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Worthog

Suggestions for Witty Monk alterations?

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After more than a year of brewing different styles according to the directions, I'm ready to start playing around with the recipes. I'm starting this weekend with Witty Monk, but it has only one suggested recipe on the Mr. Beer page. My initial thoughts are to add a 1/2 cup of honey and two tablespoons of lemon juice. I usually bottle with 2 Coopers drops and 1 tsp of table sugar. Should I reduce the sugar since I'm adding honey? Any other suggestions? I'm leery of adding coriander or other spices after reading posts here that it overwhelmed all other flavors.

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I just made a batch for the wife 2 weeks ago but just used 2 cans and followed the exact recipe. Not to sound cruel but she's not a beer drinker and I didn't want to try anything fancy.
I was going to add more malt to it but figured this was the first time trying this so I needed to get an idea what it was like first.
There are a few on the forum that have added things but I'm not sure I'd use lemon juice.

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The Witty Monk is an all malt kit and already has coriander and orange in it. I don't think coriander is a bad thing to add to a wheat beer, but since this already has it, there's no need.

I'm not a big fan of adding honey, but if you add a small amount as you're considering doing, I don't think it will be too bad. It's probably only a problem when there's too much in the recipe. One thing to consider is that if you add the honey during the primary fermentation, you really won't get much (if any) honey flavor, so it's not much different from simply adding white sugar. Some people add it after the beer has been fermenting for a week and that is supposed to maintain some of the honey flavor.

Using honey during fermentation won't affect the amount of sugar you use to prime. All the honey will be fermented by the time you bottle, and the sugar added at bottling time is just used to create CO2.

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Thanks for the responses. I'll think about it some more and, if the final is special (either good or bad), I'll share the results. Cheers!

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Guest System Admin

Wicked Monk

RECIPE INCLUDES:
2 Cans Witty Monk Witbier HME
1 Can Pale Export UME
2 Packets Dry Brewing Yeast (under lid of HME)
1 Packet Saaz Pellet Hops
1 Muslin Hop Sack
1 Packet No-Rinse Cleanser

I really think it still needed Belgian Yeast, not Fromunda

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I made a Witty Monk and added 1 lb of Strawberries to it. It took almost 3 to 4 months to condition, but once it did, it was really good. It was sour (not like sour beer but like lemon sour) with a great strawberry taste and smell!! My wife really enjoyed it too. If I made it again I might cut the strawberries back to 3/4 lb though.

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Update: I finally got around to brewing this last night. I made the Witty Monk according to directions, with an additional 1 1/2 tsp each of lemon juice and lime juice in the wort to increase the citrus a little. I'll use a 3-3-2 timing (since this is a witbier, I feel safe shortening the cold conditioning, especially if I cold crash it before bottling). I'll also add honey to 4 of the 8 PET bottles to compare the results.

Thanks again for the suggestions.

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"Worthog" post=261882 said:

I'll use a 3-3-2 timing (since this is a witbier, I feel safe shortening the cold conditioning, especially if I cold crash it before bottling).

The 3-3-2 method does not include any cold conditioning. It's 3 weeks in the LBK, 3 weeks carbing and 2 weeks conditioning at the same temp as you carb at. You then put them in the fridge for 24 to 48 hours for chilling (although several people like to have them in the fridge for longer periods, BPGREEN puts his in there for 2+ weeks). The extra 2-3 weeks conditioning at room temps gives the beer time to mature.

I guess what I'm trying to say is, your beer will be okay to drink at 3 -4 weeks time in the bottle, but it's going to be even better if you wait 5 to 6 weeks.

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"k9dude" post=261914 said:

"Worthog" post=261882 said:

I'll use a 3-3-2 timing (since this is a witbier, I feel safe shortening the cold conditioning, especially if I cold crash it before bottling).

The 3-3-2 method does not include any cold conditioning. It's 3 weeks in the LBK, 3 weeks carbing and 2 weeks conditioning at the same temp as you carb at. You then put them in the fridge for 24 to 48 hours for chilling (although several people like to have them in the fridge for longer periods, BPGREEN puts his in there for 2+ weeks). The extra 2-3 weeks conditioning at room temps gives the beer time to mature.

I guess what I'm trying to say is, your beer will be okay to drink at 3 -4 weeks time in the bottle, but it's going to be even better if you wait 5 to 6 weeks.

The 2-2-2 from which 3-3-3, 3-3-2, etc came started on the Mr Beer fans forum. Originally, it meant 2 weeks fermenting, 2 weeks carbonating and 2 weeks cold conditioning (in the fridge). The 2 weeks of cold conditioning in the fridge sort of dropped here, because people figured that the yeast are asleep in the fridge so you don't gain anything. I've found that the two weeks in the fridge really do make a difference, but I also warm condition for an extended period.

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Update: Bottled this one last night. Strong citrus scents from the orange peel in the Witty Monk and the lemon and lime juice added. Sample was very refreshing, just what I hoped for in a summer brew. I made a control set of 4 PETs with 2 Coopers drops each, the bottled 2 PETs with 1 Coopers drop and 1 tsp honey each, and 2 PETs with 1 Coopers drop and 1 1/2 tsp honey each.

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Wednesday night I threw three of the non-honey bottles into the fridge to chill for a party on Saturday. Saturday afternoon I opened one of the non-honey bottles to test -- no carbonation to it. I opened two more to check -- same thing. Hmmmm. I've made Witty Monk previously with no issues. Perhaps the plastic Mr. Beer caps have finally lost their usefulness.

Does anyone know a way to put some carbonation in these now that they're opened? Would adding a bit sugar and letting it sit awhile do it? Or will that just make it sweeter?

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Final results:

Option 1: Witty Monk with added lime juice and lemon juice -- very refreshing.
Option 2: Option 1 + replacing 1 of 2 Coopers drops with 1 tsp. honey added nice flavor and complexity.
Option 3: Option 1 + replacing 1 of 2 Coopers drops with 1 1/2 tsp. honey made the beer a little dry.

Of the three, options 1 and 2 were both very good summer brews. Option 3 was pretty good, but too dry for my tastes.

Thanks for all the advice on this one.

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I am not familiar with the Coopers tablets but I use Brewers Best and it recommends 3 to five tablets per 12 oz. bottle so if you are using the PETS you may need to use more tablets. However, you have stated this has never been a problem in the past so it may be the plastic lids failing or if you have used more adjuncts in past brews it may have made up for the lack of carb tablets.

I had this same problem a few weeks back when a buddy helped me bottle and only added one tablet per bottle. I was directed to add the tablets up to the specified amount and recap in an effort to save the beer. Also, my beer was already cold and adding the extra tablets later was easier that way as it controlled the fizzing as opposed to dropping them into warm beer.

Good luck!!

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