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Like the BBB, the homeBBBrew board is not a club, just a place to talk about making beer. Is there a swap you would like to see happen? If we can find a few others who have something similar then lets do it!

I just really like the work levifunk is doing!

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Mike T
04/26/07 08:40 PM  
Does my lambic pellicle look "normal"
Never having done this before I really have no idea if this is a regular lambic pellicle or if something strange is going on (mold etc...).

My mother took the pictures (the carboys are in a fridge in my old bedroom), and I haven't seen them since Christmas.


04/27/07 06:33 AM  
Re: Does my lambic pellicle look
Well, it looks like its adhered to the side of the carboy instead of floating on the beer. That seems wrong, if its not touching the beer I don't see how id can be used by the bugs. But aside from that it is every bit as horrific looking as one might cross their fingers for!
Mike T
04/27/07 08:32 AM  
Re: Does my lambic pellicle look
Good to hear.

It is hard for me to tell what the pellicle/beer contact is like not having actually seen it. But here is another shot from the side, it may just be that some CO2 is pushing up around the edge of the pellicle but that the middle is touching.


I'll be back home for a weekend in about a month so Iíll get a better look then.

Al B
04/27/07 08:46 AM  
Re: Does my lambic pellicle look
There will be some growth along the glass for two/three reasons (not really significant, but anyway):

- condensation (which contain small amounts of nutrients)

- small amounts of oxygen (through the wood stopper)

- bugs like to attach themselves to surfaces

Have you ever notice yeast in a bottle conditioned brew "cling" to the interior surface of the bottle (not part of the sediment)?

Al Bottlehead

04/27/07 09:55 AM  
Re: Does my lambic pellicle look
I am just starting my journey into lambics and soured beers. Can you tell me about the wood that you have in the carboys. Is that for an oak taste, because it has the "bugs" in it, for something the critters can cling to and eat, or all three, or something I haven't mentioned.


Al B
04/27/07 10:03 AM  
Re: Does my lambic pellicle look
Well, I like a little oak for taste, but that is not a specific need for lambic. I don't use charred oak for lambics either, just well aged and just a handful.

Bugs will inhabit the porous nature, so you can resuse them to inoculate another batch and it is cited that some Brett strains can break down celliobiose - a wood sugar as well.

Mike T
04/27/07 10:34 AM  
Re: Does my lambic pellicle look
First Iíll credit Raj Apte with coming up with the idea, if you do a search for him you should find some slides he used for a presentation.

To avoid having too much wood flavor (and because it is furniture wood, an oak table/chair leg from Home Depot) I toasted it and then boiled it in several changes of water before using it. As Al said the yeast (particularly the Brett) likes having some wood it also allows for a slow diffusion of oxygen into the beer which helps the bacteria to make some of their distinctive compounds.

It is not a perfect system (the wood swells which causes lots of problems), but it seems to be a relatively cheap and easy alternative to a real barrel (and with an oxygen permeability closer to the large wooden barrels that Rodenbach uses than anything else).

I did a write up with more details (and my idea for an improvement that has as of yet gone untested):


There is also a thread over on the Green Board with people (including Raj and Jamil) discussing this and other options for simply oak/oxygen rigs to use with the return of the Roeselare Blend. Here is the link, but there are over 200 posts now so it may take some digging to get all the info:


04/27/07 10:37 AM  
Re: Does my lambic pellicle look
I brought up the pellecle on the side for just one reason, if the thing had formed and you moved the carboy enough for the beer to move around the pellecle can stick to the side.
Al B
04/27/07 10:54 AM  
Re: Does my lambic pellicle look
<<>>moved the carboy enough for the beer to move around the pellecle can stick to the side<<>>

Oh yeah, that too! <<>>

04/27/07 10:58 AM  
Re: Does my lambic pellicle look
You might want to consider using oak spirals. Once infected they can be used over and over without the trouble of maintaining a barrel.


Mike T
04/27/07 11:14 AM  
Re: Does my lambic pellicle look
Luckily the carboy has not been moved since the pellicle formed in earnest (I did have to move it while the it was just forming, but nothing stuck; in fact I donít even think the fridge door had been opened in about 4 months.

For comparison this was the last time they were moved:


ďYou might want to consider using oak spirals. Once infected they can be used over and over without the trouble of maintaining a barrel.Ē

These pegs can be reused as well. Iím planning on using the one in my Flanders Red to funk up a Belgian pale base (ala RR Beatification) and my lambic one to do another lambic in another year or so.

Those spirals always struck me as a threat to add too much oak flavor to a sour beer because of their large surface area. Have you tried extended (12 + month) beer exposure using them?

04/27/07 01:01 PM  
Re: Does my lambic pellicle look
I would like to also add some oak for the reasons specified above but was wondering the same thing. I don't want to much oak character but more a home for the bugs and something I can reuse in another bacth down the road. I was thinking of the oak staves but also wondereed if it would give to much oak flavor. What might be a good amount and type of oak to use to get the bugs a home but not over oak my beer that will sit on the oak for a year?

Mark Mott<<>>

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