Wild Yeast Unleashes Lambic Beer’s Unique Qualities

The type of yeast used for fermentation determines the beer classification. Ale is fermented with top-fermenting yeast while lager uses bottom fermentation yeast. Most ale yeasts and lager yeasts can be cultured, but they are hybrid products that may have contradictory characteristics. Sometimes, it seems almost arbitrarily to classify a beer as an ale or lager.

Lambic beer aren’t typical and can be interpreted in many ways. Original lambic beeris made from wild yeasts that have been grown in the Payottenland, southwest of Brussels. The recipes and methods used are back to the middle ages.

Brewing Lambic Beer

The wort is chilled and then exposed to air during the production of lambic beer. This allows it to spontaneously ferment, which is catalyzed in part by the yeast found in the environment. This is only possible between October and May. The summer months are too dangerous for open-air brewing because of the presence of unwanted bacteria and other organisms.

Lambic beer is wild, unlike the controlled, cultured brewing of ales and Lagers. The lambic process allows Mother Nature to enter the equation, allowing for a degree of wildness. Results can vary from batch to batch and are therefore quite unpredictable. A bottle of beer from one brewer might be a favorite, but it could taste very different the next time you try it.

What makes Lambic Beer so special?

Wild yeast isn’t the only ingredient that makes lambic beer different from ales and other lagers. The storage methods and aging processes of lambic beer are also different.

Lambic beer has a high amount of wheat and barley, which is common in almost all beer types. Lambics, unlike other beers, spend time in oak barrels that have been aged and seasoned by wine they were previously transported. Ales ferment for only a few weeks; Lagers for about a month, lambics for up to two or three years. Lambic beer can be stored for up to 20 year when it comes to aging.

Pairing Lambic Beer

Lambic beer is unique. It’s tart and acidic like an apple cider. Very fruity.

It used to be difficult to find authentic lambic beer. But the internet has made it easy for producers and consumers to connect. The US beer taste has changed and more people are looking for lambic-style beers. Home brewers can buy lambic yeast online and start to experiment.

The best place to enjoy lambic beer in Brussels is where you can have a glass of authentic gueuze or kriek.

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