Wednesday, December 5, 2012

American Lambic - Yeast Schedule.

These things make the beer!
My first lambic of the season was a turbid mash. In the spirit of discovery, and education I am going to attempt to use a more complicated inoculation schedule. The various microorganisms used to make lambics and other sour beers thrive under different conditions during the fermentation cycle. When you pitch all of the various microorganisms at once in the 'set it and forget it' method you're leaving things up to chemistry and chance. This isn't wrong; it's not a bad way of doing things.

I like experimenting and learning. My hopes are that by using a few different techniques I can begin to figure out what works for me. I am aware that the more scientific method for doing this would be to isolate one variable at a time: mash technique, yeast strain, or inoculation schedules; then to devise a series of experiments altering only one variable to discover what is best. I've decided that this isn't the best way of home brewing. One reason is that I can't replicate laboratory conditions at home; this may seem like a trivial point but each wort I produce is unique, the boil times are precise but not meticulous, my measurements are close but not exact, etc., etc.. If I could produce uniform wort, maintain exacting fermentation conditions, measure pH, dissolved oxygen, etc. it might be worth doing this a bit more carefully. I'm content making beer, and taking rough notes. Producing lambic style beers is about the art of it all, not laboratory precision.

(please read more after the break.)

Additionally with the time involved I am hoping to take a scatter-shot approach to making American Lambics. By not waiting for the results of the first batch to make a second I may be compounding errors. I am willing to chance this rather than waiting for one sour to finish before starting the next. I'm only going to live like 40-70 more years, If I waited the 3+ years between batches, I would be nearing deaths door before I got to 20 batches.

My inoculation schedule will start with a packet of safale WB-06. I'm choosing this yeast because I already owned it. This yeast seemed to have excellent flavors and fermentation properties. After about two weeks when the yeast has turned most of the ferment-able sugars into alcohol, utilized the dissolved oxygen, and dropped the wort's ph the conditions are ripe for a new yeast to take over.

Faded, Artificially Aged
The champion of stage two is Brettanomyces; a less domesticated yeast with interesting fermentation characteristics. If you're reading my blog you're probably familiar with brettanomyces, but if you're not I'll explain it a bit further in a later post after I do a bit more research. I plan to use a mixture of three brettanomyces strains to achieve the flavors I want. The first is Brettanomyces Lambicus. The aptly named strain was first isolated from lambic beer and offers characteristic brettanomyces flavors and sourness. The second is Brettanomyces Claussenii. This strain was isolated from english stock ales and offers an aroma of pineapple and ripe fruits. The Final Strain of Brett I'll be adding is Brettanomyces Clustersianus which is similar in profile to Brettanomyces Claussenii. Al B of East Coast Yeast isolated this strain and characterizes it as, "a strong ester profile of mango, pine-apple, and peach with limited to no barnyard funk." My hope is that I'll end up with a strong ester profile of ripe and tart fruits. Only 24 months to find out!

The final stage of this beer will take place from 6 to 24 months when Lactobacillus Delbreuckii and Pediococcus will take hold offering souring and funkifying to the beer. Both bacteria are lactic acid bacteria. During this final stage the bulk of the acidity is added when these bacterias break down the dead yeast cells and remaining sugars in the beer. They both add distinct flavors and perceivable levels of sourness. This is why one beer may specifically call for Lactobacillus and not Pediococcus.

The intricate inoculation schedule should offer me the opportunity to taste my beer at each step and try to control more aspects of the wild fermentation.

3 lbs Wheat Dry Extract (3.5 SRM) (Boil 60.0 mins)
3 lbs Golden Light Dry Extract (3.5 SRM) (Boil 60.0 mins)
8.00 oz Malto-Dextrine (Boil 60.0 mins)
4.00 oz Lambic Hops [0.00 %] - Boil 60.0 mins
1.0 pkg Safale WB-06

Rough Yeast Schedule:
0-2 Weeks:
Safale WB-06

2-24 Weeks:
Brettanomyces Clustersianus (ECY 19)
Brettanomyces Claussenii (WLP 645)
Brettanomyces Bruxellensis (WLP 650)
Brettanomyces Lambicus (WLP 653)

24-96 Weeks:
Pediococcus (???)
Lactobacillus (???)

No comments:

Post a Comment