This beer was designed with the upcoming "Summer Session Beer" competition in mind. The format of the competition is that it is run at club level first where the top three beers are selected and sent forward to the finals. The competition is not BJCP based but instead must conform to the following theme:
Summer Session Beers of <4%, The beer should reflect the following - Summer in a glass. Light, refreshing, medium body, thirst quenching, balanced beer of low ABV (a lawnmower beer)
The ability of a brewer to formulate a balanced beer with sufficient body below 4% ABV is the real challenge and also prevents people from chucking in any beer that they simply had lying around the house. I had originally planned to brew a Belgian IPA and this competition gave me that opportunity. I felt that going down the IPA route was a bit much for something that is supposed to be a lawnmower beer so I went for a lighter style that suited the 3944 yeast strain I already had in my yeast bank. The Witbier strain will impart fruity flavours into the beer as a summer fermentation without temperature control will see it go to the limit of its recommended temperature range. I already had a slant of this yeast but I didn't want to use the entire slant so I took a small sample from my newly constructed inoculation loop.
|Sterilising the loop before taking a sample|
Unfortunately this yeast is a good attenuator resulting in a generally dry beer so the mashing temperature was increased to ensure that some residual sugars are left behind. I also included flaked oats and torrified wheat in the recipe to increase the perceived body in the beer, wits are generally cloudy so I'm not too worried about using too much wheat.
While browsing on my local brewing supply website I noticed that they had just got in stock of a New Zealand hop known as Wai-iti which has very prominent citrus fruit flavour profile. The citrus flavours will blend with the fruity esters produced by the yeast to produce a flavour similar to a fruit juice. I have used Hallertau Mittelfruh hops whose spicy, floral and hay-like flavours/aroma should counteract the excessive fruitiness from the NZ hops. Given the low alcohol and flavour in the beer I was extra careful with mash temperatures and PH to ensure the beer was as well rounded as possible before the boil. I added some Chloride and Epsom Salts along with lactic acid to add some minerals to my water which is very soft while lowering the PH into the appropriate range (5.4 to 5.6).
|Measuring out water additions|
I did a short protein rest for 20 minutes at 50 degrees C to reduce chill haze slightly and then ramped up to 70 degrees C for 40 minutes to try and maintain as much body as possible in the beer. There were almost 200g of hops used in this recipe with the majority of them towards the end of the boil to maximise the contributions towards flavour and aroma. The orange peel and coriander will only contribute to the fruitiness of this beer.
|Chilling the muddy looking beer|
Despite the murky looking beer in the previous image, the beer which flowed into the fermenter was very clear as the huge pile of hops served as quite a good filter. The OG of the beer was 1.035 which should result in a beer of approximately 3.5 to 4% depending on how far it attenuates. Once the initial fermentation has died down another 20g of hops will be added for dry hopping.
BeerSmith 2 Recipe Printout - http://www.beersmith.com Recipe: Wai-iti België Ale Brewer: Shane Phelan Asst Brewer: Style: Witbier TYPE: All Grain Taste: (30.0) Recipe Specifications -------------------------- Boil Size: 26.21 l Post Boil Volume: 22.71 l Batch Size (fermenter): 19.00 l Bottling Volume: 17.00 l Estimated OG: 1.039 SG Estimated Color: 8.1 EBC Estimated IBU: 22.1 IBUs Brewhouse Efficiency: 65.00 % Est Mash Efficiency: 74.7 % Boil Time: 60 Minutes Ingredients: ------------ Amt Name Type # %/IBU 30.00 l Ballymore Eustace (South Dublin) Water 1 - 4.00 g Calcium Chloride (Mash 60.0 mins) Water Agent 2 - 4.00 g Epsom Salt (MgSO4) (Mash 60.0 mins) Water Agent 3 - 4.00 ml Lactic Acid (Mash 60.0 mins) Water Agent 4 - 2000.00 g Pilsner (2 Row) UK (2.0 EBC) Grain 5 52.6 % 500.00 g Oats, Flaked (2.0 EBC) Grain 6 13.2 % 500.00 g Pale Malt, Maris Otter (5.9 EBC) Grain 7 13.2 % 500.00 g Wheat, Torrified (3.3 EBC) Grain 8 13.2 % 300.00 g Amber Malt (43.3 EBC) Grain 9 7.9 % 25.00 g Hallertauer Mittelfrueh [2.00 %] - Boil Hop 10 6.1 IBUs 20.00 g Wai-iti [4.00 %] - Boil 30.0 min Hop 11 7.6 IBUs 1.00 tsp Irish Moss (Boil 10.0 mins) Fining 12 - 30.00 g Wai-iti [4.00 %] - Boil 10.0 min Hop 13 5.3 IBUs 35.00 g Hallertauer Mittelfrueh [2.00 %] - Boil Hop 14 1.7 IBUs 20.00 g Coriander Seed (Boil 5.0 mins) Spice 15 - 40.00 g Hallertauer Mittelfrueh [2.00 %] - Boil Hop 16 1.3 IBUs 20.00 g Wai-iti [4.00 %] - Boil 0.0 min Hop 17 0.0 IBUs 20.00 g Orange Peel, Bitter (Boil 0.0 mins) Spice 18 - 10.00 Items Black Pepper (Boil 0.0 mins) Spice 19 - 1.0 pkg Belgian Witbier (Wyeast #3944) [124.21 m Yeast 20 - 1.00 tsp Yeast Nutrient (Primary 3.0 days) Other 21 - 20.00 g Wai-iti [4.00 %] - Dry Hop 7.0 Days Hop 22 0.0 IBUs Mash Schedule: Single Infusion, Light Body, No Mash Out Total Grain Weight: 3800.00 g ---------------------------- Name Description Step Temperat Step Time Protein Rest Add 12.00 l of water at 54.1 C 50.0 C 20 min Saccrification Re Add 8.00 l of water and heat to 70.0 C 70.0 C 40 min Mash Out Add 6.00 l of water and heat to 77.0 C 77.0 C 10 min Sparge: Fly sparge with 6.52 l water at 75.6 C Notes: ------ Hallertauer Mittelfrueh adjusted to 2% to take into account age (2 years approx). Wai-iti adjusted to 4% to take into account age (1 year approx). Mash in with 10L of water at 56C for protein rest at 50C and hold for 20 minutes. Raise temperature to 70C(158F) with 8L of boiling water and hold for 40 minutes. Mash out with 7.5L of boiling water to reach 77C(171F) and hold for 10 minutes. Sparge with 8L of water at 77C(171F) Created with BeerSmith 2 - http://www.beersmith.com -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------