Thursday, March 22, 2012

Sumac Witbier

I've generally been one to shy away from most spices in beers, but I always seem to add something to my witbiers (Always with a light touch though). The past few wit's Ive brewed have used fairly traditional spicing (coriander, and Seville orange peel).  Luckily here in AZ I have access to lots of fresh Seville Oranges, and I have access to plenty of coriander.  It seems though that many brewers out there tend to add a "secret" spice, often chamomile (something I detest), other times black pepper or some other miscellaneous spice to add depth to the beer.  This isn't something Ive ever done, but my curiosity was piqued when I recently had some sumac-ade.

Basically its a lemonade-like drink made from ground sumac berries and some sugar.  For those that are not familiar with sumac, its a bush-tree like plant that grows across much of the US (never seen one in AZ though).  It has dense bunches of red berries that can be picked and used in drinks or in Greek food.  The one that I always saw when I was growing up was Staghorn Sumac, and never could stand the flavor when I was younger.  I'm not sure what type the berries I got were, but I was able to pick them up at a middle-eastern grocer here in town. I wasn't really sure about how much to use, but I remembered a blog I frequent had talked about using them in a saison, so after a couple quick emails I had a ballpark'd idea as to how much to use.

Only time will tell if the flavor comes through nicely and I can always add more later, but I was told that 5grams was the lowest end of the flavor threshold and 20gm+ would be on the high-end.  I went about right down the middle and added 10gm at the end of the boil along with my fresh Seville zest (no coriander this time).  Otherwise the grain bill was similar to things Ive done in the past, with the exception being that I used raw barley rather than oats (I ran out of oats).

Malt Bill
Amt (lbs)Type
3.0Flaked Wheat
0.5Raw Barley
Hops & Spices
Amt (oz)TypeTime
0.75Cascade (7.2%)60
10gmSumac BerriesKO
100gmFresh Seville Orange ZestKO
Mash Schedule
170F1.8qt/lb15min - vorlauf
YeastBelgian Witbier WY3944
86% effIBU13
6.5gal BoilFG

Review - 8/11/2012 - Notes & Thoughts


Zach said...

So how did it turn out?

Ryan said...


There's a link at the bottom of the post to a pic and a formal review of the beer (I go back and do this to all my recipes)

But heres another copy of it

Overall it was good beer and sumac is a very interesting addition


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