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23D1. Lambic

178 calories 17.3 g 12 oz
Beer Stats
Method: All Grain
Style: Lambic
Boil Time: 90 min
Batch Size: 5.5 gallons (fermentor volume)
Pre Boil Size: 8.25 gallons
Post Boil Size: 6 gallons
Pre Boil Gravity: 1.036 (recipe based estimate)
Efficiency: 75% (brew house)
Source: WAWooldridge
Calories: 178 calories (Per 12oz)
Carbs: 17.3 g (Per 12oz)
Created Sunday September 3rd 2017
Amount Fermentable Cost PPG °L Bill %
7 lb Belgian - Pilsner7 lb Pilsner 37 1.6 53%
4 lb Flaked Wheat4 lb Flaked Wheat 34 2 30.3%
2.20 lb Rice Hulls2.2 lb Rice Hulls 0 0 16.7%
13.20 lbs / 0.00
Amount Variety Cost Type AA Use Time IBU Bill %
1 oz Aged Hops1 oz Aged Hops Hops Pellet 1 Boil 90 min 4.2 100%
1 oz / 0.00
Mash Guidelines
Amount Description Type Temp Time
4.13 gal Single Infusion Infusion 152 °F 120 min
5.35 gal Batch Sparge Sparge 170 °F 5 min
Starting Mash Thickness: 1.5 qt/lb
Other Ingredients
Amount Name Cost Type Use Time
1 tsp Irish Moss Fining Boil 15 min.
4.55 g Calcium Chloride (dihydrate) Water Agt Mash 1 hr.
4.63 g Gypsum Water Agt Mash 1 hr.
0.44 g Chalk Water Agt Mash 1 hr.
0.61 g Magnesium Chloride Water Agt Mash 1 hr.
41.02 ml Phosphoric acid Water Agt Mash 1 hr.
8.63 ml Phosphoric acid Water Agt Sparge 1 hr.
Wyeast - American Ale 1056
1 Each
Attenuation (avg):
Optimum Temp:
60 - 72 °F
Fermentation Temp:
90 °F
Pitch Rate:
1.0 (M cells / ml / ° P) 278 B cells required
White Labs - Brettanomyces Lambicus WLP653
1 Each
Attenuation (avg):
Optimum Temp:
85 - 95 °F
Fermentation Temp:
90 °F
Pitch Rate:
1.0 (M cells / ml / ° P) 278 B cells required
0.00 Yeast Pitch Rate and Starter Calculator
CO2 Level: 2.0 Volumes
Target Water Profile
Balanced Profile
Ca+2 Mg+2 Na+ Cl- SO4-2 HCO3-
80 5 25 75 80 100
Rice Hulls:
Add 1lb for every 5 lbs of malt to help with heat distribution.

Pilsner Malt:
Protein rest (122-131F 15 min)

Flaked Wheat:
Beta-glucanase rest @ 97-113 F (20 min)
Followed by Protein Rest @ 122F (10 min)
Bring up to 152F and add to mash.

Pilsner malt protein rest (122-131F 15 min)
Dough-in at 113◦F for 15 minutes
113◦F for 15 minutes
122◦F for 15 minutes
149◦F for 45 minutes
158◦F for 30 minutes

Mashout at 169◦F
Sparge with 190◦F water

After one week, add lambic culture. A thick mat will form on the surface of the beer (pellicle). About a year later, the pellicle will fall back into the beer and it will be ready for packaging or mixing to make a gueze.

Condition at least 4 weeks.
Serve uncarbonated. If you wish for some carbonization, it should be minimal.

NOTES for Gueuze:
Gueuze is a blended beer, made by mixing portions of young and old lambics to create the best complexity and balance of the individual beers. It is also highly carbonated, whereas lamics are uncarbonated. The blending process relies on skill to create that magical experience of flavors, aromas and textures.

Once you have small-scale blending measurements, step it up to the full size. Add priming sugar and champagne yeast to carbonate the beer to approximately 4 volumes. If you decide to bottle it, use caution and champagne-type bottles that can handle the pressure.

NOTES for Fruit Lambic:
This shouldn’t be a sweet beer. A great fruit lambic depends on a great base lambic. To make a fruit lambic, make a straight lambic or gueuze and add fruit to the beer after the primary sugars have been consumed. The yeast and bacteria will consume the sugars in the fruit. The decision about the type of fruit and how much fruit to add is best made after tasting the beer.

Traditional lambic fruits are tart cherries, raspberries or Muscat grapes. However, it is possible to use other fruits with tart, aromatic characteristics.

