help with belgian wit plans

HomeBrewTalk.com - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Community.

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

BK_856er

Active Member
Joined
Feb 15, 2012
Messages
29
Reaction score
0
Location
SF Bay Area
I have a partial mash belgian wit on deck for tomorrow. Hoping someone can offer some advice on the following:

Yeast. 1.4L starter with White Labs WLP400 on the stir plate for 15hrs so far. Foam stopper. If I chill in the fridge after about 8 more hrs, will this strain of yeast settle out so I can decant, or should I just pitch the entire contents tomorrow late afternoon?

Corriander seed. Briefly grind it up in a clean blade type coffee bean grinder dedicated to spices?

Dried bitter orange peel pieces. Add to the boil as-is, or process some way?

Thanks.

BK
 

smagee

Most impressive "member"
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Mar 1, 2011
Messages
922
Reaction score
14
Location
San Jose
I think I'd pitch the entire starter, myself. Decanting might yield some benefit, but I don't think you'd lose enough starter liquid to really make it worth losing some valuable yeast slurry.

Coriander: Whenever I use this in a wit, I put it in a bag and crack the seeds by rolling an empty 22oz bottle over them. I roll as many times as I feel necessary (depending on hardness of the seeds and how unpleasant my day has been) and then just toss them in. That said, I don't think you'll have any problem using a grinder either.

For orange peel, I open the baggie and toss them in. If nothing else, I feel that leaving them whole allows you more control over the flavor extraction, but given the small amount you use, it may be a moot point.
 

sweetcell

Protruding Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Jan 15, 2012
Messages
5,542
Reaction score
1,305
Location
North Bend, WA
I have a partial mash belgian wit on deck for tomorrow. Hoping someone can offer some advice on the following:

Yeast. 1.4L starter with White Labs WLP400 on the stir plate for 15hrs so far. Foam stopper. If I chill in the fridge after about 8 more hrs, will this strain of yeast settle out so I can decant, or should I just pitch the entire contents tomorrow late afternoon?

Corriander seed. Briefly grind it up in a clean blade type coffee bean grinder dedicated to spices?

Dried bitter orange peel pieces. Add to the boil as-is, or process some way?

Thanks.

BK
i would chill for 8 hours and decant. it won't be perfect, but even decanting just a bit (i.e. conservatively) will cut down on the amount of crap you're throwing in your brew. 8 hours in the fridge will do a lot to separate slurry from spent wort.

do not grind your coriander in a bean grinder! you'll end up, partially, with coriander powder. you'll get more (too much?) flavor extraction from that fine a grinding and it will all end up in primary (vs. a coarser crush, which you can easily filter out before transfer to primary fermenter). i break the coriander with a rolling pin with light pressure - just enough to crack the seeds open - by placing them between 2 sheets of paper, or 2 paper towels, etc. the goal is just to open up the seeds, the idea crush breaks each seed open and in half but without separating the seeds into 2 parts. that's not going to happen, seeds will split, but outlines what you should be aiming for.

dried bitter orange peel: add to the boil as-is, last 5 mins. filter out before/during transfer, do not include any in primary.
 

pwortiz

Strong Hand Brewing Co.
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Jul 27, 2011
Messages
490
Reaction score
67
Location
Towaco
I'll actually be doing the same thing this week. For coriander I use a mortar and pestle. As for the starter, I'm trying to find some good advise as my first starter was really weird (this past week) and I hope it actually comes out right. Especially as my yeast is 1 week past use by date. My LHBS dude just gave it to me and said if I made a starter I'd be fine. Hope it's true!

I also just toss in my orange peel the same as smagee said.
 
OP
B

BK_856er

Active Member
Joined
Feb 15, 2012
Messages
29
Reaction score
0
Location
SF Bay Area
Thanks for the input, guys. My preference was to chill/decant the starter, but reading that WLP400 is "non flocculant" had me wondering how well it would settle overnight. I'll try and see.

