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Old 03-30-2011, 07:47 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChillWill
I've made a saison recently (currently on wk2 of bottle conditioning).

Went for:
48% Maris Otter
48% Pilsner
1% Wheat Malt
1% Crystal 50l

Hops were classic Belgian......... Citra and Amarillo

Wasn't sure if I'd manage the right temperature etc for the Saison yeast so opted for WLP550 (achouffe). Took it from 1.058 to 1.010 (83% attenuation iirc) mashed at 148F.

Went a bit higher on the IBU at 35, and used FWH and mostly citra for bittering and then toward the end I started using more amarillo and cut well back on the citra. Dry hopped a little citra as well.

Tried whilst bottling and it was dry and had a really good farmhouse funkiness to it despite the hop choice. We went with the citra and slightly matlier grain bill to get something in the same vein as the Brooklyn Sorachi Ace. As far as spicing goes... I wouldn't bother with this style. Maybe if you're desperate to spice, try light amounts coriander, orange peel and maybe ever pepper (depending on compatibility of your yeast aroma/flavour).
That reminds me of something like Tank 7 of the Smokestack series. It's a very grapefruity saison. It's odd at first because you expect noble or EKG for the hops but the amarillo comes through and really makes for a remarkable beer. I bet it turns out great.


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Old 03-30-2011, 07:56 PM   #12
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What do you mean by "anything but yeast"? Saison yeast is an extremely yeast-centric style, so don't skimp on that.

Otherwise, it depends on the direction you are going. I don't like adding spices or fruit to saisons, and I think history backs me up on this one. Most of the classic malt bills would be straight continental pilsner, perhaps with a bit of wheat. Don't be afraid of the table sugar if you can't get it dry enough. Mash as low as your system can handle.
I am also formulating my first saison. When you say mash as low as you can go, what temp range are you talking about?


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Old 03-30-2011, 09:35 PM   #13
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I think the 140's JLW.

Have a read around, I've seen someone saying they were trying lower temperatures. I think 146-148F is a good place to start. I'm happy with 1.058 -> 1.010 from a 148F mash (well, attenuation wise, not sure about taste yet as it's not ready). If you start with a lower OG you may find it becoming VERY dry.

I've just put a bottle in the cellar for a few days (after 2 weeks at 70F), it won't be ready but I need to see how my 3.5vol CO2 is going (as I've never carbed anywhere near this high).

Pic in a glass from a sample I took whilst bottling:

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Old 03-30-2011, 10:02 PM   #14
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147 for 90 minutes will give you a more fermentable wort. I've also done 70 mins at 144 and 10 mins at 155.

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Old 03-31-2011, 12:08 AM   #15
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I think I'll try 147 @ 90 min. What about sparge temp? I usually do one batch sparge around 170 for 10. Sometimes I'll do two for higher gravity beers. For a saison would you also go lower temp for the sparge?

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Old 03-31-2011, 01:21 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JLW
I think I'll try 147 @ 90 min. What about sparge temp? I usually do one batch sparge around 170 for 10. Sometimes I'll do two for higher gravity beers. For a saison would you also go lower temp for the sparge?
Your sparge water temp shouldn't really be affecting conversion. I cold sparge all of my beers cold and can get both low and high fermentability. Particularly with a 90min mash, it shouldn't matter.
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Old 03-31-2011, 02:43 AM   #17
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We are thinking about adding a final brew to our schedule prior to leaving Beijing for the summer, and a saison would be ideal I think as it is hot as hell here and it wouldn't be a problem keeping the fermentation temp relatively high. Question is - we would rack to the fermenter on June 11th and it would sit there until the 6th of August or so - is that too long to keep in the primary? Once we get back from summer break, we would throw it into kegs. Comments?

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Old 03-31-2011, 03:25 AM   #18
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We are thinking about adding a final brew to our schedule prior to leaving Beijing for the summer, and a saison would be ideal I think as it is hot as hell here and it wouldn't be a problem keeping the fermentation temp relatively high. Question is - we would rack to the fermenter on June 11th and it would sit there until the 6th of August or so - is that too long to keep in the primary? Once we get back from summer break, we would throw it into kegs. Comments?
Sounds fine. 7 weeks should be no issue, it'll probably be a great beer.
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Old 03-31-2011, 03:40 AM   #19
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I like my saisons as dry as possible. I can typically get it down to 1.004. I do a 90 minute mash at 145.

If you want it to be "historic" then it needs to be relatively low alcohol. Today's saisons are much higher in alcohol than history dictates. Shoot for around 5% alcohol.

Your malt bill should be simple. Pils and Wheat are all you really need. If you want it golden in color then use a very small amount of a dark crystal, instead of a larger amount of a lighter crystal. Using something like vienna malt is good for a malt backbone, but again don't use much.

You can have a nice hop profile, but as stated before it detracts from the yeast profile.

I recently made this saison. And it turned out amazing. The hop profile was a little more assertive than I was hoping, but is still a fantastic beer.

For your yeast the Wyeast 3711 is my absolute favorite. It doesn't crap out at 1.020 like the Dupont strain does, and it has a great flavor profile, slightly fruity and some nice spiciness.

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Old 03-31-2011, 02:09 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JLW View Post
I think I'll try 147 @ 90 min. What about sparge temp? I usually do one batch sparge around 170 for 10. Sometimes I'll do two for higher gravity beers. For a saison would you also go lower temp for the sparge?
It doesn't really matter, I've sparged at 170 and at colder temps. I haven't noticed a big difference. I usually do 2 smaller sparges. If you do a lower sparge temp essentially you will keep converting into the kettle until the enzymes denature.

One other thing that I think makes a difference is a good 75 sec shot of pure oxygen just prior to pitching. I think this really helps you get the gravity to finish low. I also throw in more nutrient than normal for saisons.


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