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Old 08-12-2010, 05:27 PM   #1
krebs119
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Default NB's Dawson's Kriek

Hello all - I recently purchased this kit and I've been looking into different procedures of doing this, and getting really varied responses. I've been brewing extracts for a year and a half now, and this is my first Lambic style beer. My girlfriend is "not a beer person" despite all of the different styes I've been trying to feed her, but I got her into Lambics (well, Lindeman's anyway...) so I decided to give this kit a shot and I'm hoping to get some suggestions on a few of my questions...

1. Timing...
Between the few forums I read, I have found VARYING times for things. The kit instructions says 2 weeks primary, 3-6months secondary on the cherry puree.... I've read anywhere from 2 weeks to 1 year primary, and anywhere from 3 months to 1 year secondary. A few people had said that at about 3 months on the fruit the beer is sweeter than it is bitter - being that my girlfriend is into Lindemans, would this be my best route? I don't mind tying up carboys for a year or so, but at the same time if I'm not gaining anything by letting wait, why bother? My initial thought was primary for a month, secondary, on fruit, for 11 months, then bottle...

2. Carboys and cleaning...
I've also read that Lambics (I believe primarily the yeast/brett?) leave behind some smells and possibly sediment that makes the carboys almost unusable for anything else afterwards. Is this the case, and/or are there any successful ways of cleaning/reusing them afterwards for other types of beer? I have at my disposal 1 5gal glass carboy, 1 5gal plastic better bottle, 1 6gal plastic better bottle, 1 6.5gal plastic bucket, and 3 corny kegs. I was thinking primary in one of my plastic vessels for the month (or other amount of time) and then secondary in the glass carboy for the year, since the glass seemed the easiest to clean when all is said and done.

3. Temperature...
I typically have my carboys in my basement when fermenting. In the summer my basement can get up to 85 deg, in the winter it can get down to 50. The kit suggests 63-75deg for the yeast. In the winter I can move the carboy to a slightly warmer spot (near a gas space heater) that would keep it in the 60s. I'm wondering if after primary fermentation, if this is even a concern? If the beer is going to be sitting for a year, the temps are going to vary 35degs - should I be concerned? And when should I be most concerned?

I'm looking for about as much advice on this as I can get. If I'm going to be waiting a year on something I really want to do it right and for it to turn out right, so any advice any of you have would be greatly appreciated. I've been reading this forum for a while but just recently signed up, so pardon any "dumb" questions I might have....

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Old 08-12-2010, 06:31 PM   #2
ryane
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Quote:
1. Timing...
Between the few forums I read, I have found VARYING times for things. The kit instructions says 2 weeks primary, 3-6months secondary on the cherry puree.... I've read anywhere from 2 weeks to 1 year primary, and anywhere from 3 months to 1 year secondary. A few people had said that at about 3 months on the fruit the beer is sweeter than it is bitter - being that my girlfriend is into Lindemans, would this be my best route? I don't mind tying up carboys for a year or so, but at the same time if I'm not gaining anything by letting wait, why bother? My initial thought was primary for a month, secondary, on fruit, for 11 months, then bottle...
fermenting an bottling a lambic in 3-6mos is risky, the bugs will still be chewing away and will most likely make bottle bombs unless drank quickly, think about it, if you prime to 3vols, and then it continues to ferment each additional 1pt in gravity drop increasing the volumes of co2 by 1

I would suggest letting it ferment out for 6mos at least (remember to add maltodextrin if its not in the kit) then add the fruit

also dont expect a sweet beer, unless you keg and can kill the bugs/yeast it will ferment to dryness

Quote:
2. Carboys and cleaning...
I've also read that Lambics (I believe primarily the yeast/brett?) leave behind some smells and possibly sediment that makes the carboys almost unusable for anything else afterwards. Is this the case, and/or are there any successful ways of cleaning/reusing them afterwards for other types of beer? I have at my disposal 1 5gal glass carboy, 1 5gal plastic better bottle, 1 6gal plastic better bottle, 1 6.5gal plastic bucket, and 3 corny kegs. I was thinking primary in one of my plastic vessels for the month (or other amount of time) and then secondary in the glass carboy for the year, since the glass seemed the easiest to clean when all is said and done.
Ive never had an issue with smells, give it a good soak with pbw and sanitize and you shouldnt have an issue with a glass fermenter its worth it to pick up an extra racking cane and tubing though

