Differences between Lambics, Wilds and Sours?

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by pschie1, Dec 28, 2012.

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  1. Biffster

    Biffster Initiate (0) Mar 29, 2004 Michigan

    All true. Thanks. The unmalted wheat was mentioned upthread, but no one mentioned the aged hops. And yes, I was using flora and fauna in the "critters" sense, not in the "there are small animals in there" sense. I'd already created a wall of text and didn't think I should go full dissertation mode since the OP didn't seem like they were asking brewing questions, more compare and contrast.

    But as this thread developed there appears to be enough interest here that it's worth noting in further detail what other process and ingredient specifics makes a lambic a lambic as opposed the the Wild Ales (Oh I hope I got the capitalization right!) that are so popular in the craft beer scene.

    Good Add.
    MusicaleMike likes this.
  2. lemongelo

    lemongelo Initiate (0) Jan 14, 2008 North Carolina

    I like how it currently is with American Wild, but it would be nice to have a few widely recognized sub-categories. Calling an American Wild a Lambic would be like calling a sparkling pinot noir from Napa, Champagne.
  3. Anthony1

    Anthony1 Crusader (718) May 3, 2009 Colorado

  4. lemongelo

    lemongelo Initiate (0) Jan 14, 2008 North Carolina

    Yes, it was a nice article! I can tell your audience is more your average Joe than a crazy beer collector...so I like the way it was presented. I like how you mentioned Avery's sour program and Crooked Stave. For me personally, its all about learning. I am really trying to dive back into studying for both beer and wine. My goal is to become a Certified Cicerone and Sommelier. I haven't started the Cicerone program yet. I have procrastinated staring at the dates lol. I have my 1st level Guild Of Sommelier and am beginning to study again. Probably a solid year of a few hours a day of study and blind tasting.
  5. vandercammen

    vandercammen Initiate (0) Apr 15, 2006 Belgium

  6. hopfenunmaltz

    hopfenunmaltz Meyvn (1,346) Jun 8, 2005 Michigan

    Once at Cantillon some years agoe, Jean-Pierre van Roy recommended going into the cellar, as they had put the raspberries (IIRC, or was it the cherries for kriek) into the barrels the previous week, and the fermentation spewing out the bung was impressive. That afternoon, Jean van Roy and 2 other younger guys were halving apricots for Fou Foune, and they would take a SS bucket when full down to put the apricots into the barrel for that beer.

    You should read page 45 of Michael Jacksons Beer Compantion (1993) where he talks of "the lambic method is to put the cherries into casks of finished beer, and then allow a further fermentation". He did not say bottles. There are enough bug and critters in lambic that no further wild yeasts are needed from fruit. You should know that sometimes a fresh ale yeast and priming sugar are used when bottling.

    Having made some pseudo-Lambics at home, I can say that you want to make sure you take care racking to the bottling bucket after the fruit has been fermented out, or you end with 1/4 inch or more splooge at the bottom of the bottle. The fruit bits don't taste bad, but detract from the appearance.

    Maybe Mr. Frank Boon can say a few words about his process. He has the knowledge for sure.

    What are you travel and brewing experiences for these type of beers?
  7. vandercammen

    vandercammen Initiate (0) Apr 15, 2006 Belgium

    I've seen some calvados-lambic and other wine or whisky-names in Belgium too. It apparently helps selling beers if a brewer can borrow the reputation of an well known beverage... We should maybe try to avoid it.
    Champagne is protected in Europe and in quite some countries; a brewer using the name "Champagne" may expect a letter from the CIVC to ask him to stop the using of the name. The same is possible for 'Oude Geuze' and 'Oude Kriek', both protected by the EU, but only on a limited scale in the US.
    TheodorHerzl likes this.
  8. Tut

    Tut Initiate (0) Sep 23, 2004 New York

    Well, I certainly stand corrected! I've been into craft beer for over twenty years, read a lot, and have been to Germany, but never heard of it. My sarcasm was out of place - cheers!
    DevilsCups likes this.
  9. Avangion

    Avangion Initiate (0) Dec 14, 2012 New York

    This is bullshit. Don't listen to this guy. "Sour" beer is ale brewed in the style made famous in the Lebanese city of Sour, otherwise known as Tyre. They use malts and such.
  10. brikelly

    brikelly Aspirant (269) Apr 11, 2010 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    OK, you got me. And I admit it, wild ales are actually made from wildebeest snot. With Brett added.
    Avangion likes this.
  11. Absolut

