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Author Replies
Cisco
06/12/08 11:07 AM  
Re: Saison blend
One minute of pure O2 in fermenter and keeping the temp around 85F. Mine fermented furiously the first two days and has now slowed down to a bubble every 4 seconds. I also made a 2 liter starter for my 11 gallon batch.
Al B
06/12/08 11:13 AM  
Re: Saison blend
Triple beam -

What was your pitch and/or ferm. temp? Mine slowed after 3 days at 78-80F. A 500ml starter into 4-5 gal, with a fast ferm. in 24 hrs. sounds like the yeast was happy(what was the OG?)If it was super high without enough O2 that might account for a stuck ferm. - BUT check the gravity so you'll know.

I think 1008 is pretty good so far, I tend to think it will dry out a bit more in a couple of weeks. I never went that far into the 90s for temps. Interesting.

BPotts
06/12/08 11:23 PM  
Re: Saison blend
I think it was more around 1010 but I was leaning towards the lower end ;) And yeah, after I wrote that I was thinking "what the hell am I talking about that's perfectly fine..." as you say I figure it will dry a little more anyway. About the temp - I'm amazed at how clean it was, maybe a little high of a pitch rate I think. Pretty spicy though. The starter was a little more fruity...I do think some dry hops will compliment it nicely.
tripel beam
06/13/08 01:42 AM  
Re: Saison blend
Potts mine is still looking pretty turbid after 3 days now.

Al my O.G. was 1.041 and my pitch temp was somewhere in the high 70's-low 80's. I'm still doing ice baths for cooling and I usually go into my fermenter at 90-100 and I figure I'm dropping 15 degrees or so. Am I stupid not to moniter this more closely? If it was 90 in the fermenter could that have been the reason I fermented so fast (and maybe killed off some yeast as well).

I'll check my gravity in a week or so if it's still not bubbling.

Al B
06/13/08 07:04 AM  
Re: Saison blend
tb -

Yeah at 1041 + 80-90F, its entirely possible that primary fermentation was mostly done in 24hrs (but again a FG will be needed). I don't think any yeast will be killed in 90F, although pitched directly into 90F from room temperature may cause the yeast to spit out some unwanted compounds (although I don't know that with these strains). Until a the FG is read, its purely conjecture.

I'll be checkin' up on me spelt brew this weekend.......

maybe rack + dry hop half of it.

tankdeer
06/13/08 09:08 PM  
Re: Saison blend
Just got mine into the fermenters. About 10.5 gallons at 1.050. It's about 75 degrees right now. Just getting ready to pitch. My plan is to let it raise naturally and then ramp it up to ~90 towards the end. Really looking forward to this. Thanks again Al.
CDH
06/14/08 02:30 PM  
Re: Saison blend
I just pitched a pint starter of the blend last night, and it was fermenting furiously 2 hours later, and is going like mad today. I've parked the bucket in a room with about an 80-85F ambient, and the smells coming out of the airlock are heavenly!

Al, you put together one vigorous blend there! Thanks so much!

BPotts
06/15/08 02:40 PM  
Re: Saison blend
The first blend "biere de miel" saison is in the secondary as of last night, sitting on 2 more oz of NZ saaz. I'll be brewing my second blend beer today, inspired by chouffe houblon. It'll be roughly 60/40 pils/wheat, OG around 1.050, with whole flower summit for bittering, some belgian saaz in the middle, and then finishing with whole flower amarillos for flavor and aroma.
mtc
06/15/08 08:39 PM  
Re: Saison blend
A quick update: took a reading today and mine has already fallen to 1.010, a product of the warm temps we've had as of late I'm sure.

The beer itself is still very much in the fermenting stage, cloudy, yeasty, and pushing out C02 at a steady rate. So far, I'm very pleased with the complex aroma profile and authentic flavors produced by Al's blend. I'm already thinking about what I'll do with the second generation.

BPotts
06/18/08 08:43 PM  
Re: Saison blend
Tripel - it's probable your beer just finished up super quick. Checked on my second brew yesterday (brewed two days before) and primary was all finished up....very hardy yeast!
tankdeer
06/19/08 11:10 AM  
Re: Saison blend
+1. Mine finished up in a couple days too.
MarkO
06/19/08 03:48 PM  
Re: Saison blend
So here is yet another argument against the laboratory purification of the saccharomyces monocultures available from Wyeast and White Labs -- the fermentations work better, and their results taste better.

