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Old 04-27-2012, 02:44 AM   #1
Pivzavod
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Default Lambic early months fermentation during summer

I will be brewing my first lambic (WY Lambic Blend) in late May and summers in NY can get upto 100F. My apartment gets pretty hot and I have a few brewing options. I can keep it in a cooler and maintain lower end of the temp range or leave it at room temp (70+) to excite bugs more. If I could shave a few months off lambic process, this would be my attempt at it.

What do you think of a plan - First 3+ months at higher temp (70+), add fruit, 10+ months at lower temps after summer is over. I plan to do this in 1 6.5 gallon carboy, no secondary.

C&C welcomed.

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Old 04-27-2012, 03:05 AM   #2
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Everything goes out the window with lambic brewing, and I don't think anyone can give you an absolute answer. I say go for it, leave it at room temp.

I've found that it's mostly ambiguity and experimentation when brewing with bugs.

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Old 04-27-2012, 05:17 AM   #3
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Three months is probably premature for fruit.

Let it ride at room temperature. Brett and pedio don't get fussy about higher temperatures like saccharomyces. I don't know that the higher temperatures will accelerate the process but it won't hurt it.

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Old 04-27-2012, 05:53 AM   #4
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In my experiences with higher temps its best to have the bulk of the early fermentation done at cooler temps (65ish) once the fermentation has died down elevated temps are ok

They do however considerably diminish the complexity, and especially the funkiness of the beer. The higher temps also promote lots of acidity in the beer, so when adding fruit becareful to not add a fruit high in acid content as you are likely to make something too sour

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Old 04-27-2012, 11:04 AM   #5
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Thanks for the c&c

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Old 04-27-2012, 02:12 PM   #6
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Let's correct some information here:

First - saccharomyces IS present in the lambic blend from Wyeast

Second - cooler fermentation temps are a good idea for most ales but this is a completely different animal. You have a complex mixture of different microbes that consume each other and consume byproducts from each other. And you want more character - the entire reason for going through the trouble.

Third - the acidity does not come from acid in the fruit, it comes from lactic acid producing bacteria that consume the fruit (and acetic acid from oxidation from long fermentations). Optimal timing of the fruit addition has not been established by anyone.

So like I said, everything goes out the window. (i.e. you use aged, oxidized hops, you infect the beer with bacteria, etc) Do your own thing and see what happens.

Take info from here with a grain of salt...including my own advice.

Cheers

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Old 04-27-2012, 03:04 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by insubordinateK View Post
Let's correct some information here:

First - saccharomyces IS present in the lambic blend from Wyeast
Who said it wasn't? My comment about sacc had to do with the ongoing fermentation. Temperature control is key during a sacc fermentation because sacc produces fusels and higher alcohols at higher temperatures. Active sacc fermentation is going to drop off after a few days to a week. Active fermentation from there is done by brett, pedio and for a short period of time, possibly lactobacillus. None of those are known to produce fusels or higher alcohols at higher temperatures. They all enjoy warmth.

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Third - the acidity does not come from acid in the fruit, it comes from lactic acid producing bacteria that consume the fruit (and acetic acid from oxidation from long fermentations). Optimal timing of the fruit addition has not been established by anyone.
Where are you coming up with this? Fruit definitely contributes acidity to a beer. Different kinds of fruit contributes different types of acids that affect the feel and flavor of the beer. Ryan didn't say all the acidity comes from the fruit. He said the acidity from the fruit can make it too sour.

There can definitely be optimal timing of fruit. Some fruit flavor diminishes over time. Some fruit develop into a harsh flavor/too much sourness if left too long in the fermenter (Cantillon experienced that the first time they attempted their blueberry lambic -- I think oldsock talked about that in his blog).

Furthermore, when you add fruit, you obviously add sugar. That sugar addition is going to affect the end product even in terms of when it's added. If it gets added early, there's more of a chance you're going to get some sacc and lacto fermentation out of it so you're going to get a little less sour and funk out of it, since it's a simple sugar addition. Waiting until fermentation is being driven by brett and pedio makes it more likely those critters are going to use the sugars to develop sour and funk.
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Old 04-27-2012, 03:08 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by insubordinateK View Post
Let's correct some information here:

First - saccharomyces IS present in the lambic blend from Wyeast
I think Im missing your point on this one, no one was arguing that it wasnt?

Quote:
Originally Posted by insubordinateK View Post
Second - cooler fermentation temps are a good idea for most ales but this is a completely different animal. You have a complex mixture of different microbes that consume each other and consume byproducts from each other. And you want more character - the entire reason for going through the trouble.
Are you arguing for or against cool temps? And cooler temps mean a more complex flavor, as it gives all the organisms time to reproduce and do their work. Elevated temps favor bacteria over yeast, so youll get more acidity and less funky/esters at higher temps.

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Originally Posted by insubordinateK View Post
Third - the acidity does not come from acid in the fruit, it comes from lactic acid producing bacteria that consume the fruit (and acetic acid from oxidation from long fermentations). Optimal timing of the fruit addition has not been established by anyone.
Actually this really isnt all that true. Adding a high acid fruit to a beer can make is slightly sour. Adding high acid fruit to a beer thats already sour and it can become overwhelming. How do I know? Ive done this in the past. You cant ignore acid thats in the fruit, I think beers that get fruit should have a softer acid character to begin with

As for fruit additions, I dont think you can say that no one knows when is best. Adding fruit very early and the flavor will diminish considerably. Adding it late is best to preserve the fruit flavor in the beer. If you taste a fresh young fruit lambic it generally has a large fruit bouquet, if you age that same bottle 6mos to a year the flavor has dissipated dramatically, and the bretty/lambic flavors dominate

Quote:
Originally Posted by insubordinateK View Post
So like I said, everything goes out the window. (i.e. you use aged, oxidized hops, you infect the beer with bacteria, etc) Do your own thing and see what happens.
Not really true when adding a culture from WY/WL. There arent too many large differences to expect from these blends. The nuances maybe different but in general they all have very similar flavors, and unless you are doing something terribly wrong (tons of 02 etc) it will be tough to produce something terrible

As for aged hops, this isnt necessary with blends, as you dont need the antibacterial protection when your adding a known quantity

This all goes out the window with spontaneous fermentations
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Old 04-27-2012, 04:20 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ryane View Post
In my experiences with higher temps its best to have the bulk of the early fermentation done at cooler temps (65ish) once the fermentation has died down elevated temps are ok
isn't that the traditional time to brew lambic (in the cooler months) and let it age through a cold season and a hot season? thought i read that somewhere...
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Old 04-27-2012, 07:26 PM   #10
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Traditionally its done in the fall but I do not want to wait that long to brew my first one.

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