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Author Replies
Rob B
12/23/09 01:22 PM  
Saisons
I have been playing with saisons for a couple years now, and was wondering what cool ideas some of you have had for saison recipes? I have done the basic all pils and sugar, I've done spring and fall versions that were maltier, even did a squash saison that picked up a bit of lactic infection and later I spiced it (my wife's favorite beer I have brewed btw), belgian table versions around 4% abv, etc.

I have recently fallen in love with 3711 and trying to come up with some new ideas for "saisons." I am a big fan of Trinity Brewing in Colorado Springs and the ways they play with saisons. Just wondering what some of you have done?

Cheers, Rob

tankdeer
12/23/09 01:43 PM  
Re: Saisons
I'm partial to the table versions myself. I love a saison with some American hops added to the mix - Amarillo works especially well. Small amounts of oak and of course brett. I often times dry hop my saisons too.
Al B
12/23/09 01:52 PM  
Re: Saisons
I like to use unmalted spelt. Maybe its a feeling of being rustic.

Had nice dark saison from Seanywonton recently w/ 3711. Good job Sean!

Rob B
12/23/09 02:01 PM  
Re: Saisons
Yeah tankdeer, right now I have a red table version on tap and a blond table version in the fermenter. There is just something about a low alcohol beer with lots of flavor that says have three or four glasses!

Al B: What character does spelt provide?

Al B
12/23/09 02:16 PM  
Re: Saisons
A little wheaty-nuttiness (more than regular wheat). I'll do an adjunct mash w/ a handful of 6-row for conversion.
WitSok
12/23/09 02:17 PM  
Re: Saisons
I really like using oat malt. It gives a nice rustic quality too. Kind of sweet, corny, and grainy.
brewinhard
12/23/09 02:51 PM  
Re: Saisons
I definitely like a bit of sour in some of mine. A mini sourmash or some acid malt is a nice addition to a pale version. Tankdeer's amarillo hops are a great addition to any good belgian yeast esp. saison. 1/2 oz for dry hops blends well with the fruity citrus earth spice of the deeeeelicious saison! I too have a batch of 3711 to use up. Plan on doing a straight pale saison followed by a batch aged on brett B. and oak. Perfect for late spring!
Rob B
12/23/09 03:10 PM  
Re: Saisons
I thought about a heavier winter version but I love the turn around on a nice light version.

I seriously can't get enough of the 3711 character that is in the red table beer I have right now.

Cisco
12/23/09 03:11 PM  
Re: Saisons
I usually always add one pound of acid malt to a 10 gallon batch to get just a hint of sourness. Been using Amarillo hops in Saisons for several years now - good hop! I also do a trick that Dany from Fantome uses and I add a quart of some type of natural fruit juice. It doesn't stand out but definitely adds to the complexity.
TimC
12/23/09 03:13 PM  
Re: Saisons
I like a bit of Vienna malt (~10%) in otherwise pale malt base. Its nothing crazy but it turns up the underlying maltiness nicely. Inexplicably, I have yet to funk up a saison. Maybe its the simple satisfaction that brilliantly flavorful beer can come from straightforward brewing method that I don't feel the need to mess with it.

I'd also like to echo the affection for the low ABV saisons.

Ross
12/23/09 11:11 PM  
Re: Saisons
One of the things I've learned is to be very careful with the bittering hops addition. Stronger flavored hops like Styrians can have an effect of canceling out the flavor and aroma additions. IMO, it's best to use a clean, more neutral type of bittering hop and really load it up with the flavor and aroma hops at the end. Also getting too complex with the grain bill has the same effect. Keeping it simple with basic malts like Pils, Munich, Vienna and Wheat have worked best for me. Obviously the yeast has a huge impact on the aroma character of the hops.

One thing that I think might work is to brew an Orval clone and ferment it with 3711. Maybe bottle it with the Orval dregs...might be real nice.

Rob B
12/24/09 11:14 AM  
Re: Saisons
While I had thought about a bigger winter saison with spices I think it wouldn't do well with the spiciness that 3711 gives you.

Ross...I really like the idea of an orval type beer finished with brett.

I had thought about using the 3711 with some other belgian styles, maybe even a belgian stout.

Seanywonton
12/25/09 02:36 PM  
Re: Saisons
AlB, glad to see the package finally got to you, and in time for Xmas!

The recipe for that black saison is on my blog if anyone wants to take a look at it. I was really happy with the results. It was an all fresh-hop beer but I'm sure it could be done with regular hops too. That's seanywonton.blogspot.com

I also just cranked out a 1.066 saison yesterday which I'm planning to brett up in the secondary. Using different bretts could be a good route to go if you want to mix it up a bit, or split some batches and try different things, like spice/no spice or clean/brett added, dry-hopped/not, etc.

I was also thinking of this yesterday: I know most of us are very "individual" about our brewing and probably don't do many clones, but as a cool experiment, maybe this summer doing a big batch of Saison Dupont clone and fermenting it with the different commercial saison yeasts, as well as fermenting one with Dupont bottle dregs. Sounds pretty time-consuming but it could be fun.

I also really liked Mike T's experiment of doing a base pilsner malt/saaz hops type wort and fermenting half with lager yeast and half with saison yeast. (That's on the mad fermentationist blog).

ErikH
12/26/09 08:40 PM  
Re: Saisons
Sean, I have been chasing the Dupont clone notion for several years now, and just can't seem to hit it on the nose somehow. Right fermentation temps, WL or WY or Dupont bottle culture, somehow, the true SD character eludes me. I think I've gotten moderately close, but not to a really satisfying extent. So I think I am going to target differently from now on.

