Black Rock Witbier

WCGWCG Member Posts: 120
Had this sitting around for more than a year, so decided it was about time to make it (especially as the 'best before' date is April 2018)
Supposed to be 2 cans for 20L, but as usual I've done it differently.
As an experiment, I'm going to try one can with the (supplied) 'Belgian style' yeast & the other with some 'German style' yeast (Mangrove Jack's M20 Bavarian Wheat) to see if it makes any difference.

1 can, plus 2x Wheat spraymalt & 1x Extra-light spraymalt with enough water to make around 11L.
Checked the SG once it was all mixed & found it to be just over 1.09 ..... with a quoted finishing SG of around 1.014, that would be around 9.5-10% ABV !
Given that the instructions say that with 1.75Kg LME it's supposed to be about 4.5% ABV, it got me confused.
Then I re-read the instructions & realised that with 1 can + 1.75Kg LME it's still for making 20-23L ..... Ooops!
Can't be bothered to change it now, so I'll just have to see what happens.


  • HBO_StaffHBO_Staff Administrator Posts: 2,115
    Well that will certainly come out strong, just check with your hydrometer that the reading does get as low as it should do - if the alcohol strength gets too high for the yeast, the yeast will be killed off and the remaining sugars will make it sweet. If this does happen you will need to add a more tolerant yeast just to finish the ferment off, you never know how high the included yeast will ferment. Some old brews that are past their BB dates can end up darker in colour than usual, keep us posted on how it turns out
  • WCGWCG Member Posts: 120
    My first concern is that the supplied yeast may not work due to it's age.
    As I'll be using a different yeast for the next batch, I used the supplied yeast from both cans in this one.
    I've also got some Mangrove Jack's M21 'Belgian Wit' ready just in case, although according to their website it's supposed to struggle with anything over 8% ABV
    Failing that, I've got some Fermentis SafBrew WB-06 yeast, which according to their website has a higher attenuation ( 86% vs 75% ) and is supposed to be good for up to 11% ABV.
    To be honest, I'll settle for sweeter & a lower ABV.
  • WCGWCG Member Posts: 120
    Further to my last...I've just checked the brew & it's starting to foam, so it looks like the supplied yeast is still good. :)
  • WCGWCG Member Posts: 120
    Only been going for one day, but the SG is already down to 1.04 ( about 6.5% ABV )
    Despite being in the same location I always do my brews & despite starting it at just over 20C, it's now up to 30C !
    I've put it somewhere cooler to see if that helps, as 30C is probably at the upper limits for the yeast.
  • WCGWCG Member Posts: 120
    Checked again today.
    The good news is that the temperature's down to a normal 24C.
    The bad news is that there's very little visible activity & the SG's still 1.04
    I have a feeling the yeast's committed suicide, as my thermometer shows the brew got up to a maximum of 34C yesterday. :(

    Given it a good stir to see if that does anything, but if it's still the same tomorrow I'll chuck some fresh M21 yeast in.
  • WCGWCG Member Posts: 120
    Still no activity & SG's still 1.04
    Calculator I use has this as an attenuation of around 55%
    Another good stir & some fresh M21 yeast added, hopefully that'll do something.
  • HBO_StaffHBO_Staff Administrator Posts: 2,115
    Good idea to add a new yeast, at 34 degrees C it is very likely it has killed the yeast off as this is quite quite, cooling it down and a new high alcohol yeast may help it along
  • WCGWCG Member Posts: 120
    Two days on and it's done something...but not much.
    SG's dropped slightly to 1.036 ( 7% ABV and about 58% attenuation ) still with little visible activity.
    Given it yet another stir.
  • HBO_StaffHBO_Staff Administrator Posts: 2,115
    edited February 2019
    Sounds like it is slowly heading in the right direction, the new yeast and a good stir should help it along further and ferment the rest of the sugars
  • WCGWCG Member Posts: 120
    Been stirring it a couple of times each day, the SG's now crept down to 1.034 ( about 7.3% ABV and about 60% attenuation )
    Not expecting it to drop much more, so I'll probably just leave it for another week before bottling.
    Having done my usual & drunk the samples, I can say that it tastes fine although - as expected - sweeter than most witbiers I've had.
  • WCGWCG Member Posts: 120
    Four days on and it's still 1.034, despite there being a slight frothing on top which would suggest some activity.
  • WCGWCG Member Posts: 120
    It's just as well I decided to leave it a while longer....on 15 Feb. it was down to 1.032 & checking it today it's 1.030
    That should be about 7.9% ABV & 65% attenuation.
  • HBO_StaffHBO_Staff Administrator Posts: 2,115
    It does sound to be steadily lowering, just let it go as low as it will, it just needs to have stopped fermenting before it is bottled/barrelled, you don't want excess pressure. Some brews can take a long time and will ferment away steadily for quite a while, this one is just slowly ticking along
  • WCGWCG Member Posts: 120
    Black Rock's instructions on the can say it should take 10's been 20 so far & it's still going -- a prime example of why you should never take the instructions as gospel.
  • HBO_StaffHBO_Staff Administrator Posts: 2,115
    Absolutely - if you had just bottled without checking the hydro reading you may now have some very pressurised bottles, or a wet floor!
  • WCGWCG Member Posts: 120
    Getting silly now.....
    I left it for a week and just checked it.
    What did I find?
    The SG has now dropped to 1.026 !
    ( That's about 8.4% ABV & 70% attenuation )

    I wonder what the record is for the longest time taken to brew a batch of beer :p
  • HBO_StaffHBO_Staff Administrator Posts: 2,115
    It certainly is taking a while, may be worth trying a high alcohol tolerant yeast and giving it a good stir, if the temperature is all good another yeast may help it along
  • WCGWCG Member Posts: 120
    Fermentation looks to have stopped again, now at 1.024 ( about 8.7% ABV )
    Hopefully that's it.
    Being a cynic, though, I've only done a test-bottling ( 2x 500ml bottles ) just in case. :)
  • HBO_StaffHBO_Staff Administrator Posts: 2,115
    Could be a wise move to see how the 2 bottles go (if you used plastic you can feel how pressurised they get), hopefully the rest can be bottled soon afterwards
  • WCGWCG Member Posts: 120
    Well, the 2 bottles pressurised normally & the SG of the brew is still 1.024, so I guess it's ready to bottle :)
  • WCGWCG Member Posts: 120
    An update of sorts ( was it just me, or was the forum down for a couple of weeks? )

    Started my second batch of Witbier on 13 March...
    German-style this time, using Mangrove Jack's M20 Bavarian Wheat yeast.
    One can of Witbeer & a can of wheat malt DME with enough water to male up 12L & a tight handful of dried sweet orange peel.

    Starting SG was 1.084

    Brew was finished on 23 March, with a final SG of about 1.031 ( around 7% ABV )
    Think I overdid the orange peel ( or left it in too long ) as it's noticeably orangey & rather sweet.

    All bottled now, so trying to decide what to make next -- possibly the Black Rock Oatmeal Stout I've got.
  • HBO_StaffHBO_Staff Administrator Posts: 2,115
    That sounds good, a stronger brew with some orange peel added for flavour, experimenting is the best way - if once it has conditioned in the bottles for a while the orange flavour is too strong you know to use less next time or only keep in for half the time. The Oatmeal Stout is popular when it is on offer, perhaps try a different addition if you feel like experimenting, maybe vanilla, coffee, etc, there is a guide here with a few suggestions:
Sign In or Register to comment.

Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. Sign in or register to get started.