First time sour beer brewer here...
Looking for an easy first recipe to approximate a lambic, and be a first step before I try a traditional more difficult version. Well I found this recipe on byo.com and I was wondering what your guys opinion on it is and if you think it would make a good beer?
0.5 lb. crystal malt, 20° Lovibond
0.5 lb. cracked wheat malt
5 lbs. weizen dry malt extract (approximately 50% wheat and 50% barley)
1 oz. Saaz hop pellets (for 45 min.)
10-14 grams of a dry ale yeast
4-5 lbs. chopped, fresh sour green apples.
1 packet Wyeast 3278
3/4 cup corn sugar (for priming)
Step by Step:
In 2.5 gals. of cold water, steep crystal and cracked wheat malt. Bring gradually up to 170° F and remove the grains. As water comes to a boil, remove briefly from the heat and stir in dry malt extract. Return to heat. When the wort begins to boil, add hop pellets and boil 45 minutes. Remove from heat, cool quickly, and add enough chilled, sterile water to make up 5 gals. in your fermenter. When cooled to 75°F, add dry ale yeast.
Ferment relatively warm (70° to 75° F) until the first phase of fermentation is done (three to five days, usually), then rack into a secondary in which you have already placed the chopped apples. Pitch prepared Wyeast 3278 (formerly labeled as Brettanomyces Bruxellensis, but now simply called B-yeast), close up, and condition cool (50° to 55° F) for 10 to 15 days.
Prime with corn sugar, bottle (carefully avoiding apple debris as you siphon), and age four to six weeks to allow the flavors to blend well.
If you have any tips orsuggestions let me know please it would be greatly appreciated. Also I was wondering if I will need to buy a glass carboy for this if it will sour my plastic one? TIA
I see no purpose for the cracked wheat. You are not mashing, so all it will contribute is starch haze.
I would be concerned about the apples. I assume it is to try and sour the beer quickly rather than waiting for the lacto and pedio in the blend to work. I have no experience with using apples.
There is no reason to use the dry yeast. The Wyeast pack has a Belgian ale strain in it.
Lambics are generally fermented in the primary (on the cake) for at least 12 months. The Brett feeds on the decaying sacc yeast. The Brett takes several months to start working as a secondary yeast, and the lacto and pedio don't start working until you get to about the 8 month mark.
You can give it a go to see what you get in such a short time (9 weeks to the glass). Unless you use Champagne bottles I would suggest you do not try and age it for too long as the Brett will keep slowly working for 12 months generating CO2 and increasing bottle pressure.
I would suggest doing it properly, find a proper recipe, start one off, and ignore it for a year.
Most people recommend fermenting in glass for 2 reasons: 1) glass lets in a lot less O2, reducing the potential for acetic acid (vinegar) production over the long fermentation period. Better bottles are supposedly pretty good too. I generally use glass. 2) The bugs can supposedly hide in scratches and possibly pores of plastic containers and may manage to hide from sanitizers resulting in potential contamination of subsequent batches. If you dedicate a plastic container to it, it will not be a problem (reason (1) aside). I do have a couple of small batches in HDPE, trying to understand if there is a significant -difference between glass and HDPE. I'm planning to compare them with the same batch in glass at 3 and 6 months, and will move to glass if necessary.
I agree about the apples, first thing I thought was...Why? and so quickly too. The labeling of the yeast as B-yeast or Brett Brux, is also very inaccurate, 3278 is a lambic blend, and has always been.
Many of the recipes I see posted from BYO make me scratch my head and wonder what the hell they were thinking.
If your gonna go the extract route, add some maltodextrin, Id say about 0.25# in a 5gal batch, and start from the get go with 3278. Forget about any type of fruit for at least 6mos. Taste it in 6mos, and see what the flavor is like, this is the time to think about fruit (best to grab it in peak season and freeze)
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