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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Lambic & Wild Brewing > Wine Barrel Lambic Project
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Old 08-11-2009, 08:57 PM   #11
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What do you mean by a good stand? (it will be in my basement, and I dont want any accidents). Are you worrying about rolling? or filling?
Both. The stand will allow you to put the round barrel on a flat surface. You don't want it growing legs, so to speak, and rolling over during either the fill or ferment... God help you if it rolls during the ferment after a year of impatient waiting and the contents leak out on the floor!
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Old 08-11-2009, 09:11 PM   #12
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oh damn! I didn't realize that just the 3 of you were splitting 55 gallons!!! That is a lot of lambic. Im sure I will still be stealing some from each of you at some point in time so that is fine with me
Well, the plan is to make 55, but then only take out 1/2 next year (~10g ea) and then 1/2 again the following year, and then the last year it will be all 55 going out. At least that's what the "plan" is for the max brew length of the barrel.

That way there's always 55g IN the barrel and we're constantly blending in new, fresh wort for the buggies to feed on.
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Old 08-11-2009, 09:25 PM   #13
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Make sure your barrel is on a cradle about 2" high so you can rack into it and most importantly OUT. That is unless one of you has a self priming wine transfer pump.

Granted our barrel was already inoculated with a lambic blend from the previous Flanders project, but there are two trains of thought on this. Start fermentation with neutral yeast, then rack to barrel and pitch a 5 gallon starter of lambic blend. You can also ferment it right away with a pitch of lambic blend starter but you'll then have to do blending to taste later because straight lambic is pretty undrinkable. We did the former so the product coming out of the barrel goes right into the keg.

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Old 08-11-2009, 09:29 PM   #14
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Bobby,

I think the plan would be to pitch with a normal yeast, then do bugs. But at the 1 year mark, we'd be adding fresh wort to what should only be bugs left over. Are you saying the 2nd year take would be a "straight undrinkable lambic" ??

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Old 08-11-2009, 09:40 PM   #15
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oh damn! I didn't realize that just the 3 of you were splitting 55 gallons!!! That is a lot of lambic. Im sure I will still be stealing some from each of you at some point in time so that is fine with me
im sure you will! and its not like were just taking 55 G a year.... were leaving tons in there every year.
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Old 08-11-2009, 09:48 PM   #16
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What do you mean by a good stand? (it will be in my basement, and I dont want any accidents). Are you worrying about rolling? or filling?
A good stand to get it up off of the floor for when you transfer out of the barrel. A good stand so the night you make it and fill it you are not waking up all night to go down 2 flights of stairs to check on it constantly worried about you level of craftmenship when putting it together.

Really though, you just dont want the barrel to move around a lot.
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Old 08-11-2009, 09:50 PM   #17
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Agreed. I think the stand should be IN PLACE for the water leak test. That way we test the barrel AND the stand.

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Old 08-11-2009, 09:50 PM   #18
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Bobby,

I think the plan would be to pitch with a normal yeast, then do bugs. But at the 1 year mark, we'd be adding fresh wort to what should only be bugs left over. Are you saying the 2nd year take would be a "straight undrinkable lambic" ??
I'm thinking in terms of how much of the sugars were consumed by either bugs or beer yeast. A barrel fully fermented from a 5 gallon lambic blend, by itself, would be considered straight unblended lambic. When you take a share out of there after a year, you'll probably want to blend that or add some kind of fruit concentrate to the keg (e.g. sour cherry to make a kreik).

In our case, we fermented about half way with either WLP001 or (loosely whatever belgian strain someone had on hand). I think I fermented my portion with a Wit strain. After 3 days on those yeasts in carboys whathaveyou, it went into the barrel that had a slurry of lambic blend in the bottom and certainly all infused into the wood. The cherry was added 3 months later. It's wonderful at 7 months. If we were to solera this barrel now, I'd probably still add partially pre-fermented wort to keep the sourness at bay to a certain degree only to avoid blending after taking shares from the barrel.
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Old 08-11-2009, 09:56 PM   #19
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The plan is:

Day 1: Fill to 55g, pitch yeast
Day xx: Pitch bugs
Year 1: Pull out 30 gallons of lambic, put in 30g wort.
Year 2: Pull out 30g lambic, put in 30g wort.
Year 3: "" "" ""

Are you saying that at the 1 year marks, the fresh wort going in should be pitched with normal yeast AND bugs? or normal yeast and fermented outside the barrel for a month or two THEN put in with the older lambic?

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Old 08-11-2009, 11:05 PM   #20
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I think the point is, the beer will get more progressively sour. There is a point were you begin to create vinegar, but I do not think we will encounter this with our approach.

I am not 100% on adding a clean ale strain to the wort first. I know this is the technique Jamil advocates for, but he is not a fan of the sour end of the spectrum. He even says that Rodenbach Grand Cru is too much for him. I disagree. I believe a traditional lambic is fermented with an ale yeast while the brett, pedio and other bugs grow in porportion. I would prefer to pitch the lambic blend as is, no additional clean ale.

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