August 21, 2013

Belgian White Ale (Wit) - Boil in a Bag


For all you Boil in a Bag (BIAB) fanatics, here's a recipe I adapted from various others. BIAB is currently my favorite way to brew, and I can't recommend it enough. This Belgian white ale is delicious, probably the best beer I've ever brewed. As you can see, it's got great color and that thick head and long retention is due to the wheat.

It tastes like a better Hoegaarden or Blue Moon and a less-spiced Allagash White. Mellow and completely drinkable on any day of the year, especially a warm summer day. Next time, I may increase the ginger to give it a bit more kick. It's the kind of beer you dream of to quench your thirst and just want to relax. Enjoy!

Belgian White Ale (Wit) - Boil in a Bag

Yield: 5 gallons
  • 5 lbs Belgian pilsner 2-row
  • 3 lbs flaked wheat (unmalted)
  • 1 lb wheat malt
  • 0.6 oz Saaz hops (8.2% AA)
  • 3/4 oz coriander, broken with a rolling pin
  • 1/2 oz dried sweet orange
  • 1/4 oz dried bitter orange
  • 1 g ground ginger
  • 1 packet Belgian Witbier Yeast (Wyeast 3944)
  • 113 g corn sugar, for priming
Cooking Directions
  1. Line the kettle with the mesh bag. Heat 3 gallons of water to 160 F. Turn off burner.
  2. Slowly add the grist (crushed grain) to the mesh bag, immersed in the water. Stir well to mix, breaking up any clumps of grist.
  3. Mash at 152 °F for 75 minutes. Cover and let rest.
  4. While stirring, raise to 168 F. Hold for 10 minutes. Drain bag in fermenter bucket.
  5. Boil for 60 mins. Add all but 2 or 3 hops pellets at 60 mins, then the 2 or 3 pellets at knockout. Add coriander and orange peel at knockout.
  6. Cool the wort in ice bath in the sink to approximately 100 F.
  7. While the wort cools, sanitize the fermenting equipment – fermenter, lid, fermentation lock, hydrometer, etc – along with the yeast pack and a pair of scissors.
  8. Pour the cooled wort into your fermenter. Leave any thick sludge in the bottom of the kettle.
  9. Add cold water as needed to bring the volume to 5 gallons. Aerate the wort.
  10. Measure specific gravity of the wort with a hydrometer and record.
  11. Add yeast once the temperature of the wort is 78°F or lower (not warm to the touch). Use the sanitized scissors to cut off a corner of the yeast pack, and carefully pour the yeast into the primary fermenter.
  12. Seal the fermenter. Add approximately 1 tablespoon of water to the sanitized fermentation lock. Insert the lock into rubber stopper or lid, and seal the fermenter.
  13. Hold in primary fermenter for 14 days at 69 °F (21 °C).
  14. Bottling
  15. Boil corn sugar in 16 oz water. Pour into fermenter and gently mix. Wait 15 minutes then fill and cap bottles.
  16. Allow to carbonate and age for 14 days.

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