From Belgium with Zest
Lemon Melon Wit – 5.1% ABV | 18 IBU
“A traditionally spiced Belgian witbier with a late infusion of cold pressed Botanica watermelon and lemon zest”.
Over the last few weeks, the brewery has been awash with the scent of fresh watermelon and lemon zest as our brewer’s prepared our latest Keller Door keg release for summer.
After vigorously testing a small batch in our Manly brewpub, we got the thumbs up to upscale the recipe in big boy brewery just down the road in Brookvale. For the small release, Tweeds took over the kitchen in our brewpub and painstakingly hand macerated 160 watermelons – upscaling meant that this process would be 10-fold and we’d need a bigger kitchen! Not wanting to substitute out any natural ingredients from our original recipe, we knew the task would be best undertaken by our friends at Botanica, who could deliver on the best of nature’s goodness.
We started the process by brewing a Belgian style Witbier. We watched, waited and hugged it with love until the yeast hit terminal gravity (food coma from eating away all the natural sugars). Now it was time for the fruit. Our brewers got to work, hand zesting a tonne of lemons (not literally a tonne, but after a few hours it probably felt like it).
Meanwhile, at Botanica Life headquarters not so far away, their team were busy cold pressing 100% organic and chemical free fresh watermelons, straight from the Cowra food belt. The process for Botanica juice remains artisan and the extraction method is a slow pressing technique in a very chilled 3 degree environment. This ensures all the rich flavours and textures are not exposed to heat and result in a depreciation of freshness. The melon is pressed with powerful industrial hydraulics to ensure as many enzymes are filtered through to the end juice product. So you can be assured, nothing but the best quality ingredients go into your beer. The juice is finally strained, bottled, and was rushed over to us straight away.
So now what? The lemon zest is placed in a hop bag (similar to that of a tea bag), which is in turn placed in a Hop Back. The fresh watermelon juice is heated up and passed through the Hop Back and the lemon zest and watermelon are now infused together. The juice mixture is cooled and pumped into the Belgian Witbier tank where the yeast then wakes up from its food coma and gets straight back to work, chewing up all the delicious fruit sugars.
The result? As our brewer Garrett puts it “It’s like getting a French kiss from the sun while being hugged by summer”. Or, perhaps a little clearer; light and refreshing with a silky froth on top of a fresh lemon melon dessert. A great summer beer.
And nothing goes to waste here at 4 Pines’ HQ – fresh lemonade made from the zested left over lemons got the tick of approval from Chief Brewer Bones.
- On tap at the Manly Brewpub & Brookvale Brewery Truck Bar
- In the keg in limited release in select venues across Australia.
For more information about authentic, honest, rich, 100% Botanica juice visit www.botanicalife.com.au.
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