Summer Witbier with Allagash house yeast

allagash-white-starterI’m into the fifth month now of my “year of the session beer” project, and starting to get a little bit weary of the english styles, so this time I decided to try a few new things. First, I asked my friend Nate to help me build a stir-plate based on his build experience, which was a smashing success. And, being a Mainer, I though Allagash would be a good source for a summer yeast, so I bought two bottles of reasonably fresh Allagash White, and pitched the dregs from the bottles into a meager starter (around 1.025 OG).

The starter took off well, and the yeast continued on for nearly a week — in fact, the krausen was quite full, close to an inch high, when I decided to crash-cool it for decanting and pitching. That’s some dedicated yeast there Allagash!

I then brewed a witbier, but instead of the standard coriander and orange zest, I decided to get the citrus and bitterness from Cascade hops.

The recipe for this beer is as follows:

Recipe: 2011 Belgian Wit (allagash yeast)

Recipe Overview

Final Batch Volume: 5.02 US gals
Expected Pre-Boil Gravity: 1.036 SG
Expected OG: 1.039 SG
Expected FG: 1.009 SG
Expected ABV: 3.9 %
Expected ABW: 3.1 %
Expected IBU (using Tinseth): 20.0
Expected Color: 3.6 SRM
Mash Efficiency: 70.0 %
Boil Duration: 60.0 mins
Fermentation Temperature: 66 degF
UK Pale Ale Malt 5lb 8oz (61.1 %) In Mash/Steeped
German Wheat Malt 3lb 8oz (38.9 %) In Mash/Steeped

US Centennial (8.5 % alpha) 0.40 oz Loose Pellet Hops used First Wort Hopped
US Cascade (4.5 % alpha) 1.00 oz Loose Pellet Hops used 15 Min From End

Yeast: Allagash House Yeast (White Labs WLP400?)

Recipe Notes

I brewed this beer on April 24th, and fermentation is still going.


2 thoughts on “Summer Witbier with Allagash house yeast

  1. Greg

    I would love to know how this beer here turned out. How was the flavor profile compaired to Allagash? Did you hold the 66 degree ferm temp all the way through? You should feel lucky to have access to a beer like Allagash White where you live. They don’t even sell it in Washington State anymore and what I wouldn’t give to be able to go down buy a 4 pack, drink the beer and pour the dreg into a starter for my next batch of wit.

    1. poley Post author

      This was back when my temperature control was not so good, I’d say I pitched it at 66ºF and it probably climbed into the low to mid 70s. It came out great, I was very happy with the result. I’ve heard that the Wyeast 3463 is what Allagash uses, but no confirmation. Give it a shot and see what you think!


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