Cranberry pLambic Tasting and Retrospect

Cranberry pLambic

Cranberry pLambic

Tasting Notes

Appearance: Pours a half inch of fizzy white head that whittles away pretty quickly. The beer is hazy and has a straw color with a bit of orange. I’m surprised that the cranberries didn’t contribute more of a pink-ish hue to the beer.

Aroma: A lot of funk is present in the aroma. There are hints of tartness and cranberries, but the funk is the most powerful aspect.

Mouthfeel: Light in body with very high carbonation that prickles the tongue. It’s got a pretty crisp, dry finish.

Taste: In the taste, the roles from the aroma are reversed. There is a little bit of funk up front followed by some lactic sourness and then a bright cranberry tartness that continues into the finish.

Overall: It was a long wait for this beer, just about 16 months. I am pretty pleased with how it turned out. I would have preferred for it to be a little bit more sour, but the cranberries really helped with enhancing the tartness in this beer. The funk is perfect. I plan on holding on to this beer for several years to see how it develops in the bottle.

In Retrospect…

This was my very first attempt at a beer using wild yeast and bacteria. I have read a lot more on the subject since brewing this beer, and I would do several things differently. First of all, I would skip the semi-complex mutli-step mash schedule. I didn’t (and still don’t) have the equipment to easily heat up my mash. I failed miserably trying to do several rests at different temperatures. This most likely caused a less fermentable wort because of the low mash temperatures. The bugs may have not had quite enough to chew on. Next time I would mash higher, maybe around 156-159 and do a single infusion mash.

I also should have checked the age on the sours I used for dregs. I believe some of them were a year or two old and I might not have got quite as much viable yeast and bacteria from them. It would also be interesting to try and make a starter from a few bottles and pitch that along with the sour mix.

I also moved this beer around a good bit during the seasons because I was worried it was getting too cold or too hot. I’ve read that the Belgium brewers don’t use any sort of temperature control and that the change of seasons and temperatures actually helps the beer. Next time I will just not disturb it and let it be for the entirety of it’s life.

You can check out the recipe along with my notes on the Recipe Page.