Monday, January 07, 2008

Update: White Riot Gluten-free Belgian Wit

Yesterday Leah and I bottled our gluten-free Belgian Wit (since most of the batch is going to a friend, we figured it made sense to bottle-condition rather than keg). The final gravity was 1017, which with an estimated O.G. of 1052 (sorry, I forgot to take a reading!) brings it in at an easy-drinking 4.6% ABV. The sample I tasted was remarkably close to a "normal" Witbier. It had a distinct coriander flavor as well as a slight sour tang which I've heard is typical of sorghum brews and works very well in a Wit. The only thing is there is a light sour aftertaste that's just a tad off (relative to barley beers, that is). Overall, however, not bad for a first stab. I suspect my friend will definitely enjoy it after being stuck with Redbridge and Bard's Tale for the last few years.

My only concern is that the beer never really developed a kraeusen. Sorghum is notorious for being thin-bodied, which is why I added the malto-dextrin. I'm hoping the lack of kraeusen is simply a combination of a somewhat thinner body and the fact that I fermented 2.25 gallons in a 5-gallon fermenter (so you have half the CO2 going through the same surface area). Nonetheless, the worst-case scenario is it doesn't retain its head at all. I can live with that for now.

Oh, a couple technical notes. I didn't do a secondary, instead letting it sit in the primary for two weeks before racking into a keg and bottling with the beer gun. Also, I primed what ended up being a hair over 2 gallons with .375 cups of corn sugar.

Stay tuned for a final evaluation later this month. Next up, likely, will be either a cherry stout or a split batch of half cherry stout and half Cocoa Puffs stout. (Yes, I make it with real Cocoa Puffs.)


Blogger Adam said...

Real cocoa puffs eh? Brings to mind the taste of Count Chocula. I could handle a beer tasting like that...I think.


10:35 AM, January 08, 2008  
Blogger Ted Danyluk said...

Overall, this beer sounds like a success. I know you don't have a whole lot of it, but I would be very interested in trying it.

So I invite you guys over to participate in a tasting of my first 4 herbal beers. Again, I think your White Riot may fit in nicely. Let me know.

11:54 PM, January 10, 2008  

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