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Old 06-30-2011, 07:21 PM   #1
ldgenius2000
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Default Coaxing Fruity Flavors from a saison yeast

In the process of developing a house saison that I can reliably produce, I've tried just about every saison yeast strain I can find. All 3 white labs strains as well as the french strain from Wyeast have been attempted. With only slight variations all produced similar results, namely a strong peppery flavor. Now I know that saison strains produce their best flavors at high temps, and I ramp my batches from 65-80 during fermentation so I'm reasonably sure I should be getting some of these flavors. My question for you fine folks is there one strain in particular that gives you all these flavors, or does it need certain precursor ingredients to make those esters? What tips and techniques do you guys have for getting out that taste?

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Old 06-30-2011, 07:30 PM   #2
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I know if you let Wyeast 3711 kick off at a higher than normal temp (say 72-74) you'll get pear, apricot, and banana--but the banana is overpowering and thus you have to let it age before it balances out.

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Old 07-01-2011, 02:19 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by loapathy View Post
I know if you let Wyeast 3711 kick off at a higher than normal temp (say 72-74) you'll get pear, apricot, and banana--but the banana is overpowering and thus you have to let it age before it balances out.
I like to start my saison yeasts at 75 F, and keep them there thru fermentation and then ramp them up to 85 F at the very end.

The temp at which they start (reproduction phase) produces a lot of the flavor compounds, so if you are starting at 65 F you are missing out.

I, personally, detect no banana from 3711.
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Old 07-01-2011, 10:43 AM   #4
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I'm going to be doing an experiment soon with the Dupont Strain. I'm going to try starting the strain at 80 to 85 and then let it ramp itself up to 92. I'm also going to try to oxygenate as much as possible. I think my mistake last year was doing the ferment in the winter at room temps. Not as good as it could have been.

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Old 07-01-2011, 11:07 AM   #5
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Underpitch, underaerate, use a loose piece of foil instead of an airlock, try to ferment in a wide, rather than tall vessel, and of course, start at a higher temp...

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Old 07-01-2011, 03:14 PM   #6
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I, personally, detect no banana from 3711.
You know... three friends and I split 3711 (made a big starter, decanted, and each took a mason jar's worth to make starters at home). 2 of them had absolutely no banana, one friend had some banana, and mine tasted like a banana flavored soda until it aged some (which is odd for me as I've never had the banana flavor temper itself so well). However, all four were all very, very fruity--vastly different recipes, but the one closest to mine, which only differed in using 2row instead of Pils and using high AA hops for aroma instead of Noble hops, did have noticeable if not over-bearing banana flavor.

But, back on track to the OP's question...
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Old 07-01-2011, 03:30 PM   #7
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Starting out warmer and underaerating are probably your two best bets to produce more fruity esters. Although I don't know how fruity a saison really should be, it's your beer and you should make what you enjoy.

One other thought is to pitch both a saison and an abbey/trappist strain together to get a mixture of fruit and pepper.

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Old 07-03-2011, 03:48 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ReverseApacheMaster View Post
Starting out warmer and underaerating are probably your two best bets to produce more fruity esters. Although I don't know how fruity a saison really should be, it's your beer and you should make what you enjoy.

One other thought is to pitch both a saison and an abbey/trappist strain together to get a mixture of fruit and pepper.
I've tried the Saison Blend, which is the saison and belgian ale strains. I'm going to try the hot pitch temp and perhaps more pils. Thanks for the suggestions.
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