Spontaneously Fermented Beer. That's Not What I Call Lambic!

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Spontaneously Fermented Beer. That's Not What I Call Lambic!

Postby rlemkin » Wed Apr 12, 2017 22:35

An exciting evening as I'm starting my first ever truly spontaneous beer. No yeast will be pitched and instead you rely upon the yeast and bacteria in the air to innoculate the beer.

I've added my aged hops and am beginning the boil now. I'll be leaving it to cool in front of some open windows tonight before racking into a demijohn tomorrow.

I'm not trying to imitate traditonal Geuze or Lambic, but adapting some of the techniques more in the vein of some American breweries. I've tweaked things here and there for a quicker turnaround, although that will stop it from reaching the same complexity as Cantillon etc.

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Re: Spontaneously Fermented Beer. That's Not What I Call Lam

Postby HTH1975 » Thu Apr 13, 2017 00:31

Watching with interest. Only ever done spontaneous fermentation with cider.

2016: 330L brewed (72 gallons, over 8 firkins)
2017: 105L brewed (need to update this figure)
Drinking: Landlord clone
Conditioning: ciders from 2016, hedgerow barrolo, 1914 Courage RIS (10%).
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Re: Spontaneously Fermented Beer. That's Not What I Call Lam

Postby rlemkin » Sun Apr 16, 2017 22:33

Starting my first spontaneous beer.

I've been fascinated by De Garde Brewing and the idea of a 100% spontaneous brewer that can turn around highly regarded beer in as little as 3-6 months. This beer is the beginning of my attempts to see how far down this road I can go.

Essentially it's inspired by Lambic, but with some tweaks for a more fermentable wort to reduce the turnaround time, albeit with the expectation of a less complex end result.
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60% Lager Malt
40% Wheat Malt
Mashed at 66c for 90 minutes

OG ~ 1.038

2.6g/l aged hops (Fuggles from 2011 in this case)

90 minute boil

Cooled in front of open windows overnight.

15c about 9 hours later.

Racked into Demijohn

I'm considered deciding keeping the demijohn at 44c for the first two days - info here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/MilkThe ... 158379025/

-

Three Days later and there's krausen!
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Re: Spontaneously Fermented Beer. That's Not What I Call Lam

Postby Good Ed » Sun Apr 16, 2017 22:43

That's good, what's the thinking on using old hops?

Here's to the man who drinks strong ale,
and goes to bed quite mellow.
Lives as he ought to live,
and dies a jolly good fellow.
- Old English folk song
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Re: Spontaneously Fermented Beer. That's Not What I Call Lam

Postby HTH1975 » Sun Apr 16, 2017 22:57

Old/aged hops is so you get rid of hop aroma and flavour leaving only bitterness.

2016: 330L brewed (72 gallons, over 8 firkins)
2017: 105L brewed (need to update this figure)
Drinking: Landlord clone
Conditioning: ciders from 2016, hedgerow barrolo, 1914 Courage RIS (10%).
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Re: Spontaneously Fermented Beer. That's Not What I Call Lam

Postby rlemkin » Sun Apr 16, 2017 23:00

Aged hops.

Leaving out in front of open windows

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The morning after

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Re: Spontaneously Fermented Beer. That's Not What I Call Lam

Postby Good Ed » Sun Apr 16, 2017 23:02

HTH1975 wrote:Old/aged hops is so you get rid of hop aroma and flavour leaving only bitterness.


but the bitterness degrades over time the same as the aroma/flavour

Here's to the man who drinks strong ale,
and goes to bed quite mellow.
Lives as he ought to live,
and dies a jolly good fellow.
- Old English folk song
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Re: Spontaneously Fermented Beer. That's Not What I Call Lam

Postby rlemkin » Sun Apr 16, 2017 23:07

Good Ed wrote:That's good, what's the thinking on using old hops?


They help regulate the acidity of the finished beer and still have anti-microbial properties. The lower AA means you can put more in (I used quite a bit less than is often recommended). There's also some debate about how the make of aged hops could lend certain characteristics to the finished beer :?:
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Re: Spontaneously Fermented Beer. That's Not What I Call Lam

Postby Good Ed » Sun Apr 16, 2017 23:18

rlemkin wrote:
Good Ed wrote:That's good, what's the thinking on using old hops?


They help regulate the acidity of the finished beer and still have anti-microbial properties. The lower AA means you can put more in (I used quite a bit less than is often recommended). There's also some debate about how the make of aged hops could lend certain characteristics to the finished beer :?:


I see :?

Here's to the man who drinks strong ale,
and goes to bed quite mellow.
Lives as he ought to live,
and dies a jolly good fellow.
- Old English folk song
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Re: Spontaneously Fermented Beer. That's Not What I Call Lam

Postby jonnymorris » Mon Apr 24, 2017 19:21

rlemkin wrote:Three Days later and there's krausen!

Respect. How's it doing?
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Re: Spontaneously Fermented Beer. That's Not What I Call Lam

Postby Dennis King » Mon Apr 24, 2017 19:32

jonnymorris wrote:
rlemkin wrote:Three Days later and there's krausen!

Respect. How's it doing?


Yep, although it's not a style I'm fond of but very interest to here how this one works out.
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Re: Spontaneously Fermented Beer. That's Not What I Call Lam

Postby rlemkin » Sat Jun 03, 2017 21:24

Beer has dropped crystal clear and has a faint pellicle on top. I decided to take a wee sample today..

I think I can say that the combination of the ' Modern Method / Fast Fermentation' from the Milk the Funk wiki (hghly fermentable wort) worked just fine in combination with 100% spontaneous fermentation. Hooray.

Almost two months in and the beer is lightly acidic, quite bitter and pleasantly estery. Essentially devoid of all off flavours.. which I did not expect at this stage. I'm still planning on leaving this for much longer to develop, but it's very promising given it's age.
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Re: Spontaneously Fermented Beer. That's Not What I Call Lam

Postby rlemkin » Thu Oct 19, 2017 20:13

Pellicle is thickening.

Six months on & it's coming along nicely. The odd-TCP/Laphroaig aroma of a few months back has faded. Leaving it quite vinous, musty and hints of pineapple.

Seriously weird tasting, but still pleasant which is beyond my expectations at this point :D.

Considering brewing a second full sized batch now as temperatures begin to drop.. only problem is that this is such a long term project I'm not sure where to store it (this one is under the kitchen sink. )
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Re: Spontaneously Fermented Beer. That's Not What I Call Lam

Postby rlemkin » Mon Oct 30, 2017 15:31

16L of #2 brewed last night. Aiming for a stronger beer with batch 2. I also used an interesting mash schedule... 15 minutes at 76c!
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Re: Spontaneously Fermented Beer. That's Not What I Call Lam

Postby rlemkin » Thu Nov 02, 2017 21:33

Almost bang on 72 hours again from cooling to krausen
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