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Old 11-24-2011, 03:35 PM   #1
MadCanyonPH
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Default French Saison-to honey, or not to honey?

Just finished brewing a French Saison which is fermenting with vigor! I'm excited about the outcome because I wrote the recipe, and made some slight changes from my first attempt at it.

My first French Saison turned out very nice. It is as clear as glass, and has nice head retention. However it was too dry, which I have attributed to the 2 lbs of honey I added 3 days into fermentation.

My second attempt is going great, but I'm not so sure I want to add any honey at all. I changed the weight of honey in the new recipe to 1 lb, but do you think I should still add it?

I want some dryness but just a little

Here's the data...

French Saison recipe:

Mini Mash-1lb Munich Malt, 1lb Crystal Malt-15L


Extract Addition-5lb Liquid Pilsner, 2lb Liquid Pale

Hop Addition-[0.5oz, 90min Summit], [2oz, 15min Goldings] [1oz, 5min Centennial]

Yeast-Wyeast 3711 (French Saison)


Optional-1lb Honey

If I add the honey the stats look like this

OG-1.059
IBUs-35.9
Color-8.5
ABV-6.3%

No honey looks like this

OG-1.052
IBUs-35.9
Color-8.4
ABV-5.2

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Old 11-24-2011, 03:49 PM   #2
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Saison is supposed to be dry. If your beer was too dry then you did a good job I would use much less hops. If you are trying to create an American made Saison style ale then your hop additions should be fine.

But if you want a more traditional french style Saison then you should reduce the hops. If the only hops you have are the ones you have listed then use much less. I would only use half an ounce during the entire boil...get the bitter without bite.

Then add one ounce of aroma hops to the end of the boil right before you go to your wort chiller.

Saison is a style that ought to showcase the yeast profile. Most american craft breweries attempting Saisons are brewing them like IPA's with too many hops. If you want a traditional french Saison then shoot for 10 IBU, no more than 15

Also if you want the beer to be less dry but with a little more flavor add some more munich malt...Go for 2.5LBS. I would not add the honey. It's an expensive adjunct.

The reduced gravity might give you a more session worthy ale.

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Old 11-24-2011, 04:14 PM   #3
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I think if your looking for a less dry Saison consider switching up your yeast. 3711 is a monster that will eat almost anything you throw at it.

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Old 11-24-2011, 04:29 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OldWorld View Post
Saison is supposed to be dry. If your beer was too dry then you did a good job I would use much less hops. If you are trying to create an American made Saison style ale then your hop additions should be fine.
Indeed, and honey will make it drier. If it wasn't completely dry last time like an extra bruit champagne, try tossing the honey in.

Quote:
But if you want a more traditional french style Saison then you should reduce the hops. If the only hops you have are the ones you have listed then use much less. I would only use half an ounce during the entire boil...get the bitter without bite.

Then add one ounce of aroma hops to the end of the boil right before you go to your wort chiller.
Alternately, use a larger amount of continental hops such as Hallertau or Spalt.

Quote:
Saison is a style that ought to showcase the yeast profile. Most american craft breweries attempting Saisons are brewing them like IPA's with too many hops. If you want a traditional french Saison then shoot for 10 IBU, no more than 15
A Belgian saison is often a bit hoppier than that, but still not an IPA-style hop showcase.
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Old 11-26-2011, 11:21 PM   #5
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I am attempting to make it more in line with the Californian hop heavy styles, although depending on how this one turns out, I might cut back on the Summit hops.

After reading your post I decided to add the Honey. 1lb added to the sweet wort 60 hours into fermentation.

I will let you know how it turns out!

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Old 12-21-2011, 11:54 PM   #6
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1 lb of honey seems about right for the style and my preference, it tastes great! Also the original all wheat saison is starting to really take off. It took nearly 2 months, but it finally tastes pretty damn good!

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Old 12-22-2011, 01:57 AM   #7
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With the monster yeast and the flavors it creates, I really don't think you will get much from the honey except alcohol. I'd just use sugar.

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