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-   -   Killer bee Belgian Wit (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f71/killer-bee-belgian-wit-73278/)

z987k 07-22-2008 03:44 AM

Killer bee Belgian Wit
Let me start out by saying, I just tapped this tonight, and wow it's amazingly refreshing, light and easy drinking. If you dialed down the alcohol a tad, you could probably drink it all day and not have to worry about the buzz.

Between the wlp400 and the acid malt it has a very very subtle touch of sour. IME, this beer is how a wit should taste. If you're looking for a blue moon clone, this is not it. Instead more like an Alagash white, but still different.

This was my first decoction brew. It's a take on Jamil's wit from the radio show on wits.

OG: 1.051
FG: 1.007
SRM: 3*
IBU: 17
ABV: 5.7%
4lbs 6-row
4lbs White Wheat
1lb flaked Oats
.5lb Cane sugar
2oz Acid Malt
1oz Vangaurd @ 4.4% 45min
.5oz bitter orange peal 2mins
.5oz Crushed corriander 2mins
1tbsp flour @ flamout
Yeast: Wlp 400

So I'll start with the mash technique. All of the wheat, oats in it's own mash for a protein rest at 122F. 1.7qts/lb of grain for this mash. The rest of the grain (the 6-row and 2oz of acid malt) in your mash tun at 122 as well. 1.25qts/lb for this mash.
Now I rested the decoction mash (wheat, oats) for 15mins and then turned the burner on and brought it up to 148 and rested there for 30mins. Then lit the burner and brought it up to a boil for 15mins. After the boil, I scooped portions of the decoction mash that was boiling into the mash tun to bring the main mash up to 155. Rested that for 45mins and then added the rest of the decoction which brought it to ~170 for mash out. Then lauter and sparge like you normally do. I used 1.33qts/lb for the sparge.

I used 6-row and did a protein rest because of all the wheat and oats, over 50% of the grain bill. I crushed the wheat so fine, it was almost flour, and never got a stuck sprage, which I'm contributing to the 6row and protein rest.

The flour was added at flameout to ensure that I get a nice haze in this beer, because most of my wits end up going clear after a month in the keg... this has a definite starch haze.

BTW, I named this killer bee wit because, while I was brewing, I was repeatedly attacked by carpenter bees who has decided to take up residence on our deck. If you've ever seen a carpenter bee, the things are huge.

brewmonger 02-17-2009 09:57 PM

Good recipe. Best Wit recipe I've seen so far. I like that you emphasize that this is NOT a blue moon clone.

I'm still looking for a recipe that involves turbid mashing techniques, most famously used in Lambics. Unless I'm mistaken, isn't turbid mashing also traditionally used for Wits?

I had the idea of (still using the suggested yeast) doing an open fermentation to achieve some sourness from wild yeasts/bacteria (instead of the acid malt).

I also wonder if a little bit of ginger and a little bit of apricot or peach would add a nice touch? Some of the other wit recipes I'm looking at are also calling for cumin, grains of paradise or black pepper, and chamomile.

Obviously this is a beer that you drink young. My hope is to brew a wit sometime in mid-late May, have it bottled by early June, and drunk entirely by the end of August.

(I might add that I usually like to brew big and fancy beers that require alot of aging. I don't drink them fast, and I will still probably end up saving a bottle or two of the wit to age out to 6+ months and see what happens. That will be especially interesting with the influence of wild yeasts/bacteria.)

z987k 02-17-2009 10:22 PM

a short sour mash might be more controllable than wild yeast. Also, I'd probably go with unmalted wheat next time instead of white.

brewmonger 02-17-2009 10:47 PM


Originally Posted by z987k (Post 1140378)
a short sour mash might be more controllable than wild yeast. Also, I'd probably go with unmalted wheat next time instead of white.

I usually brew in about 8 gallon batches, so I would probably experiment with the wild yeast in a 3 gallon batch and do the rest as a closed fermentation.

If the wild stuff is getting too out of hand, I can always add some campden tablets once primary fermentation has finished, to bring them in check.

Do you know anything about turbid mashing in Wit beers?

z987k 02-18-2009 07:22 AM

ok... here's a good byo article on it: http://www.byo.com/stories/technique...turbid-mashing

And I was thinking of doing a how-to video on turbid mashing like kai's decoction video. I've done it once before with a wit - not this recipe and with a lambic that's sitting around still right now.

