Higher ABV Lambic? - Home Brew Forums
Register Now For Free!

Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Lambic & Wild Brewing > Higher ABV Lambic?

Thread Tools
Old 01-04-2012, 03:58 AM   #1
Dec 2011
Posts: 37
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts

I've seen some discussion about blending lambics (esp fruit lambics) to create a higher abv sour, and I'd like to ask those of you who have done it what your experiences are and what advice you have.

If blending with a high abv beer, I'm assuming that it should be very low-hopped, correct?

Should it be a wheat beer? Does it matter?

What about blending with a small amount of a high abv wine – like using a cherry wine to boost a kriek?

I don't know much about lambics, but as for what I'd like to create – imagine lindemans kriek, make it 1/3 as sweet, 3x more sour, and have ~10% abv. Does such a creature exist?

Reply With Quote
Old 01-04-2012, 11:42 AM   #2
Jun 2010
Posts: 481
Liked 15 Times on 13 Posts

I would say come up with a true "plambic" recipe and use Wyeast 3278 Lambic blend, age it for a year, then secondary for 6 months on sour cherries.

Then come up with a much simpler malty Belgian such as a dubbel but with a much higher starting gravity, say 1.100 and use a big starter of 3711 French Saison.

Then blend those and see how it turns out. Hopefully you'll have something in the 9-10% range.
For new brewers, especially new all-grain brewers: Check out my blog The New Brewer Chronicals: brewerchronicals.blogspot.com

Reply With Quote
Old 01-04-2012, 06:45 PM   #3
Registered User
Jul 2009
Keller, Texas
Posts: 4,882
Liked 254 Times on 196 Posts

The problem is that, especially with commercial blends, many bacteria that are good for souring don't hold up in high ABV and/or do not do a good job souring because the alcohol slows their growth and ability to sour the beer. To do what you're looking for, you might want to make a very dry high ABV cherry beer (either a blond or wheat beer) and then blend it with a lambic. I don't know if you would get enough sourness without dropping the ABV too much. Lambic is typically around 3-4% ABV so to get around 10% your cherry beer needs to be in the mid to upper teens, depending on how sour you want the end result to be. You might need to use cherry juice extract (reduced cherry juice) to avoid adding too much water and lowering the ABV.

Of course, you could always just make your 10% cherry beer and add acids to create sourness.

If you look at a beer like NB's Clutch, it's an imperial stout-like beer at 9%. It is a blend of stout and sour dark ale. It's not really very sour and it's not hoppy. It's like they used the sour ale to balance the sweetness in the stout instead of using hops to do it. You might have better luck going that route with a beer.

Reply With Quote
Old 01-04-2012, 07:51 PM   #4
Nov 2008
Posts: 843
Liked 7 Times on 7 Posts

Originally Posted by ReverseApacheMaster View Post
I don't know if you would get enough sourness without dropping the ABV too much.
Abbaye De Saint Bon-Chien Grand Cru (Aged In Merlot Barrels) - BFM Brasserie Des Franches-Montagnes - Saignelégier, Switzerland - BeerAdvocate
Bon-chien does several sours that are in the 11% range, granted they arent using wy/wl but it is possible. I would guess that some of Al's blends could go much higher in abv(he cultures individual strains from dregs)

I might give that a try with his bugfarm to see what it can do

Reply With Quote
Old 01-04-2012, 10:13 PM   #5
Apr 2011
louisville, KY
Posts: 287
Liked 32 Times on 18 Posts

It's completely doable. Last spring I made a 10% sour out of I started from some bottles of dupont and jolly pumpkin. It was sour but not quite lambic tart. You'll want a big pitch of healthy bugs in primary, not secondary, and I'd recommend strong bugs like jp, rr, or ecy. Dregs from Belgium probably won't cut it. You could also use like a 4th gen wy blend if it's souring real well. I also mashed low figuring that the bacteria may not take down the dextins in that much alcohol. 8 months later and it was really good. Just be agressive with the critters and get them working early.

Boon has an 8% lambic, jp will take some over 9, and bfm's Bon chien is a great 11% sour so it is possible.

Another thought might be to make a 5% lambic, wait a year and then add simple sugar and new sacch just for alcohol. Also you could make a light really sour beer to blend with the 10 percenter in case you get more funk than sour out of it.

Reply With Quote
Old 01-05-2012, 12:23 AM   #6
Senior Member
smokinghole's Avatar
Nov 2009
Lucid Dream Land
Posts: 2,922
Liked 133 Times on 108 Posts

Now it's not a lambic but I have a 10% abv potential Flanders Oud Bruin going. I didn't plan for the gravity to hit where it got to but I figured I'd just roll with it. A pellicle is currently beginning to form it's been only two months though at this point.
Going through life is hard.
Going through life stupid is harder.

Reply With Quote
Thread Tools

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Lambic with Lambic Blend yeast from the start? Musketear Lambic & Wild Brewing 10 11-08-2012 08:10 PM
First lambic jeffjjpkiser1 Lambic & Wild Brewing 7 05-22-2012 02:43 PM
New to Lambic... kegdawg Lambic & Wild Brewing 9 09-22-2011 02:20 AM
First Lambic helmstreet Lambic & Wild Brewing 1 04-01-2011 04:35 AM
First lambic pipapat Lambic & Wild Brewing 7 05-04-2010 12:10 AM

Forum Jump