Watergeus is a blend beer composed of at least five careful selected barrels of spontaneous fermented beers which matured for at least two years in our beer cellars. Inspired by the Brussels tradition, this beer is wood-fired in copper kettles and matured in oak barrels. The result is a unique, refreshing, slightly sour and complex beer with tastes of apple, citrus, oak, cellar, soil and …
Brewing the lambic takes the least time, only one day, while it can take up to five years for the aging! Per liter, we use 120 grams of barley malt, 60 grams of ground wheat and about five grams of old hop.
After grinding the grains, a mash is made with lukewarm water, which makes a kind of muesli paste. The moisture of this mixture called ‘milk’ is removed after 15 minutes and supplemented with hot water. After 15 minutes, the ‘milk’ is removed again and this process is repeated up to five times. The ‘milk’ is collected in one of the two coppers and kept near boiling. Once the amount is large enough, the ‘milk’ will be filtered over the cerebral remains and sparged out all rest sugars with warm water. The solution is now called ‘the wort’.
The wort is then cooked in the two coppers for four hours with a lot of old hops. The old hop is not added for the taste, as it smells a bit like cheese, but added for preservation.
After the long boil, the wort flows to the cooling tun where we let the wind blows over the wort for 12-24 hours to cool down and fertilize it with all kinds of wild yeasts and micro organisms. During this process, domestic yeast that is nestled the cooling room (terroir) will also fertilize the wort. In fact, this part of the process is the most important and give the Watergeus its unique taste.
After a night of fertilizing, we transport the wort into to the wooden barrels. We fill the oak barrels fully and initially leave leave the barrels open.
After three to seven days the fermentation begins and foam heads appear on the barrels. After a few weeks, the foaming becomes less and the barrel will be closed.
The fermentation usually takes between 12 and 24 months and occurs in a number of phases. First a more or less “normal” fermentation, then lactic acid fermentation and finally the Brettanomyces fermentation which slowly passes into the aging process. Since each barrel had a different kind of fermentation, it will have a slightly different taste. This gives us the opportunity to create our unique flavor in the bottle by means of combinations. We blend different barrels and different age groups. Because of the combination of various ages, there will be a small bottle-fermentation, which causes the beer to saturize. This causes that every bottling will be slightly different.