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Old 03-18-2012, 06:31 PM   #1
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Default Sorta Lacambre Method Wit

I have "Brewing with Wheat" which outlines a old method of brewing witbier from 1851. The 100% true method sounds like a pain in the butt but the end result is some fairly dextrinous wort with only a portion being boiled and a portion being ran through the spent grains.

So what I'm doing is boiling only a portion of my 10-11 gal batch. I will add a white labs lacto culture to the unhopped and unboiled portion. This should give a somewhat authentic lactic tang to the beer. I might also toss some yoghurt juice in there too in order to assist with the souring. This portion will sour until I'm happy. Then I will ferment it with WP410. I am undecided on raising it up to a temp to kill all the lacto. I'm thinking I'll just let it roll with out pasteurizing the lacto and just let whatever lives to live.

The lightly hopped and boiled portion will only boil for 45 min. Then I will ferment it with T58 (it's mostly for my wife she'll get two unblended cases of this). Then I will blend the remainder of this with the unhopped and unboiled portion.

So I should end up with two cases of "boring" wit for my wife (she doesn't like the clovey spice from traditional wit yeasts) and two cases or so of slightly lower alcohol but sourish wit for myself.

Grain bill Recipe:
Franco Belges Pils 48%
Rye Malt 24.4% (have a bunch on hand and figured I'd try it)
Flaked Wheat 24.4%
Acidulated Malt 3% (for pH adjustment)
Rice hulls (didn't weigh but just grabbed a bunch out of my bulk bag)

Stisselspalt Hops for about 15 IBUs in the boiled portion.

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Old 03-18-2012, 11:20 PM   #2
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Unhopped and unboiled portion came out to 1.043. Boiled and hopped portion came out at 1.051. I have a little over 12 gal of wort that has a nice flavor. Pitching the lacto soon as that portion is close to 100F.

Upon blending the starting gravity will have been 1.047. We'll see how this turns out. I did one last year similar to this only I didn't reserve half to not be boiled or hopped. I only added a lacto culture then yeast a few days later.

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Old 03-20-2012, 11:16 PM   #3
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The T58 portion began to ferment rather quickly.

The unboiled/unhopped and lacto dosed half developed a serious nasty krausen and smelled of putrid eggs. I had to direct the airlock into a milk jug sealed up and topped with a nato gas mask cansiter (left over from a training mask). So now I don't have a fart smelling house. This morning I added the WLP410. I'm not real sure if the putrid smell will come out of the beer. I tasted some via a pipette and its in the beer as well. Hopefully the WLP410 will help scrub out the sulfury smell so I can blend this together and bottle next week.

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Old 03-20-2012, 11:45 PM   #4
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Did you aerate the unboiled portion? Did you give it plenty of headspace? I could see oxygen promoting the growth of the undesirable. After lacto fermentation you may want to boil to try to drive out some of that nastiness.

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Old 03-20-2012, 11:54 PM   #5
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I didn't aerate. There as admittedly too head space, but it was a pure culture. So growth of the undesireable is less of a concern, then again there is the potential for high temp survival of bacteria from the mash that would leave me with who knows what. I'll see how it smells on Friday. If it smells terrible I'll think about boiling it.

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Old 03-21-2012, 02:45 AM   #6
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It could be lacto at work. I normally smell my sour mashes -- I know you're not sour mashing here -- and get more of a rotting creamed corn smell. It's possible it's just what lacto smells like to you. Maybe it's just something strange about the composition of the wort.

Personally if it still stinks/tastes bad at that point I would boil and hope the yeast can scrub out whatever doesn't boil off but you may be more adventurous than I.

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Old 03-21-2012, 12:31 PM   #7
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That sound about right. Rotten creamed corn I guess is a good description. I just haven't found anyone talking about a stank ferment like this. Of course the only threads I can find on a lacto pitch then ale yeast is on berliner weisse. The grist are not very far off realistically, mine is just higher gravity. I will be blending this into the hopped portion which should be about 25 ibus so when blended it will be between 12 ibus and 13 ibus. This may be an awesome way to make a wit but only time will tell. I popped the top and it seems to be dissipating a bit but it is still there. The beer is still very actively fermenting also with a thick krausen on top.

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Old 03-21-2012, 02:17 PM   #8
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Then you may want to let it ride. I usually get that smell still coming through after the boil but it's never there in smell or taste after fermentation.

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Old 03-22-2012, 11:51 AM   #9
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I'm happy to update that the bad smell is quickly dissipating. I just tasted it today and it's nicely tangy. The flavor is nice and basically just tastes like unhopped wort. I think it's still on the high side of attenuation, but I'll blend it soon and hopefully it improves even more. I just hope I can taste the slight sourness after blending.

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Old 03-26-2012, 12:02 PM   #10
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I did a gravity check today. The t58 portion is at 1.007. The lacto unhopped half is at a staggering 1.024. I will try and get them blended up this week. Hopefully tomorrow night. That way I can get the t58 to help clear up the diacetyl from the lacto and help drop the gravity further. My WLP410 didn't do much to drop the gravity. Blended together its going to be nice based on how the gravity samples tasted when poured together.

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