Sunday, July 15, 2012

American Lambic - Turbid Mash

This year's ECY01 blend Bugfarm VI has "three wild yeast strains from northeast cider makers, brett from a well known brewery and from a well known lambic producer. Pedio from a lambic producer, and lacto delbreuckii." I have two vials of this and I plan to use one for an American made lambic. Year two is all about improving my craft and experimenting. I'll be brewing one lambic using the same method that I did last year. The other lambic will be made using a traditional recipe and a turbid mash.

I have been thinking lately about this whole lambic experiment. I am as committed as ever but I've learned a few things. The first rewards are slow to happen; I am 12 months in and I haven't had a single sip of home made lambic. It's hard to wait, and it's even harder to wait for 2-3 years before you have enough lambic to make a gueze. I'm still 24 months away. The good news is eventually I'll have a house, barrels, fruit trees, and friends who I can share the waiting with.

(read more after the break.)

A turbid mash is a traditional Belgian mash schedule. It works for wits, session beers, and lambics. Why it works is because it breaks down glucans into more usable carbohydrates. This isn't an absolutely necessary step. This is my trying to make authentic Belgian beers. I want to see if a similar malt bill to my extract lambics mashed in the traditional way to produce a highly dextrinous wort changes the outcomes at all.


Turbid Mash:
Phytase/Debranching/Beta Glucanase:
Dough in at 113 degrees and aim for a water to grist ratio of .3qt/lb for 10 minutes.
This step has three effects on your mash: Lowering the PH, solubilization of the starches, and to break up the gum.
Beta Amylase:
Add boiling water to raise the temperature to 138. Hold at this temp for 5 minutes.
This step creates maltose.
Turbid Step #1:
Draw off one quart of grist free wort and raise temperature to 180 to stop enzymatic action.
Beta Amylase II:
Add boiling water to raise the temperature to 150. Hold at this temp for 30 minutes, stirring often.
Turbid Step #2:
Draw off 4 quarts of grist free wort and raise temp to at least 180 to stop enzymatic action.
Alpha Amylase:
Add 1 lb rice hulls to the mash. Add boiling water to raise the temperature to 162. Hold at this temp for 20 minutes.
(Non Mash Step: Add water to HLT to reduce temperature to 167 degrees.)
Turbid Step #3:
Drain 1.25 gallons into the boil kettle and mix back in the portion you reserved in steps 1 and 2. This should raise the temperature to 167. Hold at this temp for 20 minutes.
Vorlauf, Drain, & Sparge:
Sparge until enough wort is collected to yield 5 gallons of post boil wort.

Mash Schedule: Turbid Mash
Name        Description                    Step Temp  Step Time
Mash In     Add 4.5 qt of water at 135 F    113 F      25 min
Mash Step   Add 2.5 qt of water at 212 F    138 F       5 min
Drain Out   Remove 1.0 qt of water
Mash Step   Add 2.0 qt of water at 212 F    150 F      30 min
Drain Out   Remove 4.0 qt of water
Mash Step   Add 3.0 qt of water at 212 F    162 F      20 min
Drain Out   Remove 5.0 qt of water
Mash Step   Add 2.0 qt of water at 212 F    168 F      20 min
Sparge      Batch sparge with 5.1 gal       168 F 

Recipe Specifications:
Boil Size: 6.8 gal
Post Boil Volume: 5.73 gal
Batch Size (fermenter): 5.0 gal  
Estimated OG: 1.057 SG
Estimated Color: 3.5 SRM
Estimated IBU: 0.0 IBUs
Brewhouse Efficiency: 72.00 %
Boil Time: 90 Minutes

6 lbs Canadian Pilsner (2.0 SRM) 50.0 %
4 lbs Wheat, Flaked (1.6 SRM) 33.4 %
1 lbs Flaked Oats (1.0 SRM) 8.3 %
1 lbs Rice Hulls (0.0 SRM) 8.3 %
3.0 oz Lambic Hops [0.00 %] - Boil 60.0 min 0.0 IBUs 
1.0 pkg Bug Farm VI from ECY

I started this super early in the morning; 8ish. Boiling water, cleaning equipment, and setting up the kitchen. The turbid mash went surprisingly well but it took much longer than the normal 2 step mash that I normally do. The wort was almost white with starches and dextrins. While I was bringing the beer to a boil I ran out of propane. After that things went smoothly. This whole turbid mash went easily. No complaining at all except that it takes twice as long. The beer cleared up relatively well in the boil, lots of hot and cold break materials. The beer in the fermenter is a yellowish red, with the characteristic haziness of a wheat beer.

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