Belgian White Ale Recipe

Some times you need a beer to be a real thirst quencher.

So here is another recipe for our Summer Beer series comes to us from Allagash Brewing in Portland, Maine.

I really love the light and citrusy flavor of this beer.  A good friend on the Brewing Knowledge Base forum (BKB for short) gave me this clone recipe for Allagash White. (Thanks again to “Dartgod”)

Allagash White is one of the greatest everyday drinking beers available.  Living in New England, I am fortunate to have access to a ready supply of this beer.  However, I am going to try my hand at brewing this one very soon.  I hope you enjoy this one as much as I do.

Allagash Belgian White Ale Recipe

16-A Witbier

BeerTools Pro Color Graphic

Size: 6.5 gal
Efficiency: 75.0%
Original Gravity: 1.045 (1.044 – 1.052)
Terminal Gravity: 1.011 (1.008 – 1.012)
Color: 3.3 (2.0 – 4.0)
Alcohol: 4.37% (4.5% – 5.5%)
Bitterness: 21.76 (10.0 – 20.0)

Ingredients:
6.75 lbs Pilsner Malt
4.25 lbs German Wheat Malt Light
0.98 oz Tettnanger (4.5%) – added during boil, boiled 60 min
0.32 oz Saaz (5.0%) – added during boil, boiled 60 min
0.32 oz Saaz (5.0%) – added during boil, boiled 1 min
0.3 oz Coriander crushed – added during boil, boiled 0.0 min
0.3 oz Ginger (fresh) – added during boil, boiled 0.0 min
0.3 oz Bitter Curacao/Bitter Orange (Peel) – added during boil, boiled 0.0 min
1.0 ea White Labs WLP400 Belgian Wit Ale
-OR-
1.0 ea White Labs WLP410 Belgian Wit II Ale

Mash in at 152F
Ferment at 62F

I think it’s important to ferment Belgian white ales or wits at a low fermentation temperature. You want this beer to ferment so that there isn’t too much funk and the flavors are cleaner than other Belgian beers. If you keep the fermentation temperature on the low end of the scale, your efforts will be rewarded. The citrusy flavor will come out more and the finish will be drier.

Sometimes I have an issue with keeping this beer cloudy.  In previous batches, I have added a tablespoon of flour to the last few minutes of the boil which helps keeping the beer cloudy for longer and does not affect the flavor of the beer.  All witbier will clear eventually, but adding this small amount of flour keeps it cloudy for longer.

Results generated by BeerTools Pro 1.0.29

Comments

  1. Man, I almost forgot about this clone recipe from Allagash. I saw it before, and knew I needed to brew it. I have 5 batches in line right now, so I guess I’ll have to just go buy some today to enjoy with the loads of dead animals I’m grilling up later…….

  2. mmmm….grilled animals.

  3. This is a fav style of mine as well. Goes well in Spring and Summer for sure, but is also good for a change of pace during the colder season as well.

    One day I’d like to try and brew..

  4. Renzomatic says:

    A couple of simple questions (I hope).

    What is the format of the ginger? Fresh ground? Grated?

    As for the peel, just the rind, no pith? Or literally a piece of .03 oz peel?

    Thanks!

  5. Thanks for the questions:
    I use freshly chopped/minced ginger that I peeled prior to mincing.

    The orange peel was dried peel that I purchased from the homebrew shop. I wouldn’t reccomend this though. I’d peel some fresh with no pith. Use the same amount.

  6. Renzomatic says:

    Thanks, perfect.

    You ever brew it? How’d it turn out?

    How long did you leave it in the primary and the secondary? In the bottle?

  7. I did brew and extract based version of this and it was fine. But it really needs to be brewed all grain mainly ofr color issues. Wheat extract is just too dark to give you that real pale yellow color that makes this beer what it is.
    The taste was good and fairly close to Allagash’s version. Just not as dry or crisp as it should have been. I hope to maybe try this one again as an all grain in the late spring.

    My standard timing is about 10-14days in primary, then right to bottle. It stays in the bottle until its carbed up. You really need to just test a bottle or two after a couple weeks to see where its at.

  8. I just brewed this one today and it came out pretty nice. Ever since I went all grain I never made the jump to using brewing software, so I have no idea what my efficiency is, but my OG was 1.060, which is way off.

    I mashed in around 154-156, so maybe that had something to do with it.

    Anyway, looking forward to drinking this one soon.

  9. Let us know how it turned out.

    John

  10. So, I was going to brew the Belgian wit, but the store didn’t have the right ingredients so he suggested making up a saison. So, I agreed.

