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Old 09-15-2011, 02:46 AM   #1
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Jun 2011
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Recipe Type: Partial Mash   
Yeast: WLP 400   
Yeast Starter: No   
Additional Yeast or Yeast Starter: No   
Batch Size (Gallons): 5   
Original Gravity: 1.054   
Final Gravity: 1.012   
IBU: 16   
Boiling Time (Minutes): 60   
Color: 4   
Primary Fermentation (# of Days & Temp): 15 days - 1st week in high 60s; 2nd week at low 70s   
Additional Fermentation: nope   
Secondary Fermentation (# of Days & Temp): nope   
Tasting Notes: Pretty dang close to Hoegaarden   

Hoegaarden is one of my all time favorites, and I was amazed at how close this came to the Belgian Wit classic. Biggest difference is that Hoegaarden is listed as 4.9% ABV and mine came out to about 5.3% which is okay with me. This was my first partial mash attempt, and my 8th overall home brew - so I'm still relatively new to the brewing game. In other words, if I can pull this off, so can you!

There's a hundred possible variations on all of these steps, but here's what I did and had great results.

Grain Ingredients
4 LB Pale Malt US 2 Row
4 oz Biscuit Malt
4 oz White Wheat Malt
6 oz Rolled Oats

Partial Mashing Check DeathBrewer's PM instructions for a great method if you're new to it
+Start heating 2 gallons of water to 160 degrees
+Let oven sit on "warm" for 5 minutes, then turn off oven
+Add grains to 2 gallons of water in strainer bag @ 160 degrees
+Cover pot and place in warmed (but NOT hot) oven for 60 mins to sustain temp
+At about 20 mins left, start heating an additional 1.75 gallons of water to 175 degrees but don't let it get higher than that
+When your 60 mins is up, remove pot from oven - my mash temp was 154 after checking but don't worry if your temp goes lower
+Pull out your grain bag and let it drip back into the pot. Let it drain as much as you can, but the bag will be heavy so watch out.
+Place the drained bag into your 1.75 gallons of 175 degree sparge water and dunk it in and out as much as you can - I did this for about 10 minutes - then let the bag drain out in a colander with a bowl under it. Also, I squeezed the bag in the colander to get all the best sugars out. I know some people advise against squeezing, but as long as you don't go insane with it, you won't extract tannins. Also, watch out cause the bag will be HOT
+Add all your sparge water to the initial 2 gallons and start heating to a boil
+Give the wort a quick taste, and it should be sweet. If the wort is minimally sweet or if it's starchy, your mash temps may have been too low

Begin Boiling - your original boil size should be around 3 gallons after grain absorption
+Add 3 LB of light wheat DME as it's heating up
+Should be at a rolling boil in about 25-30 mins
+Plan for a 60 minute boil

Now we're boiling
+Add 1.5 oz Saaz hops (3.3% AA) for 60 mins
+Add 0.5 oz Saaz hops (3.3% AA) for 45 mins
with 15 mins left in boil
+Add .5 LB of light wheat DME (if you want slightly lower OG + an ABV closer to commercial Hoegaarden, you can skip this DME addition)
+Add zest of 4 fresh valencia oranges (try not to get the white pith in there when zesting)
+Add 1/4 tsp of powdered coriander (many people suggest crushed coriander seeds, and usually around 1 oz of those if you want)

After 60 mins boil is over
+Make sure EVERYTHING is sanitized now!
+Cool wort in an ice bath (mine cooled to under 100 degrees in about 15 minutes after 2 ice baths)
+Place your strainer bag (from the mash) around the fermenter bucket to strain out the orange peel, hops, etc...
+Pour the cooled wort into the fermenter
+Lift the strainer bag out of the fermenter and let it drip back into the bucket but don't squeeze the bag cause your hands are filthy
+Top off the fermenter to 5 gallons with cold spring water - I like to top off with refrigerated spring water. A 2.5 gallon container will usually be enough to get you there
+Stir the 5 gallons well so the cold water mixes in good
+Grab a cup of wort for the OG sample (should be close to 1.054)

Pitch yeast
+When your wort gets to under 80 degrees it's safe to add the yeast
+Make sure the vial of WLP 400 is at room temp, or close to the wort's temp. You should dunk the vial in sanitizer, or spray it with sanitizer.
+Open the vial over your fermenter, and use caution because it will probably spray out a bit like a soda bottle.
+Stir vigorously for a few minutes to mix the yeast well and get oxygen whipped into the wort
+Add your fermenter's lid and use an airlock with sanitizer - CAUTION - many people recommend a blow off tube because WLP 400 can be a monster. I was okay with just an airlock, but you should have a blow off tube ready to go just in case

Primary for 15 days
+1st week temp around 66-70
+2nd week temp around 70-74 to ensure the yeast finishes up with a bang
+My airlock smelled amazingly good for the first few days, then it smelled pretty awful for the remaining time. Don't worry if it smells bad, all you airlock sniffers out there (me included)
+I took a hydrometer sample at 8 days and was at 1.014 - so everything went quickly for me, but some people report WLP 400 working very slow so give it a check after 1 week and see where you're at. If you're above 1.025 after 1 week you may have stuck fermentation.
+Also watch out for krausen that's thick, creamy, and VERY persistent. Don't be afraid to gently swirl or rock your fermenter to knock the krausen down and rouse the yeast back up.

