Recipe: Turbid Lambic-Like Base Beer

Inspired by traditional lambic brewing, here is homebrewer Kevin Foster’s recipe for his turbid-mashed base beer. Evolving variations on this recipe are key components of his award-winning annual blends.

Kevin Foster Jul 29, 2020 - 3 min read

Recipe: Turbid Lambic-Like Base Beer Primary Image


All Access Subscribers can download the Beersmith and BeerXML version of this recipe. Subscribe today.

Inspired by traditional lambic brewing, here is homebrewer Kevin Foster’s recipe for his turbid-mashed base beer, meant for aging and blending. Evolving variations on this recipe are key components of his award-winning annual blends.

For more on his yearlong process and brewing and blending those blends, see “Brewing Gueuze-Inspired Beer at Home: A Pragmatic Approach.” To learn more about the turbid mash, see “Turbid Mashing.”

ALL-GRAIN

Batch size: 5 gallons (19 liters)
Brewhouse efficiency: 72%
OG: 1.049
FG: 1.005
IBUs: 6
ABV: 5.8%

MALT/GRAIN BILL
4 lb (1.8 kg) Weyermann pilsner
2.9 lb (1.3 kg) Rahr unmalted wheat
1.6 lb (726 g) Castle pilsner
10 oz (283 g) rice hulls
8 oz (227 g) Castle pale ale

HOPS AND ADDITIONS SCHEDULE
1.4 oz (40 g) aged hops [1% AA] at 4 hours
1 capsule Servomyces at 10 minutes

YEAST
East Coast Yeast ECY01 BugFarm, or other mixed lambic culture

DIRECTIONS
Mill the grains and follow these steps, meant to simulate a traditional turbid mash. It begins very thick, with a water-to-grist ratio as low as 0.25 quarts (236 ml) per pound (454 g). Hit the temperature steps by adding boiling water; various online tools are available to help calculate water amounts.
- Mash in to 113°F (45°C). Hold for 20 minutes.
- Add enough boiling water to raise the temperature to 136°F (58°C). Hold for 10 minutes.
- Pull about 1 quart (946 ml) of thin mash (“turbid draw”). Heat to 185°F (85°C) and keep separate, holding at that temperature.
- Add enough boiling water to raise the mash temperature to 150°F (66°C). Hold for 30 minutes.
- Pull about 1 gallon (3.8 liters) of thin mash and add to first turbid draw. Heat to 185°F (85°C) and hold.
- Raise the main mash temperature to 162°F (72°C). Hold for 30 minutes.
- Return the turbid wort to the main mash, which should increase the temperature to 168°F (76°C). Add more boiling water if necessary. Hold for 10 minutes.
- Lauter and sparge using 190°F (88°C) water.

Aim for a pre-boil volume of about 8.2 gallons (31 liters) of wort—or more, depending on your evaporation rate. Boil for 4 hours, following the hops and additions schedule. After the boil, chill the wort to about 65°F (18°C). Do not aerate the wort. Pitch the yeast. Ferment and store on neutral oak, aging with great patience at about 65°F (18°C) or your ambient cellar temperature.

ARTICLES FOR YOU