I finally bottled the last of my Belgian wheat beers. I had planned on doing 6 different beers (I often mash 20% more and then do a mini-batch on the side) but the Wyeast 3944 Belgian Witbier took forever to stop bubbling.
In retrospect, I recommend that you use gravity measurements rather than cessation of visible activity to decide when fermentation has stopped with this yeast. It kept bubbling lightly, but its attenuation didn’t change much.
In addition to the basic Belgian Wit, I also bottled a mini-batch of Chanterelle (mushroom) Belgian Wit and the Peated Matsutake (another mushroom) Stout that I thought had gone bad and wrote about in last month’s Halloween Fermentation Friday post.
Chanterelle Belgian Wit
It’s not done yet, but the few mouthfulls that I got after bottling are definitely intriguing and totally different from the Winter Chanterelle Belgian Ales that I did earlier. The aroma resembles very mild pine, but not quite. It kind of reminds me of visits to a hospital. The flavour is really well balanced with a bitter-earth aftertaste. I look forward to seeing how this comes out after the sugar carbonates out.
Peated Matsutake Stout
When I first looked in on this beer, the Matsutakes had released some oil that created a film on top of the beer and the mushroom’s gills had come separated and floated to the top of the beer. When I first saw this combination of oil and white flakes on top of my beer, I thought I had lost the beer and that was when I wrote my Halloween Fermentation Friday contribution. Soon after, I started to suspect that the beer hadn’t gone bad even though it didn’t smell quite right.
I got a mouthful today after bottling and I have to say that I’m really excited about this beer. Unfortunately it is just an ultra-mini-batch (3 bottles), but doing small experimental side-batches makes it easy to experiment without risking large quantities of beer, or time, or expensive adjuncts.
Burning Orange Wheat
I happened on a food blog a couple of days ago that espoused the virtues of burnt citrus fruit. So earlier today, while I was cooking a roast, I chopped up a couple of oranges and tossed them in the oven just to see how they turned out.
They smelled pretty good so I racked off a small portion of my basic Belgian Wit on to the burnt oranges and look forward to seeing how the beer turns out.
The next month should prove a pretty interesting month of drinking.