About the Third Beer


In true hipster spirit, common, modern, popular, mundane beer types weren’t exactly in the scope, so beer number three was decided to be a Belgian witbier, which is of course a wheat beer with up to 50% of the grain bill unmalted wheat, spiced with citrus peel and coriander seeds.

In true hipster spirit I added a few extra herbs and spices and  chose an esotheric name – Bealtaine is a more elaborate variant spelling of Beltane – the ancient gaelic midsummer festival (around April 30). Initially it was supposed to be done around that time, but things never happen quite like you want them to.

My spicing scheme research was problematic, so in order to not have anything overtake everything else I used two grams of most spices. In hindsight at least two grams per liter would have been more sensible. Especially bog myrtle, which is a favourite of mine and grows wild near most lakes around here, would probably have been nice to have more of, but I had only a small sachet from the store.

The recipe is single-infusion as is, but in reality I did a three step infusion starting with an acid rest at 30-40° C, then a protein rest at 50-55° before increasing to saccharification temperature at 65° C. I have no idea if doing so improved anything.


Title: Bealtaine
Author: Barbatum Home Brewery

Brew Method: All Grain
Style Name: Witbier
Boil Time: 70 min
Batch Size: 7 liters (ending kettle volume)
Boil Size: 9 liters
Boil Gravity: 1.036
Efficiency: 60% (ending kettle)
Original Gravity: 1.047
Final Gravity: 1.013
ABV (standard): 4.44%
IBU (tinseth): 10.65
SRM (morey): 3.79

0.9 kg – Belgian – Pilsner (45%)
0.8 kg – Belgian – Unmalted Wheat (40%)
0.1 kg – Rolled Oats (5%)
0.2 kg – Rice Hulls (10%)

4 g – East Kent Goldings, Type: Pellet, AA: 6.5, Use: Boil for 60 min, IBU: 10.65

1) Infusion, Temp: 65 C, Time: 90 min
Starting Mash Thickness: 2 L/kg

1 g – bog myrtle, Time: 20 min, Type: Spice, Use: Boil
2 g – dried bitter orange peel, Time: 10 min, Type: Spice, Use: Boil
2 g – coriander, Time: 5 min, Type: Spice, Use: Boil
2 g – yarrow, Time: 5 min, Type: Spice, Use: Boil
0.5 g – long pepper, Time: 5 min, Type: Spice, Use: Boil
2 g – st john’s wort, Time: 5 min, Type: Spice, Use: Boil
3 g – Sichuan pepper, Time: 5 min, Type: Spice, Use: Boil
2 g – angelica root, Time: 10 min, Type: Spice, Use: Boil

Fermentis / Safale – Safbrew – Specialty Ale Yeast T-58
Starter: No
Form: Dry
Attenuation (avg): 70%
Flocculation: High
Optimum Temp: 12.22 – 25 C
Fermentation Temp: 24 C

Making up a witbier inspired spiced beer recipe for pagan midsummer (beltane (april 30th) )

As I’ve stated above, I held back too much on the spices, resulting in a witbier that is flavoured only by the relatively small amount of hops and mostly by the fermentation process. To me at least it’s still a very good beer.



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