Midnight Wit

February 21, 2013 at 8:07 pm

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.

Midnight Wit

Batch Size: 11 Gallons
Original Gravity: 1.052
Final Gravity: 1.011
ABV: 5.3%
IBU: 16.1
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.

Midnight Wit

Beer of the Year 2012: Unconventional Wit

December 26, 2012 at 7:24 pm

While Lionheart Brewing is still in its relative infancy, I plan on sticking around for a while.  With that being said I thought it would be fun to have some annual posts highlighting some of the best blog related material of that particular year.   The first thing that came to my mind was beer recipe of the year. This year it will be my favorite recipe nominated by me. Hopefully over the years as the site continues to grow this can evolve into a nomination and vote by the site’s readers.

With that being said my favorite beer of 2012 was Unconventional Wit, my take on a Belgian Wit with an American twist.  I would describe this beer as an imperial Wit brewed with traditional Belgian spices and a strong dose of American hops.  This beer is best when consumed fresh, pronounced wheat and citrus flavors are balanced nicely by the subtle Belgian yeast aromatics.  To read the full tasting notes for Unconventional Wit click here.

Unconventional Wit

Batch Size: 11 Gallons
Original Gravity: 1.065
Final Gravity: 1.014
ABV: 6.7%
IBU: 18.7
Color: 7.4 SRM
Boil Time: 75 Min

54.8% Pilsner Malt
37.6% Wheat Malt
3.6% Biscuit Malt
2.7% Caravienna Malt
1.3% Crystal 15

.25 Oz Columbus (12.8% AA) at 60 min
2 tsp Irish Moss at 15 min
1.25 Oz Chinook (11.8% AA) at 5 min
1.58 Oz Citra (13.4% AA) at 5 min
1 Oz Crushed Coriander at 5 min
.66 Oz Orange Peel, Bitter at 5 min
2 Oz Columbus (12.8% AA) at 1 min
.5 Oz Chinook (11.8% AA) at 0 min
.5 Oz Citra (13.4% AA) at 0 min
8 grams crushed black pepper whirlpool
2 Lemon Grass stalks finely chopped whirlpool

3 Liter starter of Belgian Abbey II (1726)

Mashed at 149 for 60 min raised to 165 for a 10 minute mash out.

Keg and serve fresh after a one week primary fermentation for the optimum taste.

3.4 L Starter of Wyeast 1762 Belgian Abbey Ale II

Unconventional Wit Spices

Unconventional Wit Tasting Notes

October 1, 2012 at 11:39 pm

Appearance: Golden Yellow. Massive white head, dissipates slowly leaving a subtle lacing lining the glass.

Smell: Lemon, orange, and pine scents accentuate the dominating aroma of crushed wheat.

Taste: Initial carb bite transitions nicely to a subtle sweetness. The sweetness melds into an in your face wheat flavored punch. This beer finishes with a medley of hop bitterness, notes of citrus, and pepper that quickly cuts through the wheat flavors leaving the palate with a clean crisp finish.

Mouthfeel: Highly carbonated, dry, grainy.

Drinkability & Notes: This is one of my favorite beers I have brewed to date. In my mind it strikes the perfect balance of the flavors I enjoy most in beers, those being citrus, wheat, and Belgian yeast aromatics.  I toned down the spice additions significantly in this recipe and the balance is evident, with no one spice outshining the other. This beer is best served young, I kegged after a one-week primary fermentation, and at two weeks the wheat flavors are already showing signs of fading.