Winter Witbier ideas? - Home Brew Forums
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Old 10-13-2010, 11:20 PM   #1
indigi
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Jul 2010
Philadelphia
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I'm brewing a birthday batch for a friend who really likes witbiers. I was originally thinking about making something like a dubbel or Belgian dry stout, but then got this idea. I searched on google and on here and couldn't find any takes on the concept, so figuring out a good recipe is important.

I was thinking something darkish and lightly toasty, letting the usual wit yeast flavors come through but adding depth to them. Maybe using some brown/biscuit malt, a touch of Special B for dark caramel sweetness, possibly using Vienna or Munich instead of pale/Pilsner for the base. I think any malts too dark or roasty would be out of place. I don't know if any spices would fit in - maybe a hint of cinnamon or something?

Your input or ideas would be appreciated, I'm not married to any grain bills yet.



 
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Old 10-14-2010, 02:33 AM   #2
avibayer
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Jul 2009
new york
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I am three days into fermenting on a spicy spiced dunkelweizen. I boilled the wart (6 lbs 2 ro, 3 lbs wheat, 0.5 lbs extra dark crystal,) with a half bag of ancho peppers, a stick of cinnamon, and a vanilla bean. Then added sterling and liberty, and am using munich dry yeast from danstar.

my OG was low because of missing the mash temps. tried doing my first multi step infussion, with little success.

I like your idea of using munich malt and biscuit.



 
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Old 10-14-2010, 01:01 PM   #3
Bob
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Nov 2007
Christiansted, St Croix, USVI, US Virgin Islands
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So you're looking basically for a 'Winter Warmer' but with obvious similarity to Witbier. Not too difficult.

I'd brew a Witbier grist - Pils, Wheat, Oats - and add in some Brown malt, maybe a touch of Chocolate malt.

Bitter lightly with an earthy variety, slightly above Witbier levels, because you won't have the bitterness from the Curacao orange peel to emphasize the hops bitterness. Do not use flavor/aroma hops or standard Witbier spices. Instead, use what we'd consider 'mulling spices', like cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger, mace.

I wouldn't ferment this with Witbier yeast like Wyeast 3944, either. I'd give 3522 a try (Ardennes). I know the yeast flavors from Ardennes marry well with mulling spices, and I'm confident it'll match well the Witbier grist. (I brewed a Belgian-style brown ale one holiday season; what I'm advising you to do is brew what I brewed, but with a Witbier grist! )

Cheers,

Bob
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Old 10-14-2010, 10:20 PM   #4
indigi
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Jul 2010
Philadelphia
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Thanks for the tips. My main concern is if the wintery spices would go well together with the traditional phenolics and spicyness of the traditional wit yeasts.

I'm wondering if I'd be better served trying out a toasty brown wit first and then figuring out the spices after I have a base batch figured out - this feels like a style I'd like to take a few cracks at every year.

 
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Old 10-15-2010, 11:55 AM   #5
Bob
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Nov 2007
Christiansted, St Croix, USVI, US Virgin Islands
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You could try this: Brew a brown Witbier, but omit spices entirely. When it's time to bottle, brew a "tea" of spices - one tea traditional Wit spices, the other whatever combination you please. Draw a tasting sample - a hydrometer flask's worth should suffice - and add spice tea to taste. Carefully note the proportions involved. Scale up, add that much spice tea to the bottling bucket and bottle.

Cheers,

Bob
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Old 10-16-2010, 03:26 AM   #6
dirty_martini
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May 2010
Los Angeles
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Sounds like the Bruery's black orchard. It's basically a "black" witbier. My understanding is they brew the basic witbier and cold steep some carafa. I could be wrong though. The beer has the typical witbier character, but with some light roasty notes.

 
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Old 10-16-2010, 09:53 PM   #7
avibayer
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Jul 2009
new york
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I just took the gravity of my wit, and its was at 1.004. I am using danstar munich dry yeast, and those little buggers do their jobs and well. Finished fermenting in 4 days, at temps ~64 degrees F. Two days in the secondary, and then on to the bottle.



 
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