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Old 03-13-2012, 06:32 PM   #1
amrmedic's Avatar
Oct 2008
St Petersburg, Florida
Posts: 304
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I did my first lambic a year ago. I used a sour mash. I put it into the fermenter and forgot about it for a year.

Today was the 1 year anniversary. So I opened it up for the first time. I use a plastic bucket as a fermenter so I could not see the pellicle until to day. When I opened it, it had a pellicle but it did not cover the whole top. It had a strong sour, horse blanket, barn yard smell. I sampled it and it had a strong lacto taste. It had a puckering quality to it, but not to the point it was undrinkable. I would say it was just less sour than a lemon head or sour patch kid.

I added 7 pounds of tart canned cherries and 5 pounds of dark sweet cherries (frozen). I could not find fresh cherries.

So I was wondering if it had too much of lactic flavor, if the lacto character would mellow with the cherries and how long should I let it sit on the cherries?

I have never transferred it to a seconday. I left it in the primary with the sediment. I read that the bacteria like to feed off the sediment.

Should I have transferred it to secondary? If so, can transfer it to seconday and carry over the cherries?


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Old 03-13-2012, 07:26 PM   #2
Nateo's Avatar
Jul 2010
Bennett Springs, MO
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The sourness was probably form Pedio. Lacto doesn't like alcohol. Lactic acid is softer than malic or citric, which is what the cherries contain. The cherries will also add a lot of water, too, so that might dilute the concentration of the acid to make it less apparent.

You can mellow the acidity by increasing the pH, or increasing the sweetness. The first is easy to do, the second harder.
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Old 03-14-2012, 01:04 PM   #3
Oldsock's Avatar
Sep 2007
DC, Washington DC
Posts: 3,237
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I think fruit tends to boost the sourness, as Nateo said they contain acid, but the sugars they contain will also feed the microbes. 2-3 months is the classic length for lambic to sit on fruit.

What microbes did you pitch? Without tasting it I really can’t say if it is too sour, that is really about your palate.
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Old 03-14-2012, 08:18 PM   #4
Feb 2010
Posts: 90
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If it tastes good otherwise but is just too sour you could always blend it with something else. Like a brown ale, porter, or weiss.

Be careful if you plan on bottling the blend though. would be much safer to keg, either way though the bugs will eventually sour and dry out the blend too.
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