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Author Replies
ErikH
07/21/08 01:32 PM  
Re: Saison blend
ericburnley -

There is a fair bit of discussion on the perils of Fantome culture re-use if you look through the thread archives here. In general, if added in the primary I think the consensus is that it rapidly adds a whole lot of sourness - overpowering pretty much any other flavors.

If what you want to achieve is something closer to the Fantome products themselves, I would recommend holding your addition until secondary fermentation or even bottling. A few days into primary fermentation, I would think there would still be way too much sugar for the lacto bugs to chew on and pump out puckeriness . . .

ericburnley
07/21/08 02:37 PM  
Re: Saison blend
ErikH - thanks, duly noted.

I'd figured I would need to wait a while to make sure there wasn't much left for the lacto to chew on, but maybe I should be even more careful than planned. Maybe I'll just let it sit in primary a while, check gravity and maybe rack to secondary and pitch just a little of the dregs and let it sit a bit before bottling.

I did a small test with some extra kolsch that wouldn't fit in a keg (less than half a gallon) about a month ago- pitched a small amt of Fantome dregs and did end up with something quite sour, almost un-palatable. The kolsch was not quite as dry as I'd have liked, so I assume there was too much left for the lacto to eat.

BPotts
07/21/08 07:50 PM  
Re: Saison blend
If you wait until full primary has finished there shouldn't be much for the dregs to munch on... my first blend beer finished around 1.004 or 5, and the second dried out further to about 1.002 or something. The third I racked to secondary today and it tasted equally as dry as the second. I have a buggy saison going now, which was fermented to dryness with WY farmhouse, and then I added an extremely tart starter of lambic dregs, and am very pleased with the result. Not overpowering, but in balance with the hoppy saison flavors. It's down to 1.000-1 and still bubbling away, not much further it could go though...
BPotts
07/22/08 11:34 AM  
Re: Saison blend
I forgot about my all brett berliner, which has some relevance to this question... I primaried with brett c and b + lacto and then let it sit for a few months, and after no souring occured, even at higher temps, I added a bit of yeast cake from a beer that I bottled which was soured with fantome dregs (the grav was down to about ~1.006 I believe before the addition). After a few weeks in some more heat the beer was delicately soured with a little extra barnyard (the original beer was very clean with a nice wheat grainy/cereal type flavor). The grav got down to about 1.002/3...no siginifcant souring or funkifying has occured in the bottle, yet...
John A
07/28/08 03:54 PM  
Re: Saison blend
Well i just around to brewing the saison today. 1.062 og pils and .5 lbs cane. 35 ibu's, haller mitt at 60 and 30 and a .5 gal starter of al's blend. 1 min of bottled oxygen and it is resting on a heating pad in the mid 80's.

Thanks again al. I'll get some beer out to you as soon as it cools down in a month or so.

cheers

John

Al B
07/29/08 11:15 AM  
Re: Saison blend
We should do a swap........its been awhile. Perhaps Steve can set it up if we bribe him.

Cisco
07/29/08 11:21 AM  
Re: Saison blend
I knew that it would eventually come around to a swap!!!!

There are just too many folks doing this project to make a swap financially reasonable with today's escalating shipping charges.

Al B
07/29/08 11:48 AM  
Re: Saison blend
Oh yeah. Right. There were quite a few on this one.....I forgot how many. Maybe a sectional, regional, thing at most would be plausible.
tankdeer
07/29/08 05:24 PM  
Re: Saison blend
I would be into a swap. But as mentioned, money is tight. So it would have to be limited. (I do LOVE this blend though!)
BPotts
07/29/08 07:32 PM  
Re: Saison blend
I'll be bottling my third this weekend most likely :D

I think we definitly have to swap! we'll just have to break it up....

screw the berliner swap

ericburnley
08/04/08 12:34 PM  
Re: Saison blend
Got my first Al B Blend batch bottled a week ago, tasted great this past weekend. Could use a little cool-down time in the cellar, but that yeast blend is awesome. It ended up being in the garage for about 4-5 days in the St. Louis summer heat, and came out fantastic. Thanks, Al. I'd be up for a swap as well, and I'll send Al a bottle.

Haven't bottled the other half batch I did with the Le Mer culture yet. I did end up pitching some Fantome dregs after primary had subsided, so we'll see how that goes.

ericburnley
08/04/08 12:41 PM  
Re: Saison blend
Oh yeah- went from about 1.050 to 1.005. I used some Pils 2-row I had too much of, and it ate through it pretty well- still a tad of maltiness left behind, though, so it's not bone dry. Carbonation came out decent as well, nice and spritzy. The Sterling finishing hops give it a nice hop bite.
Al B
08/04/08 01:23 PM  
Re: Saison blend
Glad to hear it. I'm pleased with the Spelt brew w/ the blend, will cellar it for another couple of weeks.

Now I'm off to Chicago + Madison (Great Taste of the Midwest).

BPotts
08/12/08 09:15 PM  
Re: Saison blend
Gonna brew one more blend saison (and maybe another after that), but this one should be interesting...hop harvest saison. Going to pick santiams (and a tiny bit of zeus that surprisingly flowered in its first year) right off the vine, give a quick rinse, and toss em in. Doesn't get any fresher than that....

I'm excited, my first hop harvest and first wet hop beer

ErikH
08/13/08 01:46 AM  
Re: Saison blend
BP, I also have a Zeus plant that has produced a staggering quantity of large cones in this, its first year. I was shocked - is this just an uber-high alpha, uber-agressive mutant variant or what?
BPotts
08/13/08 04:18 AM  
Re: Saison blend
Yeah, I guess so!.... from freshops I presume?

