Cats Meow 3
[Prev] [Next] [Contents] [ConvertUnits] [About CM3]


Classification: Belgian ale, wit, wheat beer, all-grain

Source: Scott Bickham (, HBD Issue #1581, 11/17/94

The recipe for the wit that took Best of Show at the Spirit of Belgium is posted below. You'll notice that the amount of coriander is only 5 grams per 5 gallons, but half is boiled for 15 minutes and the rest is added to the secondary. Although I haven't received the judges' comments back, this tastes about right. I've also noticed that the flavor is more intense in the kegged portion - it seems to mellow in the bottle. The coriander should be a subtle flavor that is balanced by yeast phenolics and bitter and sweet orange peel. Lactic acid or lactobacillus should be added to cut the sweetness, otherwise the wit would be cloying.



Step infusion mash: Dough-in at 110, hold for 10 minutes and acidify the mash if the pH is above 6. 30 minute protein rest at 128 F (normally 125 F, but I wanted to get more cloudiness), followed by a 60 minute starch conversion at 152-155 F. Mash out at 170 for 5 minutes, and sparge to a volume of 6 1/3 gallons. I boil off a little more than a gallon in my set-up and end up with 5 gallons with a gravity of 1.052.

Force chilling, pitched a 1 pint starter of Wyeast 1214, and fermented at 62 F. I think I'll use a more phenolic yeast in my next batch. Rack to the secondary after 5 days and allow to ferment out. Here's the key ingredient: when bottling, add a 50-100 ml starter of lactobacillus, along with 3/4 cup of priming sugar. The acidity gradually build in the bottle or keg, and is noticable after 2 weeks. If you don't want to bother with the bacteria, add USP lactic acid to taste.