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Old 03-08-2011, 02:14 PM   #1
amrmedic
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Default New to Lambic, how to get started

I have been reading up on brewing a Lambic. I currently do AG home brewing.

Questions:
1 - If I use Wyeast Lambic blend, do I need to get the dregs from bottles, or is the Wyeast alone sufficient
2 - Where can u get aged hops? Or do I have to cook hops in the oven?
3 - Is a turbid mash required? It seems quite complicated. I am not adverse to trying extract for the first time.

I would like to create a kriek style. So, I know that the beer needs to age for a year or so before the fruit.

If I use my 5 gallon oak cask to age the lambic, will the cask be unusable for future homebrews which are not lambics?

Also, if you have any sites or suggestions please let me know.

Thanks

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Old 03-08-2011, 02:34 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amrmedic View Post
Questions:
1 - If I use Wyeast Lambic blend, do I need to get the dregs from bottles, or is the Wyeast alone sufficient

Wyeast alone is sufficient, but doesnt produce the most interesting beers

2 - Where can u get aged hops? Or do I have to cook hops in the oven?

Aged hops arent necessary unless you are doing an ambient fermentation, just bitter to ~10IBU with some low AA hops

3 - Is a turbid mash required? It seems quite complicated. I am not adverse to trying extract for the first time.

No a turbid mash is not required, but you want a very dextrinous wort, Ive used single infusions with some added maltodextrin with great results, I would suggest you go AG, Wyeast did trials sometime back with AG and extract sours and the extract were always picked as inferior, 1yr+ is a lot of time to waste on something not done right from the start, so if you can go AG do it

I would like to create a kriek style. So, I know that the beer needs to age for a year or so before the fruit.If I use my 5 gallon oak cask to age the lambic, will the cask be unusable for future homebrews which are not lambics?

You wont need a full year if you age in a 5gal oak barrel, it will be much quicker due to the large amount of O2 that will get in, also, you will be unable to use the barrel for anything other than sour beers in the future
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Old 03-08-2011, 03:01 PM   #3
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I had bad luck the one time I used the Lambic blend, didn't start fermenting for four days, lots of bad off-flavors in the finished beer. Might have been bad luck, but I'd pitch the blend, some primary yeast, and dregs (a bit of extra effort/cost is worth it on a beer you are waiting years for).

A turbid mash is a bit complex, but it really wasn't as bad or long as I was expecting. Here are pictures/descriptions from the brew: http://www.themadfermentationist.com...rbid-mash.html I thought the beer was much better than the results I’d gotten with other mashing methods (but there were plenty of other variables as well).

Agreed on not needing aged hops, that is unless you are doing a spontaneous fermentation.

As Ryan said, a year in a small barrel might be too much, but you’ll need to rack it into glass when the oak character is enough for your tastes. At that point you can add the cherries as well and put another beer to sour into the barrel.

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Old 03-08-2011, 04:11 PM   #4
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My first lambic is three months into the fermenter. I pitched the Wyeast lambic blend and the dregs of Cuve Rene. It took off overnight and smells pretty good. No starter, just smacked the pack and let it go for 24 hours.

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Old 03-08-2011, 07:24 PM   #5
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So, I can use a single infusion mash at 154 for 60 minutes for a lambic? I plan on using 7 lb Pils and 3 lb red wheat.

With the wheat do I need to do a step infusion with a glucan rest at 122 for 30 min then step it up to 154 for 30? Di use rice hulls?

I plan to add like 1/2 lb Dextromaltin to the mash.

Use like an ounce of low alpha hops.

A turnid mash is complicated and reminds me of a high school algebra math question (if jimmy has a bucket with 2 gallons of water, Susie has a bucket with 4 gallons and Timmy has a bucket with 5 gallons, how can you get exactly 6 gallons of water?)

So, going to the local store and picking up some good examples of Lambics. If I want to, can I drain the dregs right after pouring into a clean and sanitized container? Can I combine the dregs from various bottles together?
Do I need to have a sanitized container and if I put it into a container do I cover it or leave it open?

Thanks

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Old 03-08-2011, 11:05 PM   #6
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i went to my LHBS and picked up opened low alpha hops that had been frozen for a year or so... i wound up using 3 oz total after baking them at 225 for three hours.

i know you don't need to do that, but it stripped it of most of the acids and i used a 50% derating on the hops to calculate BUs... after tasting (pitched russian river supplication dregs) and a month, i'd be money the hops derate way more than that as far as acid goes; closer to 80% is my guess (hardly empirical data)...

i'll probably pitch brett-c if no pellicle forms within 6 mos... i'm in no rush.

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Old 03-11-2011, 03:20 AM   #7
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Freshops.com has aged "lambic hops"

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Old 03-11-2011, 01:20 PM   #8
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Quote:
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Freshops.com has aged "lambic hops"
I got a pound when I did my yearly order from them. They smelled surprisingly fresh when I opened them, not sure how they were aged (temperature, oxygen). Seems to be a good place to start if you want to age them open for a few extra months.
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