Bavarian Pretzels + Witbier



What goes better with beer than pretzels?  I suppose that is a question with different answers for different people, but I think beer and pretzels together make a great combination.  Around here, “soft pretzels” are simple to find: Sporting events, street vendors, even the grocer’s freezer have pretzels easily available.  the thing that most of these have in common is that they are “Just OK”.  Not a lot of taste, not a lot of texture, but yet they are still somewhat enjoyable.  I decided to scour the internet to find a simple pretzel recipe that I could cut down to a smaller size and test.  I stumbled upon this recipe and thought I’d give it a shot.

I must say that they turned out really well.  The only part that was somewhat messy was the baking soda bath that the pretzels took before being placed in the oven.  Besides the yeast rising and the baking, the amount of time to prepare these was pretty short.  I used Australian Flake Salt to top these, but I think any salt (or none, if that’s your preference) would work well.  Next time you invite some buddies over to watch the game, or to drink a couple pints of your latest homebrew, consider making some pretzels as well!

Belgian Witbier

Summer is almost upon us here on the U.S. East Coast and that means temperatures in the apartment are starting to rise.  Fermenting at too warm a temperature can effect the taste of your beer considerably.  Today’s solution?  Brew with a yeast strain that is comfortable at higher temperatures.  Belgian ale yeasts can usually be used at higher temperatures than other ale yeasts.  The recommended temperature range for the yeast I used was 64-74 degrees F (18-23 C).  The beer is supposed to be Hoegaarden-y, with orange and coriander.  I hope this one turns out well.  I made a small mistake and I hope it doesn’t mess this one up.

3 gal batch, 90 minute boil

  • 2.5 lbs Belgian Pilsener Malt
  • 1.75 lbs White Wheat Malt
  • 1.5 lbs Flaked Wheat
  • a handful of flaked oats
  • .5 0z Hallertauer 4.3% AA @60 min
  • .25 oz Bitter Orange Peel @15 min
  • .25 oz Coriander Seed @15 min
  • .4 oz Hallertauer 4.3% AA @5 min
  • Wyeast 3942 Belgian Wheat

Be sure to add more water to the boil than you would normally would for a 60 minute boil because of the excess evaporation.  90 minute boil is necessary because of the Pilsener Malt.  Also, I ground the coriander and orange peel in a coffee grinder before adding to the boil.

The mistake I made was halving the coriander and orange peel in the boil.  I added the other half into the carboy after primary fermentation was over.  It has now been 5 days and I plan on racking to secondary tomorrow.


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