Belgian Witbier

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This beer won runner-up Best-in-Show in the 2006 Pacific Brewers Cup
First Place in the Belgian & French Ale Category.

Ingredients for 11 Gallons






Sprinkle about 1/4 lb. of rice hulls onto the false bottom in the mash-tun. Blend the remaining 1/4 lb. with the rest of the grains.
Mash-in with 18 Qt of water at 142°F. Target temp 128°F.
Protein rest for 30 minutes.
Step infuse with 12 Qt boiling water and stir. Target temperature 152°F.
Mash for 1 hr 20 minutes.
Sparge with about 40 Qt water at 170°F.
Skim very thick creamy white hot break prior to first hop addition.
Rapid chill with immersion chiller.
Ferment at 70°F for 9 days.
Fill three 12 oz bottles directly from primary for PBC. Rack the rest into secondary for 20 days at 66 to 70°F.
Prime and bottle 5.2 gallons with 155 gm priming sugar. Keg and force carbonate the rest.


O.G. 1.040
F.G. 1.006
18 IBU

Judges' Comments (41 points)

Delicate well balanced wheat graininess and citric spiciness; lingering fruitiness makes the beer intriguing and enjoyable. Huge fluffy white head, a bit overcarbonated. Could I have the recipe? (Here you go, Jim.)

Brewers' Comments

I had to rush this beer to get into Pacific Brewers Cup before the deadline. I took a chance that the carbonation would be OK without priming the three bottles directly from the primary fermenter. The gravity was 1.010 at the time, and the wort was still quite gassy. It settled out at 1.006, leaving a bit too much carbonation, but the flavor couldn't be fresher. (Bottles out of the secondary scored 33.5 in the California State Homebrew Competition 2 months later.) Thanks to consultations from Dan on his West Adams Wit and Greg for his Tritbier. These two beers helped me dial in the spice profile. Oat husks were added to aid sparging. The one thing I might change next time is to use a higher portion of 6-row malt with higher diastatic power to improve the starch conversion efficiency. The starting gravity was supposed to be 1.048.