Lambic is a unique type of beer originally brewed in Pajottenland- a predominantly farmland part of west Brussels in Belgium. This type of beer was then produced only in this region and in the Senne Valley, which is also part of Brussels.
Lambic beer is unique in that it is produced via spontaneous fermentation wherein wild yeasts and bacteria are used in brewing, resulting to a distinctive wild taste that only lambic beers have- a combination of sweet and sour aftertaste, cidery and vinous or wine-like. Wild yeasts are endemic to the Senne valley.
Traditionally, this wild-fermented ale is stored in large opaque wooden barrels and the aging lasts for a few years. As lambic is generally a flat beer and without the tempting foam, consumers wanted a beer with foam. This resulted to the birth of lambic derivatives which include Gueuze, Mars, Faro, Kriek and Fruit.
Pure lambic is distinct from its derivatives. It is basically a flat, foam-free beer and the flavor usually varies depending on the age. Young lambic generally taste sweet, as it age it turns into something sweet and sour. Old versions have wine-like, acidic tastes. It belongs to the ancient family of sour and wild fermented beers. Pure lambic is dry with earthy, fruity and barnyard flavor. Hop aroma or bitterness can be hardly noticed. Learn how to make beer by brewing your own batch of lambic beer. Brewing lambic involves only 30% of unmalted wheat and 70% of barley malt. What makes it unique from other ales is the exposure of the worth in the open air so that fermentation begins spontaneously. Since this process was done by Belgian brewers only Belgium, for some reasons, if you’re brewing today outside of Belgium and apply this technique, achieving a lambic taste may not be possible. The following all-grain recipe is not an “open air” fermentation type.
|0.5 lb||Gambrinus Honey Malt||malt/grains|
|4.5 lb||Belgian 2 Row||malt/grains|
|1.5 lb||Belgian Wheat Malt||malt/grains|
|0.5 lb||Flaked Wheat Malt||malt/flakes|
|2 oz||Saaz hops||hops|
|American Ale yeast||yeast|
|1 can||Oregon Seedless Raspberries||misc|
|Lambic Blend Yeast||yeast|
|4 oz||natural concentrated Raspberry for flavoring|
Clean and sanitize every piece of brewing equipment.
Mash grains at 150°F for 90 minutes.
Add the hops and bring to boil for 60 minutes.
Cool the wort then ferment with ale yeast.
Once the beer has completely fermented, rack it into the secondary fermenter and add the raspberries, pectic enzyme and the lambic yeast. Seal the top of your fermenter and store in a cool place for six (6) months. You will notice that the lambic yeast will create a layer of bacteria on top of the beer.
After the long storage, rack your beer (remove the yeast sediments) and add the raspberry flavoring. You can do the carbonation in two ways. Either by racking your beer into a bottling bucket and add sugar or you may want to keg it and carbonate with CO2.