But turbid mashing causes a highly dextrinous wort, that is cloudy and will attenuate poorly. So basically everything most people don't want in their beer.

Here's what I went with for the turbid mash wit:
3.25lbs Pilsner
3lbs Unmalted Wheat
1lb Oats
.5lb Cane sugar
4oz Acid Malt
1lb Rice Hulls (this is a thick mash with lots of wheat)
1oz Alsace @ 4.0 % 60min
1oz fresh zest orange peal 2mins
.5oz Crushed corriander 2mins
Yeast: Wlp 400

Rests at 115, 135, 150 and 162. .3qt/lb for the initial dough in, adding boiling water to step to the second rest. Pull one quart of liquid from the tun and heat to at least 180. (the faster you heat the faster the enzymes will be denatured and you will get an even more dextrinous wort.) Add boiling water to the tun to bring it up to 150 for the sach rest. Now pull a gallon of liquid and add that to the other you pulled and make sure it's all above 180. Add boiling water to step to 162, rest. Drain about 1.25gallons and then add the 180F liquid you pulled earlier back to the mlt.(this will raise the mash temp and BYO recommends resting there for 20mins, this should denature any remaining alpha. But you could just keep going and get a slightly more fermentable wort.) Keep draining and sparge normally.

Oh and don't forget to treat your water ;)

Chester 06-23-2009 02:39 AM

I did this one today , with some adjustments. I added some sweet orange peel at 10 minutes and 1/4 oz black pepper at 3 minutes. I ended up doing a hybrid double infusion/ decoction mash to hit temps. I accidentally bought wyeast 3942 belgian wheat... they mark the package "Belgian WT"... I gotta remember to double check... so I made a separate starters with a hoegaarden and sterkens (sterkens might be pasteurized?) dregs and pitched that with the 3942. I used wheat berries, crushed to the verge of flour with a coffee mill cause I didn't like the crush I got at LHBS. Overshot my usual 60-61% efficiency with wheats by 10 points (need to get my own mill i think). OG was 1.061. I'm calling mine Swallowtail Wit due to the first swallowtail butterfly I have seen this year visiting me as I started the chiller. I omitted the flour at the end. I didn't think it was necessary, came out a beautiful pale yellow/white in the carboy. I think this is gonna be a good one! :mug:

RLinNH 11-29-2009 02:16 AM

This is the recipe I am looking for. Only problem is that I do not do Step Mashes or Decoction Mashes. ny help in making this a simple one step mash schedule?

Stuntman 12-15-2009 12:14 PM


Originally Posted by z987k (Post 1140378)
a short sour mash might be more controllable than wild yeast. Also, I'd probably go with unmalted wheat next time instead of white.

I have the ingredients (including White Wheat). Would you do the unmalted from now on, or were you telling him to change the recipe, just to acheive sourness without the acid wheat?

z987k 12-15-2009 02:50 PM


Originally Posted by Stuntmantoo (Post 1742567)
I have the ingredients (including White Wheat). Would you do the unmalted from now on, or were you telling him to change the recipe, just to achieve sourness without the acid wheat?

He was commenting on another beer that he wants to do a wild fermentation with. I was suggesting he do a sour mash rather than the wild yeast in the air. Nothing to do with this recipe really.

I would defiantly do unmalted wheat on any wit. The small amount of acid malt was just for a tinge, nothing that should be there without looking for it. With the unmalted wheat I don't even bother with it anymore.
Pils and unmalted wheat are the two things that should be in any true to style Belgian wit.

Also after tasting flaked wheat, torrified wheat and unmalted wheat all side by side(the gains) I would not sub any for the other, despite that they are all unmalted, they do taste fairly different. And then the red vs white tastes different to.

Stuntman 12-29-2009 09:01 PM

Hey Zach,
I almost did the Killer Bee. It was close, but I was in need of a nap, and threw it together like always. Some time I need to do one right to see what I am missing by shortcutting all the time.

Substituted Amber Malt Extract for the Cane Sugar
Ommited the flour.
Ground the flaked oats (threw the acid malt on top, accidentaly, so I ground both together.
I changed the mash schedule (as I needed to get to bed at some point) 155 / 60 min<> 170 sparge.

That last 2 minutes was special...Really just a hint of coriander, and orange peel, Can't wait for this one.

Question: Lots of trub. Do I need to get the beer off the trub and into a secondary real fast? I am thinking right after krausan subsides.

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