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Old 11-24-2011, 07:50 PM   #1
hawkwind
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Default Secondary Lambic Fermentation

Hello. I'm new to the site and have searched with no success for an answer to a couple quick questions. I've been brewing for many years now but this is my first attempt at a homemade lambic. I'm wrapping up my primary ferment with wlp060 and am planning to rack to secondary and pitch the Wyeast Lambic 3278. My question is should I pump some oxygen into the secondary for the bugs or just pitch directly? Also, what sort of krausen should I expect? Just wondering if I need to use a 5 or 6 gal. carboy. Thanks for any help. Cheers - Matt.

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Old 11-25-2011, 12:42 PM   #2
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I would use a 5 gallon carboy to minimize head space. I think the extremely slow action of the Brettanomyces and bacteria will have a minimal kraeusen. You shoud be sure to have some food for these microorganisms to consume, residual unfermentables from primary fermentation. You might even consider adding some malto dextrine- say 4 to 8 ounces.
I would not introduce oxygen at this point, as pediococcus does best at low to no oxygen levels (i.e. less than atmospheric oxygen.) Pedio will be responsible for most of the souring of youur beer.
You might also consider not racking to secondary, or transferring some of the trub from the primary if you do. Brettanomyces have special nutritional needs (vitamins and amino acids), and can and will consume the autolyzed saccharomyces cells.
I have a p-Lambic on the primary cake for 16 months, and each time I pull a sample it tastes better and better! If after 3 months or so, you don't see a pellicle, you can add some bugs from your favorite gueuze dregs; also, I have found that Jolly Pumpkin has some active bugs, probably because their beers are much younger than commercial gueuzes.

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Old 11-25-2011, 05:22 PM   #3
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Thanks so much for the reply, that's some great info. I think I'll just rack to a 5 gallon carboy then and transfer some of the trub. I did add some maltodextrin to the boil along with some yeast nutrient. Do you think I should add some more of each or just go with what I've got? I do like the idea of culturing some yeast from a Jolly Pumpkin and hey, if it doesn't work, at least we can enjoy the experiment! By the way, I used to live outside of Cleveland and I miss many things about the area, not the least of which is the fine Great Lakes Christmas Ale. Yum! Thanks again for the info. Cheers - Matt.

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Old 11-25-2011, 10:13 PM   #4
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If you added maltodextrine to the boil, you should be fine. You can always boil and add a bit more in a few months if you feel it isn't developing complex enough character. So much time is spent waiting for these sours to fully develop, that I really wish I had started another sooner.

GLBC Christmas ale is on the shelves now, and flying off them as rapidly as ever. I had to brew a clone again this year so I would have a secure supply!

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