My fermentation room is my basement. While the temp is very stable day-by-day, it does vary from a low of about 52-54 in the winter to about 74 in the summer. Each of these extremes are in place for 4-6 weeks it seems.
I am trying to figure out the best time of year to start lambics and flemish reds.
I began fermenting my first lambic towards the end of the summer and while I haven't yet tasted it, both carboys looked to have a successful first fermentation and a thin pellicle has formed, indicating that there is some sort of brett/bacteria activity. One of the carboys was pitched with the Wyeast Lambic Blend and the other was a starter made with the dregs of about 8-10 different sour beers.
I think this is a good time of year to brew this sort of beer, and I'm not terribly worried about the lower temps in the winter. After all, Brussels is not exactly balmy in the winter (which is when lambics are brewed and innoculated) and to my knowledge many of them are not temp controlled at all.
I don't really want to wait until next summer to brew another sour.
I think the spring will be fine,as the primary will happen at normal ale temps, and then ramp up in the summer. I do expect some variation between fall lambics and spring lambics, but I am OK with that-- this is what blending is fall.
What about the winter? Can a successful lambic fermentation be kicked off in the mid 50 degrees? What is the minimum temp you'd recommend? Would the same hold true for a beer made with Roselare blend? What about brett beers with no bacteria?