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Old 02-18-2012, 05:14 AM   #1
t-quest
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Default Newbie lambic blend

This is my first post on this forum, and this is my first blend so there will be some newbie questions ... .

Since I am a beginner I decided to start blending before brewing lambics.
How can I do this? Well I happen to live in Belgium where I can buy lambics from different ages.

So at first I wanted to add fruit to the lambic, but it isn't exactly the right time to buy fresh fruits, so I decided to just start with blending.
I bought Lindemans lambic of 11 months and Girardin of 3y and a blend of 1+2y of Girardin.
I am testing with 60% of young Lindemans, 30% Girardin 1+2y blend and 10% old Girardin.
For the blends to start refermenting in the bottle, at what temperatures should I actually put them? they are on 14°C now.

Now I decided to do a side project in a glass bucket for the fruits to add.
I've put the blend in a warmer temperature of 20°C, and I see things happening.
I guess this is Brettanomyces?
At what point should I actually add the fruit?
Should I add the fruit to the blend, or to the original lambic? (old or young?)

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Old 02-18-2012, 12:03 PM   #2
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Extremely jealous. Would kill to do some home blending like that. As to your questions, if I had access to those beers and breweries I'd ask the brewers.

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Old 02-18-2012, 06:33 PM   #3
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so you bought the bottles of these beers, then dumped them in a carboy at different ratios?

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Old 02-18-2012, 09:08 PM   #4
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Did you get these lambics in poly containers? I have looked into bringing some lambic to the US in a poly container, and hadn't considered blending them!

It is likely that the refermentation will be fairly slow. With the high proportion of young lambic, you should have plenty of activity, but you should probably avoid high temperatures to avoid ropiness, which may alter the character of the blend. For this reason, traditional blenders never blend during the summer. This would suggest keeping temperatures on the low side- 17C should be good.

From what I have read, most lambic producers in BE wait from 1 to two years before adding fruit. You may wish to taste your blend to help you decide what fruit to add, and at what stage. The youngest lambic is nearly a year old, so you may be okay to blend now.

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Old 02-19-2012, 01:17 AM   #5
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WHY! These beers are already brewed/blended to get the best balance from the beers. Why screw with them. You do know there are many folks on this forum that are really jealous of you for having access to all these beers and think it sacrilegious that you should be messing with them.
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Old 02-19-2012, 06:22 AM   #6
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I am getting the lambics in plastic containers that I bring to the brewery.
This is certainly not to make people yealous, if that should be the case I won't post it here.
These lambics are not blended yet, that is what I will be doing.
Most of the geuze makers in Belgium are blenders and not brewers, so I don't see the difference with what I am doing, except I don't buy the wort (which I can't) but I buy the lambics to make geuze blends and fruit lambics.
Next week there even is a day of 'blending' at the Oud Beersel (Boon) brewery, just to learn us blending their lambics.
I am sorry I am offending people by saying this

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Old 02-19-2012, 11:21 AM   #7
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I do not personally feel offended at all!

In many places in the US, we do not have any access to Belgian lambic, only gueuzes. I live in Cleveland, and locally I can get Cantillon (sporadically), Lindemans Cuvée René, Hanssens, Oud Beersel, Drie Fonteinen, Tilquin, and a blend called LambickX from Vanberg and DeWulf.

Last year, my wife and I were in Payottenland for the HORAL Toer de Gueuze, and we had the opportunity to sample lambic at De Cam, Boon, and Drie Fonteinen. We had a wonderful time getting lost and delighting in the carnival atmosphere, while sampling lambic in its original state. We had Cantillon lambic at Moeder Fontainas in Brussels. We had a 2008 barrel of Boon Lambic at 't Brugs Beertje in Brugge. What a wonderful experience it was to meet brewers and fellow lambic lovers from Belgium and around the world.

Your easy access to these lambics is probably envied by many here who do not have such access. I, for one, never had Girardin or Mort Subite until I was fortunate enough to visit your beautiful country. Traditional brewers like Jean van Roy, Frank Boon, and Armand Debelder have attained an iconic status to many gueuze lovers in the US.

I hope you will continue to share with us the results of your blending experiments and some of what you learn in Beersel. I, for one, am so happy to encounter renewed interest in these fabulous beverages, both in Belgium and elsewhere. Such interest will hopefully ensure that these brewers carry on the tradition of producing these time consuming but heavenly beers!

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Old 02-19-2012, 11:37 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by t-quest View Post
I am getting the lambics in plastic containers that I bring to the brewery.
This is certainly not to make people yealous, if that should be the case I won't post it here.
These lambics are not blended yet, that is what I will be doing.
Most of the geuze makers in Belgium are blenders and not brewers, so I don't see the difference with what I am doing, except I don't buy the wort (which I can't) but I buy the lambics to make geuze blends and fruit lambics.
Next week there even is a day of 'blending' at the Oud Beersel (Boon) brewery, just to learn us blending their lambics.
I am sorry I am offending people by saying this
I think what people are jealous of is the fact that you live in Belgium and have access to buying un-blended lambics in bulk - that would be a dream for beer lovers in the US.

I'm still a newbie at sour beers so I can't offer you any advice, but I'm hoping you'll post your blends and results here so we can see how they turn out.

By the way, I just had some Oud Beersel Gueuze a few weeks ago. That's a great beer. If you go to the class please share any useful information from it with us.

Good Luck!
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Old 02-19-2012, 04:04 PM   #9
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I do the same thing but with Cantillon. The straight one year old lambic you can get in barrels from the brewery. I usually just buy it right before my cherries are ready in my back yard. This year I will be doing it again with fresh raspberries and rhubarb.

So to answer some of your questions, hopefully; I would add the fruit to the straight lambic, like they do at the breweries. I, just this last year, put about 4kg of cherries, with pits, into straight lambic. I aged it for about 8 mos. then bottled with the standard amount of sugar. I opened one up about two months ago and it was carbonated pretty close to kriek that I buy. This was after a few months in the bottle. It's pretty good, but not as much cherry as I would like. Next time, and what I would suggest for you, I will age it until there is nothing left but pits. I pulled it out of the cherries when I did because it was really, really dark red.

If you have any questions, want to hang out and drink, or brew some beers together, I am only about 1.5 hours east of Brussels in Germany.

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Old 02-19-2012, 04:05 PM   #10
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Oh, I also come to Ghent quite often to go to Dranken Geers and Hopduvel. If you want to show me around.

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