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Old 09-03-2012, 07:10 PM   #1
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Default Bottling a young lambic

I brewed a lambic about 4 months ago using the Northern Brewer Dawson's Kriek extract kit. It sat in primary for about 3 months and then I racked to secondary on top of 6lbs cherry puree about a month ago. When I racked to secondary I pitched another all grain batch on the (Lambic Blend) yeast cake and I'm planning on letting that one go for 1-2 years.

In the meantime I was planning on bottling the kriek in 750ml Belgian bottles for a local homebrew fest that's coming up in Oct.

Will this beer continue to develop in the bottle (I'm assuming so)? I'm not sure how to go about priming these for carbonation. I'm thinking I should stay on the low side since the bugs will continue to chew on any fermentable sugars left from the cherry pureee. But I also want to have at least some carbonation after 4-6 weeks in the bottle.

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Old 09-03-2012, 09:46 PM   #2
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All the simple sugars from the fruit will be gone now. At 3 months, there would still have been lots of sacc which would see of the simple sugars quickly.

Brett, Pedio, and Lacto, will work on the complex sugars, but I don't know how much carbonation they will create. I read somewhere that Pedio and Lacto do not produce CO2 as a result of breaking down sugars, and have also seen it rumored that Brett creates less CO2 than Sacc, but that doesn't seem right to me.

I'd probably bottle to about 2.5 volumes to be on the safe side.

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Old 09-04-2012, 05:57 AM   #3
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Non-blending lambic is meant to be carbonated on the low side so you don't need to go crazy with priming sugar.

Keep in mind that as your beer has been sitting it has been slowly releasing CO2 out of suspension (especially as it gets warm) so it will throw off priming sugar calculations because the calculators all assume you have retained normal amounts of CO2 in your beer. However if it's only four months old you are probably not too far off unless your beer has gotten really warm at some point. I would calculate for 2-2.5 volumes knowing you'll probably end up around 1.5-2.

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Old 09-04-2012, 11:00 AM   #4
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I'm not familiar with the kit you used but the question here is what is the current gravity of the beer? I bottle brett beers early alot and just let the brett provide the carbonation via the residual extract left by the sacch. So depending on what your gravity is you may or may not need any priming sugar at all. Have you already gone through the ropiness at this point? Again not familiar either WL or WY lambic blend but I assume they get ropy at some point. If you could I'd wait for the rope to appear and then bottle after that, if it hasn't happened already. I had a beer pass the ropy stage then get ropy again in the bottle and it took 5 months to lose the rope. I go for every 4 gravity points is 1 volume of C02. So if you're at 1.008 in your beer I'd just bottle it up and call it good, or just add enough to get .5 vol with priming sugar.

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Old 09-04-2012, 02:21 PM   #5
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I'm not sure if it's gone through a ropy stage yet. I just took a sample last night and it tasted really good. Gravity was at 1.010.

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Old 09-04-2012, 09:57 PM   #6
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You're at a point to bottle it if the beer has passed the rope stage and with out priming sugar. However I'd let it ride for a few more months. I've used some very aggressive strains and wasn't done at 4 months. So I hate to say that I don't think you'll be ready for your kriek to be doled out at the homebrew fest. 1.010 is a long way away from the beer being done in a fermentor and a couple points in gravity is one thing but that's about 4-6 months of additional fermentation there. So if you went my method with brett saisons you'd have to wait a year for it to have the appropriate carbonation anyway because that last 10 points in gravity can take a decently long time.

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Old 09-05-2012, 07:20 PM   #7
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I was in a similar situation as you, bottling on the same timeline and I bottled my kriek in 12oz bottles over eight months ago. I don't have my notes at hand, but I believe I used about the same amount of priming sugar I'd use for any other batch I made, 4-5oz corn sugar and I have not had any problems. The kriek carbonated quickly and has not shown any signs of gushers or exploding. The bottles are kept at about 70-75 degrees in the basement and I chill it thoroughly before opening. The flavor has changed somewhat but I wouldn't say that it has truly developed. FWIW I used a mix of cherry puree and pitted, frozen cherries but I don't think that would affect the bottling.

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Old 09-05-2012, 11:33 PM   #8
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Fwiw the instructions with the kit use a similar timeline as well. I think I might just bottle in 750ml Belgians and hope for the best. Even if the few bottles I open next month aren't great I don't mind waiting a while for the rest to get better.

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Old 09-06-2012, 11:58 AM   #9
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Well I'm not one to naysay. So if it worked/works for someone else then go for it. Heavier bottles will be a good idea though. Let us know if you end up getting ropy in the bottle though. I'm surprised you guys aren't getting super attenuation with the sour mix (white labs I guess) then again its extract and I bet its liquid extract so that might have something to do with the highish terminal gravity.

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Old 09-06-2012, 10:32 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 29thfloor View Post
I brewed a lambic about 4 months ago using the Northern Brewer Dawson's Kriek extract kit.
I would recommend just following the bottling instructions on the NB sheet...

BOTTLING DAY— 4 MONTHS AFTER BREWING DAY
19. Sanitize siphoning and bottling equipment.
20. Mix a priming solution (a measured amount of sugar dissolved in water to carbonate the bottled beer) of 2/3 cup priming sugar in 16 oz water. Bring the solution to a boil and pour into the bottling bucket.
21. Siphon beer into bottling bucket and mix with priming solution. Stir gently to mix don’t splash.
22. Fill and cap bottles.
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