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Old 02-22-2012, 01:23 AM   #1
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Default Fermentation temps for Dupont/Brett saison

I'm planning a Dupont/Brett saison in the very near future. I know the Dupont strain is finicky when not properly heated, and even then can sometimes be troublesome. I am planning on pitching Fantome/Orval/JP dregs (not sure which dregs yet).

I have a couple concerns here. I do not have a heating pad/brew belt/ferm wrap. Without it I will be able to keep the beer at about 73ºF ambient. I'm worried that if I don't keep the beer warm enough, and it stalls, the residual sugars will be too much for the Brett/bugs to chew through and I'll end up with a sweet beer. Is this the case?

Also, I'm concerned about adding my dregs in primary with higher fermentation temps. Will this cause off flavors from the Brett or a hugely increased sour presence? Sour is ok, I just don't want it to be the focal point of the saison. I know lacto does not work as well in higher IBU environments, but JP has some pretty IBU resistant lacto, or so I've heard.

I understand that I also have the option of fermenting it with controlled, elevated temps and adding dregs in secondary. I am concerned about the FG dropping too low and not leaving enough sugars for the Brett to chew on.

What is my best course of action here?

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Old 02-22-2012, 03:35 AM   #2
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If you just want it to be funky instead of sour, just add orval dregs. Don't add the others as they will make a more sour beer. If you want slight sourness just sour mash or use some acid malt.

73F will be fine. You may want to wait until summer starts to roll around to brew so you can stick it outside during the day when it's in the 80s and let that Dupont strain finish off. Although if you want to get some brett funk you might want to let the Dupont strain go at 73 and whenever it drops off add your Orval dregs. If you want it really bretty you can always add some maltodextrin with the dregs.

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Old 02-22-2012, 03:46 AM   #3
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Go big with DuPont yeast. Its the only way to a) get the flavors you want and b) get that yeast to attenuate.

I just did a saison and fermented at an average temp of 87. It was a 1.065, dropped to 1.008 in 2 days. It is delicious. Absolutely no alcohol flavor, just a pleasant fruit, pepper, and clove spiciness (all Saaz).

Another way to make sure you attenuate is if you stress the starter of Saison yeast (make a big starter 1.075ish) then pitch that with an unsmacked pack of 3711.

Funk: make a nice size colony on brew day, let sit unroll you're ready to bottle, then add the Orval bit. It will be light and horsey, but won't get the chance to eat too much (with the 3711, it might chew 1-2GU's tops) and will be great in the bottle for a year.

FYI: DuPont ferments at 30C.

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Old 02-23-2012, 05:59 AM   #4
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I went and bought a small $17 heating fan from Walmart for my 2 slow Dupont strain beers I have going. Another 10 bucks got a digital thermometer to get an idea of temp around them. Wrapped em in blankets and have the heater blowing on them in the closet. Been able to get them in the 80-95 range depending on where I aim the heater and what level I set it at.

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Old 02-23-2012, 02:46 PM   #5
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I'm not all that experienced with Saison yeasts, but am fairly familiar with the use of Belgian strains. Correct me if I'm wrong, but increased temps of the Dupont strain should only push attenuation, not so much the flavor profile? The phenols should be there regardless of temp (maybe more so because it's slightly cooler) and most of the ester profile will be consumed by the Brett.

My two main concerns are that if thrown in the primary (along with Dupont), will Brett create off flavors if kept in the 75-78 range during fermentation, and will it be able to chew through most of what is left? If it cant handle that many gravity points then I may pitch 3711 once a nice funk profile is established. I want more than subtle funk.

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Old 02-26-2012, 08:49 PM   #6
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I did this last spring. Made a starter from 2 bottles of dupont and 2 bottles of jp. Let it ride in a non-climate controlled room, so typically in the 80s. Went from 1.077 to 1.005. Was good at 6 months, real good at 8. JP dregs are aggressive and fast acting and will more than take care of any stall from the dupont strain, but also dominate the flavor.

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Old 02-27-2012, 12:23 AM   #7
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I currently have dupont grown out of a bottle fermenting right now. I started the fermentor in the 60s. 12 hours later I upped it to 76 and 12 hours after that I went to 86 (the temp controller setting, it took a while to get there). I want that beer to ferment fast as possible. If it dies out I might add some brett. The if you're adding brett then don't worry too awful much about the temp for the dupont strain as long as you can get it up in the high 70s to low 80s.

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