Do all Lambics/Sours need to age for >1 year? - Home Brew Forums
Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Lambic & Wild Brewing > Do all Lambics/Sours need to age for >1 year?

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 05-16-2010, 06:13 PM   #1
TVarmy
Recipes 
 
Feb 2010
New Jersey
Posts: 144
Liked 2 Times on 1 Posts



I'm a relatively new brewer (about 4 months now) who just went all grain, and I just tried a lambic from the liquor store and really liked it. Yes, it was Lindeman's, but that was all they had and I didn't know it was controversial here. However, I imagine I would also like a dry, non-backsweetened lambic as well. The only issue I see is time.

My family planning on moving in a year or so, and I don't foresee bringing a lot of beer with me that needs to age. As a result, I'm holding off on making any beers or wines that need to age, since it's heavy (and difficult through many services) to ship. (Feel free to infer that you can probably mooch some free homebrews from me in a year)

Do all sour ales need a long time to condition? Or is it just the most popular styles that do?

Also, I notice a lot of people here say they are making 15 gallon batches. Is that just because of the size of oak barrels, or is there something about 15 gallons that is better suited to lambics? I can only see making a 5 gallon batch with my current setup.
__________________
Zorillo Brewery: Jinxing the hops since 2010.
Primary: Edwort's Robust Porter, Hard Lemonade
Secondary: Air
Bottled: Apfelwein, Wheat Stout, Edwort's Haus Pale Ale
Thinking about: more Citrus Hefeweizen, Strawberry Blonde, Apple Graff, Lambics

 
Reply With Quote
Old 05-16-2010, 07:48 PM   #2
yodalegomaster
Recipes 
 
Dec 2009
MN
Posts: 420
Liked 5 Times on 5 Posts


I brew 10 gallon batches, it's not much more work to brew in concentrate, like you do with extract, to make 15 gallons. I also use single container 15.5 gallon plastic fermentors. What I do is brew a couple of times a year just for the sours, and build them up year after year. There are a couple of styles of beers that are like lambics, but not aged their called FARO and "beer de MARS" beers. Faro is a immature Iambic that is sweetened and served very young, but it's not very complex. Home brewing lambics is time and space consuming hobby that not many people will respect. Except the us lovers of the Sour beer.

 
Reply With Quote
Old 05-16-2010, 08:42 PM   #3
Thakog
Recipes 
 
Nov 2009
Vancouver, WA
Posts: 88

A timely question. I'm also thinking about jumping into the sour scene, but the 1+ year aging is quite disheartening. I want my sour beer now, dangit! I'm aiming more for sour browns like new belgium's la foile, or even a sour pale like petrus. What happens if you bottle something after say, 2-3 months in a carboy? Will I get bottle bombs and a wasted batch, or just beer that doesn't taste sour/funky enough?

 
Reply With Quote
Old 05-16-2010, 08:49 PM   #4
ArcaneXor
Recipes 
 
Nov 2007
Posts: 4,572
Liked 117 Times on 104 Posts


Berliner Weisse beers are ready to drink very quickly and don't really require aging. All other sours that I know of do.

 
Reply With Quote
Old 05-17-2010, 02:28 AM   #5
simcoe4life
Recipes 
 
Jan 2007
Posts: 79

"Lambics" definitely need more than a year. Brewing 10 or more gallons twice a year and blending each year from there on out is an excellent way to start your wild brewery.

However if you want to funk out a standard belgian beer and get a nice sour note you don't always have to wait a year. I've added vials of brett brux to base beers and augmented with dregs from american sours and had somewhat sharp acidic funk beer in less than 7 months. These are usually initiated in the warmer summer months. Once you have the beer in long-term storage you can keep it at cellar temp for at least 3 years.

