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SAH
11/01/07 12:20 AM  
Plum Lambics
Mark O's post in the "Grapes with Brett" thread was very surreptitious!

I was just reading that plum lambics used to be pretty popular and are on the rarer side now, I haven't had one at least. I harvested some beach plums which turned into a pretty tasty jelly, and was thinking about using them in a fruit pLambic. I was wondering how best to do this, amounts, timing, etc. I'd be interested to hear Mark O's results, etc but anyone with input would be more than welcome. If you haven't had a beach plum ,or for comparison to other plums, here is a description of their character:

The half- to one-inch-diameter fruits ripen in late summer and are generally reddish to deep purple with a waxy bloom. They are quite acid with a crisp, tart, juicy flesh and cherry-like pit, and can be substituted for cherries or plums in recipes. Mostly wild-gathered fruits are used to make jams and jellies, which are often sold in resort areas along the coast. Plants are often quite thorny and can be used as a low-growing hedge. Seaside plantings become gnarled and picturesque with age. The foliage is attractive, and the bark is dark and shiny.

Thanks

Mike T
11/01/07 02:58 PM  
Re: Plum Lambics
Inspired by Russian Riverís Compunction I am planning on adding plouts (or one of the other plum/apricot hybrids) to half my batch of Roeselare Belgian Pale late next summer. Not sure how much I am going to add or exactly how I am going to do it.

I am leaning towards keeping it on the lighter side, maybe 1 lb per gallon. Unless someone has an opinion to the contrary Iíll probably just end up pitting, quartering, then freezing them before adding them to the beer.

MarkO
11/02/07 07:15 PM  
Re: Plum Lambics
The main reason I have made this in the plant is that I have plums galore from some trees on my property. This year's batch is what I sent in for the BBB pLambic swap back in August (or early september).

I have done it twice now, and both trials have been pretty simple: 2 pounds of plums per gallon of 1-year old pLambic, added in August right after picking. Plums left whole, added pits and all, no washing (I don't spray the trees) to encourage the wild oxidating yeasts to participate. We have pretty clean air here in Oregon, so I don't worry too much about that.

I am not sure what kind of plums they are, but they sound similar to the ones you describe. I have heard some people call them Japanese or Asian plums, but others say that is incorrect. They are small and purple. The trees don't seem to grow much taller than 25 or 30 feet, even with advanced age. The leaves are a dark reddish purple, and the tree blooms with thousands of tiny pink flowers every year in February.

If we don't get much rain in June, it seems like the fruit is sweeter than otherwise, in which case I usually forego the process (I don't like sweet stuff much). Plenty of rain in June seems to be key here. These become highly acidic with age, so I usually drink after 1-2 years in the bottle. The one I sent in to the swap had only just been bottled and had plenty of sweetness, too much in my opinion.

SAH
11/03/07 07:12 PM  
Re: Plum Lambics
Thank you MarkO & Mike, thats very interesting and useful info.
 
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