Types of beers. Spontaneous fermentation beers

The spontaneous fermentation beers, also called "Belgian Champagne", are specific to the region of “Payottenland” (near Bruxelles) and owe their peculiar characteristics to the yeasts naturally found in the air (in that air). Let’s find them out together.

It’s a world apart, existing and living only in Belgium: the beers produced are specific to the region of “Payottenland”, near Bruxelles.

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Oak barrels used for Lambic beer – © Bernt Rostad{/link}

The yeasts living in the air (that air) come naturally in contact with the mash, multiply themselves and transform carbohydrates in alcohol. In particular, some natural yeasts belonging to this wide family have been identified: “Batteriomyces bruxellensis” and “B. lambicus”. The beer produced with this method is called “Lambic”:  this name, which is a trademark, can be used only for beers produced following this traditional method and fermented with the aforementioned yeasts. The Lambic, produced form a blend of barley and non-malted wheat (not lower than 30%), is manufactured from October to April, because the yeasts, at the higher summer temperatures, might produce abnormal fermentations. The beer produced in winter mature after the first summer and can be already drunk as a “young product” but, as its maturation goes on over time, it can be left to mature for a second or third summer, obtaining a mature product. The Geuze is a blend of different Lambic, further fermented in bottle with no additional processes, which is also called “Belgian Champagne” for its type of foam and dry taste, and because it is bottled in Champagne bottles. Also the fruited beers Kriek (cherry flavoured) and Framboise (raspberry flavoured) are spontaneous fermentation beers.