Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Indië Wit (India White Ale) Recipe

There are flavors that just naturally work together. It’s no real challenge to add sour cherries to a sour brown, or coffee to a porter (although it can take skill to get these combinations to really sing). However, there are other combinations that take work to make even palatable. Belgian IPA falls into that category for me. Too often the phenolic yeast and citrusy American hops clash, or one gets in the way of the other. Too much bitterness with a really low FG or so much hop aroma the yeast is lost completely. There are examples that prove it is possible (e.g., Anchorage Galaxy IPA, Selkirk Infidel), but it has never been a "style" that I go out of my way to sample.

Rather than take an IPA recipe and swap out the American/English strain for an abbey, I started with a standard wit with WY3711 French Saison (which worked previously) and blasted it with late-boil and dry hopping. I went with a blend of hops (Citra, Mosaic, and Simcoe) that I used previously in Simcoe & Sons Pale Ale, which was fermented with Conan. I allowed the wit to cool uncovered for about 40 minutes before adding the hop stand addition. The lower temperature is supposed to preserve some of the more volatile hop oils (and avoid additional IBUs), however I was underwhelmed with the hop character before dry hopping.

In addition to the character of the yeast, I counted on the subtle spicing with the classic duo of coriander and orange peel to bridge the gap from hops to yeast. Each contains compounds that are also derived from American hops (like citronellol and linalool). I prefer the Fruit Pebbles character of Indian coriander (as I’ve talked about previously), rather than the standard supermarket variety. Rather than fresh zest, I added sweet dried orange peel from Penzey’s in place of the pithy bitter Curaçao variety usually sold for brewing (and added to many classic Belgian wits).

I may have gone overboard with the mash acidification. As I refine my mini-cold-sparge process on my new brew house I’m struggling to figure out what mash pH to target. I add about 90% of my water at the start of the mash, so if I target ~5.2 pH as I would in a more conventional setup it requires much more acid (owing to the more dilute mash). The result is a noticeable acidity in this batch. It actually works well here thanks to the low bitterness and citrusy flavors, but would be a disaster in a pale lager or even an IPA.

Indië Wit Tasting

Appearance – One advantage of bottling beers that you intend to serve yeasty is that you can always roll to resuspend the correct amount of yeast. Stored cold in a keg and most strains drop out after a few weeks. When I went to take a photo for this batch yesterday there was less beer and more yeast in the keg than I realized before I rocked it; instead of a slightly milky haze, I got a glass full of trub… Take two is much prettier with 24 hours to settle. Could be whiter (if I’d used Pilsner malt), but the head is rocky and substantial.

Smell – Citrus and stone fruit. The hops, yeast, and spices play a three-part harmony. No sharp edges. The hops have mellowed a bit, allowing the “wit-iness” of the beer (doughy wheat and yeasty spice) to display a bit more prominently. When it was fresh the aroma was IPA-forward. Still fresh, but mellowed.

Taste – Bright. I wouldn’t even call it tart, but the acidity adds a quenching/refreshing quality that is near perfect on a 100F day like today. The American hops provide a mixture of apricot and grapefruit. Retro-olfactory is the most prominent spot for the coriander and orange peel. The French saison strain mostly stays out of the flavor, adding to the citrus and enhancing the general “Belgian” leaning balance. Bitterness is mild.

Mouthfeel – Medium bodied, the proteins from all that wheat add some heft as does the texture of the yeast. Firm carbonation, but it is not as spritzy as the style can be.

Drinkability & Notes – Wit is one of my favorite styles for augmentation because the base is mild without being too crisp or clean. Add this hoppy combination to the list of those that work. It is always a good sign that I’m surprised that a keg is about to run out (compared to the ones that end up feeling like I somehow squeezed 7 gallons into a 5 gallon Corny). Might have to brew another batch of wit before the summer is done!

Indië Wit Recipe

Recipe Specifics
Batch Size (Gal): 6.00
Total Grain (Lbs): 11.38
Anticipated OG: 1.050
Anticipated SRM: 3.6
Anticipated IBU: 18.2
Brewhouse Efficiency: 73 %
Wort Boil Time: 75 Minutes

48.4% 5.50 lbs. Rahr Pale Malt
26.4% 3.00 lbs. Great Western Flaked Wheat
22.0% 2.50 lbs. Great Western Wheat Malt America
3.3% 0.38 lbs. Weyermann Acidulated Malt

0.44 oz. Magnum (Pellet, 11.80% AA) @ 60 min.
1.00 oz. Citra (Pellet, 10.00% AA) @ Hop-stand
1.00 oz. Mosaic (Pellet, 10.00% AA) @ Hop-stand
1.00 oz. Simcoe (Pellet, 14.00% AA) @ Hop-stand
1.00 oz. Citra (Pellet, 10.00% AA) @ Dry Hop (Primary)
1.00 oz. Mosaic (Pellet, 10.00% AA) @ Dry Hop (Primary)
1.00 oz. Simcoe (Pellet, 14.00% AA) @ Dry Hop (Primary)

0.50 tsp Yeast Nutrient @ 15 min.
0.25 oz Indian Coriander @ 0 min.
6.50 gm Penzey's Orange Peel @ 0 min.

