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Old 02-03-2009, 12:57 PM   #1
celtic_dude's Avatar
Nov 2006
Blue Bell, PA
Posts: 157
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I am wondering what is the best time frame for each stage in making a lambic. ATM I have a lambic started in my primary with a belgium ale yeast. Once primary is done, I plan on racking to my secondary and adding the bugs then. My question is, do I add the fruit then or do I let the bugs do there thing and then add the fruit down the road? I will be using about 10 pounds of fresh peaches pasterized.
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Old 02-06-2009, 10:07 PM   #2
Sep 2007
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Looking thru some recipes the standard practice is the add the bugs with the fruit. Make sure you use the entire fruit, pits and skins too and add oak chips or cubes.

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Old 03-02-2009, 04:37 AM   #3
Dec 2007
Port Orchard WA
Posts: 97

I would not add the bugs and the fruit at the same time. The bugs can take up to a year to fully ferment out. The time line I have read (and the one Im working on) is 9-12 months with the bugs, 4-6 months with the fruit. But like most things in brewing, Im sure they both would work just fine.
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Old 03-02-2009, 12:42 PM   #4
Jun 2008
Greenbay, WI
Posts: 276
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you will wanna add them at the same time once the second fermentation starts you don't wanna mess wiht the stuff on top.
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Old 03-02-2009, 06:03 PM   #5
Jan 2006
Wauwatosa, WI
Posts: 159
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I've heard bugs then fruit from a BN show on homebrewed sour beers with "Mike the Welder". Check out the Sunday Session index for the show.

So this guy said bugs then fruit, and while I don't recall them discussing it at length, my interpretation of his justification was something like this:

Aroma compounds in fruit are really volatile. So you want to slow the fruit's fermentation down as much as possible so all the fruit aroma doesn't go out the airlock. Plus, since the souring of beer takes so long, you allow the bugs to work for the 6-18 months then add the fruit at the end, meaning the final 1-3 months of aging. The guy also talked about making multiple fruit additions perhaps a year apart.

But if you read this, you can see that I'm speaking based on what I've read, not done. The Lambic-style beer I have in secondary will get cherries added after 6 months, then age for another 3-6. I'd like to use fresh cherries, so I'm limited by the seasonal availability. My other beer, a sour brown will not get a fruit addition. Maybe a good test would be to brew another Lambic-style beer during this year's cherry season and add the fruit after only 2 weeks so I can compare the 2. We'll see if I can find some cheap cherries.

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