No-Boil Belgian Wit

IMG_0739I really enjoyed the Quick and Easy Berliner Weiss – it was light, tart, almost champagne-like, and just an all around great summer beer. More so I was amazed that not boiling the beer resulted in what it did. I decided to repeat the this approach but for a belgian wit, and to ramp up the mash hops with something more citrusy, hoping that it would poke through a little the finished beer without having boiled. BIAB, 3 gallons should be around 1045 OG. No idea what the IBUs should be, but probably sub 10.

  • 4 lb Pils (Avengard)
  • 3 lb White Wheat (Breiss)
  • 0.1 lb Acid malt (Weyermann)
  • 0.75 oz Cascade (7% aa)
  • 0.5 oz Citra (11% aa)
  • WLP410 Belgian Wit II

// Mash-in 1.75 qt/lb to hit 148 for 45 minutes (add all hops into the mash, keep stirring the mash the whole time to ensure consistent temperature and that the hops are getting saturated with wort [they tend to float]), 158 for 5 minutes, finish at 168. Bring to a boil for about 1 minute, just to allow the hot break to happen. Added as much ice as possible, got down to 115. Put the pot in the fridge for about 4 hours, which brought it down to around 75, collected around 2.5 gallons of 1.046 wort but left about 1/2 gal of thick, almost yeast-like protein trub behind. Left in the basement to ferment around 64F. Brewed 5/17/15. //

// Water: 0.5 tsp each Gypsum and CaCl2 added to the mash. Added a little acid malt to help bring the pH down further to hopefully around 5.3 //

The hydrometer sample was full of coagulated proteins that fell to the bottom.

Good fermentation after 12 hours.

05/19/2015  Moved from the basement up to living room at 75F. Little bit of a sulfury aroma coming from the airlock.

5/21/2015  Gravity at 1014.  Really like where this beer is. Nice soft malt character, with just a little bit of phenol from the yeast. No hop character whatsoever, don’t think the mash hops did anything for the flavor/aroma at all. That’s OK though, I’m good with this being a yeast and light malt forward style. It’s just a little sweet, so I’ll let it ferment warmed for a few more days.

5/23/15  Moved the carboy to the fridge to crash down to 34F.  Made a tincture of the rind of 3/4 of a large orange, about 1/2 tsp fresh grated ginger, and about 1/3 cup filtered water. Muddled it with a spoon and set it in the fridge. basically just tried to get a nice balanced aroma of the orange and ginger, i think it smells really nice. Not sure if this little extract will be enough for all the beer, but i’ll just add some more of this later to the keg.

5/25/15  Racked to a keg and added the tincture. Can’t really taste any notable orange or ginger flavor after mixing it in, but i’ll give it a few days in the keg before reassessing. A little bit of an off aroma (similar sulphur thing) when i opened up the carboy lid, but hopefully this will fade.

THE VERDICT

This was a cool experiment on a few different fronts. First, the no-boil worked out great. It’s such a light, soft beer so the need for bitterness to round out sweetness is not really necessary. The carbonation does a pretty good job at providing the same effect, actually. However, after having a few of these over the span of a month, I started to wanted a little more bitterness / hop character to balance things out just a little more. The mash hops were non-existent in the finished beer, so adding something to a short boil might be a good idea. The beer has a tight white head that lasts a while and laces nicely on the glass (all that wheat!). Incredibly light yellow color.  The orange peel and ginger did come through very slightly, just to give it a fresh and spritsy finish… it works well, but multiplying this by 1.5 would be good to try.

 

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Filed under All-grain, Belgian, Experimental, Summer, Wheat beers

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