Lambic #3 — Brew Day

Lambic #3 coming to a boil

I decided to start brewing a lambic every year around New Years.  Last year marked my second version of a lambic, and as the year came to a close, I prepared to brew my next batch.  I have very much enjoyed the tastings from my Lambic #2, so I decided to stick with the same basic recipe, and to repitch the culture.  However, one thing I did do differently was the mash.  Last time, I did a fairly elaborate mash with raw wheat that I had to0 gelatinize.  As this year I had family in town, and my wife was working on several projects in the kitchen, I knew I wanted this to be simpler, as I could not compete for space for long periods of time on the stove, so I went with flaked wheat, which is still raw wheat just pre-gelatinized by the process of manufacturing it, and did a simple infusion mash at high temps for 45 minutes to try to leave it very dextrinous and starchy.  I also pulled out 1/2 gallon of the thin mash about 15 minutes in, and quickly brought it to a boil to denature any enzymes, and added that to the kettle, to try to preserve starches for the bugs.  This was much quicker and simpler, and I hope to have similarly favorable result with this simpler technique.  A word on the hops, about 18 months ago, my local homebrew store had a bunch of low alpha french hops they were trying to get rid of, so I purchased about 6 oz, put them in a paper bag, and stuck them on a shelf in my basement.  My hop aging calculator had them down to about 1.5% alpha, so that is what I used.  I also used up pilsner malt I had left over from prior recipes.  Here is the recipe below:

4.00 lb       Wheat, Flaked (1.6 SRM)
3.25 lb       Pilsner — Best Malz (1.5 SRM)
3.00 lb       Pilsner — Briess (1.0 SRM)
2.00 oz       Aged Strisselsplat [1.50 %]  (60 min)     Hops         10.5 IBU
4.00 oz       Malto-Dextrine

A single infusion mash was done at 158F, and I pulled off 1/2 gallon as stated above 15 minutes in.  I also batch sparged with 175F water, to try to wash out as much of the starch and get some of the tannins from the grain.  I stirred this up quite a bit, and sparged quickly, so the wort was very cloudy, which is what I was looking for.  The maltodextrine and the hops were added at the start of the boil.  I ended up with 5.25 gallons with an OG of 1.050.  I cooled it off, and pitched in some slurry from Lambic #2.  It is already starting to ferment at less then 24 hours, so I doubt I will add any fresh saccharomyces to the mix.

2 Responses

  1. How did #lambic 3 turn out with the flaked wheat process compared to #2 mini mash adjunct?

    • Nigel,

      Honestly, I have not gotten to bottling it off. I have so much else going on right now, I just have not been able to get to it. I will say that I have tasted hydrometer samples, and it was down to 1.005 in about 6 months. It is intensely sour, likely from the culture more than anything else. I have repitched this lambic blend several times, and it is becoming a bit unbalanced. I will likely use some fresh yeast for the next batch, and add some of this culture about a week into it next time to tame that. I also need to brew a clean beer to blend this back. I have been eyeing some saisons that I want to brew in the near future, and I think about 1 gallon of this mixed in a keg with some fresh saison maybe a great beer for the summertime.

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