As the doldrums of winter press on in the Northeast and I start to dream of the days when it will be warm enough to brew again, I thought I would crack into my recipe vault in search of some spring time seasonals for those of you lucky enough to either brew inside or live somewhere nice and warm. Over the past two years or so dark versions of the popular beer styles have gained increased popularity especially the Black or Cascadian IPA and more recently the Black Lager. Midnight Wit is my take on this concept, with the key to the recipe being the use of Weyermann’s Dehusked Carafa II during the last 10 minutes of the mash to get you the dark black color without any roasty astringent flavors. Such flavors would clash with the fresh citrus and Belgian yeast aromatics that come to define the style.
As my memory serves this beer was extremely enjoyable and very close in flavor profile to a Hoegaarden minus the color of course. It was while drinking this beer that I for the first time realized the effect color can have on perceived notion of taste and mouthfeel. The light bodied wit beer appeared to taste heavy on the first sip, only after taking a few additional sips did I realize that it was in fact light and dry, and that the dark color had left my mind expecting a heavier fuller beer. Nonetheless for those of you lucky enough to be brewing in preparation for spring I would encourage you to consider this recipe for a unique twist on a classic seasonal favorite.
Batch Size: 11 Gallons
Original Gravity: 1.052
Final Gravity: 1.011
Color: 19.3 SRM
Boil Time: 60 Min
30.6% American 2-Row
30.6% Belgian Pilsner
28.5% Wheat Malt
5.1% Carafa II (Added during the last 10 minutes of mash)
2.6% Flaked Oats
2.6% Flaked Wheat
2 Oz Hallertaur Mittelfrueh (4% AA) at 60 min
1 Tbsp Irish Moss at 15 min
2 Oz Styrian Goldings (2.6% AA) at 5 min
.75 Oz Orange Peel, Bitter at 5 min
2 Oz Coriander Seed at 5 min
3 L Starter of Wyeast 3944 Belgian Witbier
Mash at 150 for 60 minutes raise to 168 for a 10 minute mashout.