Recipes - Stuart Howe's Hop Witte/Blanche de Houblon


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At the beginning of 2010, Sharp's Head Brewer embarked on a mission - to brew a different, specialty beer every week for 1 year.

52 beers in 52 weeks. The aim to experiment with different styles, sometimes using very unusual ingredients and always pushing the boundaries of brewing. Beers included the beefy Heston's Offal Strong Ale, made with chicken liver, kidneys and lamb heart, a curry-influenced Barley Tikka Vindaloo, a brew made with seven yeast types and a 50 hop Triple IPA.

Alongside some of his more obscure creations are more traditional beers like Westcountry White Ale and Snakebite and Black – pressed Cornish apples fermented with ale wort and macerated blackberries.

With all 52 now complete, Stuart has been kind enough to share one of his favourites, a highly hopped Belgian Style Wit beer.

For 25 litres.

O.G. 1060
P.G. 1018
ABV 5.46%
Liquor: (if using water treatment):
180ppm calcium
250ppm Chloride
300ppm Suplhate
Remove any carbonates and bicarbonates
Mash liquor = 14.5 litres
Sparge = 18 litres

3.00kg Low Colour Pale ale malt (2 EBC or less)

1.8kg Wheat malt

400g Torrified Wheat

100g Rolled Oats

(assumes 75% effeciency)
Start of boil 10g any hop with alpha of around 10%
End of boil 200g Hallertauer Hersbrucker, 100g Cluster, 75g Magnum 
Mash temp 50oC 20 mins stand, 62oC 20 Min stand, 65oC 20 min stand and 68oC 20 min stand
Sparge temp 75oC 1.5 hr run off run blade through bed every 5 minutes
Boil 45 minutes as vigorously as possible
Leave hops to sit in wort after heater off for an hour before transferring to FV. Fit cover to kettle while you do this.
Crash cool to 25oC ASAP after stand
Fermentation and conditioning:
Yeast = Wyeast Belgian Wit 3944

Fermentation temp 25oC
Should ferment in 7 days
Condition for 7 days at 4oC (or less if possible)
Fine and bottle with 1ml fresh yeast and 15g/litre glucose monohydrate in a strong bottle.

Warm condition for a week at 25c then cellar for a week.

Check out Stuarts Blog for more great tips and tales from one of the UK's finest brewers.

Also have a look at our great brewing forum for more tips, advice and brewing banter.