Wednesday, October 15, 2014

RECIPE #71: WTWTA: The Carol 3.0 (Lambic)

Earlier this year I entered a local BJCP competition and happened to win the Best of Show with a wild fermented "Lambic" I had brewed 2.5 years earlier.  I had cultured yeast and bacteria for that batch from blackberries over growing the fence of the back yard at our old house we rented, as well as peaches from the local farmer's market.  This was the only yeast I used for fermentation.  Over the course of the year I added dregs from commercial and homebrewed sours.  After a year and a half in bottles it won BOS.  When this happened I of course wanted to re-brew it, so I started stepping up the dregs.  For winning BOS I got to brew the batch at Falling Sky, but they don't do sours, so we did a kettle soured version that mimicked the original.  

Just after the win I was chatting about the beer with Matt Van Wyk of Oakshire Brewing and that it wouldn't actually be re-brewed commercially.  Then, almost as if it wasn't a big deal, he stated that he would brew the beer with me.  Matt makes amazing sours and the thought of even being able to do my beer with him is a huge honor.  8 months later and we are there.  I brewed this current batch for myself, 10 gallons, to fill a 6 gallon wine barrel, and have some for aging and blending later, as well as the big reason, to begin growing the yeast up for the 10 barrel batch.  I had pitched my starter onto 6 gallons of the wort I got from my Falling Sky brew, then pitched that slurry onto this 10 gallon batch.  I gave the slurry from this batch to the Matt who stepped it up on a 1 barrel batch to have it ready to ferment 10 barrels.  A few days from typing this, I will be at Oakshire brewing this recipe on a large scale for aging in full size wine barrels.  Never thought I would see this day come.

I didn't really change anything from the original recipe for this batch except removing a few things that I think didn't really do much in the first version.  I nixed the coriander and late hops as they were small additions, and after aging weren't present in the final product.  I also cut out the cake flour on this batch as I mashed higher than last time.  The original got the fruits from the starters, this just got yeast slurry.  We'll see in a year how it turned out, but initial tastings at 2 weeks are super promising.


Gallons:    10.50
OG:            1.055
FG:            1.010 at 2 weeks
EST FG:    1.002
EST ABV: 7.0%
IBUs:    21
SRM:    5
Efficiency: 87%
10.8# Weyermann Pilsner (54%)
4.00# Vienna Malt (20%)
3.40# Wheat, Flaked (17%)
1.80# MFB Caravienne (9%)
Mash 10 hours @ 154*F
Boil 60 mins
60 2.00 oz  Santiam 5.0%AA
Kettle Additions:
Ca 44.8; Mg 10.9; Na 17.6; SO4 69.8; Cl 40.7; Bi-Carbonate 79.4; pH 5.54
Gypsum - Mash 3/8 tsp; Boil 3/8 tsp
Epsom Salts - Mash 7/8 tsp; Boil 5/8 tsp
Calcium Chloride - Mash 7/8 tsp; Boil 5/8 tsp
Baking Soda - Mash 3/8 tsp
Pickling Lime - Mash 1/4 tsp
Yeast Nutrient  2 taps
Whirfloc  1 each
Cooled to: 64*F
Carol Slurry (6.5 gallon FS Neverland repitch)
72*F   3 days
78*F   8 days
40*F   3 days
AMB  1 year
AMB  1 year

9/26-27 Mashed in at 9pm at 154*F.  Wrapped in sleeping bag and heating blanket set to high.  Dropped to 142*F by 7:30am.  Batch sparged to 13 gallons and boiled according to recipe.  Chilled to 74*F, split to 2 Better Bottles, and pitched with slurry taken from 6 gallons of unfermented Neverland wort I received from Falling Sky on brew day.

9/29 Soda like foam forming on top (normal) and CO2 activity on airlocks.

9/30 Bumped temp up to 78*F

10/1 Krausen dropped

10/3 Samples taste of dirty peaches, sweet malts, and acetaldehyde.  One fermentor at 1.012, the other at 1.024.  Probably from trub and slightly more yeast in the 1.012 vessel.

10/9 Dropped temp to 40*F to crash yeast out

10/10 Acetaldehyde clearing up.  Down to 1.007 and 1.012 respectively, for a FG of 1.010 combined.

10/11 Racked 3 gallons from each into a 6 gallon wine barrel.  Racked the rest into a 5 gallon Better Bottle, looks to be only 3.5-4 gallons though.  Harvested all the yeast for commercial brew.

10/13 Delivered yeast to Oakshire to step up on a 1 barrel batch.

10/15 Slurry pitched into 10* Plato starter.

10/17 Arrived at Oakshire at 9am ready to roll.  Brewed a 10 barrel batch of this recipe with the Brew Master, Matt Van Wyk, and pitched to the yeast cultured up from my batch.  To be aged in wine barrels for a year or so after a stainless steel primary.

Also got 6.5 gallons of fresh wort from the fermenter at Oakshire that I was able to take home.  I topped off the 5 gallon Better Bottle with 1.5 gallons and put the other 5 gallons in the ferm fridge.  Active fermentation by bed time that night.  This yeast is a beast.  Was told by an Oakshire employee that the full batch was already active Friday night when he left the brewery.


  1. How long are you planning on leaving it in the 6 gallon barrel?

  2. James, I am hoping to make it 1 year. If I taste too much O2 pickup or acetic I will pull it earlier. I actually like oak characters in my sours so I'm okay with it picking it up.