The Singer’s Belgian-style Lambic

Grind unmalted wheat berries in malt mill until the consistency of grits; this takes approximately four passes through. If in need of aged hops, ask your local shop if they have any “expired” hops. They are also available through online retailers. In a pinch, bake in the oven spread out on parchment paper at 160° F (71° C) for six hours. To maintain oxygen exposure, an actual barrel is preferred over a glass carboy, but oak spirals/chips can be used if necessary. Create yeast starter the day prior to brewing. Add 2 gallons (7.57 L) of water to milled wheat and bring to a boil to gelatinize the wheat. Boil for 15 minutes while stirring constantly. Cool to 166° F (74° C) by adding approximately 2.5 cups (591 mL) cold water and stirring. Add 0.75 lb (340 g) two-row and 0.75 lb (340 g) six-row malt and add to mash tun. Let mash for 1 hour. Add remaining malt and rice hulls and 1.25 gallons (4.73 L) of 175° F (79° C) water and mash for another hour. Sparge with enough 190° F (88° C) water to bring it to 7 gallons (26.5 L). This will help to avoid a stuck sparge and husk tannin extraction is a minimal concern due to the use of the huskless berries. Additionally, any husk-derived compounds extracted from the malt will be consumed by the Brettanomyces over the years.

Add hops and boil to reduce volume to 5 gallons (approximately 1.5 to 2 hours depending on setup). This length of boil should eliminate any cheesy flavors from the aged hops. Rack to barrel and ferment at 65° F (18° C). Age in barrel for up to three years. Tartness from the lambic bacteria cultures in the blend will develop by 18 months. Bottle using 5 ounces of corn sugar to prime. Beer continues to improve in the bottle indefinitely.

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