Mead with lambic yeast?

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malkore

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Never made a lambic, but I can't see why it wouldn't. I'm not sure lambic strains can tolerate higher ABV %, but you can always downscale the honey to match the potential attenuation.

never tasted a lambic...they sound interesting. not sure how it'd work with mead.

if you've tasted some true lambics, and some real mead (none of that commercial crap) then you probably could theorize better than me.

if you do brew it, definitely post your results once its aged.
 

Iordz

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I think one can get it to work, but there are many obstacles and the outcome might not be what you would expect. First of all, meads are usually high gravity; this is problematic because the lactobacillus and pediococcus cannot survive in high alcohol. Secondly, lambics need lots of nutrients and starches to sustain a +6 month long fermentation, mead might not be able to provide the nutrients, complex sugars and starch to get the bacteria going. Honey can barely provide a good environment for wine yeast; you would have to go through a lot to get it to sustain a lambic fermentation.
Personally, if I wanted a "funky" mead, I would rather blend some lambic with mead (which is great cause lambic is traditionally still), rather than make a lambic mead.
 

Steiner

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I got a recipe book for Christmas: Homebrew Favorites by Karl Lutzen and Mark Stevens (p.220) that relies on airborne yeasts for a mead. After boil, you let the wort cool for 24 hours. From there, you bottle directly into plastic screw top bottles and release C02 pressure by slightly uncapping daily. Sounds kinda nuts, but these guys did it. I know that's probably not what you had in mind, but it's an interesting idea.
 

malkore

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Iordz said:
I think one can get it to work, but there are many obstacles and the outcome might not be what you would expect. First of all, meads are usually high gravity; this is problematic because the lactobacillus and pediococcus cannot survive in high alcohol. Secondly, lambics need lots of nutrients and starches to sustain a +6 month long fermentation, mead might not be able to provide the nutrients, complex sugars and starch to get the bacteria going. Honey can barely provide a good environment for wine yeast; you would have to go through a lot to get it to sustain a lambic fermentation.
Personally, if I wanted a "funky" mead, I would rather blend some lambic with mead (which is great cause lambic is traditionally still), rather than make a lambic mead.
you obviously know way more about lambics than me :eek:

in the spirit of helping the OP succeed, how about a braggot? its technically still a mead, but perhaps the malt will provide enough nutrients?

looking at Wyeast's specs on lacto and pedioccus, 9-12% is the max ABV, so maybe a slightly sweet braggot with the lambic sourness/acidity to balance that sweetness?
 

Iordz

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malkore said:
in the spirit of helping the OP succeed, how about a braggot? its technically still a mead, but perhaps the malt will provide enough nutrients?
That's exactly why I would suggest making a lambic and making a mead, then blending the two. You can make the mead as "funky" as you want through blending. It would definitely be interesting; the only problem is it will take a long time for the lambic to be "done."
 

avidhomebrewer

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I wouldn't make a mead and pitch a lambic strain. As Iordz points out, honey has basically no nutrients for the yeast; you will need to pitch yeast nutrient. Also, I'm not sure what 3278 is alcohol tolerant to (want to say around 8%), but that would make a pretty weak mead. Mead also really doesn't have much body. A braggot would have the necessary nutrients to sustain the yeast in a long fermentation. I would be leary of creating such a high gravity brew and bottling/releasing gas within 1 day. I personally wouldn't do it. Make the braggot (about a 60/40 blend of honey/malt) and pitch 3278. Let us know how it goes.
 

tooomanycolors

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Anyway I think this is gonna happen with the same recipe as the trappist braggot except the hops have been chopped from each, I dont want to risk skunking anything.
 
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Lambic Beer doesn't have ANY hop flavor...and the bitterness isn't very important as it's SOUR! You guys are headed toward greatness here. It seems like a FOX TV Show when a mead maker moves in with an AG brewer....They end up with **** like Lambic Braggot.

I want to party with You Guys!......Animals!
 

k1v1116

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mead tends to get somewhat sour already when you just mix honey water and yeast. you might want to use water with some carbonates in it to buffer the ph from dropping too low. although if you add a fair amount of wort / DME the maltyness might balance it out fairly well.
but +1 for blending it would allow you to control the end result much better and eliminate the risk of a dumped batch.
 

tooomanycolors

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I have only had one mead with a sour profile that appeared around month 3 or 4 of fermentation and now at week 6 has developed into citrus flavors, which I believe is due to the yeast selection (red star montrachet). And Kahuna I think I may be able to get you a bottle of these experiments at some point my grandparents live in the Springs.
 

z987k

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well for now I think its time to read some landhoney threads. I need to make sure we know what we're doing first.
 

brewmonger

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One theory on making a Lambic Mead:

Honey has tons of wild microorganisms in it naturally, unless you kill them by boiling.

But as stated, they won't do much in a straight mead. Grain carbs/protiens will help them sour the beverage (I know from experience...).

If you are shooting for a higher ABV (guessing upwards of 9-10%) you will also want to give the fermentation time to sour, before the wild stuff gets killed off by the high alcohol content.

Therefore, I would intentionally not areate the wort, not put any yeast nutrient in, and possibly pitch the yeast at a lower rate. Here would be my process:

Heat the water up to ~160

Steep some grains with the wort. Clarify if you have a mash/later tun, unless you prefer it to have protien haze. Either way, the important part is to have some grain stuff for the wild organisms.

After seperating the wort from the grain, add the honey. If you want to add spices/herbs/flavors to the mead, you should boil the wort with the spices first, then add the honey as it is cooling down.

Pitch yeast when the wort gets to temperature. DON'T add yeast nutrient, and DON'T areate the wort. The goal is to have a long, slow fermentation.

Hopefully, the wild organisms will sour the beverage, slowly as it ferments. When it starts reaching a higher ABV, the beverage will start to stabailze (hopefully) and keep it from getting too sour. Of coure, on the flip side, it could get too sour too early, and the alcohol could simply be displaced by lactic acid, killing off the yeast from too low pH. I don't know. It might be a careful balancing act. As long as the yeast are the dominant culture, and the lactic culture is secondary, things should be OK.

Re-rack it. Let it settle. Let it finish fermenting. Keep re-racking if neccessary. Have patience. Let it age. FORGET ABOUT THE DAMN THING for a while.

Bottle it. Age it some more.

etc...

It can't hurt to taste along the way, but don't get too gung ho. You've got to let it age out and see how it behaves.

Just my thoughts. Most meads I've made have fermented too fast and too strong for any labmic type stuff. Beers are a different story. Adding raw honey will spoil them pretty quickly. Again, speaking from experience here... but I've never tried this recipe. Maybe I should.
 

Kauai_Kahuna

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I love making meads and braggots, have never tried a lambic one. Hmmmm.......
Everyone take cover, this may get interesting.
 
OP
E

ericd

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Well it seems like this thread moved on without me. The lambic mead has long since been consumed. I made it with honey, water, crystal hops at 30 mins to 20 ibus (i think), a brewvint tablet, and I added some blueberries at the end. It turned out alright, no major lambic sourness though, but it did have some nice flavor. Would leave out the hops doing it next time.
 

tooomanycolors

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Since I didnt get my bugs in time, would general consensus think that 11months in the fermentation vessel be long enough to do this, otherwise this will have to be backburnered for a long @ss time.
 
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