Kegconnection Complete Starter Kit and More Giveaway!


Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Lambic & Wild Brewing > Please critique my lambic plan

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 07-16-2011, 10:48 PM   #1
dougdecinces
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Indianapolis, Indiana
Posts: 605
Liked 15 Times on 10 Posts
Likes Given: 7

Default Please critique my lambic plan

I have got my first real good taste of sour ales and I am hooked. My girlfriend loves the Lindemann's (I know, where have we heard that before.), but I think I can get her on board with something that's a bit more true to style. I just want to make sure my recipe and methods are sound. I have a skeleton plan and a recipe that I am going to work with, but lots of questions and I am hoping I could be shepherded in the right direction.

Recipe (assume 65% efficiency):
5.5 gal
1.058 OG
5 lb Belgian 2-row
3.25 Flaked wheat
3 lb Wheat DME

1 oz of whatever low A.A. hop I can stale.
Triple decoction mash
Ferment with Wyeast 3278

Here is my plan:
1) In August or September, I will brew a basic version of my recipe and transfer to a bucket. I will add the yeast and French oak cubes.

2) After a 4-6 month primary, I will transfer the beer to a carboy for bulk aging. At the same time I will brew a 2nd batch of the beer and pitch it straight on to the existing yeast cake (with a fresh collection of oak cubes).

3) After another 4-6 months, I will combine the two batches. Half will go in to the carboy for more aging, the other half will go on top of a gallon or two of apple cider and will age another 2-3 months. I timed this out so that I'll be ready to do this when my local farmers market first releases apple cider, so it will be a nice seasonal thing to do.

4) Then I will brew a third batch of this and pitch it on the same cake. When that batch is ready, I will mix it with a combination of batches 1 and 2 and store half of it and transfer the other half to a vessel with several pounds of sour cherries.

5) I'll repeat this process using different fruits and infinite blendings until I die or get bored.

I like this method because it only has me using one fermentation bucket, carboy and bottling bucket ad infinitum. That way I can mark these clearly and don't have to worry about cross contamination.

Here are some of the big questions I have:
*Can I keep pitching on to the 3278 or will I have to eventually replace it? The description of the yeast on my LHBS' website says that I shouldn't use it for multiple generations, but it's expensive and I'm lazy, so I am hoping I could get at least 2-3 generations out of it. I don't mind if I have to also pitch an inexpensive dry yeast with it, too. I just don't know what kind of shelf life the buggies have.
*Can I add 0.5 lb honey malt to finish with a sweeter product to please the SWMBO? Or will the triple decoction mash be enough to get a desirable level of sweetness?
*I am going to be doing BiaB. I usually mash without a sparge. Will I need to do a sparge with boiling water just for this recipe, or am I fine doing without?
*Is two-three months on the fruit fine? I plan on bottling the Pomme in early to mid-november. If I do, will it be ready in Christmas? That would make it 15 months old and 1.5 months in bottle.
*Does anyone in the Indianapolis area want to help me???

I'm sure I will have more questions going forward, but I think that's enough for you all to marinate on for now.

__________________
dougdecinces is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 07-17-2011, 12:01 AM   #2
ryane
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Posts: 779
Liked 5 Times on 5 Posts

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by dougdecinces View Post
Here is my plan:
1) In August or September, I will brew a basic version of my recipe and transfer to a bucket. I will add the yeast and French oak cubes.
No need to add oak unless you want the flavor profile to be oaky

Quote:
Originally Posted by dougdecinces View Post
I like this method because it only has me using one fermentation bucket, carboy and bottling bucket ad infinitum. That way I can mark these clearly and don't have to worry about cross contamination.
Unless Im missing something how do you plan on having 3 full batches fermented out using only a bucket and a carboy? Also, 8-12mos is still fairly young for a lambic, especially if you end up blending batch 1 and 2 at 10mos, there will be lots of food for the bugs to continue to eat up

Quote:
Originally Posted by dougdecinces View Post
Here are some of the big questions I have:
*Can I keep pitching on to the 3278 or will I have to eventually replace it? The description of the yeast on my LHBS' website says that I shouldn't use it for multiple generations, but it's expensive and I'm lazy, so I am hoping I could get at least 2-3 generations out of it. I don't mind if I have to also pitch an inexpensive dry yeast with it, too. I just don't know what kind of shelf life the buggies have.
Go ahead, each successive generation will become more and more sour, as the bugs out compete the yeast due to their increasing numbers

