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AG#80 – Nit Wit

Posted on: May 26, 2012

Nit Wit – Something Decocting going on! The plan was to brew a Belgian style Wit, I’m taking some reference from ‘Radical Brews’ & ‘Brewing Classic Styles’ books along with Leedsbrew‘s brewday. This is the first time I’ve done a Decoction Mash and I started out using Beer Alchemy on the iPhone then later Switched to Brewzor on the old HTC Android, though the recipe was designed in good old BeerEngine.
I decided on the morning of the brewday to go with all Crystal Hops rather than my initial idea of blending them with Green Bullet (which I find like a very strong Styrian / Bobek)… however I had just slightly less Crystal than I wanted so added the 6g of Citra in the Flameout steep for that little touch of, what I hope will be, a complimentary herbal edge.

Fermentables:
Lager Malt – 50%
Flaked Wheat – 43%
Flaked Oats – 5%
Cara Vienna (Dingemans) – 2%

Hops:
Crystal – 4.9 % @ 60 mins – 12g (FWH)
Crystal – 4.9 % @ 30 mins – 30g
Crystal – 4.9 % @ 0 mins – 6g (30min Steep)
Citra – 13.8 % @ 0 mins – 6g (30min Steep)

Other additions:
Orange Zest – 27g
Lemon Zest – 5g
Orange Juice – 300ml from the 3 Oranges
Crushed Coriander – 11g
Camomile – 3g

Final Volume: 23 Litres
Original Gravity: 1.044
Final Gravity: 1.010
Alcohol Content: 4.4% ABV
Total Liquor: 33.8 Litres
Mash Liquor: 13.7 Litres
Mash Efficiency: 65 % (I lowered this as I thought the mash may struggle with all the Flaked Adjuncts)
Bitterness: 17 EBU (BeerEngine Hop Utilisation set to 25%, which looks to compare with Rager setting in Beer Alchemy)
Colour: 3 EBC

The plan was to do a single decoction with the initial mash temp being 50°c, I mashed in and hit 51°c and left to rest for 15mins, then calculated the decoction using Beer Alchemy to raise the temperature to 68°c, so I brought the 5.92L of Mash to the boil then added back to the main mash. This increased the mash temp to 61°c which was nowhere near so I let rest for a further 15mins and did it again but this time using Brewzor… this is where i managed to punch the wrong numbers into the phone and only boiled up 2.9L which when added back to the main mash took me to 63°c, so again I rested the mash for 15mins! So now I’m onto the third decoction, and punched the right figures into the phone and boiled up my final 4.3L of the mash and added it back to the main mash to attain my 68°c that the first decoction should have given me.
Something obviously went a drift somewhere, be it software or operator error, anyway… I enjoyed myself 🙂
Now I’ve dipped my toe in the decoction,  so to speak, I’m eager to use my Whitelabs Hefeweizen yeast and do a German Wheat beer with a shed load of Decoction steps!

Flaked goods and Cara Vienna, I added 2.1g Gypsum to the mash which started at 8.25am:
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Doing a Decoction, I added the first back to the main mash at 9.15am:
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Iodine test for Starch, this was after I’d been out shopping for oranges and it was 12.10pm with the last Decoction being added back to the main mash at 10.10am, I got a pretty mental 86% efficiency:
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Second sparge running off into the copper with First Wort Hops, I used a Stout profile in THBF Liquor treatment calculator and added 14.6g Calcium Chloride / 2.3g Magnesium Sulphate / 3g Salt (Sodium Chloride) to the copper with the hops that I’m going to give it a further slick oily mouth-feel to the finished beer, this is something I will have to report back on later:
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I have a massive crack… in my Mash! It was amazing the way the decoctions turned the mash from a gloopy gelatinous mess into something that ran freely and looked like wort!:
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Crystal hops for 30min addition:
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Orange & Lemon Zest with the juice of 3 oranges, I appreciate that the Orange Juice may cause a pectin haze… Good:
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Crushed Coriander seeds with a couple of teabags-worth of Camomile:
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Looks like its going to be a nice pale colour, had to do a load of Liquoring back to hit correct OG, I ended up with 29 litres  so had to split the wort between my regular FV and a smaller new one I’d just got:
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So with all that extra wort I put some in an Oxfam bucket and pitched T-58 into that to see what the differences are, the Oxfam buckets are really thick strong plastic and mega cheap too:
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It was a pretty long brewday but I actually found it all rather entertaining, even though the Decoctions didn’t have the desired affect to begin with, Whitelabs WLP400 Belgian Wit Yeast pitched from an 800ml Starter that I’d chilled and poured most of the beer off the top.
Oh! and i didn’t realise until later that this was my 80th All Grain Brewday 🙂

*30th may ’12 – T-58 batch has finished at 1013, so a nice amount of body left. The WLP400 has stopped at 1035! Meh! Just given it a good thrashing with a sanitised paddle, fingers crossed all the yeast that was sat on top will get back to work and stop slacking!

*Further days up-to 1st Jun ’12 – it seems this yeast requires regular attention, the yeast seems to ferment and then rise to the top then stall, so two days running I have roused the fermenter and each day I have come back to find the yeast trying to escape the bucket with a subsequent gravity drop.

*4th Jun ’12 – Gravity at 1008 now after some further rousing, fingers crossed its finished there.

*Bottled 10th Jun ’12 primed in bulk for 2.5 Volumes of co2

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4 Responses to "AG#80 – Nit Wit"

Velly interwesting Mr Chapman….velly interwesting indeed! I need to get shut of the famiy for a whole day before I even consider brewing in this format. Liking the additions though…I think I’ll buy that book next.

which book? or both?

[…] much of this, and if you had a bottle you were bloody lucky, Massively Dry Hopped happiness. AG #80 – Nit Wit Yeah… you need a good Wit and I’ll do it again, maybe with a slightly different yeas as […]

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