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Old 05-08-2008, 02:05 AM   #1
EinGutesBier
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Default Question on Saison attenuation, gravity readings and heating pads

A week and a half ago, I started fermentation on my batch of Saison using Wyeast 3724. The started gravity was 1.056 and today the gravity is 1.010. The last time I checked it was last weekend and it was at 1.020 and a lot sweeter, since it's dried out by now. My guess is that it's fairly well done attenuating, thanks to the heating pads I've been using. After peeking in the minibrew fermenter, I saw that there's a nice carpet of white foam, not quite krausen, and even some trub that was carried up.

I'm wondering whether or not it's done entirely fermenting, or if the heating pads are just causing dissolved CO2 to rise and form that layer on top. My guess is that it's done, though. But if I can get a general consensus, I'll probably pull the yeast off and let it condition the rest of this week and bottle on the weekend. Thanks, folks.

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Old 05-08-2008, 03:20 AM   #2
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It might not be done. Saison is one of my favorite styles to brew, I usually get +90%AA. I have made a 1.055 sason than finished at 1.006. My advice would be: leave the beer for about two more weeks and see where the gravity is, then you can proceed to bottling or secondary.

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Old 05-08-2008, 03:27 AM   #3
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Why the rush to bottle? I'd wait to make sure it was done, I let the beer tell me its ready not vice-versa.

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Old 05-08-2008, 03:30 AM   #4
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Iordz, you seem to know your Saisons. Got a quick question for you - could you tell me if the brew sounds about right, judging by the following taste description? Bear in mind that I added 2 lbs of clear candi sugar and 1.5 oz. of orange peel to this 8 gallon batch. The hops for this one are some generic bittering, with Saaz and Tettnanger for an IBU rating of 38.

The initial taste is generically citrusy, changing into a more grapefruit-like taste. After that fades a bit, the phenolic spices come into the taste, then both merge together, becoming a grapefruity, spicy taste with a fairly evenly balanced hop and malt aftertaste.

I know it's green beer, but this is my first "real" Saison and I was hoping it sounds all right. I just expected more bubblegum or pear or apple flavor, but maybe the high phenolics is due to the 80+ fermentation temperature I've been doing. Thanks again.

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Originally Posted by landhoney View Post
Why the rush to bottle? I'd wait to make sure it was done, I let the beer tell me its ready not vice-versa.
Normally, I wouldn't rush it, but I promised someone I'd get started on a brew for them and it has to be ready to go by the 26th of June. Just trying to micro-manage the fermenter. : / I may try to see if I can find another way around it, though.
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Old 05-08-2008, 04:34 AM   #5
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Really well put LH!

EinGutesBier, your saison sounds right. I learn about styles by trying good commercial examples, luckily there is a liquor store I go to that has a plethora of saisons. I always get something I haven't tried before when I go there. I would say that it is very important to try different examples, take what you like from the beer and incorporate it into your brew.
The reason I say this is because your saison sounds right, yet at the same time there are other examples out there that are great but they go in other directions. Saisons can be funky, fruity, "soft" or "rustic," while some are spicy (i prefer to let the yeast do this naturally) or hoppy, that's the beauty of the style, it's open to interpretation.
I think you brewed your beer in the spirit of Belgian brewing, which is what counts. Try to get your hands on some good commercial examples and see what they are like. Remember, always finish dry and don’t rush! Also, there are many paths that can lead to a great saison that are worth exploring.

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