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Old 01-25-2013, 07:17 AM   #1
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Default what exactly is blending lambics?

I been reading about lambics alot..and i hear people blending lambics to achieve the flavor they want..Does that mean you go to the beer store pick up a variety of lambic's and dump them in the carboy with the young lambic you are brewing?Please somebody break it down for me..thanks

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Old 01-25-2013, 11:58 AM   #2
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I been reading about lambics alot..and i hear people blending lambics to achieve the flavor they want..Does that mean you go to the beer store pick up a variety of lambic's and dump them in the carboy with the young lambic you are brewing?Please somebody break it down for me..thanks
Not quite. Lambic is traditionally a blend of 1, 2, & 3 year old beers. Because each barrel will have different character, it's neccessary to blend them to achieve a consitent product. Same goes for homebrew. It's unlikely you'll get a great beer out of one 5 gallon batch of Lambic-style homebrew, so many homebrewers take a clue from the pros and blend several batches together.

You can, however, buy some real Lambic and use the dregs to innoculate your beers. Not the least expensive route, but the most enjoyable.
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Old 01-25-2013, 04:49 PM   #3
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Not quite. Lambic is traditionally a blend of 1, 2, & 3 year old beers. Because each barrel will have different character, it's neccessary to blend them to achieve a consitent product. Same goes for homebrew. It's unlikely you'll get a great beer out of one 5 gallon batch of Lambic-style homebrew, so many homebrewers take a clue from the pros and blend several batches together.

You can, however, buy some real Lambic and use the dregs to innoculate your beers. Not the least expensive route, but the most enjoyable.
Exactly (if you sub gueuze for lambic in the first line).

From a commercial stand point it is also about consistency. Cantillon has a certain profile they strive for in their Classic gueuze. They don’t need it to be identical each time, but they want it to be close in terms of acidity and overall impression. As a homebrewer I strive to blend/bottle the best beer, even if that isn’t that close to what my last pale sour tasted like.
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Old 01-25-2013, 06:44 PM   #4
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Not quite. Lambic is traditionally a blend of 1, 2, & 3 year old beers. Because each barrel will have different character, it's neccessary to blend them to achieve a consitent product. Same goes for homebrew. It's unlikely you'll get a great beer out of one 5 gallon batch of Lambic-style homebrew, so many homebrewers take a clue from the pros and blend several batches together.

You can, however, buy some real Lambic and use the dregs to innoculate your beers. Not the least expensive route, but the most enjoyable.
Ok i see..let me ask you..if i was to make a wit beer pitch in some wyeast lambic blend and dregs from a few great store bought lambics aged for years..can that make a decent sour beer?..also would add cherries? would this work? thanks
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Old 01-25-2013, 08:03 PM   #5
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Exactly (if you sub gueuze for lambic in the first line).

From a commercial stand point it is also about consistency. Cantillon has a certain profile they strive for in their Classic gueuze. They don’t need it to be identical each time, but they want it to be close in terms of acidity and overall impression. As a homebrewer I strive to blend/bottle the best beer, even if that isn’t that close to what my last pale sour tasted like.
Whoops! Yes Lambic is the base beer and bottled still, geuze is blended and bubbly.
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Old 01-26-2013, 02:33 AM   #6
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I don't blend. I see no need to blend.

Yes, I can see you could possibly get a more complex beer from blending a couple of beers, but I think these beers are already pretty complex and tasty as they are.

At the risk of being flamed by half the people on the Sour forum, I really don't see any real reason to blend a sour beer unless you have brewed a crap beer, or are just a snob.

Sure it is an art to try and produce a consistent product by blending, and I can see merit in trying to do that, but to blend because that is how the Commercial guys do it ...... I just don't get it. I personally like the variation I get from every different beer.

And I carbonate my Lambics!

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Old 01-28-2013, 06:23 PM   #7
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I don't blend. I see no need to blend.

Yes, I can see you could possibly get a more complex beer from blending a couple of beers, but I think these beers are already pretty complex and tasty as they are.

At the risk of being flamed by half the people on the Sour forum, I really don't see any real reason to blend a sour beer unless you have brewed a crap beer, or are just a snob.

Sure it is an art to try and produce a consistent product by blending, and I can see merit in trying to do that, but to blend because that is how the Commercial guys do it ...... I just don't get it. I personally like the variation I get from every different beer.

And I carbonate my Lambics!
For me it is more about balance than complexity. You might have a beer that has too much or too little oak, Brett aromatics, sourness, esters, fruit etc. Blending allows you to turn two (or more) mediocre beers into something special. Unless you have a very consistent microbe pitching schedule, you’ll have some batches that don’t turn out perfectly on their own.

For example, I had a half keg of overly sharp, slightly acetic lambic-ish beer that had aged in a wine barrel. Not sure what happened to it, but the same beer aged on Cabernet grapes won a gold in my region at NHC last year. I also had a 100% Lactobacillus Berliner weisse that for some reason never soured. I racked some of the Berliner into the keg, and added Comet dry hops to produce a balanced, citrusy, refreshing beer.

I probably bottle 80% of my sours unblended, but for the 20% that are it is well worth the effort.
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Old 01-29-2013, 03:49 PM   #8
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Whoops! Yes Lambic is the base beer and bottled still, geuze is blended and bubbly.
Lambic isn't usually bottled still. If its bottled, its carbonated. It is commonly served on cask still in Belgium. Even bottled straight lambic is blended, but its a blend of the same age. Its only termed geuze when you take old lambic and blend it with young lambic. Traditionally this was done so that the young lambic, which has still retained some of its sugar, would carbonate the blend in the bottle, and the old lambic would provide the depth of flavor. While 3/2/1 year lambic blend is common, it doesn't need to be like that. There are geuzes that are 2/1, 4/1, 4/3/2/1, etc. You just need an old and young component.
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Old 03-01-2013, 12:13 AM   #9
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I'm looking for advice on lambic blending for carbonation (making gueueze). How do I know what ratio to blend with to et good carbonation without bottle bombs? I'm planning on using champagne bottles. Can't seem to find this nfo in wild brews.

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Old 03-01-2013, 08:59 PM   #10
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I'm looking for advice on lambic blending for carbonation (making gueueze). How do I know what ratio to blend with to et good carbonation without bottle bombs? I'm planning on using champagne bottles. Can't seem to find this nfo in wild brews.
As a general rule you'd want the gravity of the blend to be ~.003-.004 higher than the driest beer (assuming it is stable). Again assuming the beers were brewed with the same process, odds are that the microbes will drop the blend to that gravity and provide a solid amount of carbonation. If you barrel aged I'd go toward the high end as the residual CO2 will be lower. Champagne bottles can hold loads of pressure, so even if it drops another point or two you should be safe.

I'd rather blend to taste, and add more sugar if needed for carbonation. Rather than sacrifice flavor for purity.
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