The guy at my LHBS suggested that I use a clean coffee grinder on the coriander seed and try for a coarse grind. I do see how too fine a grind could lead to trouble. 1oz boiled in the last 10min of a 5gal batch seems pretty routine in terms of quantity. Cracking seems like a safer and more common method.

Can I expect the boiled spices to end up in the bottom of the BK with the rest of the junk? I don't usually filter - just whirlpool and drain cooled wort slowly through the BK ball valve and into the primary.

BK
 

pwortiz

Strong Hand Brewing Co.
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Jul 27, 2011
Messages
490
Reaction score
67
Location
Towaco
I have a colander that I generally use; if you don't catch most of it in the bottom of your pot, you'll be fine when you rack to secondary and don't disturb it. I used to worry about that a lot but my LHBS guy told me it's all just proteins that will settle out and not be a prob. I've got my starter of WLP400 going right now (glad to see some action on it!) and didn't know there might be an issue with it settling out. Let me know what you find out!
 
OP
B

BK_856er

Active Member
Joined
Feb 15, 2012
Messages
29
Reaction score
0
Location
SF Bay Area
Wow - long brewing day! This was also my first partial mash with a new cooler.

I let my stirred 1.4L starter go for 24hrs at ~70F, chilled in the fridge overnight, and warmed up about 4hrs. Some yeast settled, but the solution remained cloudy. I ended up decanting about half of the solution and swirled/pitched the rest. Started with DME at 1.03, stuff I decanted was 1.01. With continuous stirring it can be hard to tell if anything has happened....

Decided to use the large beer bottle roller trick for the coriander seeds. Seemed to work great. The bag said 1oz, but wow that looked like a lot of material. I think I need to invest in a digital scale to verify these things.

I whirlpooled/settled and drained super slow. Lots of trub in the BK. Left about 1gallon liquid behind. I usually drain more out, but I wanted to be careful about drawing off spices - ended up with 4.5gallons in the primary and very few solids. Nice oil slick on the top of the primary.

So far, so good...

BK
 
OP
B

BK_856er

Active Member
Joined
Feb 15, 2012
Messages
29
Reaction score
0
Location
SF Bay Area
Update on the fermentation....

Pitched my starter at 6:30pm into 71F wort. Airlock activity when I checked at 9:30pm. At 1:30am there is a nice thick krausen. Internal ferm temp is controlled at 71F. Might need a blowoff tube on this one.

BK
 

pwortiz

Strong Hand Brewing Co.
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Jul 27, 2011
Messages
490
Reaction score
67
Location
Towaco
Thanks for updating on the starter status. Mine had a pretty big head on it this morning...and when I just came home from lunch it was even bigger. So, at least I know it's viable. I only had a 1000ml starter so I'll just chill and probably pitch the whole thing assuming i have the same cloudy issue.
 
OP
B

BK_856er

Active Member
Joined
Feb 15, 2012
Messages
29
Reaction score
0
Location
SF Bay Area
I read here that WLP400 benefits from being "roused" about once a day after the initial fermentation activity subsides. I did just that 3 days after pitching, and sure enough things took off again...

BK

 

drawdy10

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 27, 2011
Messages
363
Reaction score
21
Location
brookings
Very nice ferment temp monitoring system! I'd like to get to that level of accuracy at some point but the fermometors on the side of the bottle will have to do for now.
 
OP
B

BK_856er

Active Member
Joined
Feb 15, 2012
Messages
29
Reaction score
0
Location
SF Bay Area
Very nice ferment temp monitoring system! I'd like to get to that level of accuracy at some point but the fermometors on the side of the bottle will have to do for now.
Thanks. I'm using a thermowell/Johnson controller/fermwrap to control fermentation temp. The handheld meter is for verification. It has two super slim probes, one I snake down the thermowell alongside the Johnson sensor and one just measures ambient temp. I don't yet have a solution in place for the warmer weather when I'll need to cool the carboy!

BK
 
Top