Nuts for Wit!

 

Since my blog post, I’ve made some subtle change which affect the weight of the  Maris Otter and Torrified Wheat, these are now represented in the recipe below.
The Maris Otter will add the body and sugars required for the base of the beer, whilst the torrified wheat will be used in place of standard wheat to offer the wheat flavour I’m looking for aswell as offering good head retention and body.
Noble hops, in the form of Hallertau will be used in small quantities to add a minute touch of aroma and bitter as I’m aiming for a minimal hop profile to allow the wheat and spices to really shine.
The beer is spiced up with equal parts dried curacao orange peel and crushed coriander to help push the traditional spicy flavours of a Wit.
A Mangrove Jacks – Bavarian Wheat yeast will bring everything together and add the esters associated with a wheat beer including banana and clove.

The brewing process went really well and with my very first refractometer reading, I reached an original gravity (OG) rating of 1.0318 against the brix rating of 8.
I was aiming for higher at a minimum of 1.040 but there is plenty of action in the demi-john on this occasion that I’ll let it slide this once.

Just because I like to be different and really want to take my beers in “stand out” directions, I’m going to roast some peanuts and add them to the fermenter at dry hop stage.
The main risk here is that the natural peanut oils can affect head retention, but with the choice of torrified wheat, I’m hoping the damage will be minimal.
I’ll keep you posted on the outcome.

Grains
560g Maris Otter Malts
455g Torrified Wheat
45g Flaked Oats

Hops – Start – Bittering
6g Hallertau

Hops – Middle – Flavouring
No requirements

Hops – End – Aroma
No Requirements

Other – End
4g Dried Curacao Orange Peel – 5 Minutes Left on the Clock
4g Crush Coriander – 5 Minutes Left on the Clock

Yeast
Bavarian Wheat (Mangrove Jacks M20)

Dry Hop – Five days

90g Peanuts (Roasted & crushed)

Cleaning & Sanitising:

Prepare your sanitiser by dissolving 2 teaspoons of powder or dissolving one tablet in 5 litres of water.
Sterilize all equipment including the demijohn, Syphon tubing, airlock, bung, funnel, thermometer and sieve by soaking in the liquid for around 20 minutes.
Try to hold onto this sanitiser solution until the brewing process is complete as you never know when you’ll need it.

Mash:

Heat 2.3 US quarts (2.2 litres) of water to 71 degrees then add the grain mixture. Stir gently and maintain a temperature of between 62 & 67 degrees for the next hour.
Stir the mixture every 10 minutes until you have reached the 1 hour mark.

Sparge:

With 10 minutes left in the mash, bring the temperature up to 77 degrees. At the same time, start heating up another pan with 5.1 US quarts (4.9 litres) of water to around 77 degrees.
Place the sieve over this second pan and start to pour in the grains. Once all the grains have been poured into the sieve, carefully pour the hot grain mash through the grains.
Then move the sieve onto the empty pan. Gently and evenly pour the 5.1 quarts (4 litres) over the grains and recirculate a couple of times.

You can pass the wort through the grain a couple of times to capture as much of the sugary liquid as you can.

Boil:

Place the pan containing the wort onto a high heat and bring to a rolling boil. Set a timer for an hour and allow to boil until the time is up.
With 60 minutes left on the timer, add the starter hops as listed above. When there are 5 minutes left on the clock, add the orange peel and coriander. Remember, the earlier the hops are added the more bitter the wort and the later the hops are added, the more aroma will come from the wort.

Ensure you have an ice bath prepared somewhere to cool the wort down to around 22 degrees. A bath or a sink will do.

Fermentation:

Using a funnel, pour the cooled wort into the sanitised demijohn. Allow a little space at the top as fermentation will cause a krausen to form which could overflow.
I use a filtered funnel which catches all the left over hops and debris.

Pour three-quarters of the yeast into the demijohn, then half fill the airlock with some of the left over sanitiser. Attach to the bung and push into the top of the demijohn to create a seal.
Store in a cool and dark place at room temperature and monitor.

Dry Hopping:

The dry hop ingredients should be added when you have around 5 days worth of fermenting to go. The idea is to roast the peanuts mainly for flavour and aroma, but also to kill any germs before adding them to the demijohn.
Just measure them out and pop them in ensuring that the bung is re-attached as soon as possible to minimise other infection.

Dry hopping can take place anywhere between 5 days and 2 weeks dependant on your end game.

Bottling:

After up to 14 days or when the fermentation has finished, sanitise bottles, caps, and syphon using the same principles as above.

Prime the bottles by adding 1/2 teaspoon of sugar per 500ml or 1/4 teaspoon of sugar per 330ml to them.
Using the syphon, disperse the liquid equally amongst the bottles trying not to disturb the sediment in the bottom of the demijohn.
You can control the flow with a clamp mechanism or if your quick enough place the end from one bottle to the other quickly.

Leave a space at the top of each bottle to allow for fermentation within bottle, cap or close the lid then store in a  cool and dark place at room temperature for around 2 – 3 weeks.

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