WYeast 3711 French Saison

Water Profile
Profile: Washington, DC

Mash Schedule
Sacch Rest - 60 min @ 158 F

Brewed 4/5/15

7 gallons of filtered DC water with 2.5 g of CaCl. .75 oz of Phosphoric acid. Measured pH 5.41.

1 gallon cold sparge with .25 oz of phosphoric acid. Collected 6.75 gallons of 1.044 runnings.

Let settle for 40 minutes with .25 oz each Penzey's Orange Peel and Indian coriander (coarse ground).

Added 1 oz each Citra, Mosaic, and Simcoe to steep for 20 minutes.

Ran off 5.5 gallons @ 66F and pitched remains from a one gallon saison experiment. Left at 65F ambient to ferment.

4/9/15 Dry hopped with 1 oz each Citra, Mosaic, and Simcoe. Allowed to warm to 70F to complete fermentation.

4/19/15 Kegged, force carbonation.

6/23/15 Tasting notes (above).


Unknown said...

Why the cold sparge?

tdxdave said...

I use sweet orange peel from the homebrew store for my orange chocolate stout. I use about 2 ounces of that.

Is there a conversion to the orange peel you are using?

The Mad Fermentationist (Mike) said...

Cold sparge is easy (no need for an HLT) and boosts efficiency (compared to no-sparge). It has the added benefit of cooling the grain bed, so it's easier to empty during the boil. Kai did a test and only lost about 1% efficiency with a cold sparge compared to a hot one.

No idea on an exact flavor conversion of various sweet orange peels, should be similar, just depends on freshness. "To taste" is always the best advice.

Alex said...

Did you include any BUs for the hopstand?

The 18.2 IBUS might amount for the 60m addition, but certainly not the 3oz hopstand.

The Mad Fermentationist (Mike) said...

The wort naturally colled to ~175F before I added the hop-stand addition. Not much isomerization will happen below that temperature. I actually don't find I extract a huge amount of bitterness even adding hops at flame-out on the homebrew scale (commercial is another story).

Unknown said...

My roommate and I brewed a variation of this recipe. We had to substitute more citra and simcoe for the mosaic as we did not have it available. We also went with just a citra and simcoe dry hop for the same reason. Finally, we used a Belle Saison dry yeast instead of the 3711.

I'm very happy with the results. It started a little funky in the keg, but mellowed out into a wonderful hoppy belgian. In my case, the hops were not at all as in your face as some white IPAs I've tasted. Whatever we did, I would compare the finished product with a pretty balanced hoppy belgian more than a white IPA.

Very enjoyable. I'm going to add it to the "would brew again" category.

The Mad Fermentationist (Mike) said...

Glad to hear! My one experience with Blee Saison was not positive, too much clove for my tastes.

Unknown said...

This recipe won me a gold medal in my local homebrew competition. Cheers!

The Mad Fermentationist (Mike) said...

Congrats! What did you enter it as? Specialty? White IPA?

Unknown said...

Thank you! I entered it as a Specialty IPA: White IPA.

Raymond Geraads said...

Did you add the coriander and orange peel at flame out for 40 minutes and thereafter another hop stand for 20 minutes at 175 fahrenheit? Assuming the temperature dropped from 212 to 175 in 40 minutes on a natural way?

The Mad Fermentationist (Mike) said...

This was a split batch, so I added the spices and let it sit before running out the first beer. Then added the hops and let them steep and ran out the second. Correct, no forced chilling until after the hops. If you were doing it as a single batch, you might force to 185F, then add the hops and spices for a 20 minute steep. Best of luck!

Unknown said...

I've brewed this a few different times with a few different fermentation temp schedules. With the 3711 and this recipe, I've found I prefer the results with a hotter fermentation from start to finish.

I attempted to brew this again last weekend, but forgot the flaked wheat on the scale at my LHBS. I brewed it anyway and cut down the batch size. Hopefully it's not too thin, but I don't know what to expect.

The Mad Fermentationist (Mike) said...

I'm sure it'll be fine! 3711 tends to produce a pleasant body despite the high attenuation (thanks to glycerol).

Anonymous said...

Was there a reason you waited two months before tasting it?

Unknown said...

Why did you use acidulated malt?

The Mad Fermentationist (Mike) said...

The delayed tasting was just out of laziness, the beer was delicious when young!

The acid malt was just for mash pH correction. I go back and forth between it and phosphoric acid. Both work well.