Tuesday, July 24, 2007

One of three: Blanc Wit

I realized I hadn't discussed much about the beers I'll be brewing, so over the next few days I'll be writing about the different beers that will be coming out in the Fall. There will have three year-round beers, and four to six one-time / seasonal beers.

Blanc Wit (if you couldn't tell from the name) is a witbier, meaning "white beer". The name of our beer, Blanc Wit, roughly translates to "White White". Yeah, I know it doesn't make sense, but I like it.

I didn't want to brew a standard wheat beer, or a standard witbier, so Blanc Wit will be a bit unusual for the style. First of all, it'll be 7.3%. I don't like the term "Double Wit" or "Imperial Wit", so you won't find any of that on the label. I don't think it's big enough anyway to call it imperial or double. A large proportion of the recipe will be malted wheat (not unmalted wheat, which is traditional), a healthy dose of oats (about 10%), and the rest pilsner malt. Cane sugar will also be used for about 10% of fermentables to dry the beer out a bit. It will be lightly spiced with Indian corriander, kumquat peel (if I can find any suppliers!), and a secret ingredient that I don't want to reveal at this point. It will be fermented with a saison yeast strain, the same strain I'll be using for the primary fermentation of our other beers as well.

I'm hoping this beer will be different from any other beer you've had, in a positive way. I think it'll be a delicious and special beer, but it will also be one of our more 'standard' offerings, meaning it will be more subtle than my other beers and a beer I wouldn't hesitate to give to that person who "doesn't like beer."

Also, if you've been following the equipment I'll be using, you may have noticed it's not sized too well. My mash tun is designed for a 23 bbl brewery, my kettle has a 17 bbl (20 hL) capacity, my whirlpool has 23 bbl capacity, and my fermenters are either 15 bbl or 30 bbl. This mismatch of equipment sizes is actually a good thing for me. I'll be brewing 17 bbl batches, and then will ferment the extra 2 bbl in oak, and then, depending on the beer, add the oaked portion back to the batch after fermentation, or bottle / keg the oaked portion separately from the main batch. I'm pretty excited about this approach-- I love the effect that oak has on beer and can't wait to experiment with it.


pluma said...

Sounds awesome! I was a bit taken aback by the alcohol level, but if you say this one's accessible, I believe you. Witbiers (namely Wittekerke Witte and Ommegang Witte) have rapidly become my official "gateway" beer for cheap macro lovers. Every single person I've introduced them to loved them, which now means that they have a go-to style when I drag these people along to establishments with unfamiliar and/or intimidating beer menus.

Kumquat peel?!! You da man.

- Brad

Gridlock92 said...


I am enjoying your blog immensely. It is highly instructive.

We are starting a brew pub out here in Flagstaff in the coming 18-24 months. We have the 15 barrel brewhouse approximately 80% assembled in an undisclosed location (watch out for Dick Cheney...)to experiment with before we have large overhead and also as we have not decided on the final site. We are learning from you and enjoying the story.

Please contact us if you want to talk beer. Good luck with the brewery and I look forward to drinking a pint when we are in the L.A. area!

Michael Marquess
Dragon Breath Brewing, Inc.
Flagstaff, Arizona