During one of our annual trips to Amsterdam, I absolutely fell in love with one of their local beers; IjWit by Brouwerij’Tij (try saying that when you’ve had a few). The brewery describe this Belgian Wit as ‘dangerously moreish’, and that is spot on. There’s something about the addition of lemon and coriander which elevates this wheat beer to a whole new level, and I enjoyed quite a few of these as we bar hopped around The Dam, drinking beer and eating Dutch scooby shnacks.
Sadly, being organic, even our specialist beer emporium doesn’t stock it, as it just doesn’t travel or store very well.
The nearest equivalent I’ve found is Hitachino Nest White Ale, which has orange, coriander and nutmeg additions. It’s quite lucky, then, that although I am yet to find a recipe for my beloved IjWit on-the-line, there are hundreds of brewers out there who have attempted to clone Hitachino Nest White Ale.
As you’ll see the label features a cute little owl, hence the name T’Wit T’Woo. A Hitachino Nest White Ale clone, with a nod to Brouwerij’Tij in the form of some apostrophes.
We also introduced a sparge bag on this brew. It really does make the whole sparging process a lot easier, and helps filter out a bit of the sediment.
Adapted for a one-gallon (UK) micro-batch
Mash – 70 mins (see schedule in image)
- 2.5L Water @ 65 Degrees C
- 0.75Kg Pilsner Malt
- 0.45Kg Light Bavarian Wheat Malt
- 4L Water @ 76 Degrees C
Boil – 50 mins
- 6g Challenger (at 50 mins)
- 6g Styrian Goldings (at 10 mins)
- 3g Lightly Crushed Coriander Seeds (at 10 mins)
- 3g Bitter Orange Peel (at 10 mins)
- Generous Pinch Lightly Smashed Whole Nutmeg (at 10 mins)
Yeast – 5g Belgian Wit Ale Yeast
After 14 days fermentation at 21-25 Degrees C, 24g white cane sugar added at bottling. Bottle condition for 2 weeks.
I was a bit more nervous about how this one would turn out, mainly as the recipe was my creation, but also it was our first time using additives, and with such punchy spices being used, I was concerned we’d end up with some kind of sickly Christmas shit. I needn’t have worried; the beer turned out beautifully. The additives were way more subtle than in wheat beers such as Blue Moon, or even the Hitachino we were cloning, but definitely had the required uplifting effect to make this stand out from a plain old wheat beer.
For my palate, and probably being my own worst critic and all that, I found the this beer a little on the bitter side. Brewer number one liked it just fine the way it is, but next time I think I’ll use a hop with a lower alpha acid, and substitute the orange for lemon.
I also want to try using mineral water, as we live in a hard water area and it will be interesting to see what effect a more alkaline water would have on the finished brew.
Would we make it again?
Absolutely, definitely YES. This is the first beer we have shared with friends because we were really proud of how it turned out.
In fact, brewer number one is in the kitchen as I’m writing this, making a two-gallon batch because he liked it so much. T’Wit T’woo V2 will be in production shortly after. Watch this space!