    The guy told me to use a blow off tube because he said the fermentation due to the wheat was going to be explosive.

    I got it all started it up, loaded it all in the bucket, and really, nothing happened. The temp was about 68 degrees for the first couple of days, then I bumped it up to about 72.

    The OG was at 1.05-1.052, and it is currently at 1.016 at 7 days, so something is happening, just not what I was led to believe. I am waiting for it to get to about 1.002-1.012.

    I got a heat blanket to keep fermentation temp at the high mid to high 70′s.

    I think I’m doing all the right things, but as I read in some other blogs about saison yeast, it takes a “leap of faith” given the high temps. I read if you ferement at lower than 70 degrees, expect to wait weeks, which just doesn’t seem healthy with a bucket that could take on infection.

    I’ve given the bucket a shake now and then to perhaps give the yeast a little shake-up, not sure if that is a good or bad thing. Blow-off tube has been in the entire time, and I haven’t opened up bucket at all.

    Did do a little taste of it when I checked the gravity, and nothing seemed too off at that time, in fact, the color seemed consitent, and the flavor wasn’t spoiled.

    Thoughts?

  11. Renz:
    I think it sounds like you have done nothing wrong. I would have expected the Saison to be more aggressive if your temp had been higher. 72 is not very high for a Saison. Most saison’s start at 70-75 and then the temp is bumped or let to rise naturally to 80-85! That is a leap of faith type temp. I know a couple brewers that have made excellent Saison’s this way. I wouldn’t change anything you’ve got going because your ferment is almost done. I would continue to hold the temp at 72ish for another few days to try and dry it out some more, but if it doesn’t move anymore I think you are good. I do know that these Saison yeasts do seem to take on a second wind eventually, so give it some more time and maybe you’ll see it drop to a 1.012 level.

    There was also one more comment you made that I want to address. “I read if you ferement at lower than 70 degrees, expect to wait weeks, which just doesn’t seem healthy with a bucket that could take on infection.” Just think about that statement. You are not going to take on an infection because its in a bucket. If it gets infected it got infected when you filled it, not while it was closed and waiting for 3-4 weeks to ferment out. So no worries there dude. I am not picking on you, just trying to help you think it through a bit more…. And before you ask…there is no real worries about autolysis or yeast issues if you used good healthy yeast to begin with. Most Saison strains evolved to handle this type of treatment. So several weeks in primary is no big deal.

    The proof is in the pudding already, you tasted it and it seemed good….so it probably is good.

    That’s my take on it.
    BREW ON!
    Mike

  12. Renzomatic says:

    Thanks Mike.

    Just bottled the saison. It stayed at 1.016. The color was good and the taste was fine.

    ahh, now have to wait for 14+…

    Now have a European IPA in the primary, in 6 days, from 1.062 to 1.018.

    Suggestions on the next, anyone?

  13. Im a very beginner homebrewer and wanted to brew a nice belgian style summer white. i’ve never brewed with grains before, just extracts, due to the lack of knowledge on grain brewing. what kinds of grains do what and how much of the grains do i use? i have to do all online ordering for ingriedients because the closest homebrew store to me is 2 hrs away and i dont have the time to get there. so i would like to get some knowledge before i get the wrong stuff. could anyone please help me or point me in the right direction. thanx.

  14. Hey guys – just an update on how this one came out.

    it is a bit hot from the higher alcohol content, so it tastes a little off for the style. It has been aging in bottles for about 4-5 weeks, so it is now starting to mellow out a bit, even though these beers are suggested to be consumed young, the aging has helped.

    I think I would like to try this one again and keg instead of bottle so i can fine tune the carbonation levels.

    Overall a good recipe when the ABV isnt 6%!

  15. Geoff,

    I would suggest checking out John Palmer’s “How to Brew” site. It’s great for beginner homebrewers.

    Rob,

    Why do you think it came out “hot”? Just wondering…

    John

  16. John,

    thanx, will do. do you suggest any particular websites for ingredients? which would you recommend?

  17. By “hot” I mean that I can taste the alcohol in the beer and it overpowers the subtle flavors that make beer so great.

    I got very good efficiency and had a high SG, so the ABV ended up being around 6%, which is high for the style. I would have been happier with an ABV around 4.5-5%.

    John, I would check out northernbrewer.com for ingredients. They pretty much have everything and their shipping rates are pretty good. There are so many other online retailers out there, but northern brewer is a good place to start.

