Tuesday, August 20, 2013

PhiLambic Solera - Brew Day

With my Plan in place I prepped for the brew day, normally I will crush my grains a day in advance but I didn't have the time leading up to brew day  With everything weighed out, I filled the hopper in my mill and... the drill was dead, no worries I have a spare battery on the charger, the charger was unplugged...ugh...Not a good start here. Luckily I have a homebrewer as a neighbor and he saved the day only a few moments later with a corded drill, I really should have one. Back on track.

As I documented in the previous post, I will be using wort only decoctions to reach all of my mash rests. I have done this before only with a Berliner Weisse but I think it will work well. I doughed in at 113f Acid Rest for 10 minutes then pulled 8.5 quarts of wort via the ball valve from the mash and brought it to a boil. I stirred a bit while the decoction reached a boil, then added it back to the main mash and stirred. I took a temperature reading and was 4 degrees low on my Protein Rest, my target was 134, I decided to just run with it and not mess with it too much.

After the 25 minute Protein Rest I pulled 10 quarts of wort from the mash and boiled the decoction. Since I was 4 degrees low on the Protein Rest I decided to decoct an extra 2 quarts above what Beersmith suggested. It almost worked as I reached 149f, my target was 150f, for the 45 minute Saccharification rest. One final wort only decoction of 7.5 quart to reach another Saccharification rest of 162, rest for 20 minutes then I was ready to sparge with 180f water and begin heating the runnings in the kettle. I am hoping the hot sparge water, as is tradition with Lambic, would help raise the mash temp to 168f for mash out if not the runnings started being heated once I had 1 gallon in the kettle. But it should also help in the Sparge process to keep from getting a stuck sparge with all of this wheat in the mash.

Early starchy runnings.

After a 60 minute sparge I had 17 gallon of 1.040 wort already reaching a boil since we were heating the kettle the entire time. My efficiency was much better than expected, with stronger runnings and more wort pre-boil but nothing I am concerned about. The wort going into the kettle looked very starchy, there was alot of protein floating around in there so either my mash process worked or the addition of the flaked wheat helped. Probably a little of both.

I boiled for 90 minutes, adding my old cheesy hops with 60 minutes remaining in the boil. I then pumped the boiling hot wort directly into the Sanke keg to let it cool outside overnight with tin foil covering the top, with a rubber band holding it down. If it catches something wild so be it, if not, thats ok to but I doubt it will. Overnight the wort cooled to 107f, at which point I carried it into my basement where the ambient temps were around 66f. By that evening things had cooled to 69f and I pitched 2 vials of ECY01 Bugfarm (1 vial was 1 month old and the other about 6 months old). 

After about 48 hours from pitching I had not had any activity, so I rehydrated some Belle Saison and gave the fermenter a little swirl. In about 4 hours active fermentation began, I knew I was under pitching with the 2 vials but I had expected fermentation to get going a little quicker. Obviously I would have had a more active start to fermentation had I chilled, aerated etc but I wanted to somewhat stick with Lambic tradition by under pitching to stress the saccharomyces a little bit for more ester production for the Brett and Bacteria to metabolize.

About a month in and fermentation has really slowed, there was active fermentation for up to 3 weeks at 72f wort temp. I can still see some action but the majority of the fermentation is finished. I likely will not take a gravity reading until the 4 month mark at which point I may top it off a bit to get rid of the 1 gallon of headspace. But for now it will sit in my utility closet where the current ambient temps at 68f.

Recipe Below

Solera PhilLambic
Straight (Unblended) Lambic
Type: All GrainDate: 07/21/2013
Batch Size (fermenter): 14.00 galBrewer: Ed Coffey
Boil Size: 17.00 galAsst Brewer:
Boil Time: 75 minEquipment: 20G Kettle+Cooler 10 gallon Batches
End of Boil Volume 14.50 galBrewhouse Efficiency: 84.70 %
Final Bottling Volume: 13.75 galEst Mash Efficiency 70.5 %
Fermentation: Lambic SoleraTaste Rating(out of 50): 30.0
Taste Notes:
15 lbs 8.0 ozPale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM)Grain166.0 %
5 lbsWheat Malt, Bel (2.0 SRM)Grain221.3 %
3 lbsWheat, Flaked (1.6 SRM)Grain312.8 %
1.00 ozAhtanum [3.00 %] - Boil 75.0 minHop45.0 IBUs
0.50 ozSaaz [2.20 %] - Boil 75.0 minHop51.8 IBUs
0.50 ozStrisslespalt [2.21 %] - Boil 75.0 minHop61.9 IBUs
2.0 pkgBugfarm 6 (East Coast Yeast #ECY 01)Yeast7-
1.0 pkgBelle Saison (Danstar #)Yeast8-
Beer Profile
Est Original Gravity: 1.046 SGMeasured Original Gravity: 1.050 SG
Est Final Gravity: 1.005 SGMeasured Final Gravity: 1.005 SG
Estimated Alcohol by Vol: 5.5 %Actual Alcohol by Vol: 5.9 %
Bitterness: 8.7 IBUsCalories: 165.2 kcal/12oz
Est Color: 3.5 SRM
Mash Profile
Mash Name: Psuedo Lambic Decoction MashTotal Grain Weight: 23 lbs 8.0 oz
Sparge Water: 11.29 galGrain Temperature: 72.0 F
Sparge Temperature: 180.0 FTun Temperature: 72.0 F
Adjust Temp for Equipment: TRUEMash PH: 5.20
Mash Steps
NameDescriptionStep TemperatureStep Time
Acid RestAdd 30.38 qt of water at 120.5 F113.0 F10 min
Protein RestDecoct 8.30 qt of mash and boil it134.0 F15 min
SaccharificationDecoct 8.03 qt of mash and boil it150.0 F45 min
SaccharificationDecoct 7.57 qt of mash and boil it162.0 F20 min

