Woxbic: Lambic-style Beer; Second Barrel, Second Year

Unleash the Krausen!

ECY20 Bug Country going at it about 12 hours after pitching

About a year ago, I brewed my first lambic-style beer.  I didn’t spend the time to do a turbid mash, but I did use the Wyeast guide for temperature infusions to provide a similar mash profile.  During the past year, I’ve pulled a few samples, roughly once a quarter to ensure that the beer didn’t turn too acetic.  Frankly, I’m impressed at how well it’s held up.  This is almost entirely due to applying a layer of paraffin wax to the entire barrel.  At this point, the year old beer is exceedingly sour, about 3.0 pH.  It tastes full of lemon zest, sour grapefruit, medium oak, with just a hint of vanilla whiskey, due to the use of a whiskey barrel.  Clearly not as neutral as the Lambic I’ve tasted from Cantillon, Boon, and Drie Frontain.  Nonetheless, it’s entirely acceptable for a year old sour to be tasting this well.

For this year’s attempt, I’ve prepared a Rum Whiskey barrel.  It’s had only two beers run through it, but it’s aged beer for nearly a year.  It’s likely that there will be more barrel flavor contributed than the previous barrel, but that’ll be fun when blending.

It's foamtastic!

Hot water rinsing. Filled and drained completely three times with 150F water. Soaked both heads as well.

Thar she BLOWS!

Steam-sanitizing the barrel. I used the guide on Embrace the Funk to construct a barrel steamer from a pressure cooker and a few extras. This hits 212F and stays going for 15 minutes.

Looks really pretty after soaking in wax

After cleaning, I used a heat gun to melt a block of paraffin wax. This took about 20 minutes. Much faster than double-boiler and basting it on.


The recipe for this year will remain the same.  The only major difference is the use of aged hops versus a small amount of very low AA hops.  Last year I used Crystal @ 3 AA.  This year I used two year old whole-leaf hops.  Originally they were about 10% AA, but being old and exposed they provide a much lighter hopping and hopefully a bit more musty, cheesy funk one expects from great Lambic beer.

Wyld Woxford Styleeeeee!!!!

Fermentation Blow OUT, total Woxford-style


I can’t wait to see how this one turns out over the next year.

Recipe Details

Batch Size Boil Time IBU SRM Est. OG Est. FG ABV
13 gal 90 min 8.7 IBUs 3.6 SRM 1.051 1.012 5.0 %
Actuals 1.057 1 7.5 %

Style Details

Name Cat. OG Range FG Range IBU SRM Carb ABV
Straight (Unblended) Lambic 17 D 1.04 - 1.054 1.001 - 1.01 0 - 10 3 - 7 1.8 - 2.6 5 - 6.5 %


Name Amount %
Pilsen (BestMälz) 17.333 lbs 61.54
Wheat, Torrified 9.75 lbs 34.62
Acidulated (Weyermann) 1.083 lbs 3.85


Name Amount Time Use Form Alpha %
Northern Brewer 1.62 oz 60 min Boil Leaf 3.2


Name Amount Time Use Type
Phosphoric Acid 56.60 ml 60 min Mash Water Agent
Epsom Salt (MgSO4) 3.40 g 60 min Mash Water Agent
Calcium Chloride 1.70 g 60 min Mash Water Agent
Gypsum (Calcium Sulfate) 1.70 g 60 min Mash Water Agent
Wheat Flour 3.25 oz 5 min Boil Other


Name Lab Attenuation Temperature
Bug Country (20) East Coast Yeast 70% 63°F - 75°F


Step Temperature Time
Acid Rest 93°F 15 min
Protein Rest 113°F 15 min
Saccharification 1 131°F 15 min
Saccharification 2 149°F 15 min
Mash Out 168°F 10 min


After mash-out, drain all liquid into boil kettle, raise temp to 190, pump back to mash for second rinse through grain bed.

Pitching ECY20 Bugcountry in 11G barrel.

Brewed 2015-01-30
- Mash pH was at 5.1, a little low
- A little short on the sparge water; had extra but didn't get it into the mash tun. Ended up with 16G pre-boil, about .5 gallon short. Upside, pre-boil gravity was up, 1.048.
- 90 minute boil completed fine, ended up at 13.5G of 1.057 wort.
- Chilled with ground water (about 60F), directly into barrel at 70F
- Extra 5L of wort into EL flask, parked next to barrel for some "spontaneous" action
- Aerated barrel for 60 seconds with O2
- Pitched half ECY20 from Sept, and Half ECY20 from Dec
- 24 hours till active foaming fermentation. Ambient temp in garage about 60 to 70F. Much warmer than last year, no need for heat belt to keep temps above 50.
- 5 days until 5L flask "caught" enough blow-off yeast and outside air; then full active fermentation. Smells very belgium-like.

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