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Lambic-style planning...

PostPosted: Tue Oct 21, 2008 9:03 am
by alms66
Here's the recipe I'm thinking of using:
Mini-mash: (my limit is 4# of grain)
2.5# 6-row
1.5# Flaked Wheat
6# Wheat Extract
Today I find out you should age your hops, but I'm brewing this in 2-3 weeks...
Anybody got some old hops for trade? If not, I'll find the lowest AA% I can get my hands on and use very little of that, .5 oz, I'm guessing.

1. Mini-mash & leave wort to sit & sour overnight
2. Bring to a boil for 15 min.
3. Add LME on cool burner
4. Bring back to a boil for 30 min.
5. Add hops and boil for 60 min.
6. Primary with dry yeast (unkown neutral variety - will pick up at Marcello's) - 2 weeks.
7. Secondary on green apple puree (as much as I can fit), pitch Wyeast Lambic Blend - 3-6 months
8. Bottle with 2oz apple flavor extract & 3 oz priming sugar

Please comment and suggest at will...
I'm confident in my ability to brew, not so much in the recipe/procedure itself, as I've cobbled this together from books and internet resources.
Hopefully one of you have brewed something similar before and can give experienced wisdom...

PostPosted: Tue Oct 21, 2008 10:20 am
by yeastmeister
Hmmmm...Presumably a fruit lambic your going for...

Sounds reasonable for the most part. Not sure about the apple puree at the same time as the lambic blend. I think i'd let the normal yeast at the apple puree and let it almost finish with it before I pitched the lambic. Up to you however, you never wind up with the same lambic twice anyway. I'd consider some oak chips in there. Lambics are traditionally done in oak barrels.

I'd plan on more than 3-6 months from the lambic blend. My understanding is that you wait for the pellicle (the fuzzy stuff thats going to form on top) to fall. Once it does, your done. Mine is still floating 9 months in.

Taste it before you decide on 2 oz of apple at bottling. I've overflavored a thing or 2 before.

PostPosted: Tue Oct 21, 2008 12:24 pm
by aleguy
My understanding is that for a lambic you need to do a special mash which produces a very starchy wort (Can't think of the exact name for it right now) but basically you cram about three times as much grain into your mash tun as would normally fit and remove various quantities of wort at various times throughout the mash. There was a very good article on it in a recent issue of BYO. Anyway, the Brett needs more starch in the wort so it has something to eat when the sacharomyces is done.
Other than that, I would listen to the Yeastmeister. You might also want to read "Wild Brews" which details the production of Lambics and Flanders red and brown ales.

PostPosted: Tue Oct 21, 2008 1:23 pm
by aleguy
Just remembered. It's called a turbid mash.

PostPosted: Tue Oct 21, 2008 2:18 pm
by alms66
Fruit Lambic, indeed...
I'm shooting for something similar to Lindeman's Pomme here, btw. That should help in criticing...

So, you're saying Primary with just yeast, Secondary on Fruit then Tertiary with Lambic Blend, Yeastmeister? Sounds doable.
I was going to do the oak chips, however the two major sources I pulled this from both indicated that with such a long aging time they add nothing to the finished result. I trusted them to pull the recipe, I guess I'll trust them on that as well.

The 3-6 month thing was really a guess based on the recipes I've poured over in the last month or so. I hadn't read anything about the pellicle falling - I'll look into that more. I've seen times as short as 3-4 weeks, while the longest aging time I saw through my research was a "minimum of 1 year" though the same guy didn't list a maximum or what he generally uses if it's more than a year as suggested by the "minimum" part.

I've done a cherry stout with 2oz of the flavor extract, and at 6 months it was strong on the cherry for what I'd like in a stout, but should be about right for the fruit lambic - I think, but I understand I could turn up wrong with that.

Aleguy, I read a bit about the turbid mashing techniques, I thought the addition of the wheat, plus wheat extract would do because of the high amount of starch in wheat - but I'll re-read my sources, you're probably right. I also believe they said a substitute for doing a true turbid mash was to simply sour it by leaving it out overnight - maybe they meant in addition to - I'll re-read...

After I do that, I'll see about adjusting the recipe above with the advice you guys have given. Thanks.

PostPosted: Tue Oct 21, 2008 2:48 pm
by aleguy
I think that "substitute" was an acidulated mash, but it certainly won't hurt a lambic. True lambics are always (according to the book) aged for three years before bottling or blending with one and two year old lambics to make a gueze, which is what most of us think of as a lambic. The commercial varieties of fruit lambic are nearly always pasteurized and sweetened before bottling so bear that in mind when determining how long to age your beer before bottling.