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Old 09-04-2009, 04:44 PM   #1
heywolfie1015
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Default Witbier advice

My brother is a big fan of witbiers, so we're making a batch this weekend. It's my second brew ever, so I was curious to get some advice.

First of all, here is the recipe. Got it from my LHBS:

6 lbs. wheat extract
0.5 lbs. Honey, Corn Sugar or Candi Sugar (I'll come back to this)
7 oz CaraPils
1 oz Belgian Aromatic

Hopping Schedule:
#1 Saaz (4.2%) 1.0 oz 60 min
#2 Saaz 0.5 oz 5 min
#3 Coriander 0.5 oz 5 min
#4 Bitter Orange Peel 0.5 oz 5 min

OG: 1.048
Yeast: Wyeast 3944 Belgian White


Here are my questions for all you HBT experts.
(1) Any suggestions on which I should choose form the honey, corn sugar, or candi sugar? I was leaning toward honey, but just want the best tasting brew.
(2) Any suggestions on tweaking the recipe a little bit?
(3) Any reason I shouldn't rack this to a secondary in a week? My buddy and I are planning on doing a dark Belgian next weekend and I will need the primary bucket.

Thanks!

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Old 09-04-2009, 04:49 PM   #2
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1: You don't really need any of those. Whichever you use will raise the ABV slightly and give you a slightly dryer final product. If you are shooting for a Bengian, candi sugar that would be apropriate. Candy sugar would be most to style with that yeast.

2: sounds tasty

3: if you are making a wit, I wouldn't bother with secondary. Just get another bucket. You want it to be a bit cloudy anyways.

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Old 09-04-2009, 05:05 PM   #3
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Thanks for the reply, Ark. From my previous searches on the forum, you seem to be the wit guy.

What do you think about the practice of crushing the coriander seed with a rolling pin? I saw that in another thread.

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Old 09-04-2009, 05:06 PM   #4
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crush em up

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Old 09-04-2009, 05:25 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by heywolfie1015 View Post
Thanks for the reply, Ark. From my previous searches on the forum, you seem to be the wit guy.
Ya, over half of my brews are wheats (wit or wizen). Just what i prefer to drink.

Give them a good crack with a rolling pin, just don't crush them up too much (similar to a grain crush)

Have you concidered making your own candi sugar it is just as good, and alot cheaper.
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Old 09-04-2009, 05:29 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VTBrewer View Post
crush em up
Yep. If you don't crush them, you won't get the flavor or aroma that comes with the seeds that are typical in this type of brew. I did an AG wit similar to this and used .75 of coriander seed and the aroma and taste was pretty strong the first 2 weeks(I was impatient) then I left it alone for another 2-3 weeks and turned out yummy!
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Old 09-04-2009, 05:52 PM   #7
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I make a lot of Hefe Weizens and still secondary every one.

The reasoning is to allow more of the yeast to drop out of suspension. You can always add more yeast back in during racking if it gets too clear.

There's no reason to have 1/2" of yeast in the bottom of your bottles when only a little will do.

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Old 09-04-2009, 05:59 PM   #8
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Quote:
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Have you concidered making your own candi sugar it is just as good, and alot cheaper.
Sounds great, but I'm not sure I'll have time. Definitely something to try in the future, though.
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Old 09-04-2009, 06:20 PM   #9
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1. I say clear candi sugar (home made) screw the stuff they sell at LHBS, over priced and just about pure sucrose. Takes about 20-30 minutes tops.

2. Corriander and Orange peel are, of course, the traditional ingredients, but if you are looking for something unique substitute grains of paradise or sichuan peppercorns for corrinader. When using Orange peel use fresh Seville orange peel if you can get it, or maybe substitute lime leaves (muddled or finely chopped), and chamomile flowers can add a "je nes sais quoi". Again, just suggestions if you are trying to break the mold an make something more unique.

3. Racking to secondary is not really an issue (as long as you don't leave it in the secondary for an extended period of time), but in all honesty with a wit or wheat, I generally go straight to bottling after a 3-4 week primary. They are supposed to be cloudy.

FWIW, I always swirl my bottles to rouse the yeast back into suspension before pouring. No "pouring to the shoulder" with my wheats and wits!

Good luck!

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Old 09-04-2009, 06:22 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by homebrewer_99 View Post
I make a lot of Hefe Weizens and still secondary every one.

The reasoning is to allow more of the yeast to drop out of suspension. You can always add more yeast back in during racking if it gets too clear.

There's no reason to have 1/2" of yeast in the bottom of your bottles when only a little will do.
yeast will drop out of suspension weither it is in primary or secondary. my typucal wizen is kegged or bottled after 2 weeks. As long as you don't shake up the primary or stick your siphon down into the yeast cake, the amount of yeast will be about the same.
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