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Old 08-16-2011, 01:49 PM   #1
jgilmour
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Default Can I brew a lambic/wild beer in less than 6 months?

I'm a huge fan of lambic's but I have a feeling I will be moving within 6months so I dont have the time for fermenting for a year+. Are there any kits/recipes out there that has a decent turn around time ( <6 mo ) for a lambic/wild beer?

Thanks!

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Old 08-16-2011, 02:44 PM   #2
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Depends on what you mean by lambic/wild beer. You could brew a beer with brett added to the secondary (e.g., saison with brett) and have it tasting good by 6 months. Similarly, an all brett beer can be ready to drink within a couple months. Another option would be a berliner weiss. If you want to brew a lambic or flanders style beer, 6 months really isn't enough to make a good beer (although you could produce something sour and drinkable, depending on your process).

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Old 08-16-2011, 04:35 PM   #3
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There are a lot of methods that can turn a sour beer around quickly. For example souring pre-boil with a sour mash, or souring the wort. Berliner Weisse can also be bottled fairly quickly due to their low gravity and high fermentability. For the traditional Flemish/Lambic method though 6 months is too short to ensure a stable gravity, and non-exploding bottles.

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Old 08-16-2011, 06:48 PM   #4
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i just bottled a sour blonde last night - sat on the cake for 5 months, racked it off, pellicle did not come back after another 30 days and gravity was stable... only down to 1.008 with my house yeast culture and it's a 7 on a scale of 1 to 10 between not sour and rip your face off.

that had lacto/pedio/brett/sacc in addition to a sour mash... the gravity didn't move for months and the flavor was where i wanted it so it was ready for bottles imo. kind of a cross between traditional and non-traditional.

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Old 08-16-2011, 07:07 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jtakacs
i just bottled a sour blonde last night - sat on the cake for 5 months, racked it off, pellicle did not come back after another 30 days and gravity was stable... only down to 1.008 with my house yeast culture and it's a 7 on a scale of 1 to 10 between not sour and rip your face off.

that had lacto/pedio/brett/sacc in addition to a sour mash... the gravity didn't move for months and the flavor was where i wanted it so it was ready for bottles imo. kind of a cross between traditional and non-traditional.
I would be really interested in your process for this. I want to do a quick sour but allittle cautious
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Old 08-16-2011, 09:40 PM   #6
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nothing spectacular - it just finished very quick... i was surprised it didn't go lower, but my mash temp wasn't all that great to be honest... it's at 80% attenuation...

it's a blend of yeasts/bugs with some dregs, brett-c, pedio, lacto, sacc, pacman, 3944, and a few others - i keep this culture alive all the time and have a flanders and a partial grain plambic doing it's thing with this yeast blend right now as well.. heavy acetic smell to the yeast itself but it goes away as soon as it ferments.

the recipe is straight forward grain bill (mostly belgian pils, some wheat flakes, little honey malt, something else i'm forgetting), low amount of saaz (8 BU), very blonde in color and hazy... i soured 1.5 lbs of grain for 48 hours at 110 and did a quick boil on the sour mash after i sparged...

pitched my yeast at a high temp and it took off like a rocket - i tested the gravity early and it was at 1.010 or something like that (can't recall although i do have notes just not with me) and spent the next month going down to 1.008 where it's been forever... racked it off the cake (needed the yeast) and what mild pellicle there was never reformed after 30 days and gravity didn't move...

tasted it and it rocked so in the bottle it went. highly doubt i'll have bottle bombs.

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Old 08-17-2011, 04:09 AM   #7
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I bottled a sour blond after 5 months. Got Roeselare in the primary plus tons of bottle dregs in the secondary and about 2 months on red wine soaked oak. I took a gravity sample in July and it was down to 1.002 and it tasted great so I went ahead and bottled it. I cracked the first bottle after 3 weeks the other night and it was nicely carbonated and tasted amazing, akin to some of my favorite commercial sours.

I was surprised at the quick turnaround, I think it had to do with alot of really good bottle dregs plus using the blend in primary. You can't rush these things though, if it had not tasted right it would still be sitting in the carboy.

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