Brew Day: Washington Lambic
This last weekend my friend David and I completed the first of two brew sessions to fill a 15 gallon plastic barrel of lambic. While I initially dubbed this beer “Washington Lambic”, it is currently a “Mostly Washington Lambic”, since we have yet to successfully culture local yeast and bacteria. We chose to ferment the batch with Wyeast Belgian Lambic Blend instead, along with various dregs of sour beers we drink, as well as any successful local funk we culture in the near future.
Aged Cascades from my neighbors brothers hop farm near Sunnyside
We did manage to keep the rest of the ingredients fairly local as seen in the recipe below. Finishing off my 50 pound bag of Washington select 2-row, unmalted local wheat, and aged cascade hops I had in my attic. Living 30 minutes from the largest hop region in the US makes hops the easiest to obtain by far. While it was nice to keep the hops local it also wasn’t completely ideal because although aged a bit, they still had an estimated 6.0% AA content which did not allow us to pack it full of as many hops as is traditional. Also to be noted is a 66/34 ratio was going to be used for the grain bill but I ran out of unmalted wheat so I added in a little torrified wheat.
David heating Kettle #2 to 176.
Mashing wise we wanted to do a traditional turbid mash. This was surprisingly refreshing reverting back to using my propane burner, since I have been brewing with my full electric rig for the last 2 years. It is odd but I find I at times miss standing in the cold over a propane burner, not having electronics to automatically hit my temperatures. One of my favorite brew days to date.
The boil. 10 Gallon pot was a bit small for this, had to keep topping off.
Below is the steps I set out for the brew day. I was proud of myself, I tend to do stuff on the fly which seemed like trouble waiting to happen on this brew. Turns out planning everything out so well allowed me to hit most of my numbers pretty close for each step.
Turbid Mash Schedule:
- Heat 5 gallons of water to 150 F in main Kettle.
- Add 6 qts to MT.
- Crank heat on main kettle to bring to a boil.
- When water in MT is at 135.6 F add grain.
- Planned Temperature: 113 F Actual Temperature: ~112.5 F
- Adjust accordingly. Total Water in MT: 6 qts
- Wait 20 minutes
- Add boiling water until mash hits 136 F. Actual Temperature: ~135.5 F
- Water added 4.5 qts Total water in MT: 10.5 qts
- Wait 5 minutes.
- Vorlauf to remove big chunks. Pull 1.5 qts to small kettle and heat to 176F.
- Add boiling water until mash hits 150 F. Actual Temperature: 151 F
- Water added 5 qts Total water in MT: 13 qts
- Top off main kettle.
- Wait 30 minutes
- Vorlauf to remove big chunks. Pull 6 qts to small kettle and heat to 176 F.
- Add boiling water until mash hits 162 F. Actual Temperature: 161.7 F
- Water added 8 qts Total water in MT: 15 qts
- Top off main kettle and bring it up to 185F for sparge.
- Add small kettle to the mash. Bring it to 167 F.
- Adjust accordingly to hit temp.
- Wait 10 minute.
- Recirculate for 10 minutes/Vorlauf tell clear. Start Sparge.
Chilling the wort at the end of the day.
Washington Lambic (1/2 the batch)
OG: 1.051 FG: NA ABV: NA IBU: 15.9 SRM: 3.7
Size:8 gallon Mash:Turbid Mash Ferment: Garage Ambient ~60 F
66.63% Washington Select Pale malt (GW)
31.78% Unmalted Wheat
1.59% Torrified Wheat (GW)
21g Aged Cascade 150min [15.9IBU]
Yeast: Wyeast Belgian Lambic Blend, Sour Bottle Dregs
12/22/12 Brewed the beer, brew day lasted approximately 8 hours. Pretty good for a long mash, and 2.5 hour boil.
12/23/12 Fermentation going in full force.
Planning on brewing the rest of it after Christmas. By then the fermentation should be slowing down, and ready to fill it up to the top. Trying to avoid spewing wort everywhere when its full and fermenting.
After a day of brewing I apparently wasn’t the only one tired. Bella is only 6 months old and hasn’t learned to be lady like yet. Bit of a ho haha.