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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Lambic & Wild Brewing > Boil times for Lambic
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Old 02-10-2009, 06:14 PM   #1
Jsta Porter
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Default Boil times for Lambic

Hello,

I have noticed that many Lambic recipes have boil times of 4-6hours. Why is this? Does the mash/sparge require more water than a standard brew? If you are a cheater, like I plan to be, and use extract, is it still necessary?

Thanks!

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Old 02-10-2009, 06:20 PM   #2
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Its been a while since I've read Wild Brews, so don't quote me on this. I believe most lambics require such a long boil mainly to mimic the flavors. You don't want a vigorous boil. A typical lambic brewery will sometimes boil for up to 8 hours or more. This is because it sometimes takes them a few hours to even achieve a boil.

You also might want to consider at least a PM on a lambic. Most lambic recipes call for a large portion of unmalted wheat, which provide complex sugars and dextrins (extra food) for the other bugs once the yeast eat up most of the sugars.

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Old 02-10-2009, 06:22 PM   #3
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No its not necessary. Charlie Papazian covers this in one of his books. I am not sure on the reason for the long boil but Papazian does nothing to compensate for this long boil so I do not think that it would be required. I have seen that most recipes that do not have a long boil, however, do have you boil the flaked wheat before it is added to the rest of the mash to contribute to astrincensy. Most of the book recipes I have seen though are PM batches so I suppose this long, low, slow boil would achieve the flavors that would be required.

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Old 02-10-2009, 06:37 PM   #4
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Lambics traditionally employ aged hops, which are considered undesirable in most styles of beer because of the "cheesey" flavors and aromas they release.

The reason for the long boil is to drive off those "cheesey" flavors, and all the hop bitterness, leaving only the preservative power of the hops left. There should be no bitterness or hop aromas left.

With lambics, rather than balancing the malt sweetness with the hop bitterness (as in more conventional beers), you are instead balancing malt sweetness with lactic & acetic tartness, and with the tannins from years of aging in oak casks.

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Old 02-10-2009, 06:55 PM   #5
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Most lambic breweries have volume caps on their mash-tuns, to avoid excess taxing. Therefore, they would utilize multiple mashes per brew session, and drive a boil the entire time.

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Old 02-10-2009, 07:45 PM   #6
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Thanks- I love this forum.

OK, looks like I will AG, maybe a 10 gallon batch to make it worth while.


Alan

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Old 02-10-2009, 09:29 PM   #7
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Lambics are not predictable the way that conventional beers are. Depending on the location, environmental conditions, time of year, and weather, all sorts of factors can effect what type of wild bugs you capture. IF anything, I would start with a smaller batch (at most 5 gals.) to see how it turns out, unless you are pretty confident of the source for your wild yeast.

The best time/place to capture wild yeast is a clear dry and cool Autumn day in a vineyard or orchard with ripe (not rotten) fruit. Doesn't mean that your backyard in February won't work just as well, you might get different results though. As I said, its not predictable.

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Old 02-11-2009, 04:53 AM   #8
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There were a couple of good points and interesting historical nuggets already presented.

Another reason that I understand for the long boil time is that lambics are often seriously oversparged to extract starches and tannins that serve as good bug food during long fermentations

I'm going to post the recipe for the Kriek that I brewed last weekend onto my profile. I employed a slightly modified turbid mash and did oversparge to collect 10 gallons for a 5 gallon batch. Consequently, 4.5 hour boil.

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