Now I’d like to offer you this wonderful recipe from Andrew Bell the innovation manager at The Bruery & Offshoot Brewing Co located in Placentia, CA.
This recipe can be brewed with whatever fresh citrus zest you have access to seasonally, but in this example I am going to use Buddha’s Hand (which is about to go out of season). This recipe is intended to be a bright, lively, and slightly tart wit beer – perfect for late summer.
Starting OG: 11.5*P
Estimated FG: 0.5-1*P
Target ABV: ~5.5%
50% Pilsner Malt
40% Unmalted Wheat
10% Rolled/Flaked Oats
Notes: Use favorite local or imported malts. % for this recipe are by weight, not extract. Depending on the brewer’s setup, rice hulls might be needed for lautering.
Mashing: Single infusion mash with a target rest temperature of 152*F. Water wise, use lactic or phosphoric acid to target the lower end of your mash pH range (say 5.0-5.2pH). Our water in general is lacking calcium, so I’d use just a bit of Calcium Chloride for roundness – no need to heavily adjust your water.
Boil: Boil as long as needed to volatilize DMS precursors (be it 60, 75 or 90 minutes). Aim for a 10 IBU bittering addition with whatever clean bittering hop you prefer (Gr Magnum for us).
WP Addition: 80g/bbl freshly milled coriander and 290g/bbl of fresh Buddha’s Hand Zest. The amount of Buddha’s hands needed to produce this zest will vary based on size. Feel free to sub out for another type of fresh citrus zest.
Fermentation: KO at 68*F with O2 aeration.
Ideally: knock out into cold rinsed but previously inoculated puncheons for primary fermentation with a blend of WLP400 (or equivalent), Brett Drei and Brett C (pitching approximately 250k cells/ml/*P of each). Allowing the yeasts to do the majority of fermentation, but also allowing the bacteria in the wood to lower the pH a bit.
Alternatively (in a fermenter/carboy) – pitch with the blend of wit and brett strains and allow to ferment at 74*F. At about 50% attenuation pitch a small amount of mixed culture slurry to allow slight souring.
Aging should be relatively short for a mixed culture beer – approximately 3-5 months. You are looking for a beer that is still recognizable as a Wit but with some acidity, light funk and vibrant zestiness.
Dry Hop: If aged in fermenter, dry hop with a small amount (150gr/bbl) of Motueka. If aged in a puncheon, transfer to a purged vessel and dry hop per your normal method for dry hopping beers. Now would be a good time to taste and see if you’d prefer more fresh citrus.
Finishing: Once the dry hopping step is complete and any residual dry hop creep has finished (if applicable), crash to 32*F. Either force carbonate to +2.7vol of CO2 for draft or pitch fresh brett and prime with sugar for bottle conditioning. If your glass bottles can handle the pressure, target 3-3.3 vol of CO2.