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Old 01-08-2010, 07:31 PM   #1
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Default Thinking of jumping into the wild - help please

Hi all.

Have never brewed a lambic before and am halfway through wild brews. Would like some help and opinions to see if I have the process correct in my head. Does this sound ok for a lambic kriek?

1. I was thinking of creating a wort with 60% 2row, 40% wheat
2. Pitch WLP655 - Belgian sour mix
3. Leave for 6 - 12 months
4. Add cherries to primary
5. Leave for another 6 - 12 months
6. bottle and prime with corn sugar for a light carbonation
7. leave for a month to condition

Would it be better to pitch a general yeast for primary fermentation such as wlp001, then add the WLP655 sour mix the same time as the cherries? If this is the case I was thinking 2 weeks for primary with a standard yeast then 1+ year in secondary with cherries and wlp655 sour mix

Any comments would be appreciated, Andrew

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Old 01-08-2010, 07:38 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by axp View Post

Would it be better to pitch a general yeast for primary fermentation such as wlp001, then add the WLP655 sour mix the same time as the cherries? If this is the case I was thinking 2 weeks for primary with a standard yeast then 1+ year in secondary with cherries and wlp655 sour mix

Any comments would be appreciated, Andrew
I would do this. Maybe just a week, just when the bulk of the yeast starts to drop out. The brett can use the dead yeast for food. I would not a blanket "1+ year..." You should get a pellicle and then when it drops taste it. Keg when it tastes right.
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Old 01-08-2010, 08:29 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by axp View Post
Would it be better to pitch a general yeast for primary fermentation such as wlp001, then add the WLP655 sour mix the same time as the cherries?
Don't think so. I just read that WLP655 contains saccharomyces, so I don't believe there is any reason to use another primary yeast. In fact, since these blends are dependent upon a ratio of different yeast & bacteria, I gotta wonder if making a starter is actually a bad idea because it just inflates your saccharomyces amount.

I wussed out on my http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f72/lamb...-kriek-102829/ and added a neutral ale yeast at the time of cherry addition due to limited initial airlock activity. Still wondering if that was correct decision.

I agree the Brett will benefit from having some dead yeast at bottom of vessel.
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Old 01-08-2010, 09:02 PM   #4
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WLP655 does contain saccharomyces. Does that mean that I should pitch only the WLP655? If so when should I add cherries to the primary?

Beerific - you say keg when it taste right. Is it dangerous to bottle condition such a beer in case of bottle bombs?

Have any of you guys ever used WLP655 or WY3278? These strains seem to me to be an 'all in one' with a mixture of sacch, bret and other such bacteria. Are these ok or is it better to use separate bacteria strains?

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Old 01-08-2010, 11:55 PM   #5
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It can and will create bottle bombs if you bottle a sour too quickly, and FYI 3mos is too quickly, only 3pts of gravity will make 3vols of CO2, if you already carb to 3vols another couple points off the FG will cause problems

this beer is gonna take awhile, there isnt much you can do about it

Both blends work well, and should be pitched into the primary but you really should augment them with the dregs from sour commercial beers, JP works well as does cuvee rene and both are usually available

As to when to add the cherries, it should be long after the primary fermenation has finished off - you want the brett and pedio to have the most access to the sugars from the cherries to produce more complexity and sourness, if you do it too soon the sacch will still be hanging around and will quickly eat all the sugar, a minimum of 6mos or so is usually a good amt of time to wait before adding the fruit, then leave it on the fruit another couple months, tasting and taking gravity readings after 1-2mos

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Old 01-09-2010, 02:25 AM   #6
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I just posted a homebrew recipe from a belgian who studies lambics for a living as "An 'authentic' lambic recipe" you might want to check it out. Either way, I'd ferment with a regular ale yeast first, then add the funk.

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Old 01-09-2010, 04:12 AM   #7
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Ive brewed quite a few lambics, and fermenting with a clean ale yeast always leaves the beer lacking in sourness and funky complexity, think about it, does cantillon or girardin ferment with cal ale then add bugs?? NO, they have bugs from the begining, you should also add the dregs of wild beer to increase the complexity of the culture and provide more flavor depth

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Old 01-09-2010, 04:41 AM   #8
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I wouldn't age on the cherries that long. Start tasting at 3 months on the cherries until you reach the flavor you are looking for. Throwing all the bugs and sacc in at the same time would not be a bad idea. More funk should come out of it that way.

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Old 01-09-2010, 03:45 PM   #9
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Thanks for all the replies. I think I'm beginning to understand the process now.

It is said in a few posts that the beer should be left on the cherries for about three months then taste and take hydrometer readings. My worry is how do I know that all the sugars from the cherries have been fermented. If they haven't of course, when I bottle I will get bombs. Does the same rule apply for lambics as for normal beers ie three constant hydrometer readings over three days means end of fermentation?

So after three months on the cherries if I get three constant hydrometer readings over three days is my lambic complete and all fermentables gone?

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Old 01-09-2010, 04:22 PM   #10
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I would not trust readings over 3 days. More like 3 weeks. Those bugs are very, very slow.

I think if you use the Oregon fruit (link) they can tell you how much fermentable sugar they contribute. So you can more or less have an idea when it will be done. Also, it has been my experience (from my own sours and talking to others) that when the pelicle drops plus a month or two, you are essentially done as far as gravity. Flavor will still develop, but that can also happen in the bottle.

Here is some more information that might be helpful:
http://www.thebrewingnetwork.com/sho...-Show-06-02-08
http://thebrewingnetwork.com/shows/T...ditional-Yeast
http://thebrewingnetwork.com/shows/T...wing-Sour-Beer
I think there is really a lot of good information in these and will help you a lot.

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