It is hard to put too much fruit in a fruit lambic. For the first one, try 5lbs of respberries per 2.5 gallons of base beer. Once you have added the fruit, let the beer sit on the fruit for 3 to 6 months. You might need to do some blending to reach the right flavor (i.e. gueuze).

Once the fruit has been consumed, add priming sugar and champagne yeast to carbonate the beer to approximately 4 volumes. If you bottle it, us caution and champagne-type bottles that can handle the pressure.
Mash Chemistry and Brewing Water Calculator

Overall Impression:
A sour, often moderately funky wild Belgian wheat beer with sourness taking the place of hop bitterness in the balance. Traditionally spontaneously fermented in the Brussels area and served uncarbonated, the refreshing acidity makes for a very pleasant café drink.

A decidedly sour aroma is often dominant in young examples, but may become more subdued with age as it blends with aromas described as barnyard, earthy, goat-like, hay-like, horsey, and horse blanket. A mild citrus-fruity aroma is considered favorable. An enteric, smoky, cigar-like, or cheesy aroma is unfavorable. Older versions are commonly fruity with aromas of apples or even honey. No hop aroma.

Pale yellow to deep golden in color; age tends to darken the beer. Clarity is hazy to good. Younger versions are often cloudy, while older ones are generally clear. White colored head generally has poor retention.

Young examples are often noticeably lactic-sour, but aging can bring this character more in balance with the malt, wheat and barnyard characteristics. Fruity flavors are simpler in young lambics and more complex in the older examples, where they are reminiscent of apples or other light fruits, rhubarb, or honey. Some citrus flavor (often grapefruit) is occasionally noticeable, and is desirable. The malt and wheat character are typically low with some bready-grainy notes. An enteric, smoky or cigar-like character is undesirable. Hop bitterness is low to none, and generally undetectable; sourness provides the balance. Typically has a dry finish. No hop flavor.

Light to medium-light body. Despite the low finishing gravity, the many mouth-filling flavors prevent the beer from feeling like water. As a rule of thumb, lambic dries with age, which makes dryness a reasonable indicator of age. Has a medium to high tart, puckering quality without being sharply astringent. Traditional versions are virtually to completely uncarbonated, but bottled examples can pick up moderate carbonation with age.

Straight lambics are single-batch, unblended beers. Since they are unblended, the straight lambic is often a true product of the “house character” of a brewery and will be more variable than a gueuze. They are generally served young (6 months) and on tap as cheap, easy-drinking beers without any filling carbonation. Younger versions tend to be one-dimensionally sour since a complex Brett character often takes upwards of a year to develop. An enteric character is often indicative of a lambic that is too young. A noticeable vinegary or cider-like character is considered a fault by Belgian brewers. Since the wild yeast and bacteria will ferment ALL sugars, they are typically bottled only when they have completely fermented.

Spontaneously fermented wild ales from the area in and around Brussels (the Senne Valley) stem from a farmhouse brewing tradition several centuries old. The number of producers is constantly dwindling.
Characteristic Ingredients: Unmalted wheat (30-40%), Pilsner malt and aged hops (3 years) are used. The aged hops are used more for preservative effects than bitterness, and makes actual bitterness levels difficult to estimate. Traditionally these beers are spontaneously fermented with naturally occurring yeast and bacteria in predominately oaken barrels. The barrels used are neutral with little oak character, so don’t expect a fresh or forward oak character – more neutral is typical. Home-brewed and craft-brewed versions are more typically made with pure cultures of yeast commonly including Saccharomyces, Brettanomyces, Pediococcus and Lactobacillus in an attempt to recreate the effects of the dominant microbiota of Brussels and the surrounding countryside of the Senne River valley. Cultures taken from bottles are sometimes used but there is no simple way of knowing what organisms are still viable.
Style Comparison: Generally, has a simpler sourness and complexity than a gueuze. Traditionally served uncarbonated from pitchers, while gueuze is bottled and very highly carbonated.
Vital Statistics: OG: 1.040 – 1.054
IBUs: 0 – 10 FG: 1.001 – 1.010
SRM: 3 – 7 ABV: 5.0 – 6.5%
Commercial Examples: The only bottled version readily available is Cantillon Grand Cru Bruocsella of whatever single batch vintage the brewer deems worthy to bottle. De Cam sometimes bottles their very old (5 years) lambic. In and around Brussels there are specialty cafes that often have draught lambics from traditional brewers or blenders such as Boon, De Cam, Cantillon, Drie Fonteinen, Lindemans, Timmermans and Girardin.
Tags: standard-strength, pale-color, wild-fermented, western-Europe, traditional-style, wheat-beer-family, sour

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  • Last Updated: 2019-10-29 21:45 UTC
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