Much like last year, I planned to split the batch, fruiting most of it while reserving a portion for later blending. However, with nearly 5 gallons of beer this year (compared to 3.5) I still had quite a bit left over afterwards, so I decided to bottle it as straight lambic.
My philosophy with brewing is that I don't want to make something I can buy at the store (because what's the point?) so I always like to put a spin on beers. In the case of fruit lambics, it's using non-traditional fruits, especially fruits that would be cost-prohibitive on a commercial scale. As you might recall, last year the fruit of choice was one of my all-time favorites, boysenberries. This year, I settled on another fruit I enjoy, the much-hyped açaí berry. I was hoping to use frozen fresh berries, but given the limited areas in which they are grown that proved to be nearly impossible, so I had to settle for bottled puree - luckily almost every health store carries some form of this. Ignoring the health benefits of the fruit, I felt the berry and chocolate notes would pair well with a sour base beer. I will find out in about six months.
Until then, enjoy some photos from bottling day after the break.
|Ready for fruiting.|
|2 years down, 1 to go for a gueuze.|