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-   -   Brewer's Best Belgian Wit + 1 lb of honey (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f37/brewers-best-belgian-wit-1-lb-honey-226537/)

jtkratzer 02-19-2011 09:46 PM

Brewer's Best Belgian Wit + 1 lb of honey
 
Brewed this about three weeks ago and it's been in a carboy to primary and the beer is still, airlock is still, 2 distinct layers of sediment on the bottom, and there's still about an inch of krausen on the top. LHBS recommended racking to a secondary or clearing vessel for 2 or 3 more weeks saying if I leave it on the hops and trub, it could impart an off flavor. I used a nylon bag for the hops in the boil and strained the wort.

I haven't racked anything except an IPA to dry hop and a Christmas beer with fruit.

OG was about 1.061 or -62. I haven't checked the gravity yet. I was thinking it would be ready to bottle and I'd just siphon underneath the krausen.

This is my first Belgian. Any harm in just letting it sit like my other beers?

cappy 02-20-2011 01:31 AM

If I remember right, honey can take longer to completely ferment out. I would take a gravity reading before doing anything else. A friend gave me a bottle of a Belgian he made with honey. A month later it exploded. After the fact he told me he probably bottled it too soon and the honey kept going.

jtkratzer 02-20-2011 01:55 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by cappy (Post 2662807)
If I remember right, honey can take longer to completely ferment out. I would take a gravity reading before doing anything else. A friend gave me a bottle of a Belgian he made with honey. A month later it exploded. After the fact he told me he probably bottled it too soon and the honey kept going.

At this point, it was either let it sit, or take a gravity reading and rack it. I don't see any reason why it should be racked...it's not supposed to be a clear beer and none of my other beers have had problems from sitting in the primary anywhere between 3 weeks and 2 months.

I've just never had a persistent krausen like this one.

HSB 02-20-2011 01:15 PM

This has been my experience when using honey. The yeast takes a very long time to work on it.

I made a Wit with ~1 lb of honey last summer, and it was around 4 weeks before the krausen dropped. Yeast just takes a while to work on all of the great sugars in honey.

I woundn't be worrying about off-flavors after 3 weeks.

jtkratzer 02-20-2011 08:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by HSB (Post 2663492)
This has been my experience when using honey. The yeast takes a very long time to work on it.

I made a Wit with ~1 lb of honey last summer, and it was around 4 weeks before the krausen dropped. Yeast just takes a while to work on all of the great sugars in honey.

I woundn't be worrying about off-flavors after 3 weeks.

Did you bottle it then after the 4 weeks or did you let it sit longer? I'm going to leave it alone and let it go until the krausen drops and then I'll take a gravity reading. I'm not sure what the FG supposed to be since the recipe is from the box kit and doesn't factor in that pound of honey.

The color on it in the carboy is fantastic. I'm really looking forward to bottling this one eventually.

Another question - in Beer Captured, a number of the Belgian recipes call for a second pitch of yeast about 3 days prior to bottling to ensure fermentation has completed and well carbonated bottles. Do I need to do that? It also states that a lot of the Beligans will do really well with a month in the bottles after they carbonated. I usually start drinking most of my beers about 3 weeks after bottling.

malkore 02-21-2011 09:24 PM

Honey lacks any nutrients (namely nitrogen) that yeasts need. That's why mead can be such a tempermental beast if you don't feed it energizer and nutrients.

But a pound of honey in beer really is no different than adding .9lbs of corn sugar. Honey is still a highly fermentable sugary solution once diluted into the wort.

What is the the gravity? Wit strains can hold their krausen long after fermentation ends.

if you secondary it, it will be a bit too clear and yeast free...unlike a wit.

jtkratzer 02-21-2011 09:54 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by malkore
Honey lacks any nutrients (namely nitrogen) that yeasts need. That's why mead can be such a tempermental beast if you don't feed it energizer and nutrients.

But a pound of honey in beer really is no different than adding .9lbs of corn sugar. Honey is still a highly fermentable sugary solution once diluted into the wort.

What is the the gravity? Wit strains can hold their krausen long after fermentation ends.

if you secondary it, it will be a bit too clear and yeast free...unlike a wit.

I haven't checked the gravity other than the OG. I don't want it to clear and that's why it's just going to sit. I think I'll check the gravity and probably bottle it on Sunday. What would a pound of honey do to the final gravity?

jtkratzer 02-23-2011 05:59 PM

I took at a look at it last night when I checked on the carboys with the Apfelwein and the krausen is really thinning out. I can almost see the surface of the beer through it. A few more days to a week should get me to where the surface is fully exposed. I'll get a gravity reading when the surface clears.

jtkratzer 03-20-2011 08:48 PM

Just opened two of these to see how the carbonation is and this beer is phenomenal. The honey and the WLP400 have made this an awesome beer. We had a 1st birthday party today for my daughter and everyone here that tasted it absolutely loved it. As soon as the beer on the WLP400 that I pitched yesterday is done, I'm getting another batch of this going.


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