Unblended, naturally and spontaneously fermented
lambic is intensely estery, sour and often, but not necessarily,
acetic flavored. Low in carbon dioxide, these hazy beers are
brewed with unmalted wheat and malted barley. Sweet malt
characters are not perceived. They are very low in hop
bitterness. Cloudiness is acceptable. These beers are quite dry
and light-bodied. Characteristic "horsiness" (similar to wet
horse blanket) from Brettanomyces yeast is often present at
moderate levels. Versions of this beer made outside of the
Brussels area of Belgium cannot be true lambics. These versions
are said to be "lambic-style" and may be made to resemble many
of the beers of true origin. Lambic is a distinct Belgian beer
intentionally fermented with wild airborne yeast and bacteria
that would typically ruin other styles of beer. True lambics are
only brewed in certain places known to have the wild yeasts that
will produce the distinct lambic style. Lambics are required by
Belgian law to contain at least 30% wheat malt. They are
light-bodied, cloudy yellow, very lightly hopped, slightly sour
in taste and occasionally flavored with fruit - cherries
(kriek), raspberries (framboise), peaches (peche), black
currants (cassis) or other fruits - to create fruit lambics.
Alternatively, un-fruited young and old lambics are blended to
create "gueuze." The following is a simple recipe for a
framboise. This beer is not a true lambic but it's as
close as most homebrewers will ever get. NOTE: SOME EXPERTS
SUGGEST THAT YOU NEVER USE YOUR LAMBIC BREWING EQUIPMENT TO BREW
OTHER BEERS. THE BACTERIA PRESENT IN THESE BEERS IS EXTREMELY
DIFFICULT TO GET RID OF AND WILL RUIN OTHER BEER STYLES.
8 ounces Gambrinus honey malt
2-1/2 pounds wheat DME
1-1/2 pounds extra-light DME
2 ounces two-year-old Saaz hops
1 46-ounce can Oregon seedless raspberry
12 ounces natural raspberry flavoring
1 teaspoon Irish moss
Wyeast 3944 Belgian witbier yeast AND Wyeast
3278 lambic blend yeast
1-1/4 cup wheat DME
Place the crushed specialty grains in a
nylon hop bag and steep them in 1 gallon of preheated 150º
water for 30 minutes.
Drain and discard the spent grains.
Bring at least 3 gallons of liquor to a
boil, remove the brew kettle from the heat source then stir
in the extract and the hops.
Return the brew kettle to the heat source
and boil for 45 minutes, then add the Irish moss.
Boil for an additional 15 minutes, then
remove the brew kettle from the heat source, cover it and
drop the temperature of the wort as quickly as possible to
Once the wort has cooled to below 77º F,
take an original gravity reading, pour the wort into a
primary fermenter through a funnel with a strainer and add
enough cool water to create 5 gallons.
Once the wort has been transferred to the
primary fermenter, pitch the witbier yeast, stir the
wort vigorously, seal the fermenter with an airlock and
ferment at approximately 68-75º F for 2 weeks.
Rack the beer to a secondary fermenter, add
the raspberry concentrate and 20 drops of the pectic enzyme,
pitch the lambic yeast and allow the beer to finish
Once fermentation is complete, rack the beer
to a bottling bucket, prime with the wheat DME, add the
raspberry flavoring and bottle and condition as usual.