A Succesful Brewing Weekend

This weekend I homebrewed on both Saturday and Sunday. I’m working on a recipe for a Wit beer and I figured this would be a good time to push my brewing boundraries a little. The two beers both used the same grain bill, and some base spices, but I changed some variables to come up with what should be two very distinctive beers.

The grain bill for both is as follows:

  • 6.55 lbs. Great Western 2 row malt
  • 2.95 lbs. Briess white wheat malt
  • 1.1 lbs. flaked wheat mailt

A fairly simple grist that gave me 1.050 OG at 70% effeciency. The grains were mashed at 150F for 60 minutes and then batch sparged to obtain 6.5 gallons of water. When it boiled it left me with 5.75 gallons of wort. This ended up with about 5.25 gallons in the carboy. The wort was oxyginated with pure O2 through an oxygen stone prior to pitching the yeast. I wanted to ferment at 68F, however it has been cold lately and my fermentation chamber only cools at the moment, not heats. So the fermentation has been going at 63F for the last couple of days. The fermentation has been vigourous, so the only likely problems I may face are low phenol and ester production from the Belgian yeasts that I used.

Batch 1 used .5 ounces of German Tradition hops for the full 60 minutes of the boil. At 15 minutes I added my yeast nutrient and Supermoss. At 10 minutes remaining I added .5 ounces of Czech saaz hops. Also at that time I added .4 ounces of coriander, 1 ounce of bitter orange peel, and 2 grams of Paradise seed. The spices were ground in a coffee grinder prior to adding them to the boil. I pitched Wyeast Belgian Wit yeast that had been prepared in a 1L starter.

Batch 2 is where I got a little more experimental. At the start of the boil I added 1 ounce of Heather tips to serve as bittering. At 15 minutes remaning I added my normal yeast nutrient and Supermoss. At 10 minutes left in the boil I added .5 ounces of Czech Saaz hops .4 ounces of corriander, 1 ounce of bitter orange peel (both ground prior to adding to the boil), and 1 ounce of Heather tips. The wort had a distinct floral tea aroma to it. I pitched Wyeast Belgian Wheat yeast in this one that had been prepared in a 1L starter.

Both had fermentation that started showing strong fermentation signs after about 6 hours. After a couple of weeks these beers will be kegged and I’ll get some people together for a sensory evaluation so we can pick out a winner!