A word of caution - once you've achieved your desired level of funk and it tastes good out of the carboy and you then bottle or keg it with priming sugar...make sure you wait at least a month before tapping the keg or opening a bottle. I've found that the bugs will kick up into a "tertiary" evolution that can lead to an initial sickness that will produce flavors unlike what you tasted in the carboy. The beer will eventually clean up though. If you have patience you will be rewarded with an excellent wild brew.
__________________
Primary: Saison w/Dupont strain

Secondary: Belgian Pale, Saison d'Lupulin, Farmhouse IPA

Kegged: Saison d'Lupulin

Sour Secondary: Cabernet Oud Bruin, Sour Cherry Oud Bruin, Sour Ale base, Kriek, Wild Night, Wild Night w/Blueberries, Wild Noel

Sour Cellared: Cabernet Lambic, Wild American, Merlot Lambic, Namaste Golden Ale, Saison Twenty-Three, Spring Equinox Saison, Belgian Pale, Orval Clone, Chardonnay Saison, Sour Cherry Saison, Cabernet Flemish Red, Bordeaux Lambic

 
Reply With Quote
Old 05-17-2010, 01:43 PM   #6
Thakog
Recipes 
 
Nov 2009
Vancouver, WA
Posts: 88

Thanks for the advice and recommendations- I'll be looking up some Berliner Weisse recipes to sate my sour cravings till I can brew something else.

 
Reply With Quote
Old 05-17-2010, 02:29 PM   #7
Bobby_M
Vendor and Brewer
HBT_SPONSOR.png
 
Bobby_M's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Aug 2006
Whitehouse Station, NJ
Posts: 23,194
Liked 1654 Times on 1069 Posts


You can get them sour in a few months with a combo of sour mashing and lambic blend in the primary but I don't think it will taste good for at least 6-9 months. It's late into the second year where they start getting good. Producing sour beers is more like a decade long commitment that is realized in about the 3rd year but you just can't stop making them. They are in the same category as big barley wines.
__________________
Welcome to BrewHardware.com. I love you.
BIAB Large Mesh False Bottoms and SS HERMS COILS are IN!!
Chugger Pumps, Pump Kits, Camlocks, Sightglasses, Clear USA made Silicone Tubing, RIMS, Electric Install Parts, etc.

 
Reply With Quote
Old 05-27-2010, 11:37 PM   #8
robbiex0r
Recipes 
 
Jul 2008
La Crosse, WI
Posts: 124
Liked 3 Times on 2 Posts


No love for full wort souring? I intend to try that this year.

 
Reply With Quote
Old 06-20-2010, 02:11 AM   #9
couchsurfer
Recipes 
 
Dec 2008
Travel a lot
Posts: 7
Liked 2 Times on 2 Posts


It's been a while since you posted but I had a minute to suggest:
Do you have a keg system? Maybe it's time to start? A keg only costs 20 bucks, used, maybe 30. Dedicate one or two and have fun!

If you're not a purist, you can start a sour beer and add a teaspoon of 88% lactic acid, and from there just keep adding freshly fermented beer to the keg. Or fruit or mead or whatever. Just don't let it run too low! Try to get some sour beer concentrated, left over.

I like this technique, personally, I don't nurture any acidic acid: the co2 and my obsession with cleanliness seems to have made sure of that. Occasionally I might take a bit of home-made vinegar and add it to a pitcher, but not often.

Anyway, I am like you: I don't want to wait. So... blending has become a joy and an art. That way it's always on tap.

 
Reply With Quote
Old 06-26-2010, 03:39 AM   #10
avidhomebrewer
Recipes 
 
Sep 2007
Posts: 2,553
Liked 24 Times on 23 Posts


I agree with Simcoe for lambics only; they require at least a year.

A Berliner Wiesse, you can get by with a few months.

 
Reply With Quote


Reply
Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Silence of the Lambics NYC 04/24/10 1-4pm Pivzavod North East Homebrew Forum 0 04-21-2010 04:25 PM
American sours vs. Lambics B-Dub Lambic & Wild Brewing 3 11-20-2009 05:47 PM
Belgian Lambics MgMt_Home_Brew Recipes/Ingredients 10 09-29-2008 10:54 PM
Lambics Parker36 General Beer Discussion 12 05-25-2008 12:03 AM
Lambics and Acetobacter zoebisch01 General Techniques 2 02-28-2007 03:09 AM


Forum Jump