As Rob's question, I have mostly gone in the higher-alcohol direction, via a strong golden saison with all Amarillo for flavor and aroma, a dark Fantome-inspired version with (too much!) rosemary, and this year a 30% malted rye one with a touch of oats and wheat. Been a lotta fun so far, but for me it's a style that still requires more exploration!

Scott J
12/28/09 02:57 PM  
Re: Saisons
Hey Erik,

I just did a Saison with 20% rye and 10% oats and hopped the crap out of it with Amarillo for late additions.

As for Rob's questions I am in my second round of brewing most of the Saisons from Drew Beechum's article in Zymurgy from Jume of 2008 (A Saison for every Season). If you can get a hold of that article there are plenty of fun things to try. My d'Hiver Infernal came out at 15% abv.

I also brew a Pumpkin Saison with pumpkin (of course), honey, and maple syrup which is lightly spiced with pumpkin pie spices.

brewinhard
12/29/09 09:00 AM  
Re: Saisons
Hey Scott-

Which of those recipes did you like best? I was just checking that article out a few days ago. That Pumpkin saison sounds delicious esp. for the holidaze. I have always wanted to brew a spiced yam saison with brett C. in secondary.

Scott J
12/29/09 01:11 PM  
Re: Saisons
My favorite is probably the Saison Autome'. I use Golden Promise instead of the Morris Otter suggested.

I haven't dried the Brut one yet bit I plan to.

tripel beam
01/30/10 01:20 AM  
Re: Saisons
I love negra modela. I tried to do a variation on it with saison yeast and with 100% vienna malt, dried it out to 1.008. interesting beer I'd like to fine tune the recipe.

Is it wrong to try to mix two beers with such opposing qualities? Maybe next time I'll go more Birre de Garde with my Vienna Malt.

inempyrean
01/30/10 12:45 PM  
Re: Saisons
Hi, I'm about to make my first saison and wanted to get some expert opinions.

The recipe I found calls for a simple grain bill of Cara-Munich. 6.6 lbs light extract, 1 lb light dry malt, with Hallertau and Styrian Golding hops. Recipe also calls for Belgian candi sugar and crystallized giner with a Wyeast 3724, 3725, 3726, or white labes WLP565. Sound ok?

Also, what have you found are the average primary and secondary ferment times for a recipe such as this?

Thanks!

WitSok
01/30/10 12:45 PM  
Re: Saisons
Wrong? Who am I to say it is wrong. We each have our preferences. There are things I don't like together such as sour and high hop bitterness, but others may enjoy this. I say go forth and explore. The creativity of hoembrewing is one of the things that makes the hobby great.

Cheers, Dan

BPotts
01/30/10 06:28 PM  
Re: Saisons
Hey.... speaking of Saisons.... been enjoying several varitieties fermented with Al's saison blend from over a year ago (I think!).... they've really aged quite nicely!
BPotts
01/30/10 06:32 PM  
Re: Saisons
inempy...

about ferment time:

Definitely depends on yeast strain and yeast! They're all different... 3726 is farmhouse right? Ferments well and quick to dryness and good at warm temps.... dupont yeast... that's the WL565 and 3724 (or maybe the 25) ferments good at warm temps but can take for ever to dry out after initial ferment.... go buy the book Farmhouse Ales by Phil Markowski, you will get a lot out of it.

BPotts
01/30/10 06:34 PM  
Re: Saisons
...oh yeah, not to mention those factors in combination with gravity and aeration procedure and mash temp (although you're using extract so that doesn't really matter for you).
BPotts
01/30/10 06:35 PM  
Re: Saisons
Arghhh...meant yeast strain and temp, not yeast strain and more "yeast!!!"
inempyrean
01/30/10 07:43 PM  
Re: Saisons
cool, I'll try to find that book.

Right now I'm thinking I'll use the 3726 unless you think it's better to use the 24 (Saison) or the 25 (Biere de Garde), suggested starting gravity of 1.072. Finishes at 1.015.

WitSok
01/30/10 08:31 PM  
Re: Saisons
3726 Farmhouse is my favorite, followed by 3711 French saison. I haven't had good look 3725 Biere de Garde. It has been finicky fermenter for me. Last too time I used it I had poor attenuation. Might be good with some bugs though!
BPotts
01/30/10 09:13 PM  
Re: Saisons
I really like the character of the farmhouse (3726), and definitely less temperamental than the dupont yeast. The 3711 that WitSok mentioned is also a wonderful and more user-friendly yeast... I personally like that one the most.
jaymo
01/30/10 11:24 PM  
Re: Saisons
I've been toying around with the idea of using wine yeast (and enzymes to break up the longer chain maltotriose that the wine yeast can't handle) to get a really fruity, dry end result, then blending that with a batch done with an ale yeast.
BPotts
01/31/10 11:44 AM  
Re: Saisons
We use a champagne yeast for a double wit at the brewery.... the result is very much like what I got out of the 3711 when pushing it to 95F - terribly estery even though only at "normal" fermenting temps.
BPotts
01/31/10 11:46 AM  
Re: Saisons
(we use the champagne yeast solo, not simply to finish)
Ryane
01/31/10 10:50 PM  
Re: Saisons
Where are you getting 3726, wasnt it a VSS?

I really like that yeast a lot, I used it in a saison with a ton of spelt and it was one of my favorite beers Ive brewed

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