Is it time to split some entries?

While I agree with the policy of not splitting most of the beers by year there are some exceptions to this rule.

This box contains two blends of Schaarbeekse Kriek Oogst (harvest) 2018 , blends 89 and 90. For the first, we macerated on primarily young lambic and on stainless steel. For the latter, we macerated on two-year old lambic on an oak foeder.

I’ll just add that abv is 9.7% for 89 and 7.6% for 90.

3F is a total mess…

The problem is the lack of good lambic admins, lack of clear guides, and in 3F case - releasing different beers under the same name…

btw Boon is also a mess.

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ABV generally shouldn’t be a reason to separate lambics, unless the recipe of the base lambic is different, aka it’s irrelevant in this context.

@SinH4 what’s your take?

I noticed the ridiculously high ABV too when unboxing my latest 3F shipment.

3F is an extra mess because they recently started labeling at-bottling ABVs instead of final ABVs.

I think oak vs. stainless steel should be more grounds to separation than ABV variation, but since there are more 3F beers where we did not separate that, it’s predetermined to be a mess forever.

Tagging @tderoeck because he is the Belgian admin.

For example St. Lamvinus varies between 5% and 7,5%, Hommage between 4.5% and 8.8%… there are other examples as well and every 3F og has different ABV. Trying to separate lambics based on ABV will be impossible job, hence ABV by itself should be considered irrelevant.
That being said: for example if one version is based on regular lambic and other one is based on high density lambic, it would be reason enough to separate them because either the recipe or the brewing process is different…

Speaking of Hommage, there is a solid case to separate the newer batches, since they changed the process how fruits are macrated (before they were macrated together, now separately and blended later).

But of course there a lot of stuff that should be done in 3F, so…

So in theory 5% and 10% beers could be considered the same thing by RB?

apparently, if it’s a lambic, yes

Well that makes no sense at all. Lambic landscape changed over years and RB seems unable to track and document those changes.

I understand it is probably /s.
I guess I should expand on my answer. It takes some time to understand this stuff, but the first rule of lambics is: never believe (or at least quesion) the information on the label. So I wouldn’t trust the ABV on the label in the first place.
From what I understand (and correct me if I am wrong):
Like SinH4 said, 3F changed how they measure alcohol (aka nothing actually changed only the ABV on the label). Or at least that was the explanation given when Hommage went from 6% to 4.5%. Although looking at the ABV of the newer bottles, I would guess they are back measuring the alcohol in the old way, because they are back in the higher ABV territory?!
That being said, there are other factors in the play: since traditional lambic is a living thing and has less controlled brewing process than “regular” beer, the base lambic will always have abv fluctuation even when the exact same recipe is used (for example depending on the weather on brewing day or barrel that is used for aging). ABV will also vary depending on the age of lambic (again living thing and all).
Addition to that, ABV of fruit lambic will be always dependent on the fruit that is used, and how much of it is used. It should be quite obvious that sugar percentage in a fruit varies from year to year, from producer to producer, from country to country etc. It should be also obvious that 250g of fruit has less sugars than 350g of the exact same fruit. And sugars are the stuff that is turned to alcohol.
If that wasn’t enough some producers like Boon have lambics with different recipes, from what I understand Boon has at least 3: Meerts (“the low alcohol lambic”), “the regular” lambic, and strong / high density lambic. So that’s three different base lambics…
You can add to everything above the fact that 3F is also a blendery (aka it often uses base lambics from other breweries, which have different recipes and different ABV-s)…

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Just to emphasize my point, that the label may have been misleading in the first place and it may have been 8% to begin with (not 6%). Or maybe the old website was wrong, who knows :smiley:

My original TL;DR point remains: ABV difference by itself is meaningless as far as lambics go.

Ohh and these should be merged (unless anyone can provide a better argument than different ABV):

Note: I could fix it myself, but I don’t want to step to anyone’s toes.

Come to brewver! We are working on splitting things up a little more liberally. We are trying to find a balance between ratebeer and untappd.

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Unfortunately brewver’s 3F and Boon listing are as a big of mess as ratebeer’s…

Thanks for the invite I’ve been planning to move my ratings for some time now. Some things I was vouching for here were implemented over there. Lots of potential.

Anyway this thread wasn’t supposed to be just about abv. Like others difference stainless vs oak struck me as most significant.

I addressed the ABV because it was easier. The foeder VS stainless is more complicated. Some time ago (aka when we still had Belgian lambic admins) it was decided that this is not a significant enough difference and more importantly sometimes it isn’t easy to know which technique was used in which batch (it isn’t always mentioned on the label). So from db consistency perspective I would say it wouldn’t be a good move.

That being said, historically toasted oak has been separated from the regular foeder/steel and 18|19 99th blend is macrated on toasted barrel, hence should be a separate entry (and possibly alias for Lot VIII.ii?).

I know this would also create a lot of consistency problems, but another way to separate some newer 3F lambics would be based on whether they use 100% 3F lambic or not (aka green VS brown bottle). Imo it is significant difference (and basically it is the difference between OG & A&G), but the problem is that there are already a lot of mixed ratings under Oude Kriek, Hommage etc.