First Brew of 2011: “Improve your Wit” Beer

In celebration of my friend Ray’s birthday today, I started work on my first brewing project for 2011: A Belgian Witbier.  In his honor, it will be spiced up with Coriander, Bitter Orange Peel, and Chamomile!  The first thing I did was to go to beertools.com and put together (actually modified) a (previous) recipe.  What a great site beertools is!

I had already ordered the ingredients I needed from Northern Brewer.  Those guys are fast and efficient!  Here’s my stash–all I needed was some orange peel and 10 lbs of grain … I already had the hops, coriander, chamomile, and yeast.

Although I already had the yeast, it was in my refrigerator.  I harvested it from a previous brew.  Here’s a shot of my stash and the yeast I picked to use.  This is a 2nd generation sample — I made a Witbier previously, and then a Belgian Session beer, so this yeast is perfect for my style!

The next part of the process was to get a yeast starter going — I’m brewing on Sunday, so it should be ready by then!  Here are some pictures of the process … first, everything should be sanitary–so, a big bucket of sanitizer (I use Star San).

I sanitized my flask and went ahead and pitched my yeast in!

Next, I combined 1/2 cup of Dry Malt Extract with 2 cups of water and boiled it for 10 minutes (to make sure it was sanitized as well!)

While waiting for it to finish, I enjoyed a nice Schneider-Weisse Hefe-Weizen … Yumm!

Next, I chilled my starter in a cold water bath … then put it in with the yeast!

Here it is … ready to begin “fermenting.”  I’m keeping my fingers crossed that this is a still active batch, or I might have to pull another vial … stand by for further updates.

Beer Mentor

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