Emil Hansen is rolling in his grave right now, as Pasteur grinds his teeth.

AlB: did you malt some spelt, or use unmalted with barley?

Baums
06/19/08 05:02 PM  
Re: Saison blend
Or perhaps its an example of the benefits of growing up a nice culture of pitching yeast from scratch...
BPotts
06/19/08 09:29 PM  
Re: Saison blend
For what it's worth the solo WY Farmhouse that Al grew up for me definitly didn't attenuate as well, or as quick, with virtually the same recipe (everything but hops) and same fermentation temps..... but I think that's more a characteristic of that particular yeast than anything else.
Al B
06/20/08 07:51 AM  
Re: Saison blend
<<AlB: did you malt some spelt, or use unmalted with barley? >>

I used unmalted spelt and flaked spelt, about 20% of the grist using a step adjunct mash. I racked the other day into 2 secondarys (1008 - a bit more complex sugars perhaps than others, ferm temps a little lower). Spicy.

Dry-hopped one, the other added some RR brett and lambicus, some apricot.

I feel its a little of both (Mark & Baums). Certainly fresh yeast is more productive and best flavors.

Blends have obvious advantages and I tend to believe some breweries use more than one strain (or mutated strains?)than what WY/WL receive. Maybe I'm off on that, but I've read where Cooper's dried yeast is one strain, and the Sparkling ale is really 3 strains.

I see WY is releasing the 3 saison VSS strains this Summer....It would interesting to compare the WY biere de Garde (Fantome) with the yeast recovered from La Dalmatienne.

BPotts
06/20/08 12:06 PM  
Re: Saison blend
They're finally releasing em', huh? A little late in the game! Why would they call the fantome yeast bier de garde? Weird...
tankdeer
06/20/08 12:22 PM  
Re: Saison blend
I saw in the latest BYO an add for their Saison VSS releases. I'll probably order up a couple packs. Just to add to the already retarded amount of saisons I'm going to be brewing this summer! ;-)

I've heard that about the Fantome yeast. Odd indeed.

MarkO
06/20/08 12:32 PM  
Re: Saison blend
Hmmm, I suppose it is a bit premature to throw out ~150 years of research and testing at this point. Rest in peace, Hansen and Pasteur.

The spelt beer sounds promising -- I asked about malting because I am going to give it a shot with some winter spelt that is just about ready for reaping, and have never tried or tasted it before.

Oh, and I hope the Blaugies strain is included in the VSS again, it has some very nice attenuation and flavor.

Al B
06/20/08 01:50 PM  
Re: Saison blend
Yep, the Blaugies strain is 3726 Farmhouse. I used it last year on my first spelt brew with very good results. Ross seemed to like it on our saison swap, I recall (thanks).

Spelt gives alittle more of a nutty wheat. Saison d'eupeutre is about 30% spelt I think.

You mean you're actually growing spelt? ....and I thought using unmalted spelt got me into hands-on, farmhouse-working brewing mode.

Baums
06/20/08 03:21 PM  
Re: Saison blend
Well just for the record, I do agree that mixed cultured have obvious potential for increased flavor complexity and other possible benefits.

I'm not sure I believe this, but one could argue that whatever can be done by a bunch of brewing saccharomyces, could probably be done by "the right" single strain of sacc that has, and expresses in the right way, all the correct genes that are active in the mixed culture. At least in terms of esters and phenols this seems possible, but then again there's a lot of complexity at work there.

If you throw some brett in the mix though, then no doubt you are getting enzymes and DNA that simply don't exist in any saccharomyces. Is anyone planning to introduce any brett to some of their Al B Saison Blend?

Starting with a widely mixed culture does allow development of a blend that ferments and survives very well in your particular environment, based on the selective forces at work when you repitch. Which is cool.

MarkO
06/20/08 05:04 PM  
Re: Saison blend
It is cool. It would be interesting to study what degree of influence distinct strains of yeasts have over their same-species "competition" in a fermentation environment, and the impact on flavor profile.

