I seem to have started an annual thing here.  Last year, for the Canton PTO I contributed a “Custom brewed case of beer.”  This was one of the items that was part of the silent auction.  Last year I brewed a Chocolate Stout with hints of coffee and vanilla for Bob.  This year I did the same thing again and the winner elected to have me brew a Witbier.  This is my first attempt at a Witbier so some research was required…

So, what is a Witbier?  It’s a refreshing, elegant, tasty, moderate-strength wheat-based ale.  It has a relatively simple grain bill consisting of about 50% pilsner malt and 50% unmalted wheat.  I added in a small about (about 2%) of acidulated malt to give it some of the lactic sourness that it often has.  The most challenging part was finding some bitter orange peel.  My regular homebrew shop was out and, after looking at a variety of other stores I was able to find it a different homebrew shop in the area.  Most stores carry orange peel, but it’s a sweet orange, not bitter like a curacoa or seville.

Here are the vital statistics for a Witbier

  BJCP Guidelines ThreePines Witbier
IBUs 10-20 18.3
SRM 2-4 3.5
OG 1.044-1.052 1.047
FG 1.008-1.012 1.012 Est.
ABV 4.5-5.5% 4.63% Est.

It’s currently in the carboy with a 1000 mL starter of Wyeast 3944 Witbier yeast.  I look forward to sampling it towards the end of May, just in time for Memorial Day!