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Brews & Views Bulletin Board Service * Brews and Views Archive 2003 * December 31,2003 * Need help on a lambic < Previous Next >

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chris debiec (66.218.6.80)
Posted on Friday, December 05, 2003 - 03:36 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I am thinking of brewing a Lambic and have some questions. Do I need to sour the mash even if I am using the Brett. mix from Wyeast? If so, how long did you let your mash sit at 120 to sour? I will be racking onto either Raspberries or Cherries after about a week and a half, is that enough time in primary? Did anyone use an Ale/Brett. mix of yeasts and what were the results? Also, should I use a bottling yeast because of such a long fermentation time and if so, ale or lager?
Thanks,
Chris
 

Andrew Bales (65.28.61.181)
Posted on Friday, December 05, 2003 - 05:15 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I will try to answer your questions Chris...

I am thinking of brewing a Lambic and have some questions. Do I need to sour the mash even if I am using the Brett. mix from Wyeast?

No. Sour mash for summer wheat beers and so on. It is a quick method of getting lactic acid without the bugs in your stuff going nuts on all your beers, ruining everything else you brew from here on. A lambic hack.


If so, how long did you let your mash sit at 120 to sour?

48 hours is the best. I do this for dry malt extract too. Makes a nice tart summer berliner without the infections of lacitic bacteria. Cover it with alumimin foil to avoid air contact. Keep it warm. 100F garage in the summer is the best.

I will be racking onto either Raspberries or Cherries after about a week and a half, is that enough time in primary?

WHOOAAA nelly! If you are sour mashing for a quick sour beer, sure. If you are using the brett & wild stuff, let the beer go 12 months and then bottle half, and add the fruit to the left half. Let the fruit and brett go for 6 months prior to bottling.

Did anyone use an Ale/Brett. mix of yeasts and what were the results? Also, should I use a bottling yeast because of such a long fermentation time and if so, ale or lager?
Thanks,
Chris

I have used the Wyeast Lambic blend a few times. I find the beer really tart and lacking in body after using it for 3 years now. I think you will like a brett culture and some fruit as having more body and balance, more like Leidemans and Leifmans and Timmermans from Belgium. These are brett beers, sour browns with some fruit mostly. Mine are more tart bone dry lambics that require some strong appreciation of lambics [read - pretty darn harsh or very dry] and all lambic blend beers I have tried so far have an aftertaste I will ami to get rid of- either secondariing or brett only and no other bugs.

Right now I let the beer go in the primary for a year, year and half prior to bottling and then I use a nottinghams dry yeast as the bottling yeast. But to get the brett chararcter takes at least 6 months. Don't bottle some bombs, give it time. If you don't like the year or more wait, do a sour mash and then fruit in the secondary as a normal beer. Sour mash and brett might be a good mix. Split the batch? Get more carboys. Use beer you don't like to refill after bottling. I use some strong ales as cannon fodder for these. Any sweet beer can be used to fill it up, or a beer that can be made sweet with more extract. Hopped or unhopped cans of extract mixed with distilled or filtered water at a really strong strenght make good fillers for half full lambic carboys, no need to boil if the water is clean - what kind of bug might you get that you don't have already? Aging will destroy most hops anyway.
 

chumley (63.227.173.124)
Posted on Friday, December 05, 2003 - 05:58 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

ditto what bales said.
 

matt_dinges (67.31.166.207)
Posted on Friday, December 05, 2003 - 06:15 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Classic.

Bales...I gotta come down and try some of your stuff...maybe Feb? weather depending. I just had a Boon Marriage Parfait(sp??)...a gueze, incredible stuff...my taste for lambics is expanding. Sounds like you need to get some oak casks!

BTW, Gomers @ 99th&Holmes was quite nice...good for some caracole, magnum of Chouffe, La Trappe, St. B, ect...nice prices.

But Liefmann's is no more lambic than Rodenbach, meaning not at all...maybe some similiarity, but not lambic...I just can't let that pass...not sure if you meant it was lambic or not though.
 

Brewzz (66.82.160.1)
Posted on Friday, December 05, 2003 - 08:00 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I am also planning to brew a plambic this weekend.I have both wyeast brett. and lambic cultures for this.I'm planning brewing about 12 gal. and making half of it a regular light ale.I was wondering about the hops though.I have plenty of old cheesy hops for the plambic,but want the other half to be more hoppy.Should I draw off half for the plambic then add more fresh hops and maybe a little water and boil for another hour or so for the other ale?Also I'm planning to ferment both with a neutral dry ale yeast and add the other cultures to the plambic after a week or so. Does this sound like a workable plan or am I missing something? Thanks as always Guys.
Brewzz
 

ahancbrew1 (143.183.121.1)
Posted on Friday, December 05, 2003 - 10:24 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I just tried a Lambic from Leidemans. It was made with Black current(Sp?).

