Gueuze/Geuze

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Gueuze/Geuze

Postby Dr Strangebrew » Sat Aug 07, 2004 10:30 am

I typically don't get my knickers in a knot about brewing a particular style, but gueuze/geuze sounds like an interesting beer. I would like to know about any first hand experience anyone has had brewing this beer. Any recipes or anything that a person who hasn't brewed this style before needs to keep in mind. I haven't brewed any kind of lambic beer, I have brewed Belgian, but not lambic. I am an all-grain brewer. From what I understand this style seems to break many rules.

From what I understand this is a non-fruit lambic that is brewed, fermentation lasts typically a year; then it is aged for at least another year, before it is bottled. When it is bottled it is blended with young gueuze, just a few months old. I am particularly interested in the blending ratio. I would also like to know if it is this blending that produces the carbonation in the bottle.

From what I understand the beer is brewed near Brussels in the Senne Valley. This beer is spontaneously fermented. Are there any commercial examples in the US that would be good for yeast harvesting? I have hesitated in the past Belgian brews to harvest under the assumption that most Belgian breweries add an additional yeast (lager?) to carbonate, thus any harvesting would be of an inappropriate yeast. This may be different if the beer is carbonated in the bottle using young gueuze.

I am also looking for recommendations regarding yeast pitching. Wyeast sells a lambic blend. Which contains a couple different beer yeasts, a sherry yeast and a couple bacteria strains. As I understand it, the beer yeast are pretty much done working in the first couple months. The bacteria break down much of the remaining sugars, leaving an acidic, dry, beer. I am interested to know what people think of the Wyeast Lambic blend. Would it be better to use the blend, or add the specific yeasts and bacteria at appropriate times?

Thank you for any help and information.
Nate
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Well...

Postby Mesa Maltworks » Thu Sep 02, 2004 4:56 pm

I've visited your question a number of times and backed out of it because of a lack of time to reply thoroughly. But I can start wacking away at your inquiry...

Of the Belgian styles, Gueuze is among my favorites. I have made one before, but wouldn't do it again as it took 3 years! And, although good, my results did not approach my favorites that, given the time required, are much more convenient to buy!


"Any recipes or anything that a person who hasn't brewed this style before needs to keep in mind."

The recipy formulation is very mutiphasic. You have to determine whether you want to brew the same Lambic for all 2-3 blendings or whether you want them to vary. I took the complex route :? : I brewed an 20% malted barley/80% unmalted wheat for the first, a 40% malted barley/60% malted wheat for the second and another 20%/80% for the last. The first two fermentations were in oak, the last was in stainless. The cultures I used in the first fermentation was a Brettanomyces bruxellensis (WY3112) & Trappist blend (Rochefort & Westmalle, proprietary), the second a blend of Lactobacillus delbrueckii (WY4335), Brettanomyces lambicus (WY3526), Pediococcus cerevisiae (WY4733) & Belgian Abbey Yeast II (WY1762). The last was fermented with the Belgian Lambic Blend (WY3278) you mentioned.

Then there was the blending.... be prepared to use up alot of beer before finding the right ratio. I was working with 1 bbl. of each. Due to palate fatigue, it took me 5 days to decide what I was going for. The ratio I settled on was 20/35/45. The first batch was POWERFULLY dry and acidic... it was completely undrinkable on it's own. The second resembled a Frank Boon straight Lambic. The last was a Lambic that was reminiscent of Bellvue.

After bottle conditioning for a couple of months using lager yeast (I don't remember which strain, but it really doesn't matter), it was still not soft enough to be much of a Gueuze... at this point, I considered turning it into a Faro, but I was glad I didn't because at 9 months, it was real good.


***NOTE: Lager yeast is very commonly used to condition Belgian beer... so, don't always assume what is on the bottom of a bottle is the strain it was fermented with!!!" This treatment is more often used than not! ****

"From what I understand this style seems to break many rules"

Rules... WHAT RULES? We are talking about Belgian beer here! :lol:

That is about all I can tell you regarding my experience producing this style of beer. If you have any more questions, post back!

Eric
Last edited by Mesa Maltworks on Thu Sep 02, 2004 9:27 pm, edited 3 times in total.
Make your next beer (or spirit) a local one!!!!

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Gueuze

Postby Dr Strangebrew » Thu Sep 02, 2004 9:00 pm

Eric, thank you for the info. I will post back as this endeavor develops.

Nate
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