Al, I am indeed growing some spelt, but wouldn't say it is much of an accomplishment: I threw some Bob's Red Mill spelt in some tilled ground a couple of years back to see if it would sprout, and it did. Given that it is not particularly expensive, the labor involved in harvesting even a couple of pounds worth of the grains seems a little wasteful to me, but I do think I might give it a shot -- if it sucks, I'll just buy a couple more bags of Bob's and malt that.

3726 Farmhouse, that's the one!

BPotts
06/20/08 05:08 PM  
Re: Saison blend
I like that one too. Baums, I may be adding a little bit of that sick starter to my second or maybe third batch, but not an individual brett. And probably not to primary but secondary...
Cisco
06/21/08 01:06 PM  
Re: Saison blend
My saison after two weeks of fermenting at 85F is down to a 12 with a starting gravity of 62. It is still bubbling every 40 seconds so I'll let it continue to ferment for another week or two.
Spidey
06/27/08 09:55 AM  
Re: Saison blend
So I made my saison last night. It's nothing fancy:

6 lbs. Alexander's wheat LME

1 lb. white sugar

0.5 lb. extra light DME (for yeast starter)

4 oz. Crystal 60L

1 oz. Perle 60'

1 oz. Saaz 8'

I have to hand it to Al for putting together some tough bugs. When the tube arrived in my mailbox it was about 90F+ outside and the mail was baking in my black mailbox for a couple hours. I put the tube in my refrigerator until I made a starter with it this past Tuesday night. The yeast had no problem coming back, and I added another 4oz. DME Wednesday night. I pitched the yeast at about 12:30am last night, and by 6am this morning the airlock was bobbing up and down like crazy. The aromas coming out of it smell great and I'm really looking forward to this! This will be my first saison that I've homebrewed, but I don't think it will be my last. I'm already trying to figure out what I'll do with the yeast cake from this one.

Cisco
06/27/08 10:20 AM  
Re: Saison blend
Saison yeast strains have no problem with temps in the 90s, in fact they prefer to ferment at very warm temperatures. In fact some strains just won't finish in a normal time frame unless they have a very warm environment.
tankdeer
06/27/08 11:44 AM  
Re: Saison blend
I kegged up 5 gallons of my 10-gallon batch the other day. FG was at 1.008. A little higher than I would have liked, but this was my first attempt at an all malt saison too, so not too bad. The hydro sample tasted great and I'm looking forward to trying this one .

The other 5 gallons got dry hopped with .5 oz of willamette pellets I had on hand. Wanted to use EKG but ran out. This will be kegged in the next week or so.

As for the yeast, It's in a sterile mason jar and I think it's next destination is a hoppy american Saison. Thinking a Simcoe/Amarillo blend.

Thanks again Al :-)

CDH
07/01/08 04:27 PM  
Re: Saison blend
My batch of Saison d'AlB is getting close to ready now... tasted it a week in and it still had too much residual sweetness to it. Now 2.5 weeks in another taste indicates it has dried out very nicely.

So, I see tankdeer has kegged a batch of his... would I be missing out by following his lead and forgetting bottling? I've been under the impression that Saisons really improve when bottle conditioned... but I'm lazy and don't want to bottle if I don't have to bottle. What say you all?

tankdeer
07/01/08 05:21 PM  
Re: Saison blend
I'm certainly interested to hear people's thoughts on this too. I don't bottle often, but can if needed. I also am planning on brewing several batches with this blend so maybe I should plan on bottling 1 or 2 of them for comparison's sake.
BPotts
07/01/08 08:10 PM  
Re: Saison blend
IMO it's much better to bottle condition beers like these... ever had a dupont on draught? It's just not the same....
mtc
07/01/08 10:04 PM  
Re: Saison blend
I bottled and kegged my batch last weekend, half and half. Can't vouch for the bottling of this one yet, but all of my other saisons have grown with age in the bottle. The kegged version is for a get together with friends in a week or so and is cold-conditioning. I typically would not keg a beer of this style. My guess is that the cold will make it a clearer beer than the bottled version, but less effervescent.

Mine tastes and smells great, a product of the yeast I'm sure--wonderful esters, complex maltiness, and DRY. It finished at a remarkable 1.002! I reyeasted with a wine yeast to exaggerate the combination of a dry and hoppy finish. This weekend will see two more attempts with the second generation of Al's great blend.

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