I'm contributing ten gallons of beer to the Zymurgeeks homebrew club barrel project this week. This is a lambic style beer that will be in the barrel for a couple of years. Two years seems like a long time, I hope I'm not dead when the beer becomes mature. If I am, please see to it that some is poured into the urn where my ashes are kept.
My batch is actually just some additional beer that needs to be added to top-off the barrel because of evaporation and I suspect some plain and simple thievery, but I'm happy to pitch in so to speak. I like a good gueuze every once in awhile but I would never brew ten gallons for my own personal consumption. This batch allows me to experience the enjoyment of brewing a new style and be able to draw off some every so often in small amounts.
I'll be pitching Wyeast's lambic blend 3278 for this beer and I've made a starter using (don't tell anyone) cane sugar. The starter already has the smell of a lambic, sour and funky. I expect the primary fermentation will be complete in 7-10 days at which point I will deliver and transfer it into the barrel which is located up in that God forsaken land of Boulder Creek.
The following is the recipe and if I think of it I'll post some pics of the transfer process in a couple of weeks.
10 gallon batch with an 82% efficiency
(I ended up only achieving an 82% efficiency and had calculated for 90% so I will try to boil off some to reach my target original gravity.)
10lbs. Pils malt
.5 lbs. flaked wheat - white
4 lbs. flaked wheat - red
1.5lbs. wheat malt
mash in 5 gals. h2o for 60min. at 154f.
Boil 90 mins. with 4oz. of old German whole hops
Chill to 65f. and pitch Wyeast 3278 lambic blend starter
Ferment (in a plastic fermentor bag to protect my fermentor from contamination) until complete and transfer to barrel for aging.
F.G. 1.010 from primary
ABV 4.7% from primary
The whole hops I'm using are about 5 years old and have a distinctive 'cheesy' smell. They will go into a large mesh bag and stay in for the entire boil.