Belgian-style white ales are light, golden-colored, crisp, slightly fruity, and a little hazy. They were originally brewed to slake the thirst of the "everyman" in northern Europe. Today, they are one of the most popular styles in the country and are Catawba's most popular beer.
I. Equipment – scrounge around the house or buy from a good homebrew store: a. Large pot – 3 to 4 gallon capacity with a built-in spigot b. Wooden spoon (A.K.A. "Magic Spoon) for stirring and measuring c. Cooking thermometer with a range from room temperature to about 250 degrees F d. Kitchen timer e. 5+ gallon glass carboy for fermentation f. Food grade transfer hoses to move beer around g. Food grade plastic racking cane or stainless-steel tube h. Air lock for fermenter i. Sanitizing solution (preferably iodophor based) j. Clean food-grade bucket with spigot (used for bottling) k. 50 sturdy, non-screw top 12-ounce beer bottles (can come from recycling or dumpster diving) l. 50 caps m. Bottle capper n. 2/3 cup of cane sugar (for priming) o. Kitchen towels – something is bound to spill
II. Recipe Ingredients: a. 3 gallons tap water b. 2.5 gallons pre-boiled water, pre-chilled in refrigerator c. 2 cups active American Ale yeast culture. Make it yourself (see below) or ask your local brewery d. 4 lbs light barley malt extract e. 2 lbs wheat malt extract f. 0.5 ounces Nugget hops (add at beginning of boil) g. 0.5 ounces East Kent Goldings hops (add 40 minutes into the boil) h. 0.5 ounces crushed coriander (add 40 minutes into the boil) i. 0.2 ounces bitter orange peel (add 40 minutes into the boil) j. 0.3 ounces crushed coriander (add at end of boil) k. 0.3 ounces bitter orange peel (add at end of boil)
Catawba Brewing Co. 212 S. Green Street HQ: Morganton, NC 28655 Charlotte I Asheville I Charleston
III. Prep Day (One or two days before brew day): a. Boil enough tap water to yield 2.5 gallons. Chill in the refrigerator and hold. b. Make a yeast starter if necessary – this is just a very small batch of beer that wakes up our little yeastie beasties 1. Boil 2 cups water and add 1 cup dry barley malt extract. 2. Let cool to 90 degrees or less. 3. Transfer to a sanitized glass vessel (pyrex flasks work best) 4. Add one unit of pre-packaged brewers' yeast 5. Cap with an airlock 6. You'll know it's ready when the airlock is bubbling away c. Gather all of your equipment and recipe ingredients. There's nothing worse than missing something on brew day
IV. Brew Day! a. Add 3 gallons tap water to your boil kettle and turn on the heat b. Once the water boils, stir in: 1. Barley Malt extract 2. Wheat Malt extract c. Once everything is dissolved and back up to a boil: 1. Set your timer for 40 minutes 2. Add the Nugget hops 3. Relax a bit d. When the timer rings: 1. Add the East Kent Golding hops 2. Add the first portion of coriander 3. Add the first portion of orange peel 4. Set your timer for 20 minutes e. When the timer rings again: 1. Turn off the heat 2. Add the second portion of coriander 3. Add the second portion of orange peel f. Relax again! You've made wort and that's the hard part. Now it's time to turn the yeast loose on that sugary solution. g. Sanitize your carboy and airlock with the sanitizing solution h. Pour the pre-chilled water into your sanitized carboy i. Carefully transfer your hot wort into the chilled water via a food-grade hose j. Check the temperature – you're looking for 90 degrees or less. When that happens 1. Shake up your yeast starter and add to the cooled wort 2. Give it all a shake 3. Place the fermenter in a dark, room temperature area (a closet is great) 4. Congratulations. Now all we do is wait for fermentation!
V. Fermentation: a. The first rule here is be patient. It takes a couple of weeks for the yeast to do its job. 1. For the first 1-3 days you will see yeast activity and bubbles out of the airlock 2. Visible activity will decline, but you will still see occasional bubbles from the airlock over the next 10 days or so 3. In about 2 weeks the yeast will have done their job, you won't see any bubbles in the airlock, and it will be time to package
VI. Packaging: a. Clean and sanitize the beer bottles and bottle caps b. Make a priming solution. Add 2/3 cup cane sugar to ¾ cup boiling water, mix, and allow to cool c. Sanitize your bottling bucket, racking cane, and transfer tubing d. Using the racking cane and transfer hose, siphon the fermented wort from the glass carboy into the bottling bucket e. Pour in the priming solution and stir gently f. Fill each bottle via the spigot and hose g. Press on a cap h. Move to a cool, dark location and let sit for about 2 weeks as the bottles naturally carbonate i. Grab a couple, refrigerate, pop the tops, and enjoy!