    Absolut Zealot (564) Sep 19, 2011 California

    well, according to hanging with friends, Lambic is not a word.
  12. Avangion

    Avangion Initiate (0) Dec 14, 2012 New York

    Thank you.
  13. devlishdamsel

    devlishdamsel Initiate (0) Aug 1, 2009 Washington

    That's wicked awesome. Thank you for the information!
  14. DanK4

    DanK4 Initiate (0) Jan 17, 2012 Maine

    Don't forget Hanssens! Damn good stuff too.
  15. abb610

    abb610 Aspirant (229) Oct 14, 2010 North Carolina
    Beer Trader

    ive had the westbrook gose and its sour. if they blend three years of gose, would they call the blended beer gooose or geese
    luwak and LambicKing like this.
  16. BlackBelt5112203

    BlackBelt5112203 Initiate (0) Jan 2, 2012 Michigan
    Beer Trader

    So we don't capitalize the beginnings of sentences now?
  17. lemongelo

    lemongelo Initiate (0) Jan 14, 2008 North Carolina

    Stay on topic. I really hope this to be an informative thread...not one person telling the other person well technically...It appears you are right. My experience is not from taking exotic trips to Belgium, but from understanding what is causing the fermentation. The secondary fermentation occurs in the cask, from the yeast of the skin, before it is bottled and this is the best source period. Anyone who wants to seriously continue to dive into this subject, read this.
    Note: I got this thread off the cicerone website and I know Win Bassett and trust anything he puts on All About Beer.
  18. marquis

    marquis Crusader (759) Nov 20, 2005 United Kingdom (England)

    Lambic is a young beer. When aged it becomes muttonic.
    corby112, Avangion, luwak and 4 others like this.
  19. hopfenunmaltz

    hopfenunmaltz Meyvn (1,346) Jun 8, 2005 Michigan

    Sure there are yeasts and bacteria on the fruit skins, but you could put pasteurized fruit juice into the barrels and the sugars would ferment from the established bugs and critters in the lambic and barrels. Making beer, meads, ciders I know that the residual brewers yeast (or Brett and bacteria if a wild) will ferment out any sugars added, even if the sugar solution has been boiled before added.

    I once again recommend Wild Brews by Sparrow. If you are really interested and want to spend time and money to find it, there is the book Lambic by Jean-Xavier Guinard, though out of print and pricey, has some of the best technical information on this style.
  20. westcoastbeerlvr

    westcoastbeerlvr Poo-Bah (1,882) Oct 19, 2010 California

    Yes, according to my phone, it's actually spelled "Limbic ales."
  21. VinnyA

    VinnyA Initiate (0) Dec 22, 2012 Pennsylvania

    Had a bottle of Hanssens Framboise this weekend. For my money, excellent Gueuze.
  22. drtth

    drtth Poo-Bah (3,378) Nov 25, 2007 Pennsylvania

    That explains why this becomes an emotional topic. :-)
    luwak and PaulQuinn like this.
  23. lemongelo

    lemongelo Initiate (0) Jan 14, 2008 North Carolina

    Sweet, I just ordered the book off Amazon. Thank you!
  24. pschie1

    pschie1 Initiate (0) Oct 4, 2012 Tennessee

    Thanks to everyone who responded with information, jokes, sarcasm, and arguments. I learned a lot!

    COLLOTTA Initiate (0) Jun 9, 2010 Massachusetts

    I LIKE THEM ALL the more sour its is the better
  26. lemongelo

    lemongelo Initiate (0) Jan 14, 2008 North Carolina

    Probably the sourest beer I have had is The Bruery Oude Tart. It is even more sour than Cascade Sang Noir or Noyaux! But the latter two are way better :wink:
  27. InVinoVeritas

    InVinoVeritas Devotee (470) Apr 16, 2012 Wisconsin
    Beer Trader

    WOW, this thread is like a geek paradise!!! Which means to not be misunderstood if that's a good thing or bad, I'm loving it!!!!!!!!! THANKS SOooooo much for all the great education, history meets love to my palate for sure.
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