View Full Version : lambic

01-24-2006, 02:21 PM
I am contemplating brewing a lambic this spring. The question I have is how do you not contaminate your hoses and gaskets with your lambic "critters." My concern is contaminating the entire brewery with these "critters" and then all the house beers tasting off. Is this a real concern or am I putting too much thought in this.

Montana Brewing Co

01-24-2006, 04:23 PM
Dane, the assistant brewer at Grand Rapids Brewing does lambics. I'll ask him and post here with his reply.


01-25-2006, 07:41 AM
Hmmm. Definitely a concern.

We use more than one yeast, and two of them are full of critters. It has been my policy to use a seperate yeast keg for each yeast, and seperate hoses for pitching.

I don't think the brewhose is a concern unless you are injecting your yeast at the HE instead of the primary. Most important would be to use new lambic yeast only. I also cap the butterfly valves to prevent any accidents from spraying critters about, and I mist the pressure relief valve pretty often just in case. When you dispose of your lambic yeast, do it into closed containers like a yeast brink or cornelius kegs so that the critters don't become airborne.

Having said all that, I have yet to get any cross contamination...at least that I or anyone drinking the beer has noticed. But I worry about it a lot. We also make wine and sake, so contamination with koji and wine yeasts are possible. We take a lot of precautions (like changing our boots when crossing from one area to another) to ensure that doesn't happen. Oh, and do a real good clean on your primary afterwards...one of my guys did a half assed clean once, and just before I ran a new beer into the uni I noticed a real brettanomyces smell in the CO2 I was venting. It took a super duper CIP to remove the smell (I used a different uni) the next day.

Good luck!