Problems with OG and Color on Wit

Homebrew Talk - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Forum

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

cdanprice

Active Member
Joined
Feb 27, 2008
Messages
40
Reaction score
0
I brewed a belgian wit this weekend and noticed two problems right off the bat. Here's my recipe:

6.6 lbs. Northwestern wiess LME
.75 oz mt. hood (60 min)
0.2 oz cascade (10 min)
0.8 oz crushed coriander (10 min)
2 oz fresh orange peel (grated) (10 min)
White Labs 400 Belgian Wit yeast

1. I know with LME I can expect to get a darker color than one might hope, but this stuff is DARK. Even in the hydrometer tube it was difficult to see through. It was darker than most ambers I've had. Is this a product of the type of LME I used? I added all of the extract at the beginning of the boil, will holding some of it off really help the color that much? I've been told that boiling all of the extract for the hour produces a better tasting beer than holding some extract for the end, but I'm not sure it matters that much. Is there anything else I can do to get a lighter color?

2. My OG was much lower than expected. I corrected for temperature, and still got an OG of 1.035. Is this typical for this type of beer? I topped off to exactly 5 gallons, so it shouldn't be too diluted. One possible explanation is that I didn't use a grain bag for the orange or corriander, so there was a thick sludge mixed in with the trub in the bottom of the brew pot. So, I left about 1/2 inch of sludge in the bottom of the pot. Could that have contributed THAT much to the low OG?
 

ohiobrewtus

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 1, 2006
Messages
7,762
Reaction score
73
Location
Ohio
You may want to think about waiting until the last 15 minutes to add your LME next time. That should help lighten the color. I couldn't find a Lovibond rating on the LME that you listed, but it could have been too dark for use in a Wit.

Any absorption by the orange peel and corriander would have been minimal and would not have impacted your OG.

How much wort did you have before you topped off with water? Did you thoroughly mix the wort after you added the water and take a sample after you mixed it?

It sounds to me like you could have added the water then taken a sample that was not mixed properly. 6.6 lbs of LME in a 5 gallon batch should yield about a 1.045 wort.
 
OP
C

cdanprice

Active Member
Joined
Feb 27, 2008
Messages
40
Reaction score
0
I'm pretty sure I mixed it all before I took the sample. I may not have though. I rocked the fermenter for about 5 minutes for aeration, but I'm not sure if I took the sample before or after that.

I wasn't worried about the orange absorbing the wort, I was worried about the wort that was left in the bottom with the rest of the sludge. As I said, it was only a 1/2 inch or so, but I didn't know if that would be a significant amount.
 

malkore

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 15, 2007
Messages
6,924
Reaction score
53
Location
Nebraska
5 mins of rocking = not mixed enough. you literally need to vigorously stir the wort, with a lifting/stirring motion, for 10 minutes to get an even mixture.

when i brewed extract kits, I just used the recipe's OG. unless you screw up the amount of top off water, you cannot miss the OG on an established extract recipe.

dark beer is why i switched to AG and full boils.
 
OP
C

cdanprice

Active Member
Joined
Feb 27, 2008
Messages
40
Reaction score
0
I cannot stir because I have nothing that will fit in the carboy. When I say I rocked, I mean I shook the crap out of that thing. I rocked it back and forth as fast as I could; enough to form several inches of thick foam. I had to plug the top to keep wort from splashing out. I would definitely classify my aeration/shaking as vigorous.
 
Top