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Old 05-10-2012, 06:52 AM   #1
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Default summer saison - Yosemite bound!

Ok all, please critique this recipe. I've been doing quite a bit of research and have about 20 self formulated all grains under my belt, but I've never done a saison.

This is for my annual 'mans trip' at the end of June. So here it goes, I think I have a good recipe for the grains/hops/yeast I have on hand and would like to avoid buying extra stuff of this will yield good results. The drinkers are not quite strict BMC drinkers, but I'm def pushing the envelope with a saison - oh well for them, good for me, hopefully they love it!

Grains:
7# US 2 row
2# Maris Otter
1.5# Vienna
1# Honey
1# Wheat Malt
8oz Flaked Oats

Hops:
0.5oz Centennial @ 60min
0.5oz Sorachi Ace @ 5min
0.5oz Sorachi Ace @ Dry Hop (5-10 days)

Yeast:
Wyeast 3711 French Saison

Misc:
Whirlfoc @ 5min
0.5oz Lime Zest @ 5min
0.25oz Coriander @ 5min

So basically, how does that look? Should I remove or add anything? I've been thinking that some US crystal might be called for.... I have 20, 40, 60, and 120 - whaddya think, appropriate?

Thanks in advance for any help!

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Old 05-10-2012, 04:12 PM   #2
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Your recipe looks pretty good. I would like to offer a few considerations based off of personal experience.

1. Forget about the crystal malts. The caramel flavor conflicts with the aroma and flavors produced by the yeast. Use only a small amount for cheek if you have too.

2. This beer likes to be dry, and 3711 will definitely do its job under the right conditions, but a bit of simple sugar @ 10 min. or so will aid in this, say 1 lb. or so. I personally like palm sugar in my saison.

3. 3711 is a bad ass! I think the coriander and lime should be carefully weighed considering that 3711 will contribute its own type of spiciness. The limes might be a nice pairing with sorachi ace, but you can over-do it in a heartbeat with the coriander.

4. I personally like to dry hope mine. Just saying.

Lastly, I would like to remind you, in case you haven't heard it before, that fermentation temp control is a huge contributor to overall beer quality. I like to pitch all my ales in the 65 to 68 degree range and keep them there, but with the saison, let it raise into the high 70s or low 80s range in a few days and stay there till terminal gravity is reached, followed by whatever you normally do at that point.

For fun, I like to make a small saison, say o.g. of 1.043, and use the yeast cake for your bigger one. The session saisons are so incredibly wonderful and easy to drink, and the low grav. will keep you from falling on your face.
Happy brewing!

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Old 05-10-2012, 04:18 PM   #3
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I like the lime zest...nice. Do you have a target OG in mind for this one?

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Old 05-10-2012, 04:19 PM   #4
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Overall decent advice from CJPaul, but having used 3711 recently here's my take:

No need to add sugar for 3711, my last saison which was almsot entirely Pilsner malt fermented down to 1.000 - seriously.. was not expecting that. Started at 1.07, so I way overshot my ABV.

Also, I wouldn't get the temps that high with this yeast - it doesn't need it and it can get fusely if you take it up that high. I started at about 68 and raised to 75ish and it's really hot right now - not sure how much it will mellow. I was hoping it wouldn't need to age, but now I've got a keg of saison I can't drink because it's prickly hot. Weather is 80-90 right now and I'm craving brightly carbonated Belgian beers and really wishing I'd brewed it with a different yeast or kept my OG down to 1.055 or 1.06 at most.

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Old 05-10-2012, 05:10 PM   #5
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Thanks for all of the great replies guys! I appreciate the input.

So it seems like a decent start then. That's good.

CJPaul: I will not add any crystal - that was my original thought too, which is why I left it out of the recipe, but thought I would ask anyways. As for the coriander - I generally like a bit of the spice in my wits, but seeing as this is my first saison I will leave it out to let the 3711 shine through. Also, I like the idea of dry hopping. I have edited the original post with an additional 0.5oz of Sorachi Ace for DH

Homebrewhaha: Assuming a 75% efficiency, I am shooting for about 1.067 OG with an expected OG around 1.005, knowing this beast of a yeast! I might pull back on either the Honey or the base malt per bruin's suggestions about it possibly being hot.

With that said, since we are talking about simple sugars - I see that most dry saison's have a bit in it which is why I'm adding some orange blossom honey. Wont this basically be like adding a simple sugar? I know that honey isn't exactly as simple as straight sucrose, but it should do the same trick, right?

Thanks again!

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Old 05-10-2012, 05:24 PM   #6
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Honey is a simple sugar and will ferment out completely. The complications come in a mead because there aren't enough nutrients with just the honey for the yeast to finish up, but in the case of a beer where you add honey, there should be plenty of nutrients already there from the rest of the beer.

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Old 05-10-2012, 05:34 PM   #7
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My last saison I added a touch of acidulated malt and black pepper in the boil and it work well with the dryness of the style.

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Old 05-10-2012, 05:36 PM   #8
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Thanks Bruin,

So here's my plan for this weekend.

1) drop the 7# of 2-row to 6#
2) drop the 16oz of honey to 8oz
3) switch the centennial bittering addition to Motueka (more fruitiness & goes well with the Sorachi Ace)
4) add a dry hop addition of Sorachi Ace.

Right now I am aiming for around 1.055-1.06 OG and IBU's of 25-30. (BU:OG = ~0.5)

Sound good? Is this a good bitterness for a saison?

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Old 05-10-2012, 06:13 PM   #9
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Hopsaholic:

Hmmm.... my last wit used some aciduated malt and was really good. I think for my first crack at a saison I am going to keep it simple grain wise and leave out the spices.

Thanks for the input!

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Old 05-11-2012, 02:42 AM   #10
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If you'd like to here it from the boss, Jamil writes about saison in the Style Profile section of the May-June BYO. I thought you were using Honey malt, not bee honey. Jamil endorses the use of plain jane table sugar as the simple sugar of choice, but I like the idea of honey. I can imagine how nice it will taste if a slight amount of the honey sweetness remains when finished. Your recipe looks great, and you kept it good and simple. Now brew it before you over-think it.

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