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01/26/06 02:06 AM  
Turbid Mashing - Lambics
OK. It's been awhile since I read up on Turbid Mashing for doing a Lambic.... Is a Turbid mash really needed or can a step mash be used?? I remember thinking the Turbid mashing seemed rather PAINFUL!

Don't let tell Sean P. that I'm considering a Lambic startup.... ;-}

01/26/06 08:18 AM  
Re: Turbid Mashing - Lambics
Two things make a flag go up for me on turbid mashing. One is that there are so many lambics out there that are so different I don't see how a process like that could be considered essential to get results since the results vary so. Also, I get the science behind it and how it creates a better environment for brettanomyces, but in my experience brettanomyces can flourish in beer that has not undergone the turbid process. No doubt the extra starches and amino acids will maximize the impact of brettanomyces, but on some level that impact will happen anyway.

I think it would be interesting to make two beers that differ only by mashing technique to observe the results. My guess would be if you did you would probably find they are not the same if aged for 3 years, but I'm not so certain the turbid one would be the undisputed winner.

Lastly, lambic fermentation is such a complex thing and reliant on many factors. For instance, interactions between the bacteria and the wooden barrels they are aged in, and even sugars present in the wood, play a part in the final product. So if your beer is not going to sit in wood for three years you are not really doing what they do in the Senne valley anyway. So does it make sense to persue one pain-staking process and not another? This, of course, assumes you are doing the long haul in glass.

So I guess my opinion would be if you are really set up to replicate all aspects of traditional lambic production then it would be silly to avoid the turbid proceedure. If not I don't personally see it as essential.

01/26/06 04:15 PM  
Re: Turbid Mashing - Lambics
Sean P has been brewing a Lambic every 6 months. he plans on getting about 3 years of Lambics going and then start blending. Ambitious!

I'm considering doing a less ambitious version of this concept. Time to tie up some carboys for about 2-3 years!

My last attempt at a Lambic looked great, smelled Great, but tasted a little thin. Unfortunately, I lost the beer while moving. It KLINKED the tailgate of the moving van and the carboy ruptured!! I had about 1.25 years into that Lambic!! Of course, my driveway smelled great! I had to drive back to my old house a couple of times just to smell the driveway. ;-}

01/26/06 04:30 PM  
Re: Turbid Mashing - Lambics
Oh Mike, thats a horrible story. Wow, 1.5 years of waiting down the storm drain. Same thing happened to me with a 6.5 gallon carboy of oud bruin. I was not old, just a week or two. But I heard the "klink" upon placing it on my basement floor -- immediately following pitching of lambic bugs into it. Basement has never been the same. The upshot of that though is I can now make things like my "ambient ale"!
01/26/06 06:27 PM  
Re: Turbid Mashing - Lambics
I am in the say process as Sean P. I am 3 batches in about to brew my 4th batch in March. Plastic all they way saves breakage.


01/26/06 06:44 PM  
Re: Turbid Mashing - Lambics
Check that I checked my brew log. I am 4 batches in and going to brew my 5th batch in March. I wondered what the hell was in that other bucket in the corner.


01/26/06 06:52 PM  
Re: Turbid Mashing - Lambics
So, to get a good ambient fermentation I need to dump out a batch of brett bugged brew on the floor of my brewery/garage?

Has it ever caused any problems with beers you don't want funked up?

01/26/06 07:51 PM  
Re: Turbid Mashing - Lambics
>>Has it ever caused any problems with beers you don't want funked up?<<

Yes, though in the end it almost always ends up working in my favor. The thing with micro organisms is they evolve quickly. What went all over my floor 10 years ago is without question not the same bugs as today, it would not have taken them long to adapt to their new environment. So though the bugs that have permanently moved in are commercial in origin, today they are unique to my basement.

One beer that met up with my uninvited guests, after an additional fluke of blending, actually went on to win BOS at BURPS Spirit of Free Beer. It was entered as a Rodenbach clone, it did not begin life that way but thats how it ended!

But yeah. Despite my best sanitizing efforts if I bottle condition I have about a 40% chance that something I don't want to happen will happen. Kegging is almost always safe.

01/26/06 08:28 PM  
Re: Turbid Mashing - Lambics
I always thought it would be nice to have two breweries at my house. Like two garages or something, one on either side of the house. One for regular sacchromyces brewery, and the other one for all things sour.

Spose I could always build on...

01/26/06 11:28 PM  
Re: Turbid Mashing - Lambics
Don't forget the airlock to separate them!!
01/27/06 11:42 AM  
Re: Turbid Mashing - Lambics
Steve, when you had your ambient brew sitting all this time over the past years, did you have cheese cloth or something like that on it to keep bugs out?

I kicking around the idea to try an open fermentation along the same lines, but helping it out with a few added bugs.

01/27/06 12:31 PM  
Re: Turbid Mashing - Lambics
Not over the years, but initially that's what I did. At some point I figured the fermention thing had taken and I transferred it to glass. Two, three weeks maybe. Possibly a month but definately no longer than that.
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