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Old 01-23-2011, 03:49 PM   #1
mixedbrewer
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Default I just had my first lambic

And wow! It is great. I am drinking a Cuvee Rene Gueuze beer. I am wondering if it is just as simple as starting this type of beer from the junk in the bottom of the bottle since it is "alive". There is all sorts of stringy stuff, yeast, and other bits settled at the bottom. I dont know much about lambics, but this one has me interested.

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Old 01-23-2011, 04:42 PM   #2
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You can definitely start from the junk in the bottom--it's usually called cultivating dregs.

Avoid anything from Lindeman's that isn't labelled "Cuvee Rene"--they're pasteurized (and sweetened with artificial sweeteners), so you won't get any useful bugs from them.

http://www.themadfermentationist.com/2010/06/harvesting-sour-beer-bottle-dregs.html

Look for something from Cantillon next if you can find it. Or Hanssen's or Drei Fonteinen.

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Old 01-23-2011, 04:58 PM   #3
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Great news! Thanks for the link. I think I will experiment with it in a 1 gallon glass growler. I will cook up a wort and pitch yeast and what I have left in the bottle. Then I should have a bunch left over after that for a 5 gallon batch the next time. This should be interesting.

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Old 01-23-2011, 06:24 PM   #4
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I was actually going to ask about a similar topic - I tried and I think succeeded at culturing the dregs from a bottle of Lindeman's framboise ... yes the americanized sugar laden version of lambic from Lindeman's. Anyway, I was going to ask what exactly I might have there in that starter - a mixture of simple ale yeast with the wild cultures in Belgium? I figure it's either a wild culture from Belgium, or a wild culture from my kitchen Can/should I use this to ferment my first attempt at a lambic style beer?

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Old 01-23-2011, 07:07 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mixedbrewer View Post
Great news! Thanks for the link. I think I will experiment with it in a 1 gallon glass growler. I will cook up a wort and pitch yeast and what I have left in the bottle. Then I should have a bunch left over after that for a 5 gallon batch the next time. This should be interesting.
Let us know in a year or so how that turns out.

Lambics take a long time to ferment out due to the slow nature of some of the important critters -- pedio and brett -- which won't even start to show up in significant quantities until you are several months in.
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Old 01-23-2011, 11:57 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by esarkipato View Post
I was actually going to ask about a similar topic - I tried and I think succeeded at culturing the dregs from a bottle of Lindeman's framboise ... yes the americanized sugar laden version of lambic from Lindeman's. Anyway, I was going to ask what exactly I might have there in that starter - a mixture of simple ale yeast with the wild cultures in Belgium? I figure it's either a wild culture from Belgium, or a wild culture from my kitchen Can/should I use this to ferment my first attempt at a lambic style beer?
Its from your kitchen, the framboise is pasteurized, if there was anything viable in it they would turn into bottle grenades with all that sugar in it

give a small amount of wort a shot with your culture though, it may turn out decent
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Old 01-24-2011, 04:16 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by esarkipato View Post
I was actually going to ask about a similar topic - I tried and I think succeeded at culturing the dregs from a bottle of Lindeman's framboise ... yes the americanized sugar laden version of lambic from Lindeman's. Anyway, I was going to ask what exactly I might have there in that starter - a mixture of simple ale yeast with the wild cultures in Belgium? I figure it's either a wild culture from Belgium, or a wild culture from my kitchen Can/should I use this to ferment my first attempt at a lambic style beer?
Whatever you have isn't from the bottle. The sweetened (non-Cuvee Rene) Lindemans are all pasteurized, so there's nothing in there to culture up.
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Old 01-24-2011, 03:44 PM   #8
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A year? I cant do it in maybe 6 months?

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Old 01-24-2011, 04:17 PM   #9
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A year? I cant do it in maybe 6 months?
At 1-year, you'll have so-called "young" lambic.

The Cuvee Rene gueuze that you had is made by blending about 1/3 3-year aged lambic with 2/3 young lambic, then allowing it to bottle condition for another 6 months; to duplicate that you'd need at least 3 1/2 years.

Oldsock's done a lot of sour brews; his timelines are often along these lines:

http://www.themadfermentationist.com/2008/09/brewing-lambic-20.html
(notes from his brew day, on Sep 5, 2008)
http://www.themadfermentationist.com/2010/11/kriek-framboise-imperial-lambic.html
(notes from his first tasting of that beer, Nov 25, 2010)

You can do some sours in a shorter period of time; I've done a sour saison in 5 months or so. It's a much less aggressive sourness to it, but it worked out pretty well. But for a gueuze you're really looking at a year minimum, maybe more.
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On tap: Saison Duphunk (sour), Amarillo Slim (IPA), Earl White (ginger/bergamot wit)
Bottled: Number 8 (Belgian Strong Dark Ale), Eternale (Barleywine), Ancho Villa (Ancho/pasilla/chocolate/cinnamon RIS), Oak smoked porter (1/2 maple bourbon oaked, 1/2 apple brandy oaked)

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Old 01-24-2011, 05:10 PM   #10
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Ok thanks... I will have to do some more reading about sour beers. It is very interesting now that I have tasted one and actually liked it. Where should I start looking if I am looking to make one in months instead of years? Saison? Is that the only one?

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