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Cantillon Analytics

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Joined
Jan 8, 2014
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Macho Grande, California
With all the conflicting information out there I wanted to get some real values on traditional lambic. I considered sending 2 bottles to White Labs, but first I offered up the Bruery to see if they had any interest. Luckily, Patrick did and offered to do it for free.

I wanted to do 3 bottles of the same base beer to see how it ages. We tested 2013 Classic (CG), 2014 St Lam (SL) and 2014 Grand Cru (GC).

ABV(%v/v):
CG-5.57
SL-7.01
GC-5.35

pH:
CG-3.38
SL-3.35
GC-3.42

IBU:
CG-30.15
SL-15
GC-26.35

Titratable Acidity (g/0.1L):
CG-.825
SL-1.095
GC-.96

Apparent Extract (Ea):
CG-2.59P (1.010SG)
SL-1.83P (1.007SG)
GC-2.90P (1.011SG)

Real Extract (Er):
CG-4.59P (1.018SG)
SL-4.32P (1.017SG)
GC-4.82P (1.019SG)

Original Extract:
CG-12.99P (1.053SG)
SL-14.81P (1.060SG)
GC-12.89P (1.053SG)

None of the beers are super attenuated. Oddly enough the oldest, GC a 4 year old beer has the most residual sugar. While the youngest SL, a 15 month is the driest. IBUs are all over place from 15-30. ElkSherpa says he tested a bottle of Classic at 47 IBU. These OE numbers also suggest about 15% evaporation during cooling if they stop the boil at 1.045SG.

Once the PVPP comes in we will have SRM, lactic acid and acetic acid.
 
Joined
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Now in Portland!
This is about the coolest thing.

As for the oldest having the most residual sugar, that is pretty weird. I have a hypothesis, though. These are all different products. While I believe Canty Classic and Grand Cru are pretty much the same recipe, spontaneous fermentation is somewhat chaotic and with that variability in mind, JVR presumably selects the barrels that go into each based on different criteria. Basically, there's a fair bit of variation between barrels, and then intentionally different final products are blended to make the classic, etc. That is, perhaps JVR is selecting for qualities in the Grand Cru that correlate to a slightly less-attenuated beer.

That all said, the variation is pretty small and we really can't say much about it at N=1, so it could just be that they both end up at the same degree of attenuation by the time the bottles are on the shelf, +/- some variation.
 
Joined
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Miami, Fl
Very interesting. I would say though that this doesn't give much indication of how they age because they are all blends of different barrels, and we all know that lambic varies quite a bit.

Also interesting that the Grand Cru has the same FG as my sour stout that I was thinking may have stalled out. Guess it's not that abnormal after all?
 
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Is it known how the bottles were sampled (specifically, if the contents of the bottle including the dregs were homogenized)?

Very cool stuff, thank you for doing this and for posting the results!
 

drgarage

Not a real doctor. Lives in garage.
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Lamvinus up at 7%?

Interesting. I wonder if bottles from the same batch are the same or it's a blending quirk?
Pretty unsurprising to me that a lambic of about 5% with grape must added is stronger. I've along assumed all the Cantillon beers being "5%" was for expedience, not accuracy.
 
Joined
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Messages
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Location
Macho Grande, California
Is it known how the bottles were sampled (specifically, if the contents of the bottle including the dregs were homogenized)?

Very cool stuff, thank you for doing this and for posting the results!
Dregs were not homogenized. Bottles were opened carefully and samples poured first for testing before sensory analysis. Dregs were then pipetted from the bottom for both parties.
 
Joined
Jan 8, 2014
Messages
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Macho Grande, California
aka "then we drank those fuckers" ;)




really awesome idea, not sure the cost of these types of analytics, but it would be really cool to see variability over time/batch to batch and bottle to bottle within a batch (so repeatability and reproducibility).
White Labs charges about $100 for 2 beers. I would like to see how Boon, Girardin or Drie compare.
 
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Oct 2, 2013
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279
Location
Portland OR
I'm shocked that aged hops are capable of delivering that degree of alpha acids and isomerizing them to a level most regard as bacteria-arresting.
That was what jumped out to me as well when I read the first results. I don't have a lot of experience with St. Lam, but I recall it being much more funky than the Classic. Maybe the combination of lower AA and additional sugars from the grape must provides a more favorable environment for the bacteria develop those flavors in a shorter time.

SourBrewer Interesting findings, thanks for taking the time to do this!
 
Joined
Sep 30, 2013
Messages
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Now in Portland!
Interesting. I recently received some data on NMR analysis of a slew of barrels. Same wort added to each barrel, all around the same FG. ABV varied from 5.8-7.4% ABV.

OP, shoot me a PM. I'm in socal and doing some of this science with help from our local uni.
I'm not sure I follow. If the FGs were about the same, and the wort was all from the same batch (and thus presumably the same OG in the barrel), how are the ABVs so different? Where is the extra density coming from in the 7.4% ABV barrel?

Also, was it this report, by chance:

http://www.academia.edu/5537728/When_Beer_When_Beer_Goes_Sour-_An_NMR_Investigation
 

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