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02/22/10 10:42 PM  
Blending Lambics
I was wondering if anyone had advice on blending to make a gueze. I already have lambics from 2006, 2007, and 2008 that are ready. I just dont wont to move them and disturb the pellicle before I am sure on my blending technique.
Al B
02/23/10 09:16 AM  
Re: Blending Lambics
1) taste each batch weighing levels of acidity/dryness/etc.

2) traditionally larger % are younger batches, less % are older unless there is a special batch.

3) Younger batches may still have some starches yet to be utilized creating some added fermentation. But I have primed bottles with sugar & adding new cultures of different bretts w/ tremendous results.

02/23/10 10:42 AM  
Re: Blending Lambics
You're going to have to sit down with samples of each and try to methodically mix portions of each into a glass and taste.
02/23/10 11:30 AM  
Re: Blending Lambics
Keep in mind, blending is intended to acheive a desired effect. If you follow Ciscos advice - which you should just cause he's Cisco(!) - you may find that one of your samples is everything you hoped your finished beer would be. In that case proceeding with blending would be a mistake. I've won a few prizes with a "gueuze" that was in fact not blended. Even though that is the definition of the style, it is tasted right all by itself. In that case, if people want you to stick to the letter of the law regarding style - lie!
02/24/10 12:01 AM  
Re: Blending Lambics
Assuming you *do* blend, try taking a small amount from each. Try them each seperately, as mentioned above, to assess the qualities of each. Once you decide on rough proportions to start with based on the character of each seperately, use some sort of marked measuring device like a pipette or a marked plastic syringe to put together a small test blend, taste, then work from there by repeating.

Once you settle on a ratio for the blend, you can measure out larger amounts to mix in the same proportions as the test sample.

Roughly a hydrometer cylinder's worth seems like an ok amount to pull out of each to start. You can always pull more if you need it, but it's a shame to take out way too much and waste it. As long as you are careful with your ratios when test-blending and mix enough in each test blend to accurately assess it, it should work out ok. Good luck!

02/24/10 07:03 PM  
Re: Blending Lambics
Thanks for the advice everyone, I am just going to have move them all and just do it. I guess I can just bottle what is left from each batch as straight lambic.
02/28/10 02:21 PM  
Re: Blending Lambics
I finally got up the nerve in late December to taste and blend my 3, 2 and 1 year old lambics (6 gallons of each) to make a gueuze. I thought that I would need to rack the lambics out of the carboys to keep all the crud out of the bottles since the carboys were completely coated top, bottom and sides. However, when I transferred the 3 yr, it came out crystal clear and tasted great. I then pulled samples of the 2 and 1 yr to taste, blend samples and take gravity. Definetely flavor differences as expected.

Started with small equal amounts of 3 & 2 blended and realized that since the 3 was the best alone, needed to back off on 2. So added small amounts of 3 back in until I got the flavor of the 3 with added character from 2 at around 3:2. Kept adding 3 until ratio was about 2:1 and decided 3:2 was better and added 2 back in. Added a bit of 1 yr to get a bit different taste and to bump up gravity for carbonation.

I was not keeping exact track of the numbers as I mixed, so the above was rough estimates, so after some figuring considering flavor profile, combined gravity and remaining quanities for next year's blending, I decided on 3 gal of 3 yr, 2 gal of 2 yr, & 1 gal of 1yr and mixed another sample, close enough on flavor since I expect it will change with more age.

I bottled the leftover 3 gals of 3 yr and one gal of 2 yr. This left 3 gal of 2 yr for the 3 gal carboy and 5 gals of 1 yr in the 6 gal carboy for next year's blend. I did top up the 1 yr carboy with a gallon from this year's freshly fermenting batch.

Gravities were 1.003, 1.007 and 1.015, so I got about .003 for carbonation. Hope it is enough, bottles are laid down and time will tell.

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