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Old 01-27-2010, 03:29 PM   #1
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Default saison and added sugar

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Old 01-27-2010, 03:33 PM   #2
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Sweet, the word cheating will appear in this thread in 3...2....1.....

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Old 01-27-2010, 03:36 PM   #3
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Saison is a high alcohol beer...that is why people add the sugar. I made a saison last summer with sugar and regret it. It is just now becoming good to drink. (I wanted it to be ready in October!) Sugar in beer just doesnt do it for me. I would skip the step if I were. Of course that is only one man's opinion.

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Old 01-27-2010, 03:38 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cliff897 View Post
I
Maybe I'm wrong:
Saison is a light dry crisp relatively low alcohol beer with lots of flavor from the ferment.
Adjuncts such as spices citrus peel etc., are not part of a traditional saison.
from what I recall, BJCP seems to feel otherwise.
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Old 01-27-2010, 03:48 PM   #5
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Refined sugars will give a gluey mouthfeel? What?
Refined sugars ferment out entirely, thinning the mouthfeel and reducing the final gravity. This accentuates any dry crispness.

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Old 01-27-2010, 04:23 PM   #6
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Hmmm

Well this guy says it is a relatively low alcohol beer at 5 - 8%
http://www.beerhunter.com/styles/saison.html
He could be wrong.

But here's why I think he's right:
It's a french country ale. They'd be using wild yeasts.
As a rule wild yeasts tend not to have as high an alcohol tolerance than those that are genetically engineered to be used in brewing which often top out at 10% or higher. There are always exceptions to the "rule"s but I think this holds out.
http://www.probrewer.com/resources/y...tamination.php
There are literally thousands and thousands ( maybe billions) of yeast types in the Genus Saccharomyces, which is the umbrella Genus of yeasts that make alcohol. The vast majority of them are not terribly hearty.


"Saccharomyces cerevisiae is referred to as the "true" wine yeast, and it's only on about 1 in 1,000 berries. Its alcohol tolerance enables fermentation up to and beyond 13% alcohol."
http://ezinearticles.com/?Wild-Yeast...tory&id=948413
That's one grape berry in a thousand that has this hearty yeast.

So I sort of believe in my own non-expert way that a real traditional Saison is a low alcohol beer that is made from the grains that are left over from the long winter. Which, if human nature holds true, won't have been the pick of the crop.


Why I say the sugar will make it gluey:
If the yeast can't get past 5% the extra sugar will be gluey.


Of course, as you've surely deduced, I'm working from a host of preconceptions about what a Saison is.
for example it's traditionally a spring brew meaning the yeasts would be the new yeasts of the spring not the hearty ones that survived into the winter as a Christmas beer might have. ( Mind you, I ain't no yeast molecular biologist).


As it regards what the beer judges think.
I can't help what they think. They have their own issues and priorities.

So back to the original issue:
Why are people adding sugar to what they are calling Saisons?
Are they trying to get a lighter color?
Maybe that's it: lighter color and more alcohol?
After all damn few people today are using wild yeasts.

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Old 01-27-2010, 04:48 PM   #7
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5-8% isn't a low alcohol beer and the White Labs Saison yeast can probably handle up to 10% or so. Like you said, no one uses wild yeast for these beers anymore so there is no need to worry about the yeast topping out at 5% alcohol. And as to why people are using sugar, like maskednegator said: "Refined sugars ferment out entirely, thinning the mouthfeel and reducing the final gravity. This accentuates any dry crispness."

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Old 01-27-2010, 05:56 PM   #8
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Well fer sure, it's not the 2% beer they used to have around universities and in the Nam. But I didn't call it a small beer. That's too precise a term for what was a rural products that was probably different every time it was made. I said "relatively low alcohol"
Such wonderful wiggle room. Relative to what?

I've been thinking of doing a Saison.
I think I'll try one with lots of Belgian pilsner, some Munich, some Belgian Aromatics, some wheat and White's WLP565.
Maybe SAZZ, Centennial, and Cascade
I'm sure the French country farmers didn't have a lot of different hops to choose from. But, I like hops.

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Old 01-27-2010, 06:05 PM   #9
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A traditional saison (back in the day) was a low alcohol beer. A modern saison, especially after us Americans got a hold of it, has become a different creature entirely. You can do it either way, whichever suits you.

I made mine with a pound of sugar and it came out amazing. It's just a hair under 9% abv but doesn't taste over 4%. It's wonderfully crisp and dry and was good just a few weeks after bottling. I used plain old table sugar. The sugar does more than just up the ABV, it lightens the body which is part of the style.

I didn't use any spices in it and it's plenty spicy as it is, just from the goodies the yeast gave me. Citrusy and peppery and nummy.

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Old 01-27-2010, 06:20 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bknifefight View Post
5-8% isn't a low alcohol beer
It is here in Belgium. Saisons are usually the weakest beer in a breweries lineup over here. After living here for 3 years I consider a saison to be a "light" early in the day kind of beer.
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