As I’m waiting for batch #1 to finish fermenting in the secondary, I’m already planning batch #2. I wanted my first batch to be a full-bodied, dark amber colored beer. That’s why I went with the Malty Mississippi Red Ale. My wife Terry, however, is not a fan of darker beers. I wanted to make sure she enjoyed a few homebrews too, so I promised her I’d make something a little lighter for the second batch.
We were out at Destino Mexican Restaurant last week enjoying a nice Italian meal. Apparently, Wednesdays are Italian night — Who knew? They were also out of my usual Chatham Porter, so I decided to have the same as Terry – a Blue Moon draft. I had been thinking about a wheat beer for batch #2, and this brew sealed the deal for both of us. It’s light enough for my wife, but still has enough body and flavor to satisfy me.
I wanted to pick up a new bottle filler tube for batch #1 bottling day, so I drove up to The Homebrew Emporium in East Greenbush, NY. While I was there, I took a look around to see what they offered for kits. The Witbier kit by Brewer’s Best looked like it would fit the bill, so I picked one up.
A Belgian wheat ale, Witbier is Dutch for “White Beer”, and uses flavorings like coriander and orange peel in the wort. The kit I bought included the following items:
2 lbs. Wheat Dry Extract
3.3 lbs. Wheat Liquid Extract
1 lbs. Crushed Pale Malt (2 Row)
8.0 oz. Oats, Flaked
8.0 oz. Wheat, Flaked (1.6 SRM)
1.00 oz. Williamette (60 min)
1.00 oz. Sterling (10 min)
0.50 oz. Coriander Seed
0.50 oz. Orange Peel, Bitter
1 Pkg. 11.5 oz. Safbrew WB-06 (Fermentis)
5 ozs. Priming Sugar, 60 bottle caps, and a grain bag
Thoughts on the Kit
This kit looks a bit more complicated than the last one from Rebel Brewer. It includes both liquid and dry wheat malt extract. It also includes crushed pale malt grains, and flaked wheat and oats malt. These grains are not pre-converted as in the last batch. That means they will require a special steeping process that’s closer to a traditional mashing than the “tea-bag” approach I used last time.
I like the fact that every bag has full information on what’s inside. The grains, the hops, and the spices are all labeled with exact amounts of what’s in the container. That will make it easier to make adjustments to the recipe if I want to try changing some of the flavors in the future.
One downside to the kit is that it’s obviously a mass marketed item. The Rebel Brewer kit looked like it was assembled at the store. This may or may not mean it includes fresher ingredients, but I’m betting it does.
Next Steps for This Batch
Since batch # 1 will use up almost all of the empty bottles I’ve collected so far, I’ll have to start draining some new ones for batch # 2.