Even though the hops aren't supposed to really smell until the cones are ripe, I noticed early on that the small leaves on their undersides were already covered in resinous lupilon crystals - can't wait to sniff a fresh cone....

man, that last sentence sounds like something out of Fast Times at Ridgmont High..

ErikH
08/13/08 06:38 PM  
Almighty Zeus!
Indeed, freshops. Got some Centennial, Nugget and Sterling while I was at it. The Nugget is going pretty good (couple of cones, maybe 8' high), but the other two not so much (3' high, no cones).

I really didn't have any expectations for the first season, so the Zeus growth and production really took me aback.

tankdeer
08/13/08 07:08 PM  
Re: Saison blend
I have a 1st year Centennial plant (Freshhops also) that is doing very well. It's got quite a few cones on it that should be ready for harvest within the next couple weeks. I'm trying to decide if I should brew another Saison with them or not. Let's see, that would be my.... 4th batch with this blend. One of which was 10 gallons. :-)
BPotts
08/23/08 05:50 PM  
Re: Saison blend
Brewing up my fourth blend beer, the harvest saison, with freshly picked santiam and zues hops and dash of homegrown & dried coriander. 70% pils 30% wheat (aiming for about 1.040), and al's wonderful blend for primary of course. Just tasted and checked the grav on the 3rd beer which is still sitting in secondary - tastes delicious and down to about 1.002. This may be my last bier de blend, so when this one's bottled up, Al, you'll be getting a little care package.
Al B
08/25/08 07:42 AM  
Re: Saison blend
Nice.

Had one from MTC - very spicy & tasty. Mine was a bit less spicy, but more earthy.

tankdeer
08/25/08 11:37 AM  
Re: Saison blend
I think I'm going to be doing up a pumpkin saison in the next couple weeks as the last of my first run on the blend. It too will be my 4th. I do have some frozen vials though so I should be able to bring this back to life. Should be an interesting test of it's viability and balance after growing up those small alloquots.
BPotts
08/25/08 06:48 PM  
Re: Saison blend
Definitly seems very WY french saison-y after all of my generations....also got some sulfur notes during fermentation of the first beer and in the jar with wort I had sitting in the fridge (the 4th gen.)

My first was pretty clean with subtle fruitiness/phenols and the second was cleaner (higher pitch rate) but a bit spicier, though that was from the saaz dry hop addition mostly. The third which I sampled the other day is a little fruity and phenolic again but generally clean....this 4th one will be a lower pitch rate, and a slightly lower temp for primary (porbably get to around 80 instead of into the 90's).. so slightly different conditions than my others...

BPotts
08/25/08 06:50 PM  
Re: Saison blend
Oh yeah, and I used some as bottling yeast for my RIS/flemish red blend and it worked great...
BPotts
08/31/08 02:16 PM  
Re: Saison blend
Tasted the harvest saison today, after primary fermentation which did get up into the 80's afterall, and while tasting awesome (and quite different from the first three), the yeast has seemed to have pooped out a little early on this one, compared to the first three. It was sitting around in a jar with wort on it for a few weeks, so I guess it just wasn't as healthy as when it was continuously used. Either way it's still quite cloudy and going slowly, so I'm sure it will continue to drop further during secondary like the first three.

Just sucks 'cause I wanted to reuse it for stronger dark saison, but I think it's probably been pushed to the limit at this point. I guess that gives me something to do with the pack of WY Bier de Garde yeast I have sitting in the fridge ;)

tripel beam
09/01/08 02:48 AM  
Re: Saison blend
I'm into a swap.

My Al B blend was a little dissappointing. (possibly oxidized). I brewed 3 saisons batches in 2 weeks (only 1 w/ Al's blend) and my Al B blend is kind of nutty with a clingy aftertaste my atten. was good (90-92%). I think I might have gotten too hot (90) or left a little long (3-4weeks in prim.). Not as crisp as the other 2 saisons I brewed around the same time.

Anyway, This was awesome batch for me to brew (and I wish I had another shot w/ the yeast). Learned a lot from this run.

BPotts
09/01/08 09:16 AM  
Re: Saison blend
The extended primary time sounds like it could be the culprit...I fermented my first three blend saisons into the 90's and there were no off-flavors. Surprisingly clean...

Did anyone notice any sulfury aromas? My first beer kinda smelled a little sulfury after primary (though that subsided in secondary and in the bottle), and I got a whiff of it again when I opened the jar to pitch into my last beer, the harvest saison...

tankdeer
09/01/08 09:08 PM  
Re: Saison blend
No sulfer here
mtc
09/01/08 10:10 PM  
Re: Saison blend
No sulfur here either. A lot of fruit though in all of my batches.
Al B
09/02/08 10:33 AM  
Re: Saison blend
TB,

I agree w/ Ben - even though saison yeasts like warm temps, 3-4 wks @ 90+ is too long. I would rack after 3-4 days at that temp (given the pitch rate was on track). The off-flavor you're getting is cell autolysis I would think.

Ben,

I'm pleased to see the multiple uses of the blend here, I think after 4 generations and left in wort for a few wks made the blend tired, and therefore sulphur can occur (where freash healthy strains did not produce sulphur). This may also be some autolysis too. The re-use of multiple generations may benefit from harvesting the kreusen or upper layer of wort containing enough cells to begin another starter, rather than using the slurry over and over (if this was done), or acid washing the yeast to take out the "junk" in the slurry. Of course, this is a bit of extra work.

BPotts
09/02/08 10:52 AM  
Re: Saison blend
Cool, Al. That makes sense, considering the first three had FG's ranging from 1.006-1.002. I still also think it'll keep working for a bit in this recent beer, the beer is still quite cloudy and bubbles are still slowly coming out of the airlock. I'm in no rush...

What's a good way to harvest the krausen? It may be tough as I have switched to all glass primary fermentations....

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