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tom sawyer
04/15/10 11:47 AM  
Starch in a Lambic Wort?
I put together a 10gal batch of a beer that is fermenting in an 11gal used red wine barrel. It is a cross between a Flanders red and a lambic (recipe of a FR, fermenting with lambic blend bugs/yeast). I didn't use a turbid mash protocol since I didn't know about the technique at the time I brewed (reading Wild Brews now).

My question is, can I simply dissolve some corn starch and boil it, then add this to the batch to give it additional complex carbohydrates that'll be around for the Brett to work on in several months?

04/15/10 02:10 PM  
Re: Starch in a Lambic Wort?
I dunno what the others will say about this, but I have made two pLambic batches and put a pinch or two of both corn starch and flour into the boil. I mashed at 156-158 for both of them but definately didn't do a turbid mash. So far so good, the first is a year old and seems to be great and the second is bubbling away with Sacc in charge for the moment (apparently).

But my results mean basically nothing, it's always a crap shoot without good bug polpulation controls (which I haven't) and consistent temperatures or at least consistent temperature swings.

I'm also curious, though, what people say who have more knowledge about the various bugs and what specifically they consume and produce.

04/15/10 07:17 PM  
Re: Starch in a Lambic Wort?
The last extract lambic I made I steeped 2# ground flaked wheat for 45 min. I had to stir the entire time as the wheat would gum up and stick to the bottom (didn't want it to burn). I then added wheat DME and pilsner DME along with 1/2 # maltodextrin and aged hops to the boil. Pitched a fresh vial of WL sour mix along with Russian River Consecration and Drie Fontenein dregs. The wort was very turbid and thick. I fermented in a carboy and left everything on top of the original yeast cake. I now have almost a 1/2-3/4 inch thick nasty pellicle on top and the wort still seems quite viscous/turbid looking. I guess those bugs really liked that combination as I have NEVER had as thick a pellicle formed that fast in a primary glass carboy before (formed within 1 mos with cap and airlock).

Long story short, I would boil up some maltodextrin and add that for the bugs as they seem to really enjoy the hard to ferment sugars. I am sure you could add corn starch too but I have never tried that route.

tom sawyer
04/16/10 07:48 AM  
Re: Starch in a Lambic Wort?
Sounds like the idea isn't out in left field at least. I'll give it some more thought. It seems fairly logical, although my one previous batch of kriek was done with extract and no real starchy additives and it had plenty of Brett character.
04/16/10 12:10 PM  
Re: Starch in a Lambic Wort?
It's been done by several people before. There's no reason why it wouldn't work, as long as your bugs are alive and well, they will eat the food you give them.
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