Batch #18: Witbier II

So this is attempt number two for the witbier style and coming out of the brew day I was very optimistic. I implemented a few controlled changes to my previous recipe, and the wort tasted amazing!

However, my optimism turned to disappointment a few days after my brew day when I learned that my temperature controller (a.k.a modified chest freezer) stopped cooling!! This was a problem because the yeast I pitched – Wyeast Forbidden Fruit – is well known for producing great clove-like phenols (technically, 4-vinyl guaicol) when fermented at optimum temperatures. The problem being that with a hot fermentation, these flavors can be overpowering, which is my one-word summary for this beer – “overpowering.”

Witbier II

Brew date: Fall 2014 (exact date unknown)
Boil Time: 60 min
Batch Size: 5 gal
Estimated OG: 1.052
Conversion Efficiency: Unknown
Estimated FG: 1.0135
Estimated ABV: 5.04%

Fermentables (% of GUs contributed):

50% 2-Row (5.556 lbs.)
30% Flaked Wheat (3.429 lbs.)
20% Malted White Wheat (2 lbs)


1 oz. – Hallertauer – pellet, AA: 4.5% (60 min)

Finings & Other Ingredients:

1 oz. Fresh Cracked Coriander (10 min)
2 oz. Sweet Orange Peel (10 min)
1 oz. Tangerine Peel (10 min)


Wyeast 3463 Forbidden Fruit washed from batch #16


Perform a multi-step infusion mash, with stops at 124ºF for a 15 minute protein rest – at 0.4 gal/lb mash thickness – then 145ºF for a 30 minute low-temp sacch rest, 154ºF for a 15 minute high-temperature sacch rest, then raise mash temperature to 169ºF for mash-out. Lauter and then sparge with the remaining water to collect about 6 gallons of wort. Boil for 60 minutes. Cool and pitch yeast and ferment at optimum temperature (72ºF, but mine was unintentionally higher) for two to four weeks.  Bottle or keg condition, and enjoy while fresh.

Taste Notes

Aroma – Strong sweet-clove aromas, with a quite a bit of citrus. A slight funky aroma, reminiscent of a brett sourness.

Appearance – Beautiful deep orange , with a nice haze. The flaked wheat substitution and modified mash schedule went a long way to improve the has character of the beer. I properly carbonated this beer, so the head formation was much improved, with a steady stream of off-gassing bubbles.

Flavor – Sweet and spicy. The double coriander is very prevalent. Needs to be balanced better. Powerful off-flavors from high fermentation flavors. Seems as if it has been slightly soured. I’mot sure if that’s a result of the phenols, or if there is a minor infection from washing the yeast from batch #16.

Mouthfeel – Full mouthfeel! Big improvement over batch #16. I will certainly do the multi-step mash for this in the future.

Overall Impression – Overpowering. Need to tone back coriander slightly, use some bitter orange peel, and use fresh, temperature-controlled yeast for fermentation. I might even take Stephen Pauwels‘ suggestion offered in Brewing with Wheat and limit myself to 1/6 oz of both coriander and bitter orange peel and see how that tastes. It will probably be more to my liking.


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