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I just really like the work levifunk is doing!

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Author Replies
tankdeer
06/03/08 11:14 AM  
Re: Saison blend
It's only hops. And supposedly only isomerized hops at that. The isohumulones break down to from free radicals. Which react with the UV light (and some visible light wavelengths) to form mercaptan; which is the same chemical in a skunk's stank-glands.

So, if you make your starter without hops, don't worry about it

BPotts
06/03/08 11:28 AM  
Re: Saison blend
Interesting, thanks Tank.
Spidey
06/03/08 12:43 PM  
Re: Saison blend
I got my Saison blend yesterday in the mail. Thanks Al!
BPotts
06/04/08 10:24 AM  
Re: Saison blend
Gonna squeeze in a brew for the blend in between rain showers today.... Gonna do a saison - primarily all pils malt with a little bit of flaked wheat and oats, and a lb. or 2 of wildflower honey. All NZ organic saaz hops, and lots of 'em (more like a citrusy american variety than traditional saaz).
ericburnley
06/04/08 11:00 AM  
Re: Saison blend
Received the Saison blend yesterday, thanks so much Al!

Will definitely report back with results.

BPotts
06/05/08 08:41 AM  
Re: Saison blend
Ok, the saison is in the books...add to the above ingredients a 1/2 lb. of acidulated malt, and a pinch of pink peppercorns at knockout, and the final OG came to 1.060. The timing of the brew is perfect as a heat wave is beginning to hit philly - fermentation will begin in the low 70's, should get up into the low 80's today, and tomorrow on out should be up into the upper 80's low 90's. I'll be brewing another saison on Saturday to take advantage of the temps!

I tasted a bit of the blend starter, and, whoa...good work Al! It's was low in phenols, slightly tart, fruity, with a funky yeasty aroma - can't wait to try the finished brew....

BPotts
06/05/08 08:43 AM  
Re: Saison blend
Anybody else do anything with the blend yet?
tankdeer
06/05/08 11:13 AM  
Re: Saison blend
Not yet. Thinking maybe the weekend of the 14th.
MarkO
06/05/08 05:27 PM  
Re: Saison blend
What was originally in La Dalmatienne besides yeast?
BPotts
06/05/08 05:27 PM  
Re: Saison blend
Al - what are the chances this blend will stay in balance in following generations?
tankdeer
06/05/08 05:30 PM  
Re: Saison blend
<<Al - what are the chances this blend will stay in balance in following generations?>>

Good question. I have a few beers planned as I want to get the most of out Al's hard work so I will be experiencing this first hand. I'd love to know somewhat what to expect.

BPotts
06/05/08 07:25 PM  
Re: Saison blend
Yeah, I plan to make one or two more with it too, either way. I'm just curious whether Al expects any of them to become more dominant or stay in equilibrium. I guess most importantly it depends on the conditions the beers are fermented, as I'm sure the different yeasts perform differently under certain conditions, and all have their own individual characteristics.
Al B
06/06/08 08:14 AM  
Re: Saison blend
<<What was originally in La Dalmatienne besides yeast?>>

I believe there may have been some Lacto, can't remember, I have another bottle, so I'll check when I open it. Variability is part of Fantome. I intend to start isolating some lactobacilli from various sources for further use......

<<what are the chances this blend will stay in balance in following generations?>>

Excellent question, I was waiting for someone to ask.....each strain certainly will behave differently under various conditions, but also after several generations. Also, time is a factor depending on when the blend is harvested for another batch, starters, etc.

I feel all strains grow fairly robustly and somewhat the same rate, so 1-2 subsequent brew sessions should be consistent. Please report your experiences - that would be great. I am brewing today with the blend for the first time as well (although I have used each strain indivually so far). I'll post some brewing specs in a bit.....time to mash!

Al Bayou cooker

Baums
06/06/08 10:14 AM  
Re: Saison blend
Seems like different people's repitching methods will probably affect the way the balance changes over time as well, so that the same strain(s) may not dominate for everyone.
MarkO
06/06/08 11:26 AM  
Re: Saison blend
++ <<What was originally in La Dalmatienne besides yeast?>>

I believe there may have been some Lacto, can't remember, I have another bottle, so I'll check when I open it. Variability is part of Fantome. I intend to start isolating some lactobacilli from various sources for further use...... ++

Thank you for the info. I have a couple of bottles, and was thinking of culturing the yeast (and associates). Is the isolation of yeast from such a mixture a highly technical process (i.e., one that a non-microbiologist could perform at home)?

MarkO
06/06/08 11:29 AM  
Re: Saison blend
Actually, my second question is probably grist for a separate thread.
Cisco
06/06/08 11:29 AM  
Re: Saison blend
I'll be brewing a saison tomorow. The blend arrived on Monday and I've had a starter going since Wednesday. It's going to be 100F here in Tucson tomorrow. I normally brew from October to the end of April because of the cooler outdoor temperatures and by April I have way more than enough beer to last till the next brewing season. Al has forced me into the heat with his generous saison blend offer!!
Al B
06/06/08 12:07 PM  
Re: Saison blend
Cisco -

What will be your pitch temp. and ferm. Temp.?

Al B
06/06/08 12:16 PM  
Re: Saison blend
Mark,

<<Is the isolation of yeast from such a mixture a highly technical process (i.e., one that a non-microbiologist could perform at home)?>>

That can be tricky if lacto is in the dregs, if so, it can grow quickly. With luck one could use a ton of hops in a starter, perhaps lysozyme, and perhaps some sulphur dioxide (haven't done this obviously). This would inhibit or kill the lacto in theory but in practice sounds tricky.

