Belgian Brewday: Wonmisan Wit Redux (Side by Side Yeast Comparison)

I’ve had the makings for a Wit beer around for a good long time — some torrefied wheat, some raw wheat, and some beautiful whole chamomile flowers I picked up in Fukuoka. However, I haven’t had a chance to get my Wit on… until yesterday.

Earlier this week, I procured a sample of Wyeast Belgian Wit yeast from a brewer friend in Seoul, Bryan; this is supposedly the classic Wit yeast, in other words a version of the strain used by Hoegaarden. The last Wit I made, I used the other Hoegaarden strain, which is known as Forbidden Fruit; though that beer took a long, long time to come into its own — probably because of the huge amount of raw wheat I used. (50% of the grist was raw wheat; the other 50% air-dried, unkilned, home-malted barley from another local brewer, Garrett.)

This time around, I decided to go for something that could age a little more quickly; less wheat overall, but a bigger portion of malted wheat, some torrefied wheat, and a small portion of raw wheat and oats. But I also decided to do a double-sized batch, and split it, so that I could do a side-by-side between the two yeasts I now have on hand.

The recipe was simple (and can be viewed in whole form here):

  • 5kg of Pilsner Malt
  • 3kg of Wheat Malt
  • 1.5 kg of Torrefied Wheat
  • 0.5kg of raw wheat (boiled in a pressure cooker and added to the mash after cooking)
  • 0.35kg of Quaker Quick Oats

The mash temperature was about 65°C, though fluctuated somewhat — going up when I added the cooked wheat, and dropping down slowly during the long mash rest.

That grist was used to produce 47L of wort, which I then boiled, adding the following during the boil:

  • 60 min: 60 grams of Tradition (whole hops), ~5%AA
  • 30 min: 28 grams of Czech Saaz, ~5% AA
  • 15 min: 10 grams of Chamomile Flowers, 8 grams of crushed coriander, 4 grams of bitter orange peel, and 4 grams of Tangerine zest, 1 tab of whirlfloc (crushed)
  • 5 min: 28 grams of Czech Saaz

I decided to go with Whirlfloc because even though Wits are often cloudy, I am going to give this beer a good long post-chill settling rest, and rack the beer into the buckets when I can control how much trub gets in. I’m not necessarily going for a clear beer — this is a Wit, after all — but I figure between the yeast and the protein that will doubtless get through, I don’t need to pruposefully leave proteins in suspension or anything!