Quote:
Originally Posted by dougdecinces View Post
*Can I add 0.5 lb honey malt to finish with a sweeter product to please the SWMBO? Or will the triple decoction mash be enough to get a desirable level of sweetness?
NO, adding honey will only make the beer drier and more alcoholic - honey will completely ferment out. There really isnt a way to make a sweet lambic beer without pasteurization. Anything you make will be very sour, if you have kegging capabilities you can add k-sorbate + campden and then sweeten, or you could just do it in the glass when you serve. The nice thing about doing this in the glass is that you can add any number of fruit syrups and have a very different beer each time

Quote:
Originally Posted by dougdecinces View Post
*I am going to be doing BiaB. I usually mash without a sparge. Will I need to do a sparge with boiling water just for this recipe, or am I fine doing without?
So long as you hit your #'s it shouldnt matter, I would suggest mashing very very high to ensure food for the bugs

Quote:
Originally Posted by dougdecinces View Post
*Is two-three months on the fruit fine? I plan on bottling the Pomme in early to mid-november. If I do, will it be ready in Christmas? That would make it 15 months old and 1.5 months in bottle.
It could, but will it be really good then? IMO thats unlikely 1.5mos is doable for carbonation but could be cutting it very close, as Ive had sours that took months to carb up. Also in my experience theres a strange grainy-like flavor that takes some time to dissipate in the bottle, tasting it is unpleasant and is indicative of a sour thats too young
ryane is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 07-17-2011, 01:25 AM   #3
dougdecinces
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Indianapolis, Indiana
Posts: 605
Liked 15 Times on 10 Posts
Likes Given: 7

Default

Unless Im missing something how do you plan on having 3 full batches fermented out using only a bucket and a carboy? Also, 8-12mos is still fairly young for a lambic, especially if you end up blending batch 1 and 2 at 10mos, there will be lots of food for the bugs to continue to eat up

The bucket would be for each new batch. The 5 or 6 gallon carboy would be for the leftover beer. I will always have 10 gallons on hand no matter what. It's just that each successive generation will be in the carboy. So, for example, by generation 10 there would be the previous 9 generations of lambic in that carboy. This way I could minimize space.


Go ahead, each successive generation will become more and more sour, as the bugs out compete the yeast due to their increasing numbers

This is what I figured. I'll probably just taste is I go, and when a batch passes a sour threshold, I'll pitch new bugs.

NO, adding honey will only make the beer drier and more alcoholic - honey will completely ferment out. There really isnt a way to make a sweet lambic beer without pasteurization. Anything you make will be very sour, if you have kegging capabilities you can add k-sorbate + campden and then sweeten, or you could just do it in the glass when you serve. The nice thing about doing this in the glass is that you can add any number of fruit syrups and have a very different beer each time

I meant honey malt. It's a Canadian crystal malt that makes the resulting beer very sweet. If I was going to make a lambic that tasted sweet, this would be how I would have to do it.

It could, but will it be really good then? IMO thats unlikely 1.5mos is doable for carbonation but could be cutting it very close, as Ive had sours that took months to carb up. Also in my experience theres a strange grainy-like flavor that takes some time to dissipate in the bottle, tasting it is unpleasant and is indicative of a sour thats too young

It's not mandatory I get it done by Christmas, it would have just been icing on the cake. I figured I was looking at 18 months, minimum, but I was being hopeful.
__________________
dougdecinces is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 07-17-2011, 02:00 AM   #4
Calder
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Ohio
Posts: 5,410
Liked 239 Times on 214 Posts
Likes Given: 2

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by dougdecinces View Post
I meant honey malt. It's a Canadian crystal malt that makes the resulting beer very sweet. If I was going to make a lambic that tasted sweet, this would be how I would have to do it.
I have used Honey Malt in a cider and it was sweet tasting although it fermented out dry (0.996). I was very surprised by the sweetness of it.

