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Ryan_PA
08/15/09 10:22 PM  
Group Lambic Brew
First post on this great site.

Myself and two other brewers will be making our first lambic in early October. We have acquired a 65G french oak barrel from a local winery, and plan to use this as the primary and secondary fermentation vessel. We have been doing a great amount of research on all different aspects of the brewing plan since it truly is the largest session and a first lambic brew.

The current question I really have is about the type of wheat to use. I believe we will follow Wild Brews and do a pils/wheat bill. The book recommends unmalted wheat. I assume this is because that was the traditional grist. Can we cheat and use either malted wheat or flaked wheat? If so, will it have any flavor impacts, or more importantly will this impact the mash schedule? I believe the turbid mash is designed to deal with the unmalted wheat, so if we were to swap this out for a malted wheat, do we then look at a more standard mash schedule?

Finally, our plan is to fill the barrel, less 10 gallons for primary fermentation. We will ferment an additional 10G in separate vessels. Once primary completes, we will top up the barrel with the 10g side batch. We will be only using the lambic blend strain. After 1 year, we will pull out 1/2 of the lambic, and split it 3 ways. We will then fill with 50% fresh wort. WE will then repeat this the second year. On the third year will drain the barrel completly. The assumption is the beer will become more complex and acidic year over year.

Mike T
08/17/09 10:34 AM  
Re: Group Lambic Brew
If you want to use unmalted wheat it is pretty easy to pick it up in the bulk bins of a well stocked supermarket. It may be higher protein than ideal, but I have had fine results with it.

If you use malted or flaked wheat you arenít going to get the benefits of the turbid mash, so you would probably just go with a simpler infusion mash.

I would also advocate adding some bottle dregs, I didnít have great luck using just the Wyeast Lambic blend.

Sounds like a good plan, enjoy.

Al B
08/17/09 11:29 AM  
Re: Group Lambic Brew
I'm a big beleiver in turbid mashing w/ unmalted grains for lambic. But for this size batch, a turbid mash may be logistically challenging depending on equipment and arm strength!

In going w/ flaked or malted wheat, I would adjust the mash schedule to reflect some amount of starches/dextrins not converted so that the complexity of the 1st lambic drawn off will be better. Add extra bugs as Mike suggests.

Ryan_PA
08/17/09 04:08 PM  
Re: Group Lambic Brew
Thank you for the feedback guys. The equipment we are using will consist of at least 1 55g mash tun and 1 55g boil kettle. We will also have a bunch of keggles and pots, but these are the main devices.

Mike, per your suggestion, should we look to pitch additional sacc as well as dregs, or just the dregs? As we are looking at a long brew day, we will collect quite a few bottle cultures to pitch.

Mike T
08/17/09 04:22 PM  
Re: Group Lambic Brew
What form is your lambic blend in? Did you spring for a commercial pitch? Make a starter? 11 smackpacks?

If you have a reasonable pitch of that you won't need extra sacch, where you want the biodiversity is in the Brett and bacteria.

Ryan_PA
08/17/09 04:41 PM  
Re: Group Lambic Brew
I will be pitching an activator pack into a 5G starter batch about 8 weeks prior to brewday... although, I started saying this 8 weeks ago, so I need to get off my duff and brew it. We are targeting a 10/10 brewday.
Ryan_PA
08/17/09 04:41 PM  
Re: Group Lambic Brew
I will be pitching an activator pack into a 5G starter batch about 8 weeks prior to brewday... although, I started saying this 8 weeks ago, so I need to get off my duff and brew it. We are targeting a 10/10 brewday.
Arutha
08/18/09 08:24 AM  
Re: Group Lambic Brew
You can get unmalted wheat from North Country Malt pretty cheap. And I'd just buy 11 smackpacks and have friends buy good lambics, say twenty or so and make them share with you on brew day. :-)

 
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