Quote:
3. Temperature...
I typically have my carboys in my basement when fermenting. In the summer my basement can get up to 85 deg, in the winter it can get down to 50. The kit suggests 63-75deg for the yeast. In the winter I can move the carboy to a slightly warmer spot (near a gas space heater) that would keep it in the 60s. I'm wondering if after primary fermentation, if this is even a concern? If the beer is going to be sitting for a year, the temps are going to vary 35degs - should I be concerned? And when should I be most concerned?
Brew the beer in cooler temps, keep the initial ferm temps lower and then dont worry about it, few traditional lambic brewers have temp control and their beers are amazing

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I'm looking for about as much advice on this as I can get. If I'm going to be waiting a year on something I really want to do it right and for it to turn out right, so any advice any of you have would be greatly appreciated. I've been reading this forum for a while but just recently signed up, so pardon any "dumb" questions I might have....

If you girlfriend likes lindemans I would suggest an entirely different route than you are taking, lindemans is extremely sweet and has no funk to it, your beer will be dry and funky

I suggest brewing up a very sweet wheat beer, adding the fruit, and then mixing in lactic acid to taste at bottling time
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Old 08-12-2010, 10:15 PM   #3
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thank you for your quick response!

So with regards to timing - you're suggesting I primary ferment it for 6 months, and then another 6+ months in secondary, on the fruit? If that's the case, is plastic to glass my best route? or glass and then plastic? I could keg this, but if it's as sour as I'm thinking its going to be I don't think I'll end up going through it as fast as I'd like to...

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Old 08-12-2010, 10:52 PM   #4
ryane
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I would use glass the whole way thru if your plastic is a bucket, if its a better bottle that fine

You wont actually secondary the beer, it will sit in the same vessel on the yeast cake the entire time, if you can keg the beer it can be sweet like lindemans, and if thats what your trying to clone, brew up this kriek and let it sit, then brew up a separate batch to clone the sweetness of lindemans

I really suggest adding some maltodextrin, it helps on first pitchings and may help a lot with an extract beer, side by side trials have been done by wyeast and the extract beers were always picked out as inferior, dont let this discourage you though, as Im betting your sour beer palate isnt very refined and it can still be a very good beer

remember to keep the airlock topped up in the long months of fermentation, I would also suggest adding some real cherries next summer when they are nice and ripe in addition to the fruit they provided, if you can get some montmorency cherries to add that would be the best and would add more complexity to the beer

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Old 08-12-2010, 11:20 PM   #5
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Ok - so not racking it off the yeast? Just wait a long while and then add the cherry puree to it? I do have 5 and 6 gallon better bottles, as well as a 5gal glass carboy... The kit's instructions suggested racking it...

When do you suggest adding the maltodextrin in, and how much of it?

How does kegging it end up making it a sweeter taste exactly, than bottling? Enough of the yeast/brett falls to do this? Is there anything different to do when kegging a lambic as opposed to your typical ale/lager/stout etc?


thanks again!

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Old 08-12-2010, 11:44 PM   #6
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lambics are aged on the yeast cake it provides food and nutrients for the mixed culture over the long fermentation

I would add at least 0.5# maltodextrin to the batch if not 1#

If you keg, you can kill the bugs and sweeten the batch, if you want this route I really do suggest just brewing a very sweet wheat beer and then adding the cherry, ferment this out (all with a clean ale yeast), then add campden tabs, rack the following day, add K-sorbate , lactic acid to taste and keg, then taste after a day or so and decide if you want to back sweeten and/or add more lactic acid, I would probably backsweeten with some cherry juice concentrate for additional cherry flavor

Going this route is much faster, doesnt waste a properly fermented lambic by sweetening it, and you can get something that tastes like lindemans

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