This is my first lambic-style beer and first attempt at something close to a turbid mash. It was a little dicey for a while, but I'm excited about the prospects. I'll keep this post up to date at I monitor the long fermentation. May even post some pics of the funk.
6.5# US 6-Row
4# Flaked Wheat
1# Belgian Pils
1oz EKG @ ~180 minutes
*I had opened the package of pellets about 4 weeks previous, crushed them all up, and left them open on my fridge to try to stale them. They lost most of their aroma, but weren't true aged hops.
Planned mash schedule:
based on Mosher's step mash along with the suggestion I found from Frank Boon which called for the 86F step and a step mash.
1. Dough-in @ 86F with 1 qt/lb, stir, and remove all milky liquid. Heat that liquid to boiling and hold.
2. 113 rest for 15 mins.
3. 131 rest for 15 mins.
4. Use boiled turbid mash to increase to 149 for 15 mins.
5. 160 rest for 15 mins.
6. Boil a decoction and increase to ~180, hold, and drain.
7. Batch sparge with boiling water.
Actual mash schedule and notes:
this was a pretty adventurous mash, so I had some difficulties, but went ok. Really a long brew day though.
1. Dough in with 3.1 gals of 92F water to hit 86. Actually about 90F, but close. Pulled ~1.4-1.5 gals of milky liquid and put in saucepan.
2. Immediately add ~1.4-1.5 gal of boiling water, but actually hit 130-140F. Add 0.5 gal cold water to hit 120-122F. Rested for 25 minutes.
3. Heat turbid mash to boiling over course of 25 minutes. Delayed due to heating other stuff. An extra burner would have helped for such a mash.
4. Added ~1 gal boiling water to hit 130-132F. Since I opened the mash tun and stirred a few times, the temp dropped over course of 15 minute rest to 122F.
5. Added boiling turbid wort to hit 140 (149 was target). Pull 1 gallon of wort (no grain) and heat to boil, add back to mash along with some hot water to hit 148-150F.
6. Added remaining boiling water to hit 155 (target was 160F). Pulled 1 gallon of wort and boiled, add back to hit 160F.
7. Pulled a 3 gal decoction, boiled, and added back to mash to hit 170F. Let sit ~5 mins and drained MLT. Gathered 6 gal.
8. Added 4.7 gal boiling water to grains to hit 185-190F. Ran off 4.5 gal.
9. Somehow, I collected more than I planned. Perhaps added some additional water, but ended up with 10.5 gal. Couldn't boil it all from the start, so added it through boil.
*Boil was all full of gunk. Lots of stringy things and goo, huge pile of trub. Actual boil time closer to 5 hours.
*Efficiency was insane due to huge sparge volume…I ended up 10 full points higher than planned.
Primary fermentation (2/7/09):
1/2 pack of US-05 & WY3278 @ 68F. Intended to use oak in primary, but brewday was 9+ hours long and didn't feel like it anymore.
*Part of reason to add US-05 was due to fact that WY3278 was in my fridge too long. Smackpack really didn't get going much after like 6 hours.
*Slow to start fermenting, but steady after 18 hours. Kept the temp on the low side cuz I don't care if it quits at like 1.020.
Secondary fermentation (2/15/09):
Rack to secondary.* Store for ~6 months @ 64-75.
Starting to get a hazy film over the top surface.
racked onto 10 lbs of thawed, frozen, pitted Seaquist Orchards tart Door County cherries. Gravity was 1.011. About 6 gallons total into a 6.5 gal carboy.
*Taste was slightly sour with quite a bit of tannins. The flavor that I attribute to oak aging (tannins, green olive, etc) was quite present in this sample.
*Either that flavor is a function of the yeast, or I got a lot of tannins from mash.
*Fermentation was really sluggish, really never took off at all. Worried.
fermentation still very slow to stopped. Pitched 1 pack of S-04. Fermentation sped up a lot and was going steady by next day. Hopefully a good decision.
*Was worried that long sleep along with pH of beer may have killed of viable yeast.
*Actually started to develop a little bit of Kreusen by 8/17.
*Cherries are now floating & a white-ish pink color with specs of crud on them.
decided to add 3/4oz medium French oak. Reasons were promoting organism growth over the flavor addition. So boiled 3 times in water and discarded water each time.
*Boiling and discarding water was done to mellow out the oak flavor contribution. I just want a place for bugs to live.
was moving from basement to upstairs and check gravity & taste. Still sitting @ 1.012.
*Flavor was starting to sour, but definitely not there yet. Lots of brett, but little sourness. Cherries very present in aftertaste. Promising.
I noticed a slight pellicle forming in cracks between the fruit on the surface.
*Different from the picture (now old), about 1/2 the fruit is still floating and 1/2 sunk to bottom. I do wonder what will happen as I rack this.
*Still thinking to age this ~18months total.
*It's been sitting at 62-66F since October. I'll let it warm up to 70-74F as spring turns to summer, which should increase sourness, then I'll taste & possibly bottle.