Saturday, June 6, 2009

Lambic

So Ive been planning to do this for awhile, as I have quite a few yeast cakes just loaded bugs (Gueueze, Oro de Calabaza, Calabaza Blanca, Brett L, Brett B, Pedio, etc, etc) But Ive been feeling kind of lazy and not wanting to do much of anything, fortunately I was inspired yesterday by a brewing buddy who just got his first kegerator setup. So he's coming over today to help brew up a lambic, and yes I'm trying to bring him over to the dark side (wild beers) but havent had much luck yet

I've done a few lambics (3), however most of my wild beer experience is with flanders reds(6). With lambics, my first attempt was an extract version, and it didn't work out too well (my 5th batch), my second and third were both AG, one a single infusion mash, and the other a turbid mash. Now I did notice a difference between the two finished products, the infusion mash version was a bit less sour, but neither were as sour as I would've liked. I'm blaming that one on wyeast ;)

With the flanders reds that Ive done I have experimented quite a bit with mash schedules. I've found that a single infusion with some added maltodextrine seems to produce a pretty solid flanders red. I get lots of sour cherry, and a nice winey characteristic, so in most of my flanders I now do a single infusion and add ~0.5# maltodextrine to help feed the bugs.

So I'm now thinking of employing this method with my lambic, now some might call this cheating, and ask why I would worry about the few extra hours a turbid mash takes, when this beer wont be close to finishing for 12-24mos. Well, I guess I'm just curious how good of a beer can be made this way vs the traditional method. And in the long run whats one batch of beer? (even a beer that takes 2yrs) if I learn more about the brewing process.

Now for this batch I'm not going to totally avoid something that produces a very dextrinous wort as I plan on going with a modified version of the mash schedule proposed by Frank Boon. He suggests mashing in at 86F @ 1qt/lb, running this off, boiling it, and in the meantime the mash should have additional water added to bring it to 140F, the boiled portion is then added back to bring the mash to bring it up to sacch temps.

What I plan on doing is going straight to 151F, then drawing off a portion of the liquor very early on, and boiling it, this portion will then be added back towards the end of the mash to raise the temps to mash out

Without further ado...

Lazy Man Lambic
6.0gal: 9IBU: OG 1055? Eff? (didnt measure)
7.0 lbs Pilsner
4.0 lbs Flaked Wheat
0.5 lbs Maltodextrin @ KO

0.25 oz Sorachi Ace (14%) 60min

Lambic Blend 3278

House Blend of Sour Bugs (Brett L, pedio, Brett B, klock, lacto, + unknowns)

Cantillon Gueuze Dregs

Mash - Modified Boon Mash Schedule
Mash in - 151F: 1qt/lb
Immediately pull 4qts from mashtun
Add 4qts @ 151F - 110min
Boil initial runnings and add back to tun to raise mash temp to ~158F: Rest 10min
Sparge with boiling water

Notes: Batch size will be ~6gal when done, as I plan on canning and saving some wort that will get added as fermentation dies down a bit: Wyeast blend will get pitched ~24hrs in advance to let the mix get going before my very active house blend will be added:

8 comments:

smokingbottle said...

In my eyes there has to be a way to brew pretty much any traditionally complex brew style (like a turbid mash) with a simple single infusion mash. Its all about recreating whats in the final wort with these traditional processes, using newer techniques. I definitely want to know how this works out for you. I have some ideas that I need to try out too for my own lambic.

Ryan said...

I totally agree with you, what ideas are you thinking of trying in your (upcoming?) lambics?

Also I like your site, I added a link to it from mine

smokingbottle said...

Well, I was thinking of doing a traditional lambic grist with a single infusion mash at a somewhat high temp, 68C (155F). I would take a small portion of the runoff (maybe 2-3 liters and boil the snot out of it. Then somewhere towards the end of the main boil I was going to try adding some crushed un-malted wheat in a hop sack to the kettle. Then add back the small portion and chill. From what I have been reading, it seems that this process would end up giving you what you end up with with a turbid mash and long boil... maybe. Its just an idea I have kicking around. I have heard of people throwing some flour into the boil which got me thinking towards this idea.

smokingbottle said...

oh yeah, thanks for the compliment and link. I have a link to your site too. Its about time since I have been a frequent reader

Ryan said...

Hmm that mash schedule sounds interesting

Why not instead of boiling down your first pull, instead use a bit of DME or LME and boil it till its a bit dark to recreate that kettle caramelization? This way at least you could use far less gas

I too have heard of adding flour to the mix, seems almost too easy though, Id definately be interested in tasting one

David Larsen said...

Kind of an old post but I was wondering about the wheat you use. I have always used white wheat malt for my heff's but have just tried it with a red wheat malt and wow what a difference. Any thoughts on what color wheat the traditional lambic brewers use? Do you think there would be a taste difference in a lambic?

Ryan said...

David - That's a good question, Ive often heard that soft wheat is "best" for brewing due to its lower protein content, however my experiences tell a different story

I actually prefer the hard stuff, I get a denser more full head, longer retention and a creamier taste

In a lambic I think I'd be hard pressed to tell a flavor difference, but to be honest Ive never tried.

On your hefe, what was the big difference you noticed?

-Ryan

David Larsen said...

I did a couple changes to the recipe. 2-row in exchange of pilsner and red wheat for the white wheat. But I brewed another batch a couple weeks ago with white wheat and 2-row.so I should nail it down a little better but it was cleaner more crisp very clear for 65% wheat. I used a half pack of wyeast 3068 per 5 gallons as always

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