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Old 06-02-2009, 12:25 PM   #1
Stevorino
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Default Fermentation of Saison Style

I'd really like to brew this weekend but my fermentation chamber is full!

SWMBO has always asked me to make a Saison and I think this may finally be the time to do it. My understanding is that Saisons need to start a bit cool in their fermentation and then ramp up quite a bit.

Has anyone fermented Saisons and have experiences/successes that show that I could ferment this thing pretty hot and get a good result?

I'm thinking about cooling the wort down to around 68 for pitching and then just putting it in my attic (I live in Atlanta) -- I figure it'll be in the 80's to 90's up there and that the temperature will probably fluctuate during the day and night. Any suggestions?

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Old 06-02-2009, 12:28 PM   #2
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Pitch around 80° and let it ride. The yeast will give you all that wonderful peppery bite that I crave in Saison Dupont.

Don't know if you've decided on a recipe, but keep the grist simple. 80% Pilsner 10% wheat malt and 10% Munich is an excellent combination in my mind.

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Old 06-02-2009, 12:38 PM   #3
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. . . and then just putting it in my attic (I live in Atlanta) -- I figure it'll be in the 80's to 90's up there . . . the temperature will probably fluctuate during the day and night. Any suggestions?
Try to avoid the flucatuation. Wrapping in insulation or just a blanket might help hold a more constant temperature. I wonder if putting it in an ice chest filled with water would help? But the attic sounds like a good idea.
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Old 06-02-2009, 01:07 PM   #4
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Try to avoid the flucatuation. Wrapping in insulation or just a blanket might help hold a more constant temperature. I wonder if putting it in an ice chest filled with water would help? But the attic sounds like a good idea.
Yeah, the temperature flux is my biggest fear with this method. I also considered getting some kind of pan for the carboy to sit in, fill it with water, and a towel over it so that the water could wick up it and act as an insulator -- but I'm afraid that would cool it down a lot.

Would the blanket cause it to heat up too much?

FlyAngler - 80 degrees starting point seems a tad high -- has it worked for you?
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In Keezer:
1. BCS - Wet Hopped West Coast Blaster
2. CYBI - Gordon's IPA Clone
3. BCS - Scottish -80
4. BCS - Specialty Saison (Gold Medal at BMO)
In Process:
1. BCS - Janet's Brown Ale (Fermenting)

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Old 06-02-2009, 01:13 PM   #5
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You need to get the saisons pretty warm to get them to attenuate all the way. I've got mine sitting in a swamp cooler with an aquarium heater set to 85 degrees and its been bubbling for 3 weeks now.

You can get a cheap Rubbermaid tub and an aquarium heater for around $25. Keeps the temps very consistent as far as i can tell.

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Old 06-02-2009, 01:16 PM   #6
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I also considered getting some kind of pan for the carboy to sit in, fill it with water, and a towel over it so that the water could wick up it and act as an insulator -- but I'm afraid that would cool it down a lot.
The water bath without the towel would probably be best. You don't want evaporation, just more mass to hold the temperature constant through the night. If the bath was done in an old, well insulated ice chest it would be even better.




Edit:
If you don't mind spending the money, I like the aquarium heater idea. I wrapped a small heating pad around mine and kept it at around 85 degrees.
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Old 06-02-2009, 01:17 PM   #7
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FlyAngler - 80 degrees starting point seems a tad high -- has it worked for you?
Yes, it has. If you help it, don't allow the fermentation to drop below 80°. Saison yeast defies conventional wisdom re: fermentation temps. You will get lots of peppery bite without spitting out fusels - the strain has been cultured to ferment HOT.
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Old 06-02-2009, 01:21 PM   #8
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I am using a small space heat in my spare bathroom cranked up to around 85F... the krausen had started to fall after a day at about 70F so I swirled the fermenter and cranked (crunk?) up the heat... the krausen is back to rocking at the new high temp. I'm going to hold it between 80 and 85 until it is finished.

My recipe was basically what flyangler suggested, however I pitched 3 gallons of my 8 gallon batch with some brett to see what comes out.

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Old 06-02-2009, 02:19 PM   #9
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Hmmmm, I'm starting to rethink my strategy. It sounds like this brew could require more than just an attic fermentation to do right.

Anyone have experience with using a fermwrap to get it up to the mid 80's? It seems that putting it in a closet with a fermwrap and temp controller may be my best option...

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In Keezer:
1. BCS - Wet Hopped West Coast Blaster
2. CYBI - Gordon's IPA Clone
3. BCS - Scottish -80
4. BCS - Specialty Saison (Gold Medal at BMO)
In Process:
1. BCS - Janet's Brown Ale (Fermenting)

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Old 06-02-2009, 02:22 PM   #10
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Anyone have experience with using a fermwrap to get it up to the mid 80's? It seems that putting it in a closet with a fermwrap and temp controller may be my best option...
That's ALWAYS the best option.
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