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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Recipes/Ingredients > Saison - Attenuation and Sugar Additions
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Old 06-06-2009, 03:49 PM   #1
BackAlleyBrewingCo
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Default Saison - Attenuation and Sugar Additions

Hi,

There's a lot of talk about people having trouble getting the traditional Saison yeasts (WL 565, Wyeast 3724) to hit their target FGs, and I was wondering if a way to help this yeast along would be to hold off doing any sugar additions until the end of primary fermentation, after the bulk of the malt fermentables have been consumed. My thinking is:

  • Fermenting the malts and adjunct sugar together may cause the yeast to get 'lazy' when consuming the easier to digest adjuncts, and hinder the later consumption of malt fermentables.
  • Since the adjunct sugars are very easy for the yeast to consume, restarting a strong fermentation after the malts are done won't be difficult.
What do you all think of this plan? I'm concerned that restarting the fermentation may be more difficult than I've anticipated, and also wonder if splitting up the fermentation into two phases will affect the flavor of the beer. Does anyone have any experience with this approach? I'm willing to give it a shot, but don't want to waste my time (and risk my beer) if it's been tried before.
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Old 06-07-2009, 04:39 AM   #2
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Anybody? Brew day's tomorrow; any feedback would be appreciated.

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Old 06-07-2009, 05:07 AM   #3
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Its not uncommon to add in adjunct sugars to a brew later on. It might not be a terrible idea in this case. You could let the fermentation kick off, then add in the sugar (boiled in a small amount of water) a few days after. I couldn't give you an exact number. I think Jamil talks about it in the Trippel episode of The Jamil Show.

Also, it wouldn't hurt to listen to the Saison episode of The Jamil Show also. Its the best one IMO. Chris White from White Labs unexpectedly shows up at the end of the show and answers some questions about the yeast.

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Old 06-07-2009, 09:15 PM   #4
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I support late sugar additions. Wait about 2 days, or until fermentation visibly begins to slow down (but not stop).

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Old 06-08-2009, 09:52 PM   #5
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Too late to be of much use, I did this and it didn't really matter. Took off quick, slowed down to a crawl after 24 hours, added sugar, picked up again for a day, then quit at about the same point it was when I added the sugar.

I think keeping the temps in the mid 80s is more important than when you add the dextrose/sucrose.

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Old 06-08-2009, 10:58 PM   #6
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I actually just pulled out a saison from hiding, that I made last year using this method. I used 10% table sugar in two seperate recipes, using different saison yeasts. For each recipe I added half of the sugar at the end of the boil. The other half would be added to primary once it appeared to have begun to slow fermentation (~ 2 days). One batch knocked down to 1.008 and the other to 1.010.

Be sure to mash low and push the temps on the saison yeast to drive down the attenuation.

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Old 05-04-2014, 05:41 PM   #7
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I did a late sugar addition to a Saison I currently have in primary. Pitched danstar belle saison yeast last Saturday (8 days ago). I added one oz turbinado cane sugar dissolved in 600 ml water on day three after the krausen fell. Total volume of the mixture was about 800 ml. Signs of active fermentation kicked up again for about a day and then the blow of tube was not bubbling. I took a look in the bucket on day 5 after initially pitching the yeast and got an SG reading around 1.003 or so (OG was 1.050 prior to adding sugar). One would think the fermentation was done.

I then wrapped the fermentation bucket in a heating blanket and brought the temp from the low 70s up to the mid 80s and turned the heating blanket off but left it wrapped around the bucket and gently rocked the bucket back and forth thinking that this would help stir up the sugary mixture that I was sure was sitting mostly the bottom of the bucket. Signs of fermentation started up again. I took an SG reading today on day 8 and the SG has risen up to about 1.010 and the blow off tube is bubbling about once every 30-40 seconds. The fermenting wort also looks cloudier and the pleasant saison aromas have intensified. I have not turned the heating blanket back on and the blanket is still wrapped around the bucket. Temp was still in the upper 70s, about 77 degrees F. I plan to leave it in primary until next Saturday or sunday and then rack it to a keg to bulk age it for a few weeks. I am thinking that the yeast will need a bit longer to finish off any of the remaining cane sugar. I am also not going to add any priming sugar because I think there will be enough sugar left for the beer to naturally carb in the keg a bit.

I found this to be an interesting observation and thought I would share it because it has shown me that it can be difficult to tell when fermentation is totally done when doing late sugar additions in Saisons and probably in other styles of beer as well. I think that most of this likely has to do with the fact that sugar mixture needs enough time to fully dissolve into the fermenting wort. When the sugar solution is poured in to the bucket it just sinks straight to the bottom. That why I think it helps to gently rock the bucket to get some of the sugar back into suspension with active yeast cells. Today when I was taking my readings I also sanitized by brewing spoon and gave the wort a gentle stir. I am not planning to agitate the wort by stirring or rocking the bucket any more as I think the beer will become more vulnerably to oxidation as fermentation winds down. Just gonna let it sit for a week and monitor the temp and SG.

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