Lindeman's Lambic clone
5 Gallons; OG = 1.050; FG = 1.012; IBU = 18
Not all lambics are made with fruit, of course — if you sweeten the finished product with candi sugar, you have faro; if you blend old and new lambics, you have gueuze (pronounced “geuz” with a hard “g”). All are based on a wheat beer that has been allowed to ferment more or less spontaneously, with naturally occurring local yeasts. Like Champagne, lambic is a geographic designation: Beers made in this style outside of the Senne valley should not be called lambics. Many American homebrewers have taken to calling their own versions “pLambic,” with the lower-case “p” standing for “pseudo.”
The alcohol content will not necessarily correlate to the gravity readings on this beer, because the addition of fruit in the secondary fermenter will increase the sugar content and restart fermentation. Lindemans and many other lambic brewers bottle their products in small champagne-style bottles, with a cork-and-wire top. Lindemans’ labels and glassware exhibit ornate art-deco lettering, and they prefer a tall, footed flute glass.
- 3 lbs. pilsner malt
- 2 lbs. malted wheat
- 1 lb. flaked wheat
- 2 lbs. unhopped light dry malt extract (DME)
- 4 AAU well-aged aroma hops: such as Saaz, East Kent Goldings or Tettnang (1 oz. at 4% alpha acid)
- Belgian ale yeast slurry (White Labs WLP550 or Wyeast 1762)
- Lambic yeast or bacteria culture (recultured yeast from commercial lambic, Wyeast 3278 or both)
- 6 to 9 lbs. cherries, raspberries, peaches or other fruit (picked fresh, washed, cut up and frozen until ready to use)
- 1 cup unhopped light dry malt extract (DME) to prime
Step by Step:
Heat 9 quarts water to 163° F. Crush whole grains and add, with flaked wheat, to liquor. Hold mash at 152° F for 75 minutes. Runoff and sparge with 12 quarts water at 170° F. Add DME, stir well, bring to a boil. Add hops, boil 60 minutes. Remove from heat. Add to fermenter along with enough pre-boiled and chilled water to make up 5.25 gallons.
Cool to 70° F, pitch ale yeast. Ferment at 68° F for two weeks, rack onto fruit in your secondary and add lambic culture. Condition cool (50° F) for three to four weeks. Rack into third vessel to clarify at 50° F for two weeks. Prime with DME, bottle and age at least three to four weeks at 45° to 50° F. Serve at 40° F in either a heavy glass tumbler or a champagne-style flute.
Replace the DME with another 1.5 lbs. each pilsner and wheat malt. Increase mash water to 13 quarts and sparge water to 16 quarts. Mash time and temperatures will be the same. Proceed as above from boiling.
Omit pilsner and wheat malts. Steep flaked wheat in 3 gallons at 150° F for 30 minutes. Remove grains. Increase DME to 5.5 lbs., proceed as above from boiling.