I have 2 questions about lambics

1) Do all Lambics have fruit added to them?
2) Is there a difference between Lambic and plambic?

Thanks
Andy
 

Paul Edwards (199.46.199.232)
Posted on Friday, December 05, 2003 - 01:28 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Andy,

1) No.

2) Lambic is the real thing made in Belgium.
plambic, short for "pseudo-lambic" is the name that's been given to lambic-style beers made elsewhere.
 

Bill Pierce (24.141.63.119)
Posted on Friday, December 05, 2003 - 01:37 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

The advice of the others here is good. I would rack to secondary after 10-14 days. Let the primary yeast do its thing before racking and pitching the lambic culture. After that, be patient. The bacteria take time to work; I can't imagine anything less than three months, and two years is not out of the question. Then rack the beer once again and add fruit if you wish, along with additional yeast. After a month or so on the fruit the beer can be racked yet again and finally bottled.

pLambic brewing is an exercise in faith. Each batch is a little different (that's why commercial lambics are almost always blended) but the rewards can be great.
 

Andrew Bales (199.64.0.252)
Posted on Friday, December 05, 2003 - 02:38 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I have heard that those bugs need the primary gunk to breakdown and eat. But - the aftertastes I seem to have in my lambic beers might well be autoalysis, or some wild strain I have going becuase I do cross pollonate (sp) my batches. Not that the aftertaste ruins it, but it is a definative "house taste" and we all know about brewpubs that claim those usually are hiding behind problems in sanitation or proper care of beer. So the next batch will be secondaried and only have brett. More like Orval than Cantillon.

True those are sour browns and not true lambics matt. But I have heard other lambic brewers state off the record that they only use brett to win competitions becuase the full cultures don't. The beers are just too sour and dry for the judges. Now whether that is really true, cause 2 brewers don't make a landslide is another story too.

Come on down Matt. I have 4 lambics in bottles right now and a berliner. The Berliner is getting alot better. Tasted terrible (sour cider) this summer but is drying out and the apple is about gone. When the C02 rises it will be a award winner just like last years.

Currents and lambics - I have tried that beer twice and really don't like it. Try the peche or the raspberry or cherry. I think currents would work in a barleywine lambic better, but you should buy a sixpack of them and really get to like that flavor. My cherry/spiced wheat wine lambic is the best lambic I have done. That was one of those "I have a case and I don't like it" beers that I just pitched on the dregs and dumped in a can of cherry puree and let it go for a year. You can just add a unhopped can of extract to any beer you don't like (if it has too much hops for this style) and some lambic dregs and let it go. Add fruit later.

I have a clean lambic blend and orval dreg batch going right now. I will be interested to see if it has the very dry aftertaste too. I plan to bottle half at Christmas and then add cherry puree and bottle the rest 4th July.

I also plan to use the Orval recipe that was posted awhile back this spring. That will work perfect for a 5g/5g split batch as a un cultured orval will be a good "Porter" [1.054, 34ibus] with the right yeast and some little help from a stove boil on the side of dark grains/more hops to add to the second all grain beer. This orval and bretty only combo would be ready by fall then.
 

chumley (199.92.192.126)
Posted on Friday, December 05, 2003 - 07:21 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I began lambic brewing in January 2002. I brewed the standard 65% pils/35% unmalted wheat/turbid mash 2-year old noble hops recipe to get 7.5 gallons of wort, which I fermented in two 5-gallon carboys using 1056 before transferring to my 7.5 gallon French oak cask, along with three Wyeast lambic cultures (Brettanomyces Lambicus, Lactobacillus delbrueckii, and Pediococcus cerevisiae).

This summer (July 2003), I brewed up 5 gallons of lambic. After fermenting that out with Nottingham, I removed 5 gallons from the cask, and placed the new batch back in. I currently have two 2.8-gallon carboys in the basement with fruit lambics. One is made with raspberries (Oregon fruit puree per BP's advice), the other huckleberries. I plan to bottle them around Christmas.

The odd thing about the two fruit lambic carboys is that the lambic fermenation took off again in the huckleberry one (a thick pellicle formed), but almost nothing in the raspberry one. Go figure.

