July 18, 2012

Minimalist Lambic: Fermentation

We had some extra lambic wort at the end of the O'so brewday, so a few of us filled up carboys to take home.  Instead of buying a lambic blend yeast, I thought I would try something new; I wanted to try fermenting the wort as simply as possible.  The 4 main players in Lambic fermentation are Saccro, Brett, Lacto, and Pedio.  Between the two bacteria strains (Lacto & Pedio), I have read that Pedio does the lion's share of creating the acidity in Lambic, so I chose that one.  When Pedio is fermenting, it gives off diacetyl, which is a buttery off flavor.  Brett however eats the diacetyl compound and therefor should always be used in conjunction with Pedio.  So, between the two yeast options (Saccro & Brett), I really don't have a choice but to use Brett, although that is what I would have picked anyway.  The strain of Brett I picked was Brett Brux, as I like the barnyard funk flavors and thought it would complement fruit additions later on should I choose to add any.

I pitched the Brett & Pedio into my 6 gallon Better Bottle full of Lambic wort on Sunday.  On Tuesday noticeable fermentation started.  Here is what it looks like:
Lambic fermentation with only Brett B & Pedio
Once the primary settles down, I'll go put this next to my pilot Lambic barrel to sit for at least a year.  I'm looking forward to watching the pellicle and potential ropy stage through this carboy.  It will be much easier to see and document than oak barrels have been.  I'm also looking forward to seeing how Marc decided to ferment his portion of lambic.


Don said...

I've had a problem seeing through the crap stuck to the carboy after the vigorous fermentation has produced a blow off. Does this occur for you?

Levi said...

Yea, there is a bit of a film on the carboy, but not too bad. Its still easier to see through than oak!

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