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Belgian Wit

Posted by Ron Goodhew, August 27th, 2011 | 0 Comments

3 years ago I tried my first Richards White, initially I didn't like it but over time I have developed a taste for it.  This wheat beer with orange and corriander has now become a staple in my bar fridge.  Step by step I will walk you through the brewing process, the end result is amazing.

This recipe is straight forward, I steeped the wheat and oats for 25 minutes and then added the corriander and orange peel.  I activated the 3944 Belgian Wit liquid yeast and  will add it to the primary 3 hours from now.  Using a hop sock I poured the liquid into a primary filled with ice, this shock cooling releases enzymes which will improve the flavour.  If you are doing this alone use a couple of binder clips to hold the hop sock to the handle on the primary.  I tied a knot in the hop sock and will allow it to float in the primary until I add the liquid yeast.

 I removed the hop sock from the primary and sprinkled the liquid yeast on the surface.  Inital Specific Gravity (SG) was 1.050.  To maintain a consistent temperature I use a heat belt on both the primary and Italian glass carboy.  The regular temperature would be 72F / 22C so the time to make beer would be twice as long.

Day 1 - the SG is at 1.03, the temperature is 84F / 29C.  The head is over 2 inches thick.  To read the SG insert your hydrometer into a wine thief. lower the thief into your primary, as you raise it out of the beer the trip valve holds the beer so you can get your reading.  When you are ready touch the valve to the side of the primary and your beer is released.


  Day 2 - the SG is 1.025, the temperature is starting to drop to 81F / 27C.  The head has reduced a little bit.




Day 4 - the SG is 1.015, the temperature has dropped to 75F / 24C.  I am going to rack to the carboy now so I have sanitized the authosyphon and Italian glass carboy.  I have topped up the carboy with a little bit of water.  Added the heat belt to the Italian carboy and stuck a stick on thermometer to the outside of the glass carboy.



Day 5 - the temperature is 75F / 24C, an amazing amount of head in the carboy.  You can see how high it was initially by the orange ring almost to the top of the carboy.  It now is about an inch thick. 



Day 6 - the temperature continues to rise now at 77F / 25C.  I cleaned the inside of the carboy with a carboy brush just for the pictures, this would not be necessary on a regular basis.



Day 7 - the temperature has risen to 79F / 26C.  The SG is 1.015.  The final SG is 1.009 - 1.016, the lower SG the higher the alchol level.  I will not finish the beer until there is no surface activity.



Day 8 - the temperature remains high at 79F / 26C.




Day 22 - the SG is 1.012 which is within the finishing SG of 1.009 - 1.016 the temperature has been at 73F / 23C for the last week.  The release of CO2 continues, there are bubbles continueing to appear along the edge of the carboy.  I will wait until there is no activity



Day 28 - the SG is 1.008 which is now below the finishing SG, the temperature is 77F / 25C.  You will notice a lot of surface activity so fermentation continues.  Other beers that I started at the same time are already in the bottle.  This one is taking a little longer so will watch it over the next week.  I want to see no suface activity. Projected alohol level is inital SG of 1.050 minus final SG of 1.008 = .042 divided by 7.36 = 5.7%.



Day 36 - there is no surface activity but their are still bubbles along the rim.  I always wait until I see no activity.  Predicting that 3 days from now I will rack off the sediment preparing to bottle next weekend.  My bottle of choice is the 500ml glass bottles that are exclusive to The Home Vintner.  I will stop into the store and pick up 4 dozen as I expect to make 45 bottles.  As I am working in my beer room today I am enjoying a Belgian Wit that I made this spring - indeed it is a joy!

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