RECIPES – Belgians and Sour Beers

1. Robert White Witte (Brewed in June 2008)

This was my first stab at brewing with added ingredients: the traditional orange peel and coriander for a Belgian Witte. I also found it, despite its daunting lightness, much more agreeable than my personal homebrewing nemesis, Hefeweizen.

1 lb Flaked Wheat
0.5 lb Durst Pilsen malt
0.5 lb German Vienna malt
3.3 lb Briess Bavarian Wheat LME
3.3 lb Briess Light DME
2 oz Czech Saaz hops
White Labs 400 Belgian Wit Ale Yeast
3/4 oz bitter orange peel
2 tsp coriander
1/2 tsp cardamom

Steep grain in 1 gallon (or 5 for a full-boil) water at 155F for 1 hour.  Sparge grain with 1 gallon hot water.
Bring water to a boil.  Add DME and LME; return to the boil.
Add 1 oz hops, begin timer for 60-minute boil.
At 45 minutes, add 1/2 oz hops, 0.35 oz orange peel, and 1/2 tsp coriander
At 55 minutes, add 1 tsp coriander, 1/2 tsp cardamom, 0.30 oz orange peel, 1/2 oz hops
At 60 minutes, take off heat and chill.
Add cold water to 5 gallons total. Pitch yeast at 70F.
Ferment in Primary for 7 days; rack to secondary and let sit for 2 weeks. Prime and bottle; let bottles sit for 3 weeks.

2. Notker Balbulus “The Stammerer” Abbey Quadrupel Ale (Brewed December 2008)

This extract recipe takes its inspiration from the legendary Abt 12 brewed by the Trappist monks of Westvleteren in Belgium.  A joint effort with my friend JT, it’s an awe-inspiring concoction that weighs in at over 9% alcohol by volume and is built to last for the long haul in the cellar — two years on, it still has secrets to reveal and magic to unfold. OG 1085-1090. FG 1015-1020.  I can’t wait to make this one again.

1 lb Cara-munich malt
1 lb Belgian biscuit malt
4 oz Special B malt
4 oz British Chocolate malt
3 lb Northwestern Extra Light DME
1 lb Pilsen Extra Light DME
6.6 lb Northwestern Extra Light LME
1 lb Light Candi Sugar
4 oz turbinado sugar
6 oz Malto-dextrin
1 oz Organic New Zealand Hallertau hop pellets (7 AA)
1.25 oz Cascade dried whole hops (5.9 AA)
1 oz Irish Moss
White Labs WLP510 Bastogne Ale Yeast (beefed up into a starter)

A few days before brewing, add yeast to a 1-pint starter (DME boiled in water) and let it grow.
Soak grains in 2 gallons 155F water for 70 minutes. Sparge with 1 gallon hot water.  Drain water from bag. Raise water to boil; add malt extract and other sugars (including the malto-dextrin). Return to boil. Set timer for 60 minutes. Add 1 oz Cascade hops at beginning of boil.  Add Irish Moss and 1/2 oz Hallertau at 45 minutes. Add 1/2 oz Hallertau at 60 minutes and remove from heat.  Pitch yeast starter and ferment for about 1 week.  Rack to Secondary and let sit for 5-6 weeks, saving some of the yeast from the primary fermenter and getting it going into another starter.  Re-pitch yeast at 6 weeks. Let sit for 2 days, then prime and bottle.  Let bottles sit for 2 months before opening, but it will achieve its glory after about 6-8 months of waiting. This beer will cellar well (in a cool, dark place) for at least 2 years.


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