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Old 09-21-2011, 11:11 PM   #1
kegdawg
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Default New to Lambic...

hey there, been lookin at a few recipes, I think I'm going to brew one next. I just have a few n00b questions first...
1. Just to be clear, I would make a traditional belgian, pitch regular yeast, then pitch the bugs after primary has ended?
2. Lambic styles have a relatively normal abv, if I make a higher gravity wort, will this affect the bugs after primary ferment?
3. Which bug strains will really make the fruit stand out? i want a pretty fruity lambic...
4. In regards to dregs, how many bottles worth are a good amount to pitch?

Thanks for the advice!!

keg

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Old 09-21-2011, 11:38 PM   #2
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1. Just to be clear, I would make a traditional belgian, pitch regular yeast, then pitch the bugs after primary has ended?
A traditional lambic, yeast is not pitched, it is spontaneously fermented. For the home brewer you have two options, pitch a neutral yeast, ferment, then adds bugs and wild yeast or start with a blend, like Roselare or Lambic blend. If you want more sour characters, then pitch a blend from the start. If you are going with a neutral then adding bugs later, make sure to add MaltoDextrine or use a mash schedule that will create unfermentables by yeast so the bugs/brett has something to chew on. I like to pitch on the blends from the start.

2. Lambic styles have a relatively normal abv, if I make a higher gravity wort, will this affect the bugs after primary ferment?
No idea, if it is your first, stick to a recipe, a lambic is a long process, 1-2years.

3. Which bug strains will really make the fruit stand out? i want a pretty fruity lambic...
You need to blend or back sweeten to be fruity or sweet. The bugs and yeast will chew up all the sugars. Try a gueze or a unfruited lambic(cantillion) that is what a lambic really taste like. Sour as all heck. I had my first lambic on the primary lambic blend, dregs, roselare, brett for 9 months, racked onto fruit puree for 3. The cherry is uber tart at first, but sweet on the after taste. Still nowhere near a Lindermans Framboise(not a real lambic) or a Liefmans(again not a real lambic).

4. In regards to dregs, how many bottles worth are a good amount to pitch?
Pitch as many bottles as you get, but I would start with a packet of Roselare or Lambic blend. You may want to add some oak cubes also. As it ages, just keep dumping dreges in, make sure to be sanitary.


Just my thoughts, could be wrong, I have only been doing sours for 2 years, many other are more experienced, but if you are looking for a Liefmans or a Lindermans, they are not true lambics(Direct words from the head brewer of a certain brewery in brussels that makes the best sour beers in the world when I was there two years ago)

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Old 09-22-2011, 12:17 AM   #3
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Thanks for the quick reply. Here are a few more if your up for it...
Will the oak stand out a lot?
What dregs would you recommend(I know some aren't meant for reuse)?
Did you pitch the Lambic blend, roselare and brett at the same time?

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Old 09-22-2011, 12:41 AM   #4
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I boiled water and added it to 1 oz on oak cubes and let sit for a while, dumped the water, then repeated. I really dont taste a lot of oak. I guy in the club who is a sour fan says I need more oak. I recently made a series of white oak dowels, toasted them, chared a few, and replace the air lock with them. Will let you know how they taste in 6 months

I used cantillion, Jolley pumpkin, Goose island. Pretty much any sour or brett beer I dump in. They just make the mix more funky.

I also repitched on my yeast cake from the first lambic 5 times. The second batch was on 3 month and OMG it was amazing. The others for 1 month,2 months, and 1 month. They are all aging now. Only the last is on the yeast cake. Not real sour, but a tad bretty.

I pitched Lamibc blend to start, but with each sequential batch, I pitch Roselare. Sometimes some neutral yeast.

Have fun, experiment, get some extra 3-5 gallon glass carboys and let that sucker age, age age. There is a chart floating around that shows how long brett, pedio and lacto take.

If you are ever in the philly area, stop over. We keep a kegerator in the garage with two taps dedicated to sours. Next up is an old bruin. This was fermented normally, at two weeks I pitched Brett/Pedio in one and Roselare in the other. Have not tasted in 4 months, smells amazing.

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Old 09-22-2011, 12:44 AM   #5
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Again I could be speaking out of my you know what. I am still new to the process. But I have made some pretty amazing sours so far. Check out the http://www.themadfermentationist.com/ a lot of great info on there. I learned a bunch from his post and blog.

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Old 09-22-2011, 01:07 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by milldoggy View Post
Just my thoughts, could be wrong, I have only been doing sours for 2 years, many other are more experienced, but if you are looking for a Liefmans or a Lindermans, they are not true lambics(Direct words from the head brewer of a certain brewery in brussels that makes the best sour beers in the world when I was there two years ago)
To clarify -- Liefman's products are oude bruin based, not lambic. The Fruitesse is backsweetened but the Goudenband and Cuvee Brut are not. However, they are oude bruin-based so they are going to have a different flavor and somewhat more sweetness than lambic.
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Old 09-22-2011, 01:16 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kegdawg View Post
hey there, been lookin at a few recipes, I think I'm going to brew one next. I just have a few n00b questions first...
1. Just to be clear, I would make a traditional belgian, pitch regular yeast, then pitch the bugs after primary has ended?
2. Lambic styles have a relatively normal abv, if I make a higher gravity wort, will this affect the bugs after primary ferment?
3. Which bug strains will really make the fruit stand out? i want a pretty fruity lambic...
4. In regards to dregs, how many bottles worth are a good amount to pitch?
1. Lambic is made with a blend of 60% malted barley, 40% unmalted wheat. You don't want to add specialty malts. Just unmalted wheat and pilsner malt (you could use two row if you want). If you are trying to make a lambic in the sense of the beers made in Belgium, you want to pitch a sour blend up front. You can pitch some neutral yeast with it and/or dregs.

2. The higher alcohol will prevent lacto from starting the souring process. Higher ABV might also affect pedio. It definitely will change the nature of the beer but that doesn't mean you can't do it. You'll just change the end result.

3. Certain strains of brett produce some fruit flavors but you're really going to get fruit flavors by adding fruit. I don't know whether you have in mind making something like Lindeman's fruit lambics -- which are backsweetened -- or a more tart, unsweetened lambic. Either way you are going to have to add fruit.

4. You can add just one but to get a good amount you probably want to add 2-4 if you can.
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Old 09-22-2011, 02:11 AM   #8
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Thanks a ton. Will hopefully be making one this weekend. In the meantime...it looks as though I have to stock up the cellar with...research...and more carboys. Does ferm temp matter as much with Lambics and sours? or is it one of those "avoid the extremes" kind of things? And how/when would I go about backsweetening?

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Old 09-22-2011, 02:13 AM   #9
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I have heard artifical sweetners are used in some. Never tried, I like it sour.

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Old 09-22-2011, 02:20 AM   #10
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Hmm...probably won't the first time then. Thanks for the help!

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