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Old 01-24-2013, 08:16 AM   #1
beerbeerbeer123
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Default Kriek "lambic" question

I been brewing for a few years and never thought about brewing a "lambic" til recently ..Anyway i did some reading and i just want to ask you all if i have the basic process of making a lambic down..From what i gathered you brew a beer with 60% pils/pale malt 40% unmalted wheat..mash high... ferment out like a normal ale..tranfer to a secondary add the "bugs" B.Brett and L.brett or WY3278 ferment for a year or more..add cherries.. bottle and age more..Does this sound like im on the right track to make a kriek "lambic" style? Thanks you

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Old 01-24-2013, 08:31 AM   #2
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You probably want to put it in a barrel for over a year to age and get the nice Lambiek taste.
You also could collect your own wild yeast instead of using wyeast.

Right now a couple of homebrewers are preparing for brewing Lambiek with wild yeast in the coming weeks. I everything turns out right, I will be brewing next week a Lambiek.

Perhaps you want to split both types of beer, because each one is quite difficult to make.
You could brew a ordinary pils/ale type and then ferment with 50% krieken (cherrys) for about 3 tot 6 months.

You would be ruining a lot of time and money if your project doesn't turn out right due to some error in the proces.

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Old 01-24-2013, 08:38 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Koffie View Post
You probably want to put it in a barrel for over a year to age and get the nice Lambiek taste.
You also could collect your own wild yeast instead of using wyeast.

Right now a couple of homebrewers are preparing for brewing Lambiek with wild yeast in the coming weeks. I everything turns out right, I will be brewing next week a Lambiek.

Perhaps you want to split both types of beer, because each one is quite difficult to make.
You could brew a ordinary pils/ale type and then ferment with 50% krieken (cherrys) for about 3 tot 6 months.

You would be ruining a lot of time and money if your project doesn't turn out right due to some error in the proces.
Yeah that would be a bummer if i waited years for something undrinkable..but im gonna keep researching.. gain as much knowledge as i can on lambic style and give it a go..if it comes out good a lambic style would be rewarding i think..thanks for your input
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Old 01-26-2013, 04:25 PM   #4
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Your process is basically correct. Just get it started and do some research on how to proceed. The 60/40 mix is not critical. You could just use Wheat LME if you want. Both will make excellent sours. Keep the IBUs low (below 10) as high IBUs can inhibit the souring bugs.

I've brewed a number of sours, and find they are pretty easy to do, and really difficult to screw up. Biggest problem is waiting, and not touching it. Just ensure you keep the airlock filled to prevent too much O2 getting in and acetobacteria. I use 'S' shaped airlocks, as I find they need filling less and are easier to see if they are getting low.

No, you don't need a barrel. Many commercials sours are made in SS tanks and HDPE containers. The barrels do not impart any oak since they are old barrels. They do allow a small amount of O2 to get in; supposedly more than you would get in a glass carboy, but a lot less that you get with an HDPE fermenter. Actually size for size, HDPE is less O2 permeable than wood, but a 5 gallon HDPE fermenter will let in more O2 than a 300 gallon barrel. Personally I've found no difference between doing them in HDPE fermenters vs glass. I make no efforts to get O2 into it. I attempt to minimize O2.

If you drink sours, add the dregs to your beer. It will add complexity over the long haul.

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Old 01-26-2013, 08:10 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Calder View Post
Your process is basically correct. Just get it started and do some research on how to proceed. The 60/40 mix is not critical. You could just use Wheat LME if you want. Both will make excellent sours. Keep the IBUs low (below 10) as high IBUs can inhibit the souring bugs.

I've brewed a number of sours, and find they are pretty easy to do, and really difficult to screw up. Biggest problem is waiting, and not touching it. Just ensure you keep the airlock filled to prevent too much O2 getting in and acetobacteria. I use 'S' shaped airlocks, as I find they need filling less and are easier to see if they are getting low.

No, you don't need a barrel. Many commercials sours are made in SS tanks and HDPE containers. The barrels do not impart any oak since they are old barrels. They do allow a small amount of O2 to get in; supposedly more than you would get in a glass carboy, but a lot less that you get with an HDPE fermenter. Actually size for size, HDPE is less O2 permeable than wood, but a 5 gallon HDPE fermenter will let in more O2 than a 300 gallon barrel. Personally I've found no difference between doing them in HDPE fermenters vs glass. I make no efforts to get O2 into it. I attempt to minimize O2.

If you drink sours, add the dregs to your beer. It will add complexity over the long haul.
Thanks for the info..After reading some posts here on lambics/sours i think im gonna go with a carboy and a oak rod to get some micro oxygen into the fermenter..I think thats much easier and cheaper then buying a oak barrel even though barrels are not critical..I want to get a nice pellicle so the oak rod is key i think? what do you think?
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Old 01-26-2013, 08:47 PM   #6
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Sounds like you're good to go! I think people tend to over think these, at least I did about a year ago when I did my first. As for the pellicle it just comes to protect against oxygen. I've heard plenty of people that never got one and I was six to eight months in and didn't have one either. Then I stole my first taste and I think some oxygen got in there because after another month or so there was some nasty looking stuff on top. Big giant powdery bubbles. It was awesome. There is a good thread here devoted to posting pellicle pics. You should check it out.

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Old 01-26-2013, 10:20 PM   #7
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You've probably seen this in other threads already, but reading Jeff Sparrow's book Wild Brews is pretty helpful in terms of learning about traditional production methods, styles, etc. (plus it's just a fun read for general beer-geekery)

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Old 01-28-2013, 12:50 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beerbeerbeer123 View Post
Thanks for the info..After reading some posts here on lambics/sours i think im gonna go with a carboy and a oak rod to get some micro oxygen into the fermenter..I think thats much easier and cheaper then buying a oak barrel even though barrels are not critical..I want to get a nice pellicle so the oak rod is key i think? what do you think?
Just stick an airlock on it. You don't need the oak rod. As IHB said, people tend to over think these beers. I did, and in the end found it pretty simple, and you don't need an oak rod or chair leg, or hose; you will find the beer gets plenty of O2 just from normal handling.
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Old 01-28-2013, 12:55 AM   #9
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Quote:
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Many commercials sours are made in SS tanks and HDPE containers.
Which commercial breweries are making sours in plastic fermenters?
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Old 01-29-2013, 12:30 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Calder View Post
Just stick an airlock on it. You don't need the oak rod. As IHB said, people tend to over think these beers. I did, and in the end found it pretty simple, and you don't need an oak rod or chair leg, or hose; you will find the beer gets plenty of O2 just from normal handling.
I agree with calder, just keep it simple and let the yeast do the work for you. Look into doing a turbid mash, its not necessary but it would be a fun way to spend a saturday. Brew two batches, you can't have too much lambic for blending or adding fruit to.
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