Two weeks ago I added another brett. culture (Bruxellensis) to the cask. I have also been stirring up the dregs of bottle of Cantillon and Boon lambics and dumping them into the cask when I buy them on occassion.

I am also contemplating brewing up a five gallon batch of lambic this January. After fermenting out again with a neutral ale yeast, I intend to blend 2.5 gallons of this batch with 2.5 gallons from the cask and bottle to make a gueze. The remaining 2.5 gallons will be added back to the cask.

So this January, I will be two years into lambic breewing without yet to have drank a bottle. But this spring, I should have 10 gallons of two fruit lambics and gueze ready for consumption. Won't that be a pity? :)
 

D. Fraser (66.213.202.10)
Posted on Friday, December 05, 2003 - 11:38 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I became interested in trying my hand in brewing lambics after having a gueze for the first time on my b-day a couple of months ago. I don't have the will power or the space to have a fermenter sitting around for a year and half so I was going to go the sour mash - ale one week - brett one or two months - and secondary some raspberries for one or two months. (a la Papazien's appendix)

Will the sour mash require me to use a separate mash-tun and every thing else that comes in contact with the mash to prevent the bugs from infecting all subsequent brews? If so can I just mash the grains then sour the extracted sugars with a half lb. of barley in a bucket, pre-boil?
 

matt_dinges (67.31.168.228)
Posted on Saturday, December 06, 2003 - 02:30 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Chumley-

I'm curious about the cask...does it take much work to prepare/maintain it???

I'd love to get one(then, if I like it, another, ect...)to be able to have my own "blends" and micro-environment...

I'm sure others might be interested in hearing the ins and outs of the cask as well.

Cheers
 

Brandon Dachel (216.177.117.110)
Posted on Saturday, December 06, 2003 - 04:25 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

> 7.5 gallon French oak cask,

Wow. Good job. That's a great way to maintain the microbe soup needed. I've been intending to do a pLambic for a while now. actually, over a year. If I'd have done it, I'd have results by now. :(

Because you have the cask do you bother to get new bacteria cultures? I actually have some brett. brux on a calcium carbonate slant that I got for free but I know stuff like pedio is very challenging for a homebrewer to keep viable.
 

chumley (63.227.171.89)
Posted on Saturday, December 06, 2003 - 05:03 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Matt- The preparation of the cask was a pain, the maintenance is minimal. Since I live in the semi-arid west (Montana), the new cask leaked like sieve when I bought it. I followed the directions Guinard gives in his lambic book. I could not get it to hold water, so I ended up soaking it in our clawfoot tub for a week. Finally, it swelled up. I also did the other things that Guinard recommended Ė donít have the book handy, but it seems I alternated soaks with baking soda and vinegar solutions.

Youíll also have to build yourself a rack for the cask. (My late father-in-law did this for me). It sits on its side, and you shouldnít let it sit on the middle or it will warp.

After that, everythings easy. You need to top off the keg periodically, as wood is porous, and you lose a bit to evaporation. Guinard recommends topping off every 2 weeks but I am lazy Ė topping off every 2 months seems to work okay (not too sour yet). When you brew a batch its best to make an extra gallon or two for topping off. I store the wort in 1 quart Ziplocs in the freezer Ė just thaw, boil for a few minutes (donít know if this is necessary). Cool, and pour into the top of the cask through the bunghole.

Brandon Ė I am brewing the ďsolera-styleĒ that Jeff Renner described in his Zymurgy article a couple of years ago. That is, I always leave at least a couple of gallons of old lambic in the cask when I draw out some for bottling, and replace with fresh lambic. Thus, I donít see a need to add any more cultures. One of these days, I will siphon all of the lambic out, rinse the cask out to get rid of sediment buildup, then replace the lambic. However, what Iíve read indicates that dead S. cerivase cells, which we worry might cause autolysis, serves as food source for brett. and ped. So Iím not sweating it. Iím sure there will be enough organisms stored in the wood to re-lambic any wort I put into it.

Casks of lambic are way cool. Once in June 2002, my cask started spewing tan sludge through the bunghole after months of sitting idle. Apparentlys some microorganism finally took off. It looked just like those pictures of casks in the cellars of Lambeek.
 

Brandon Dachel (216.177.117.110)
Posted on Saturday, December 06, 2003 - 02:23 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

> However, what Iíve read indicates that dead S.
> cerivase cells, which we worry might cause
> autolysis, serves as food source for brett. and
> ped.

I *think* I came across the same info on Jim Liddl's webpages. The recommendations were to not rack the beer until you're ready to add fruit or bottle.
 

