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Saison Hopping
08/28/09 10:17 AM  
ErikH
Planning to do a Saison this w/e and was curious for some feedback on hop varieties. Usually I have opted for the usual noble hop or English ale hop route in the past - EKG, Saaz, etc. and it has been fine.

Additionally, there have been some American-hopped Saisons out there, and an influx of American-hopped Belgian styles in general. I did a strong Saison a while back with Amarillo that I liked pretty well.

At the moment, I have a bunch of fresh Nugget available and am curious in particular if anyone has any experience with it in a Saison. I don't know of any commercial examples of this and the 1 or 2 recipes I've seen on the web have used it for bittering and finished with a traditional noble hop.

I've enjoyed Nugget in IPAs pretty well and feel like its flavor - often described as a heavy herbal/spicy kind of thing - could blend well with the usual Saison yeast flavors. I was surprised to see that they are used in De Dolle's Arabier (!)

So, any thoughts? I was considering using it in a blend with Sterling, as maybe up to 25% or 50% of the flavor and aroma hops.

ErikH
08/28/09 10:18 AM  
Saison Hopping
Whoops I mixed up the thread title and my name. That's what I get for uncaffeinated posting! Don't know if that can be fixed?
JeffB
08/28/09 11:04 AM  
Re: ErikH
I made my spring saison with amarillo hops and I was extremely happy with the flavor and aroma. It is fruity and plesant, but doesn't overpower the beer like I think other big American IPA like hops.

I haven't used Nugget yet so I can't give you any advice.

ErikH
08/28/09 12:15 PM  
Saison Hopping
Hm. I see actually that the BBB's own Dan Paquette has included Nugget in a blend for Pretty Things' Jack D'Or "Saison Americain" . . .

http://www.prettythingsbeertoday.com/site/?q=node/13

TimC
08/28/09 05:08 PM  
Re: ErikH
Surprised to hear that Jack D'or has nugget hops. I've had several different batches of it and mostly just noticed the cascades.

So if I were putting this beer together I would blend the Nugget with some Saaz or S. Goldings (and in fact I do believe that is what I will try next saison I brew). Amarillos do have a less aggressive flavor but I think they will still overpower anything else in there.

I would also note that the De Dolle website says they use Poperinge Nuggets, which could be quite different from what you have. Unless of course you have scored fresh hops from Poperinge and in which case, wanna share?

ErikH
08/28/09 06:32 PM  
Saison Hopping
The whole notion of American hop varieties being grown in Belgium took me by surprise, actually! Given their historical willingness to use English and German ones, I suppose it makes sense, though.

These, however are home-grown Nuggets of my own. Just harvested them today along with some Sterling and want to use them fresh. Ended up with more Nugget though.

As you suggest, I'm planning to use them in a blend with some previously harvested and dried Sterling, probably 50/50 or even less on the Nugget side.

TimC
10/18/09 11:25 PM  
Re: Saison Hopping
ErikH,

How did your saison with Nuggets turn out? Mine has been been in the bottle for only six days is tasting wonderful. I mixed equal parts Saaz, Hallertau and Nuggets for the late additions.

ErikH
10/19/09 10:25 AM  
Saison Hopping
TimC, I also bottled mine a week back and have been restraining myself with some difficulty from early tasting.

At bottling the hydrometer sample tasted very promising, although I didn't actually get a huge Nugget hit from it that I could readily perceive. Lots of pleasant Saison-ish yeast flavors and a balanced bitterness. With the blended yeast culture I made I also hit the lowest FG I ever have for the style at 1.002, so it's pretty dry.

I went with about 60/40 Nugget/Sterling blended in two late additions at 5 min and 0 min. How are you finding the Nugget expression in yours?

TimC
10/19/09 01:17 PM  
Re: Saison Hopping
I do get some Nugget character in with the other hops but the Dupont yeast is still the star. My late additions were at 15 min and 0 min. I forgot a FG measurement but this malt (8 pale, 1 lb Vienna), mash (113-145-160) and yeast combo has finished at 1.004 in previous batches.

Mine fully carbonated after 5 days. I attribute this to re-yeasting and storing the bottles on the side giving the yeast more surface area contact with the beer. I figure that Dupont conditions with the bottles stored on the side since they always have yeast stuck to the side.

 
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