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Old 01-07-2013, 07:06 AM   #1
drakeskakes
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Default Brewing my first Saison - tips please?

2/1/2013 UPDATE
Kegged and carbonated this beer last night. We pulled small sample and I must say I'm very happy with the way this beer came out. It's nothing crazy or unique but, it's a very clean tasting Saison with a good spicy note in the after taste. It has a strong but not overpowering floral aroma and it is not too bitter. It's a little darker than a traditional saison and it finished at 1.10 which was a little high but we're going to let it sit for another two weeks or so. Thanks for the advice, it definately helped



Still new to the brewing thing, but I had a Lost Abbey - Red Barn and really want to take a stab at it.
In addition to what is listed, I'll be adding
Orange Peel
Grains of Paradise
Black Pepper
Ginger

Any advice is greatly appreciated
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Old 01-07-2013, 01:47 PM   #2
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Be sure to let it age accordingly. Keep in mind that when brewing a saison, any flaws in the brewing will come out in the taste. Be sure to nail those temps, sanitiation is of course important, and be patient with it. Lots of flavors and aromas coming from saisons so be patient with it and dont drink it all up a week after you brew it.

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Old 01-07-2013, 01:53 PM   #3
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My advice is keep it simple. Typically a Saison will have at least some portion of the grain bill as wheat. It's not necessary though (I use rye in my Saison instead of wheat). 1.015 would be a pretty high finish for a Saison, consider either mashing low for a long time and/or adding simple sugar to dry out the beer. I'd also look at the flavor profile of the yeast and think about dropping at least some or all of your spice additions. You should already get peppery/spicy notes from the yeast, so adding all the spices may overdo it.

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Old 01-07-2013, 02:31 PM   #4
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I brewed my first saison about 4 months ago. It turned out fantastic. Thought I would share my recipe.

http://beersmithrecipes.com/viewrecipe/84198/scotts-1st-saison

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Old 01-07-2013, 04:54 PM   #5
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Consult the bit about spices in Farmhouse Ales. I'm definitely of the opinion that spices should definitely be kept at the level where you can tell that there is a little something extra going on, but you can't put your finger on it.

I would also drop the crystal. If you're looking for color, consider some type of cooked sugar.

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Old 01-07-2013, 08:02 PM   #6
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Brew it in the summer when you can let the temps get up into the 80's - most Saison yeasts love the higher temps and finish way to clean at anything lower...

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Old 01-07-2013, 11:22 PM   #7
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too many oats and to much crystal. Saisons are best when they are dry, and as stated before, the best way to do this is to use a very simple grain bill, and use candi sugar, and mash low and long.

also, use more hops later in the boil and less at 60min. saisons are not typically too bitter but have nice bright, fresh hop aromas.


Here is my recipe (partial mash):

Mash at 150deg for 75min

5lb Rahr 2-row
.5lb Belgian Aromatic
.5lb White Wheat
.5lb Flaked Oats

3lb Briess Pilsen DME (added at beginning of 60min Boil)

1lb Belgian Candi Sugar (added 15min left in boil)

Hops:

.25oz Saaz First Wort Hop (FWH)
.25oz Styrian Goldings First Wort Hop (FWH)
.25oz Amarillo First Wort Hop (FWH)

.25oz Amarillo 60 minutes
.50oz Saaz 60minutes

1.75oz Styrian Goldings 0 minutes
.25oz Saaz 0 minutes
.50oz Amarillo 0 minutes

ferment hot 80+ using ommegang yeast (any saison yeast will do)

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Old 01-08-2013, 04:53 AM   #8
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Reduce the crystal malts to ~2-3% and keep them on the lighter side of the Lovibond spectrum. For your 1st saison, I would leave out the spices and focus on nailing your grain bill and yeast selection. Saison is all about fermentation. Maybe try doing a 100% continental pils w/ the Dupont yeast strain. Do a little research on the Dupont strain's temperature requirements and have some Wyeast 3711 on hand in case the Dupont strain stalls on you. As stated above, wheat (or the flaked oats you have listed) is a nice addition to a Saison if you want to go that route. Finally, like others have said, make sure the beer is going to finish dry (via mashing low, the addition of simple sugars, or both). I like to shoot for a 1.005 final gravity on my average strength Saisons.

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Old 01-08-2013, 07:15 PM   #9
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Thanks for all the opinions guys. Here are some of your suggestions put into play. The first post was for a 10g batch but this is for a 5 gal. I already had the grains for this one milled/combined so I couldn't drop the crystal. I added more hops, later in the boil, got the FG to 1.008 and changed the boil time to 90 mins, and will boil low.

I'm also going to drop the addition of the spices

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Old 02-01-2013, 07:43 PM   #10
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Kegged the beer, update up top

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