- 0.5 lb. crystal malt, 20° Lovibond
- 0.5 lb. cracked wheat malt
- 5 lbs. weizen dry malt extract (approximately 50% wheat and 50% barley)
- 1 oz. Saaz hop pellets (for 45 min.)
- 10-14 grams of a dry ale yeast
- 4-5 lbs. chopped, fresh sour green apples.
- 1 packet Wyeast 3278
- 3/4 cup corn sugar (for priming)
Step by Step:
In 2.5 gals. of cold water, steep crystal and cracked wheat malt. Bring gradually up to 170° F and remove the grains. As water comes to a boil, remove briefly from the heat and stir in dry malt extract. Return to heat. When the wort begins to boil, add hop pellets and boil 45 minutes. Remove from heat, cool quickly, and add enough chilled, sterile water to make up 5 gals. in your fermenter. When cooled to 75°F, add dry ale yeast.
Ferment relatively warm (70° to 75° F) until the first phase of fermentation is done (three to five days, usually), then rack into a secondary in which you have already placed the chopped apples. Pitch prepared Wyeast 3278 (formerly labeled as Brettanomyces Bruxellensis, but now simply called B-yeast), close up, and condition cool (50° to 55° F) for 10 to 15 days.
Prime with corn sugar, bottle (carefully avoiding apple debris as you siphon), and age four to six weeks to allow the flavors to blend well.
Don't be frightened off by this recipe. This is only an approximation of a lambic style, well within the abilities of the average homebrewer. For a more authentic lambic, which is difficult but usually worth it, please refer to Jean-Xavier Guinard's Lambic, volume three of the Brewers Publications Classic Beer Style Series.
Fruit: Obviously, apple is not the only fruit possibility here. Whatever you've got, try it. In combinations, too. If you have several one-gallon jugs, split a batch into five and try five different fruits, one pound of each.
Hops: Belgian brewers of lambics generally use hops only for their preservative value (and they often use stale, faded hops at that!). No real bitterness or aroma is needed here, although a mild flavoring hop is not out of place.
Yeast: Any good, dry ale yeast will do, as long as it is clean and reliable. Omission of the Brettanomyces will not ruin the beer, but it will not be as characteristically sour and "funky." I use the convenient Wyeast culture, but there are other lambic bacteria cultures on the market. Check with your supplier for his or her recommendation.