.

I was hoping to brew this coming weekend, but now I may need to hold off until Christmas vacation. I ordered from Brewmasters Warehouse. They have good pricing, but similar to what folks are saying in another thread. They tell me I'd be lucky if they get the order out by the end of the week. They claim that CyberMonday has put them way behind. Others here have said their turn around rate has dropped lately. I just hope the order is filled correctly at this point. I'll put everything in the freezer, get the voile stuff and wait till I have time off to brew.
Thanks again

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Old 01-09-2013, 09:05 PM   #6
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Well, This has been in primary for two weeks and still has one more week before I bottle it. The OG was 1.042 and right now it's 1.010.

It smells good but the taste is kinda bland and a bit bready. I hope the flavor will improve. I don't taste any of the orange or coriander.

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Old 01-09-2013, 11:20 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cider123 View Post
Well, This has been in primary for two weeks and still has one more week before I bottle it. The OG was 1.042 and right now it's 1.010.

It smells good but the taste is kinda bland and a bit bready. I hope the flavor will improve. I don't taste any of the orange or coriander.
It should taste better once it's carbed up. I have brewed two Belgian Wits with essentially the same recipe and both turned out well. Personally I don't like too much coriander and it usually comes through pretty strong. My recipe calls for 1/2 oz of coriander though. I use bitter orange peel and it definitely leaves a nice citrusy orange after taste on the tongue.
Just give it time to carb and enjoy young.
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Old 01-10-2013, 12:46 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aubiecat View Post
It should taste better once it's carbed up. I have brewed two Belgian Wits with essentially the same recipe and both turned out well. Personally I don't like too much coriander and it usually comes through pretty strong. My recipe calls for 1/2 oz of coriander though. I use bitter orange peel and it definitely leaves a nice citrusy orange after taste on the tongue.
Just give it time to carb and enjoy young.
Something I learned AFTER i brew my last wit.

From Hoegaarden website:

-------------

Coriander
The location of Hoegaarden village and its consequent link with the spice trade of Holland in the 15th century made coriander seeds easily available to the monks. When crushed, the seeds produce a warm, nutty, spicy orange flavour. Heating the seeds prior to grinding enhances the intensity of this flavour further. Surprisingly, it is the coriander, and not the Curaçao orange peel, that provides the citrus overtones you taste in the beer.

Curaçao orange peel
The Laraha citrus tree is a relative of the sweet Valencia orange tree that was transplanted to the island of Curaçao by Spanish explorers in the 16th century. The nutrient-poor, arid climate of the island proved unsuitable to the orange’s cultivation, and produced only small bitter fruits that were generally considered to be inedible. Their aromatic peel, however, maintained much of the essence of the Valencia orange, and proved very useful as a natural flavour enhancer.

The dried peel has a very distinctive taste and rather than the citrus flavours you might expect, the peel actually contributes to the herbal, aromatic overtones that can be tasted in our wheat beer.

-----------------------

@Cider123, I've also used sweet oranges in my last Wit, there's no taste of orange or coriander. Of course, I'll used Curaçao peel next time, higher ferm temp too.
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Old 01-10-2013, 01:56 AM   #9
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Yep, thanks guys. So I will need to use the bitter or curacao peel next time. Also, I learned there are several types of coriander seeds, and the type most seen in the supermarket is not the kind you want. Oh well, I'll just need to put a slice of orange in each glass

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Old 01-10-2013, 01:40 PM   #10
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Yep, thanks guys. So I will need to use the bitter or curacao peel next time. Also, I learned there are several types of coriander seeds, and the type most seen in the supermarket is not the kind you want. Oh well, I'll just need to put a slice of orange in each glass
The coriander at the grocery store will be about twice as expensive too.
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