December 23, 2014

Lambic Solera Update Twenty Part 2 - Bottling Year Four

This year's bottling will be less interesting than the prior bottling so I'll keep this post as brief as I can. I am pulling three gallons from the solera (and replacing the same volume). Two gallons will be bottled straight and one gallon will be set aside for future blending into another gueuze. The first couple years I split a gallon off on fruit but I like the flavor of the lambic by itself so much I feel like the fruit takes away from the beer. I like the fruit versions I did but retrospectively I wish I had just kept all the solera bottlings sans fruit.

Year Four has a hardcore amount of funk and not particularly in a good way. It has a strange off-putting flavor that I'd consider a flaw. I think the airlock ran dry for a while during this year and the beer developed some acetic acid-based compounds. I also suspect the yeast I added in Year Three just wasn't a good fight and didn't play well with brett. It might improve with some time in the bottle and I'm not in a hurry to drink them so I'll just have to see what develops.

I pitched some WY 1214 into the solera with the fresh wort but after how Year Four turned out I am not very optimistic that Year Five will be free from the awfulness of Year Four. That might make Year Five the last year of this rendition of the solera and I will start a new one. It's often said that sometimes dumping a sour beer is part of the process. I'd hate for the solera to meet that fate but I am also not about to drink six gallons of unpleasant beer.


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