Brewzz (66.82.160.1)
Posted on Saturday, December 06, 2003 - 08:19 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Ok..I'm brewing around 11 Gal.plambic tomorrow, Sunday. Was going to get it all set up today to shorten my brew day.Recipe:
11# 2 row
6# malted wheat (can't get any raw at this time,but can add to it at a later date)
7-8 oz. old cheesy hops for the entire boil.
I was going to do a step mash as I read in Liddl's webpage.I'm going to use Windsor ale yeast for primary and add the Wyeast 3526 Brett. and Wyeast 3278 Lambic blend in a couple weeks to about 6 Gal. and freeze the rest in ziplocks for future feedings.Does this sound like a workable plan??
Brewzz
 

matt_dinges (67.31.178.158)
Posted on Sunday, December 07, 2003 - 04:27 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Thanks Chumley. I'm going to start looking.
 

Andrew Bales (199.64.0.252)
Posted on Monday, December 08, 2003 - 01:32 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Fraser - sounds good with the preboiled soured wort. That is what I would do if doing a all grain sour beer. You could also leave the mash alone and lower it to 120F (leave the lid off or put it outside until down to 120F and then add more grain to reculture it and then cover with foil for 2 days, heat up the mash, sparge). I usually do extract for my sour "mash" beers, I take some hot water form the tap and some dry wheat extract and let it with a touch of some raw crushed grain for 2 days and then boil for 30 minutes with some minor hops for 15 ibus or so in a 1.040 or less beer. Your mash tun is already a haven for lactic bacteria, don't worry about that. It needs to go into a cooler to hold the heat regardless of what it is. However you should really wash your hands and clean the mash spoon and stuff better than ever to make sure the germs don't propogate by your hands or equipment. But it has that stuff in there already. Sour mashing is not going to infect your beer post boil.
 

D. Fraser (66.213.202.10)
Posted on Tuesday, December 09, 2003 - 02:21 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Thanks Andrew. I just read Jim Liddil's article on lambics and now understand a little bit better what it is we are really talking about here. I realize now that I either need to do something like a berliner weiz (anyone have a good recipe?) or stop d---ing around and get on the plambic boat for real.
 

Paul Edwards (199.46.200.232)
Posted on Tuesday, December 09, 2003 - 11:32 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Keep the lambics going, friends.

New sanitation rules in the EU are forcing some lambic breweries and blenders to close shop. One of the new rules is one that says the only wood that can touch the beer is wood in barrels.

It's apparently too expensive for the small places to comply. De Troch is reported to already have closed its doors, and others are on the path.
 

Andrew Bales (199.64.0.252)
Posted on Tuesday, December 09, 2003 - 01:41 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

This is the perfect time to do one. It might well be ready by July. Order the Wyeast Lactic culture now.

Here is my latest recipe for Easy Berliner:

5g @ 1.032->1.002 with minimal ibus
1) Boil all the water for 30 minutes with 1 oz of low aau hops.
2) Add 4# Dry Wheat extract and turn off the fire. Let sit for 20 minutes to sanitize the wort. Boiling will darken this wort and the weisse breweries don't do it either. You will be surprised how light extract is not boiled.
3) Chill.
4) Add lactic bacteria starter. Lactic Bacteria is available as a Wyeast unsmackable smackpack. Pitch this into a 1/2g unhopped starter and place on the hot water heater for weeks (a month is good) prior to brewing.
5) Wait 2 days and add nottingham dry yeast. Why a dry yeast? Needs less 02 [you don't have that much 02 in this beer becuase you should not areate it that much] and this is a good high attenuating yeast that is clean and nuetral.
6) Tranfer at 2 weeks and leave in secondary for a few months at 75F-80F if you can. 80F is good temp for getting the bacteria going.
7) Bottle.
8) Drink when finally ready, bone dry and tart. Raw ones tend to be apple cidery and sweet/sour. Let them wait longer. Could be 3 months, could be a year or more.

First batch I did had the starter going for a month and was nice and tart by summer. I also pitched the yeast at the same time as the starter. It was a very good beer that took awards.

The second one I did only a 1 week starter and it is now 1 year old and just about done. Will be great by next summer. This one I pitched the yeast 48 hours later. Might be that the yeast needs to go at the same time or the starter needed more time on the hot water heater. Next batch I will put the starter out for a month and pitch the yeast 2 days after and see.

Keep your bubblers, bottling wand, and hoses separate, mark them with "L" for lambic or something. Use another bottling bucket. Don't keg this stuff, it gets so much better at 2 years in a bottle it is like champange.

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