- will any lacto survive then come back to infect? Take some experience, trial + error I suppose.

Cisco
06/06/08 01:00 PM  
Re: Saison blend
I'll pitch in the mid 60s and apply two fermwraps to the bottom of the 12 gallon ss conical with a digital temp controller using a thermowell probe and slowly ramp it up to 85F and keep it there until it's done.
MarkO
06/06/08 01:29 PM  
Re: Saison blend
Al,

"That can be tricky if lacto is in the dregs, if so, it can grow quickly. With luck one could use a ton of hops in a starter, perhaps lysozyme, and perhaps some sulphur dioxide (haven't done this obviously). This would inhibit or kill the lacto in theory but in practice sounds tricky."

Excellent, that is exactly what I tried this week, with a/some locally captured strain(s) of wild yeast, which include a ton of lactobacillus:

I brewed a low-gravity ale at 1.035 SG with a large amount of hops (80 -90 IBUs) hoping to kill off some of the gram positive bacteria. I also pitched a very small amount of the captured sample, so as not to supply many lactobacillus up front.

Al B
06/07/08 09:42 AM  
Re: Saison blend
Brewed a spelt beer similar to the one from last years saison swap yesterday - 22% spelt (unmalted + flaked) + some miscellaneous grains to use up (acid malt, vienna, munich, 6- row, gold oats), step-mash went smoothly.

Pitched the blend @ 72 (had to rush off and take the cat to the vet - and witness in horror a slasher in action, note to file - use kevlar gloves when taking cat's temperature!)

Fermentation is furious, now at 78-80F. Cat resting comfortably now.

BPotts
06/07/08 12:01 PM  
Re: Saison blend
Al, the fermentation on my blend beer was basically complete in 3 days. Brewed on Wednesday, rigurous fermentation on thursday, and by yesterday fermentation was already significantly reduced and I was able to switch from blow tube to airlock (with bubbles only relatively slowly coming out). That was some damn healthy yeast!

I brewed up my farmhouse saison yesterday, basically same recipe as the blend beer but without the pinch of pink peppercorns and EKG's/styrians/blegian saaz instead of all NZ saaz. Pitched around 65 and expecting it to rise into the upper 80's today.

Cisco
06/07/08 07:38 PM  
Re: Saison blend
Jut finished my brew session an hour ago. Only got the pitch temp to 75F even with a pre-chiller ice bath. The ice melted real quick with the temp today just over 100F and of course the faucet temp is warm too. Yet another reason why I don't usually brew here in Tucson from May thru September.
Al B
06/07/08 09:10 PM  
Re: Saison blend
I confess to eyeballin' an external chilling conical fermenter today in a catalog. Suppose to chill down brew 35F below ambient - no refrigerator needed......not that I brew lagers, but days like today wouldn't be bad.
mtc
06/08/08 11:02 AM  
Re: Saison blend
Brewed my Saison yesterday. SG=1.068, very simple grist of German pilsner, munich, and wheat, plus one pound cane sugar. Hopped to 38 IBUS with Perle and Saaz. Al's blend is kicking away this morning.

This might be the perfect week for ambient fermentation out here in the West for the style. Temps are in the mid 70's and expected to rise throughout the week to the high 80's by next weekend.

Al--all of my saison experience is based on WY's Saison, which takes forever to reach terminal gravity even with heat. Should I expect similar extended fermentation times with your blend?

Al B
06/08/08 11:41 AM  
Re: Saison blend
mtc -

I doubt it ... provided your pitch/volume is in the ballpark. The WY strains work very well, as does the Fantome strain and for that matter the ellezellsois strain. My brew is one full day ahead of yours so I'll try to post on the progress and gravity.

tankdeer
06/12/08 01:05 AM  
Re: Saison blend
Got the blend in 1000ml of wort on the stir plate and it took off like crazy. Smells great too. I'll be brewing friday.

17lbs pils

2lbs munich

1lb wheat

should yield 11 gallons at ~1.046

~35ibus of EKG.

Looking forward to this one. It shall be the first of many.

tripel beam
06/12/08 02:24 AM  
Re: Saison blend
I'm wondering what Al's Saison Elixer is doing for everyone. I pitched a 500ml starter ?(that was innoc. the day prior) to about 4-4.5 gallons. I didn't use O2 (just shook it up a bit). I'm 2 days in and after it went fast for the first 24hrs it is not really moving much now.

Are you guys thinking ferm temps in the high 80's low 90's. I might try to lay some more heat on it. It has been 90 the last 2 days here in the s. bay.

How are the rest of your ferments going? Did anyone add nutrient/enzyme? Am I the only one here who hasn't got an Oxygen tank?

I'm not worried about the batch slowing down, just curious what others have seen with their ferments. I plan to let this live in primary for a while (3-4 weeks).

BPotts
06/12/08 06:35 AM  
Re: Saison blend
I pitched about a 1/2 gal slurry into 6 gallons or so at around 70 to start, the temp in the room easily rose into the low 90's within several days, and primary was finished in three or four days. I took a reading yesterday and it wasn't as low as I hoped, only around 1.008. It was VERT clean, almost too clean- not much phenolics OR esters, though a little spice. I'm gonna give it a healthy dose of dry hops when I transfer to secondary this weekend. And, although primay is done it is still bubbling away very slowly, still in the 80's.

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