Unibroue’s Blanche De Chambly clone

Unibroue’s Blanche de Chambly clone

(5 gallons/19 L, partial mash)
OG = 1049  FG = 1.011
IBU = 12  SRM = 3  ABV = 5%

3 lbs. (1.36 kg) Belgian Pilsner malt
0.5 lb. (0.23 kg) flaked wheat
0.5 lb. (0.23 kg) flaked oats
3 lbs. (1.4 kg) wheat dried malt extract
3.5 AAU Saaz hop pellets (40 min.) (1 oz./28 g at 3.5% alpha acids)
0.5 oz. (14 g) cracked coriander seed
0.25 oz. (7 g) dried bitter orange peel
0.5 oz. (14 g) candied ginger
Wyeast 3944 or 3942, or recultured Blanche de Chambly yeast if you can’t get the real thing)
7/8 cup corn sugar (if priming)

Step by Step
Mash pilsner malt, flaked wheat, and flaked oats in 2 gals. (7.6 L) of water at 150 °F (66 °F) for 60 minutes. Sparge with 10 qts. (9 L) water at 168 °F (76 °C). Add extract to the kettle off heat and stir until fully dissolved. Bring to a boil and boil for 10 minutes. Add hop pellets and boil another 30 minutes. Reduce heat to simmer, steep (in a fine mesh bag or muslin hop bag) coriander, orange peel, and ginger for 10 minutes. If desired, other spices could be added, such as cumin, cardamom, black pepper, and paradise seeds. Remove from heat and chill, removing spice bag. Top off in fermenter to 5.25 gals. (20 L) and cool to 75 °F (24 °C) . Pitch yeast and ferment for eight to 10 days at 65 °F (18 °C) or so. Rack to secondary and condition for three weeks at 60 °F (16 °C). Prime with corn sugar, bottle, and age four weeks.

Issue: July 1997

There are many Belgian witbiers. Most are shimmery and pale with a sprightly, refreshing orangey-spicy aroma. One of the best that I have ever tried comes from a medium-size brewery near Montreal, Unibroue, makers of La Fin du Monde (The End of the World) and Maudite (Damned), Belgian-style strong ales that have earned numerous international gold and platinum medals. I don’t know if the brewers use the same yeast in all their brews, but I have had great luck reculturing their yeast and brewing with it. They don’t reveal what particular combination of spices they use, beyond the traditional coriander and orange peel, but I like to add ginger.