Witbier ingredients questions

Grains, malts, hops, yeast, water and other ingredients used to brew. Recipe reviews and suggestions.

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Witbier ingredients questions

Postby john_galt » Fri Feb 25, 2005 6:15 pm

-what is the theory of "when" spices are supposed to be added to the mix?
--I normally add them with about 10-15 minutes left in boil.....and then a little more maybe for a short steep.
--How about kaffir lime leaves? Anybody ever experiment? I tried once.....Not quite sure how much to add to increase the complexity, but not make it too noticeable? ANY suggestions will be helpful.
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spices

Postby Phobos » Tue Mar 01, 2005 8:43 pm

Here is an excerpt from Brewing Techniques on Witbier spicing. Hope it helps.

Spices. One of the most difficult things to do in the Wit style is to get the spicing right. A Wit with no spices is no Wit at all, but one in which the spices (especially sweet orange) are overdone tastes cloying and heavy, lacking the deft touch that's a primary characteristic of the style. Especially when brewing commercial-sized batches, it is a good idea to start with a smaller scale prototype batch, keeping in mind that spice scaling is decidedly nonlinear. In scaling up it would be wise to err on the side of caution and have a batch that's at least salable, if not as assertive as desired.

It is possible to do some postboil correction for wimpy spicing by soaking the material in an unflavored vodka to make what Randy Mosher refers to as "potions." In his outstanding new book (5), Mosher suggests using a liqueur to provide the citrus flavors, but my own experiments along those lines have been unrewarding, the liqueur providing too much residual sweetness without the firm bitterness of the dried peel. When adding the bitter orange in the kettle, however, the use of liqueurs would be an excellent way to add sweet orange flavor.

Two entirely different types of orange are used by the traditional producers of this style, one of which has been much harder to get than the other. The sweet orange, available as dried peelings, appears to be little, if any, different from the standard grocery store orange. The bitter, or Curacao orange, is grown in Spain, Italy, and North Africa, and although well known in Europe has been very difficult to find in North America. This situation has begun to change, however; some brewing suppliers now import it from Belgium. If you locate some of it, don't be put off by its appearance; it has a grayish, putty-like color, looking not at all like it came from an orange. Another promising possibility is a domestic bitter orange that a spice dealer mentioned to me. Apparently, it is primarily used for making marmalade, and I have yet to taste a batch of beer made with it. A good starting point for bitter orange is around 0.75 oz in a 5-gal batch (and no more than 4.5 oz/bbl in larger volumes), perhaps a little more for the sweet.

The other traditional spice is coriander, which should be ground freshly before use. A good starting point for this spice is also 0.75 oz in a 5-gal batch. You will develop your own "trademark" Wit flavor by balancing these three spices.

You may want to experiment with some other spices as well, preferably at levels so far in the background that the spice can't be individually identified. Good candidates include cumin, cardamom, anise, and black pepper. All spices should be added at the knockout of the boil or in the last 15 min before knockout to try to retain as many of the aromatics as possible.

:D
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Spices

Postby Phobos » Tue Mar 01, 2005 8:46 pm

Here is the website for brewing techniques if interested.

http://www.brewingtechniques.com/
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Postby john_galt » Tue Mar 01, 2005 11:33 pm

thanks very much.......i am curious.......i have brewed 4 different wits over the years, but I believe I finally have the perfect recipe pin-pointed.
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