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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Recipes/Ingredients > Trying to clone Prickly Passion Saison by New Belgium
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Old 10-04-2012, 06:19 PM   #1
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Default Trying to clone Prickly Passion Saison by New Belgium

For some reason, my sister in law really likes this beer and has requested that I try to clone it for her as a Christmas present. From the NB website:

Prickly pear and passion fruit mingle together for New Belgium’s return to farmhouse ales. Prickly Passion Saison is truly a beer for Belgian inspiration. The combination of passion fruit and prickly pear juices with the tropical esters of a traditionally earthy Saison yeast create a wonderfully broad and reaching mango-like character. Ostentatiously amber, this Prickly Passion Saison is sure to provoke the palate with a passionate prick, turn that bottle over and take a sip.

Just the facts Ma'am...

Birthdate - October, 2011
ABV - 8.5%

Hops - Target, Liberty
Malts - Pale, C-80
Fruits/Spice - Prickly Pear, Passionfruit

Body - Light - Medium

Aroma - The yeast dominates its bouquet with big fruit and peppery notes, banana and pineapple undertones with a faint caramel malt backbone.

Mouthfeel - Starts sweet and juicy but finishes dry and warm due to the higher ABV, and because of that fruity sweetness, this otherwise lighter bodied beer will seem much fuller- medium bodied.

Flavor - Almost sticky sweet in the beginning and middle- tons of strawberry and moist tropical melon- but still with that strange addition of banana and fig. Spicy late linger and slight caramel notes.

Visual - Deep glowing amber with the slightest sheen, nice white foam and light lacing.

I have personally tried this beer one time. It was definitely sweet, but overall not super fruity. It honestly just tasted like a sweet saison.

Before we even get into a specific recipe, I'm concerned with the fruit additions.

I called whole foods and they do carry passion fruit and can order me prickly pears, not sure on the cost. I've looked online and you can buy puree for both prickly pear and passionfruit, but it's $25 per tub of each (30oz). The description above says "juices", so I'm not sure if the real fruit ever touches the beer.

What is the best way to go for getting these fruits in the beer? Additionally, prickly pears are red and from searching on here are used in meads, turning them red. This beer was definitely not red, it was a shade of gold. How could that be possible?

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Old 10-04-2012, 09:46 PM   #2
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Is the juice also red or is it a lighter color? If it is a lighter color, that's probably why that saison isn't red. It's also possible it's added in such small quantities it doesn't have a substantial effect on the color. I don't know how much NB will share about their processes but it wouldn't hurt to email and ask.

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Old 10-05-2012, 05:28 PM   #3
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The juice looks to be red as well. It appears there are some other varieties of prickly pears, that are different colors, but the main or most popular kind is bright red. I also considered that they just use very little of it. I thought about emailing but from reading other posts about NB beers I wasn't sure they actually respond with real info.

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Old 10-05-2012, 06:19 PM   #4
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I don't think they would respond with disinformation. They might just tell you they can't say. Maybe it's just me but I don't remember picking up a lot of prickly pear, much more passion fruit. Perhaps there just isn't a lot in the beer.

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Old 10-09-2012, 05:50 PM   #5
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That would make sense as to why the color didn't seem to be affected much. I'm going to operate under that assumption and use mostly passion fruit. From the info on NB's website I put together the start of a recipe: http://hopville.com/recipe/1653543

Thoughts? The grain bill just seems super basic to me, is that a problem? Should I use something other than regular ol 2 row? Hops look ok? Also, this does not need to be an exact clone. We won't be doing any side by side taste tests. Really, it needs to be a high alcohol saison with some sweet fruit character.

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Old 10-09-2012, 06:34 PM   #6
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Some wheat, munich, and pilsener malt in place of straight 2-row wouldn't hurt.

I wouldn't use American Crystal 80. It seems too sweet, raisiny, dark, and rich for a Saison. Remember, your color will also be affected by the fruit addition.

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Old 10-09-2012, 07:10 PM   #7
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I've made a saison before with pale, munich, and wheat that turned out nice. I could certainly use that bill. I just wonder why NB is claiming it's made of pale and C-80. Good point on the fruit, although I have no clue how it will really affect the color.

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Old 12-20-2012, 02:50 AM   #8
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how did this turn out? a friend requested a prickly pear beer and I am still undecided on general style. he suggested ipa, but the sound of a saison makes me salivate. reviews on NB's beer seem to be mediocre.

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Old 12-20-2012, 03:32 PM   #9
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i never ended up making it due to not knowing what to do for the grain bill, but more importantly the headache involved with getting the fruit. it was going to be expensive and i wasn't really sure how much i needed, etc. i decided not to spend that amount of time and money on something i wasn't remotely sure would turn out decent.

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Old 12-20-2012, 05:23 PM   #10
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I thought thats what homebrewing is all about- trying something new and challenging.

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