Bottling
+Mix 5 oz priming sugar with 2.5 cups water - boil that for 5 minutes
+Add sugar water to bottling bucket
+Rack beer over that and add to sanitizes bottles, cap with sanitized caps

Tried a bottle after only 4 days
+About 80% carbed
+Nice 1 inch head
+Added orange slice
+Did I just make a frickin' Hoegaarden?


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Old 09-15-2011, 04:56 AM   #2
SouthernCross
 
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Jan 2009
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Great write-up! I too am partial to Hoegaarden. I think we'll brew your recipe here soon. And again, great attention to detail - even a beginner would be comfortable with your instructions, which is awesome. Much better than many kit instruction sheets...
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Bottled - Pumpkin Ale bottled and in T-A-D
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Old 09-15-2011, 12:06 PM   #3
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Jun 2011
Cleveland, OH
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Thank you Southern. I was going for attention to detail and simplicity. I feel if I saw instructions like this when I started, I would have avoided many obvious pitfalls.

If you try this, let me know how it turns out. I had an amazing beer 19 days after brew day.
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Old 09-16-2011, 02:09 AM   #4
lou2row
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Great name, and excellent recipe! This is going on my to do list. Thanks for sharing, my friend.
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Old 09-16-2011, 02:50 AM   #5
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Jun 2011
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Killer - thanks Lou! From NE Ohio to NW Ohio
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Old 09-21-2011, 07:34 PM   #6
MNDan
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Apr 2009
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I love a good wit recipe!

And just an FYI - that glass is nasty. Anytime you see bubbles on the side of your glass, it's dirty.

 
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Old 09-21-2011, 08:29 PM   #7
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Jun 2011
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Yeah, I'm guilty of not cleaning my glasses sometimes...

Bubbles on the side of glass is bad? Never heard that one before - what's that about? The beer still tasted amazing
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Old 10-04-2011, 04:20 AM   #8
BeachBeerBoobs
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May 2011
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Looks good. Do you have an AG recipe? Looking to do my first AG, would like to try a Wit.

 
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Old 10-04-2011, 12:06 PM   #9
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Jun 2011
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Thanks Beach - I don't have the equipment for AG (yet) but according to the equation that 1# of grain = .6# DME I'm guessing it would be something like

10# of Pale 2 Row (an additional 6# base malt here, to make up for the 3.5# of DME)
1.5# of white wheat malt
1.5# of biscuit
1# of rolled oats

Again, I've never done AG so you should run this through some beer software or see what the experts have to say on these forums. But good luck!
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Old 12-24-2011, 04:09 PM   #10
ido50
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Oct 2011
Tel Aviv, Israel
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Made this yesterday, pitched the yeast about 12 hours ago, and while there's a lot of activity inside, there's only a very thin krausen on top, but maybe it's too early yet.

Anyway, I have no idea how you managed to get that color, maybe it will clear up a bit but mine is as brown as all my wheat beers up to this point. This is my fifth brew (second mini-mash). I made a few changes, so my target OG was 1.049, and amazingly, and for the first time, I actually hit it exactly. I didn't use the same mashing method detailed here, instead I opted for the "American Adjunct Mash Procedure" as detailed in Randy Mosher's "Radical Brewing". Here's what I had:

1. 500 grams Pale Ale Malt, 150 grams Wheat Malt and 170 grams Quaker quick-cooking oats in 2.5 liters of water in a small pot.
2. 1000 grams Pale Ale Malt, 120 grams Amber Malt (Biscuit unavailable) in 4-5 liters of water in a bag in brew pot.

The smaller pot went through a series of temperature rises, starting at 50c, then around 65c, then a 15 minute boil, before adding to main pot, which was at 50c, raising it to 68c. Later on raised to 70, and then 75 before taking the bag out.

I then sparged in around 3-4 liters water at around 75c for 10 minutes, then dumped the grain. Boiled with LME and hops according to recipe above, but decided against boiling the spices, instead opting for Randy Mosher's suggestion of soaking the spices in vodka for a few weeks and adding to beer at bottling. I also added chamomile flowers which are common in witbiers.

Yeast pitched were rehydrated Safbrew WB-06, as liquid yeasts are not available in Israel.

My previous mini-mash was a high gravity wheat, I used a cooler for that one and had terrible efficiency (target 1.085, actual 1.075). I want to get into AG and thinking of BIAB, so this is definitely a +1 for BIAB.

 
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