Monday, January 24, 2011

Lambic II

For a long time now highly acidic, sour beers have held my interest, but when it came down to brewing a beer that’s ready to drink in a few weeks versus a few years, I always opted for the former.  The justification to spend a day brewing a batch that won't fully develop for a few years escaped me, but I’ve decided to become friends with patience and a plan is now in place.

A few weeks back, we bit the bullet and brewed our first traditional lambic employing a turbid mash.  With most commercial lambic producers blending barrels to arrive at their intended outcome, we decided to mimic that approach and instead of just brewing one batch, we brewed two successively.   

Pellicle at 4 months
The second batch occurred two weeks after the first, and all along we planned to pitch the second onto the first’s yeast cake.  Traditionally lambics are never racked off the autolysed yeast so that the brettanomyces have a food source once they run out of sugar, but, since many of the lactic acid producing bacteria grow exponentially during the initial stages of fermentation, we wanted to use the yeast cake to produce a more acidic batch than the first.  After the second batch completed primary fermentation, we racked it into a secondary carboy and half of the yeast cake was added back to it and half back to the first batch.   

Although it’ll be many, many months before these batches are ready, hopefully when they are we’ll be able to blend the two to create a lambic that’s to our liking.  As it stands right now, we’re also planning on repeating this dual-brew process every six to twelve months so that not only can we blend a less acidic lambic with a more acidic version, but also be able to blend vintages to create the perfect gueuze.  

 Lambic - Turbid Mash

Recipe Specifics

Batch Size (Gal): 5.5
Total Grain (Lbs): 11.15
Anticipated OG: 1.044
Anticipated SRM: 4.1
Anticipated IBU: 19.0
Brewhouse Efficiency: 82 %
Wort Boil Time: 150 Minutes
Anticipated ABV: 5.4%

62.8% - 6.00 lbs German Pilsner
37.2% - 3.75 lbs Raw, White Wheat

80 grams Willamette (Whole, 3 yr aged, 1.5% AA) @ 150 minutes

Lambic Batch 1 Yeast Cake (Wyeast 3787 plus Sour Starter)

Water Profile & Additions
Charcoal filtered Seattle water
Added to boil (forgot to add in the Mash):
1.0 grams per gallon Calcium Chloride
0.2 grams per gallon Gypsom
0.24 grams per gallon Epsom Salt
0.1 grams per gallon Sodium Chloride

Mash Schedule
 Turbid Mash – See Traditional Lambic I post

Brewed 8/28/2010 - with Blake

Collected 5 gallons of 1.053 wort.  Topped off with 3.5 gallons of water and conducted a 2.5 hour long boil.  Ended with 6 gallons of 1.044 wort.

Hops added at 150 minutes in a hop bag.

Chilled to 68 and then pitched directly onto yeast cake from lambic batch 1 (which had been transferred off about 10 minutes before hand).  Fermented at 68 degrees.

9/4/2010 – Racked to secondary.  Half of yeast cake was added back and the other half was added to batch 1.  Moved down to basement.

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