Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Peach Lambic

I used up five gallons of lambic base on an experiment. I had a jug of relatively good tasting lambic style ale resting on the kitchen floor of my mothers home. It sat quietly developing from a mostly bland flavorless endeavor at first tasting to a sour one at blending time. pLambic #4 is now resting on top of peaches.

Why peaches? Because it's amazing.

I first experienced a peach lambic when Derek and I were on California Trip #2. It was here we had Fou' Foune from Cantillion. It was pretty magical. I still remember the duality of being both intensely sour with hints of funkiness and fruity with the apricot/peach flavors that were undeniable. 

Since then I've sampled other peach flavored sour ales and among them there were two stand outs. Cascade Apricot Ale which is a fine ale with nice sourness and a pleasant flavor of fresh fruits. How the beer maintains those flavors is pretty unexpected when you get your first nose full of sourness. The other standout was Upland Lambic: Peach, which like Fou' Foune had those lambic elements and a nice sour peach flavor.

When I blended white flame peaches with my sanctification clone I tried a fresh peach for the first time. I dunno why but my parents had only ever served me canned peaches floating in syrup and I thought that was the flavor of peaches. Perhaps their flavor was that of Peach Faygo, a guilty pleasure for Derek when he's in Michigan, a flavor I find cloying. I tried them at that point and found out that their flavor was totally different from what I had known. This peach season at Gavin's Orchards I've tried more peaches than I knew existed three months ago. The variety settled on to make myself a peach sour was the Blushing Star. Described as, "It has a unique wonderful distinctive full flavor of an extra sweet but slightly acidic white flesh peach plus a penetrating, pleasing aroma. Flesh is white tinged with pink and does not brown." I found it to be very easy to eat. The flavor is peachy without being too much, and the slight acidity of the peach balances that out pleasantly. Peach and acidity, who knew right?

This was mostly just my rinsing the skin of the peaches to clean off any dirt or other substances clinging to the outside, and then cutting them up. A few portions with deep bruising had to be tossed away but the peaches were in relatively good shape. Around 10 pounds of peaches were added, the amount would be 1/4 bushel or so, minus what I ate while I was working. Everything went well and after 12 hours there was minor airlock activity of the year old microbes getting a fresh start with their new food.

Fingers crossed that in four to six months this turns into a winner and that I have a real choice of what I should enter in the Siciliano's home brew competition.

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