I suspect the sweetness is from some complex sugar. If that is the case, the bugs may be able to work their way through that too. Worth a try; the worst that could happen is the Lambic ends up dry.
__________________
Calder is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 07-17-2011, 02:08 AM   #5
dougdecinces
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Indianapolis, Indiana
Posts: 605
Liked 15 Times on 10 Posts
Likes Given: 7

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Calder View Post
I have used Honey Malt in a cider and it was sweet tasting although it fermented out dry (0.996). I was very surprised by the sweetness of it.

I suspect the sweetness is from some complex sugar. If that is the case, the bugs may be able to work their way through that too. Worth a try; the worst that could happen is the Lambic ends up dry.
That's the plan. I don't mind a dry final product, but SWMBO is more in tune with Lindemann's. As Kissinger says (or Kissinger's head in Futurama, I can't remember), compromise is the essence of diplomacy.
__________________
dougdecinces is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 07-17-2011, 03:42 AM   #6
twigboy2000
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Atlanta, Ga
Posts: 117
Default

If you want anything near Lindeman's, you'll need to either pasteurize and back sweeten or you'll need to sweeten with artificial sweetener's such as saccharine. Some of the Belgian lambic maker's do that.

The 3278 blend will make a sour beer. Even the first gen will end up sour given enough time. Have you tried any lambics from Cantillion or Dries Fonteien? Those will give you a better example of lambic.

-chuck

__________________

It's genius that borders on madness.
http://brewing.twigfu.com

twigboy2000 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 07-17-2011, 04:33 AM   #7
ryane
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Posts: 779
Liked 5 Times on 5 Posts

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by dougdecinces View Post
I meant honey malt. It's a Canadian crystal malt that makes the resulting beer very sweet. If I was going to make a lambic that tasted sweet, this would be how I would have to do it.
Ah, Ive actually tried something like this myself, I havent tasted it in quite a while though, if youd like I can pull a sample and let you know if it seems to be working on my batch
__________________
RyanBrews - check out all the bread/funk/pickling/cheese and other crazy things I try...
ryane is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 07-17-2011, 01:01 PM   #8
Bobby_M
Vendor and Brewer
HBT_SPONSOR.png
Vendor Ads 
Feedback Score: 2 reviews
 
Bobby_M's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Whitehouse Station, NJ
Posts: 21,831
Liked 905 Times on 602 Posts
Likes Given: 26

Default

Bugs will destroy the dextrines in any caramalt. If you want Lindemins style lambic, the easy way to do that is to dose your serving glass with some cherry concentrate right before pouring. Personally I wouldn't bother with a decoction mash. The traditional method is a turbid mash but the benefits there are even questionable to me.

__________________
BrewHardware.com
Sightglass, Refractometer, Ball Valve, Weldless bulkhead, Thermometer, Decals, Stainless Steel Fittings, Compression Fittings, Camlock Quick Disconnects, Scale, RIMS tube, Plate Chiller, Chugger Pump, Super Clear Silicone Tubing, and more!

New Stuff?
Bobby_M is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 07-17-2011, 08:07 PM   #9
jtakacs
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Santa Rosa, CA
Posts: 742
Liked 15 Times on 15 Posts
Likes Given: 1

Default

well said... spin the knife around buddy, better avatar.

__________________
jtakacs is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 07-17-2011, 08:46 PM   #10
dougdecinces
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Indianapolis, Indiana
Posts: 605
Liked 15 Times on 10 Posts
Likes Given: 7

Default

I ran in to another problem. Neither of the LHBS stores in my town carry 3278. The closest I can get is Roselare (3763). Would that be fine for a lambic, or should I get the individual Brett and Lactobacillus smack packs (my LHBS has both) and use those with an inexpensive dry yeast?

__________________
dougdecinces is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply


Quick Reply
Message:
Options
Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Critique and help with fruit lambic recipe Tiber_Brew Lambic & Wild Brewing 29 06-24-2014 03:05 PM
Lambic with Lambic Blend yeast from the start? Musketear Lambic & Wild Brewing 10 11-08-2012 07:10 PM
My Wild Beer Plan kinkothecarp Lambic & Wild Brewing 2 05-22-2011 11:18 AM
First Lambic helmstreet Lambic & Wild Brewing 1 04-01-2011 04:35 AM
Hair-brained sour plan jkarp Lambic & Wild Brewing 12 10-28-2009 06:23 PM