Sparge Step: Fly sparge with 11.29 gal water at 180.0 F
Mash Notes: Draw off wort only volumes and boil in a second vessel for each docoction step.
Carbonation and Storage
Carbonation Type: BottleVolumes of CO2: 2.3
Pressure/Weight: 9.90 ozCarbonation Used: Bottle with 9.90 oz Corn Sugar
Keg/Bottling Temperature: 70.0 FAge for: x days
Fermentation: Lambic SoleraStorage Temperature: 65.0 F
17g pre boil 1.040
Created with BeerSmith


  1. I'm curious how you're finding that batch is souring in the keg. I have a batch I racked into a corny in secondary with the dregs of several sour beers and I found without some oxygen exposure the sour and funk didn't show up even after six months or so of aging. I eventually got things moving by picking up the keg and shaking it up and leaving the posts barely screwed on for continued oxygen exposure. Things are moving along but not as quickly as other batches, even those in glass. You might be having better luck with the carboy cap on top but I'm curious to see how things are progressing for you.

    1. You bring up a good point, and its something that I thought about when I considered using the keg as my vessel (ideally this would be in an oak barrel obv, but I dont have the space at the moment). I want some o2 exposure but not too much that I end up with acetic acid production, but even with only minimal o2 the Lacto and the Brett's in this barrel should be perfectly fine.

      I haven't tasted the beer yet, I likely will in January on its 6 month birthday with a post to follow, but I popped off the carboy cap about 3 months in to take a whiff and a look at the pellicle and it smells as I expected. Pretty funky, acidic, no reason for me to believe that the bugs aren't perfectly happy in their current environment. I should have more info on its progress in the post next month so stay tuned. I will also be adding a few ounces of neutral oak cubes at the time to provide some food stuffs for the Brett and somewhere for them to live for a bit.

      IMO, the orange carboy cap is allowing significantly more o2 exposure then would a sealed corny keg.

  2. Replies
    1. Actually yes, I pulled a sample last week and plan to post an update later on this week once I put a pen to paper. The short of it is its unrefined and certainly not finished but tasting really nice, very reminiscent of the 1 year old still Lambic I tried right out of the barrel at Cantillon last year. Thanks for following along, I follow your youtube vids as well good stuff.

    2. Tasting Notes posted Dan. By the way awesome job on Basic Brewing the other day. Such a cool opportunity to be on that show!

    3. Thanks, Ed! James was a fun guy to talk to. I hope that the interview inspired some people to try sour brewing! Enjoying the blog, BTW. :)

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. Replies
    1. No updates yet, 6/19 is the anniversary date and when I plan to package some of the original and brew the top off batch. Look for an update towards the end of June, I'll get that post up really quick.

  5. Replies
    1. Actually very soon. I decided to hold off on packaging at the 18m month mark (6 months from topping off). I just topped off and racked out some beer the other day and should have an update posted shortly with tasting notes on a few bottled portions in the coming weeks as they condition. Fruit pulls are coming...

    2. Ive been dragging my feet a bit and Im a few weeks late. But I should be brewing the top off batch this weekend, bottling 4-5 750ml unblended and racking a portion on to organic blueberries that my family and I picked locally. I should post a follow up soon after.

  6. Did you age this with the orange cap on for months at a time, or place a hard bung on once signs of primary fermentation were done?

    1. For 2+ years with the orange cap. With the stainless vessel the cap is the only place some o2 will be getting in.

  7. شركة تنظيف الشقق في المدينة المنورة هي الخيار الأفضل لكل سيدة منزل ترغب في الحصول على مستوى متميز ومختلف من النظافة المنظمة والمتطورة ،شركة النجوم لخدمات التنظيف
    شركة تنظيف خزانات بالرياض
    شركة تنظيف بالرياض
    شركة تنظيف شقق بالرياض

  8. يمكنكم أن تقوما بالاتصال بنا عبر الأرقام الموضحة لديكم وذلك على مدار اليوم، كما يمكنكم أن تقوموا بالتواصل معنا عبر مواقع التواصل الاجتماعي مثل الفيس بوك وتويتر والانستجرام،
    وقد أتاحت الشركة خدمة التواصل عبر تطبيق الواتس أب وذلك حرصا على سهولة التواصل مع العملاء، ويقوم فريق متخصص بالرد على كافة استفسارات العملاء على مدار اليوم وطوال أيام الأسبوع،
    وكل ما عليكم هو الاتصال بنا لنصلكم أينما كنتم في الرياض، نحن نقوم بخدمة كافة أحياء الرياض سواء شمال الرياض أو جنوب الرياض
    أو منطقة الوسط، وعقب الاتصال يصلكم فريق من عمالتنا المتخصصة لنقل السجاد إلى مغاسلنا المنتشرة في كافة مناطق الرياض .
    شركة الصفرات لتنظيف المنازل بالرياض
    شركة الصفرات لعزل الاسطح بالرياض
    شركة الصفرات لتنظيف المجالس بالرياض
    شركة الصفرات لتنظيف السجاد بالرياض

    شركة الصفرات لنقل الاثاث بالرياض
    شركة الصفرات لمكافحة الحشرات بالرياض
    شركة الصفرات لكشف التسربات بالرياض
    شركة الصفرات لتنظيف المسابح بالرياض
    شركة الصفرات لتنظيف الخزانات بالرياض
    شركة الصفرات لتسليك المجاري بالرياض