    Rob

  18. Rob,
    Thanx for the info. I’ll check out northern brewer. Im tryin to put together a recipe for a summer wit. I’ll take a tips if anyone is willing to give.

    Thanx,
    Geoff

  19. Gary Gulley says:

    I’ve brewed a couple of all grain Belgian wits and have done a lot of research into this style (it’s my favorite). It seems that most true Belgian style witbiers use unmalted wheat rather than wheat malt. This usually comes in the form of unmalted wheat flakes from the homebrew store. Then you do a step mash @122 deg to break down the sticky proteins that can give you a stuck run off, raising it to 152 for the saccharification step. Also, use half to a full pound of rice hulls in your mash to also prevent a stuck run off. These are also available at homebrew stores. They add no flavor, must add as additional filter material.

    G

  20. Help…Why is this the only mainstream beer my wife does not have an allergic reaction to?

    Are the ingredients different from most beers.

    Thanks in advance for your feedback.

  21. Sorry, I meant Allagash Brewing white ale that seems to be the only beer my wife can drink without an allergic reaction.

  22. I just did the extract version of this ( after going to the Brewery in Portland).

    According to the recipe and plugged into Tastybrew calculator my SRM should have been dead on 3. In fact when I racked it to the secondary it seemed like it was going to be nice and light in color but after sitting a week to cold crash it then to bottling and condtioning it turned out quite dark. Anyone have an idea where I went wrong? BTW, 6.5 gal net 5 gallon batch size, It was a full boil. The taste is very good, just not WHITE.

  23. Hi Ed,

    When did you add the extract to your boil? What color of extract did you use (extra light, light, amber, etc)?

  24. John,
    I used Light DME and added it at first boil for 60 mins.

    Thanks for getting back to me, hopefully some light can be shed on where I went wrong.

  25. Hi Ed,

    No problem. One small issue with extract brewing is meeting the color targets for your beer. When you brew this beer next time, I would try these two things:

    1) Buy the lightest color extract you can find. I usually buy Extra Light DME for lighter colored beers.

    2) Boil half of your extract for the full boil and the other half for the last 15 minutes. The longer you boil your extract, the darker it gets. You’ll need some extract to boil along with your hops, but add the rest at 15 minutes.

    One other question: How big was your boil volume? The smaller it is, the darker your wort gets.

  26. Sorry I didn’t get back sooner, hard drive crashes aren’t fun.

    My boil volume was 6.5 gallons, it’s my usual amount that consistantly yeilds my 5 gallon net.

    Thanks for the advice, it’s makes perfect sense now, I’ll brew another batch later this year with your tips.

  27. Cool. Hopefully it turns out lighter.

  28. “0.3 oz Coriander crushed – added during boil, boiled 0.0 min
    0.3 oz Ginger (fresh) – added during boil, boiled 0.0 min
    0.3 oz Bitter Curacao/Bitter Orange (Peel) – added during boil, boiled 0.0 min”

    If it is 0 minutes, then when do I add these ingredients in? Is it in during the whole boil, towards the end, or in the fermenting? Can you give this recipe for a 5 gallon batch please? Also, when adding hops, is the boiling time 120 minutes or do I add both for 60 minutes?

    Sorry for all the questions but I am a rookie with only 4 batches under my belt…

  29. Hi Michael,

    Add the ingredients you mention in your comment at the very end of the boil – right as you are turning off your burner.

    This recipe will get you a 5 gallon batch size. It is to be boiled for 60 minutes. BREW ON!

  30. The are many things that can affect the f.g. One is mash temp the higher the temp the more non fermaentable sugars which will contributr to the high f.g.. Another is aeration yeast will fremaent in two stages aerobic and non aerobic If you don’t aerate enough you will not get the most of of the yeast and it may peter out prematurely. Yeast viability is also a factor I have brew the exact same recipe and had vastly different fermentation results.I like to use a yest starter made less than 24 hours before to ensure that the yeast batch is viable. Basiclly if it has fermented vigorously for 3-4 days then stops you are done.

  31. One question on the orange, coriander, and ginger. I added it at 0 min and then didn’t filter it when I transferred it to the primary. Should the spices be in the primary or will this make the flavors too strong?

    Also, I used wheat liquid extract and put in 2 of the 6 pounds at 15 min. The color looked appropriate but it might change after fermentation.

  32. Hi Jeff,

    I would leave the spices in and not filter them out. The flavors won’t be that strong.

    Yeah the last time I brewed the White, I didn’t get the color I wanted. I am hoping I hit it this time around.

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