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I'm a beginner when it comes to brewing but have two batches of lambic beer coming up. My question is if they have to be aged in a glass carboy or if they can be poured straight into a bottle along with the priming sugar.

Best Regards And thanks for the answers in advance

  • Beginner brewer and Lambic is one heckuva ambitious goal! Can you elaborate on your recipes for your two batches, specifically your yeast selection, aging process/schedule and any significant details? – Scott Sep 17 '14 at 5:03
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Without much detail regarding your recipes, your answer is going to be a bit shallow and lacking in detail. Regardless, here goes nothing:

First off: Glass or plastic makes no difference in today's home brewing world as studies have shown plastic carboy's oxygen permeability is a non-issue compared to glass.

Secondly, most Lambics' yeast contains wild Brettanomyces yeast, which is notorious for requiring longer fermentation schedules due to its prolonged fermentability, especially if blended with traditional Saccharomyces yeast. It can ferment sugars that regular ale/lager strains cannot, so long as it can feed off oxygen to do so. If you plan on fermenting a Lambic, plan on at least 12 months of maturation before going to bottle. Any shorter and explosive bottles are a real possibility.

Also worth noting, since wild yeast and bacteria often times have a mind of their own, it is not uncommon for Lambic brewers to blend several batches to achieve a similar taste between their bottles. You may consider after a year or two's time, when the beer matures, to blend your two (or more) batches together to find a perfect harmonious blend, then use that ratio to bottle with.

If you're interested, here's a podcast from the folks at BeerSmith and Michael Tonsmeire regarding sour/wild fermentation.

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  • Thanks for the link to the better bottle info. I have been bouncing back and forth for years between my glass better bottles never really seeing a difference. I hadn't been to the BB website for a few years, this study is pretty convincing. Thanks for helping bringing it to light for more people. – brewchez Sep 18 '14 at 11:41

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