Monday, February 25, 2013

Local lambic 2013 + Local lambic 2012 updates

This weekend, I brewed the second annual batch of my local pseudo-Lambic. Last year's batch has  developed into a nice lambic base - assertively sour (but not overly so), with a great bouquet and good color and clarity.

For this years batch, I'm keeping the turbid mash, and using the same recipe - the only change being that I upped the Munich malt by 10% and reduced the boil time from two hours to 60 minutes. The hope is that the extra Munich will offset any kettle caramelization the extra hour would have given.

To make way for this year's batch, it was finally time to do something with the 5 gallons I brewed last April. I have been debating back and forth over whether or not to fruit the beer. I finally decided that the beer would work fine as a fruit lambic base and went back to the original idea to use boysenberries after the plan to use pinot gris grapes didn't work out as planned (with only a few ounces, the flavor and acid contributions were undetectable). I racked a little under three gallons of the beer onto 3 pounds of boysenberries (which I might bump up to five), and racked another gallon into a small glass carboy for extended aging - my intent is to use this in blending for a gueuze-style beer in a year or two.

I had just enough left over to bottle a couple straight for comparison later. I washed the remainder to harvest for the next batch, which I brewed the following morning.

After the fiasco a couple weeks ago, this batch went great, with only two minor hiccups. Firstly, forgetting to add my brewing salts, which isn't huge problem and secondly, slipping on the ice that formed on the deck while brewing - one of the things that sucks about brewing in such cold weather.

I nailed my estimated OG of 1.051 exactly - I can't even remember the last time that's happened, and it hasn't happened since I moved.

I collected ~5.5 gallons of wort which was racked onto the washed yeast/bacteria cake from last year's batch, along with a smack pak of Wyeast Lambic Blend and some Russian River dregs.

I haven't decided what to do with this batch, but I'll probably put it into a 5 gallon barrel I have coming my way at some point. After that, I will likely split the batch and fruit half.

Neat trick I learned to keep light out. Blowoff tube/jar tucked behind carboy in a plastic bag (just in case).

A few more photos from racking/brewing over the weekend:
The "blending" gallon reserved for next year.
3# of boysenberries ready for beer.
Mashing in.

Boil has just started.

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