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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Fermentation & Yeast > Fermentation and duration - saison
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Old 07-14-2012, 08:59 PM   #1
aoiya
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Default Fermentation and duration - saison

Hi all - I'm making my first

Recipe. I've used bel pils as my base with white wheat rahr as a major grain (28% of mixture) - which is heavy on that side but I wanted something a bit different (and wheats are my thing). I also added the typical ger munich for breadiness and balance as well as flaked oat for creaminess. I picked styrian goldings and Ive added coriander seed and orange peel (at 15 mins - don't want to get punched in the face with that but I thought it'd go well with the yeast's natural pepperiness). Im hoping the recipe won't be too plain, but since its such low alcohol it may be anyway.... I'm aiming for the more traditional ABV for saisons - 3-5%. This one should be about 4.5% - i get a good 80% efficiency. I've used wyeast 3711 (French saison yeast) which I've heard works harder/faster than other strains.

Now, my questions.

1) I usually work with lambics, so I'm used to sitting around waiting for fermentation to complete. Would you suggest to wait till I reach my ideal gravity - I read it's usually 1.055-1.080 - is that correct?

Or wait the normal 3 mos (<- read that was typical aging time- truth in that?)? I'm wondering with my yeast if I need it to sit around as long....also should I routinely swirl the bottle to encourage the yeast?

2) I've heard people go back and forth on what ferm temp to use - to start cool and ramp up or start high and stay there. I'm curious to know the pros and cons of each - what is your experience ? So l just need to know length and temp....thanks for the advice

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Old 07-15-2012, 02:20 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aoiya
Hi all - I'm making my first

Recipe. I've used bel pils as my base with white wheat rahr as a major grain (28% of mixture) - which is heavy on that side but I wanted something a bit different (and wheats are my thing). I also added the typical ger munich for breadiness and balance as well as flaked oat for creaminess. I picked styrian goldings and Ive added coriander seed and orange peel (at 15 mins - don't want to get punched in the face with that but I thought it'd go well with the yeast's natural pepperiness). Im hoping the recipe won't be too plain, but since its such low alcohol it may be anyway.... I'm aiming for the more traditional ABV for saisons - 3-5%. This one should be about 4.5% - i get a good 80% efficiency. I've used wyeast 3711 (French saison yeast) which I've heard works harder/faster than other strains.

Now, my questions.

1) I usually work with lambics, so I'm used to sitting around waiting for fermentation to complete. Would you suggest to wait till I reach my ideal gravity - I read it's usually 1.055-1.080 - is that correct?

Or wait the normal 3 mos (<- read that was typical aging time- truth in that?)? I'm wondering with my yeast if I need it to sit around as long....also should I routinely swirl the bottle to encourage the yeast?

2) I've heard people go back and forth on what ferm temp to use - to start cool and ramp up or start high and stay there. I'm curious to know the pros and cons of each - what is your experience ? So l just need to know length and temp....thanks for the advice
The first response you will probably get is "oh, saison yeast always stalls". I have done enough of them to know that after fermentation looks like it is done when you are in the 1.018-1.009 range. After that it needs to "dry out" for a few weeks. I can usually get mine down to 1.004 by doing this. The book "Farmhouse Ales" gives a good account of how Saison DuPont is fermented on page 176. For one week in primary at 90-95. According to the book SdP was only fermented at such a high temp to speed up fermentation for production reasons notams a means to achieve any flavors. The yeast will do the same at lower temps like 75. 3711 is recommended at 64 to 77 and WLP 565 is at 68 to 75. I have done both hot (90 degrees) and warm (75) and I have not had much difference. I honestly have not used 3711 but I do prefer 3724 over WLP 565 for many reasons. I bottle and cage when done then store on their side turning them every so often. The both yeast can be clumpy in the bottle. i can see why SdP centrifuges then re-pitches. As I said people will always say that is stops but the fact is that fermentation is over when the krausen stage stops. I think your plan sounds great. I made a low gravity saison last summer with very little hops and it was delicious. Good Luck.
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Old 07-15-2012, 02:48 AM   #3
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3711 is different than most saison yeasts. It will work at a lot of temps and always finish low. I like to pitch ot in the mid 60's , let it rise and then warm it up. It will finish low. Depending o. your mash temp it should finish in the low 1.004-1.002 range. I did an extract saison that finished at 1.004. With the low OG you should definitely finish in a pretty short time. My saisons are usually in the. 1.060 range and I just leave them for four weeks ,but they are usually done earlier.

enjoy

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Old 07-15-2012, 03:47 PM   #4
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Depending on your mash temp, 3711 could get down to 1.000. I've had it go down to 0.999 before. It is a beast. I like to run the yeast at 75 F throughout and ramp up to low 80s when just about finished (after a week). I would say you don't have to keep the beer in the fermenter for more than a month, although longer will result in less sediment in the bottle, and there is no need to swirl the fermenter.

3711 should not stall.

3711 is not my favorite saison yeast, but it is certainly simple to use. I am finding the beers, made with this yeast, are getting much better with time. Some bottles I have had for a year have been very much better than after 3 months. Save a few bottles; it will be worth it.

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Old 07-17-2012, 04:28 PM   #5
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I mashed at ~149 deg F. Dok, by "dry out," you mean let it rest awhile in ferm 1 or move to ferm 2 for a few weeks? I have it sitting out in a dark corner in my hallway so it can ferment warmer - at 78 deg and I'm going to ramp it into the mid 80s. Initial gravity is 1.044.

I'll aim for about 4 weeks and see where that gets me. I'll test once fermentation stops to see where I'm at. I picked 3711 because of its description - I don't have experience with either of the wyeast strands or any of the 3 from white labs. This is a test batch so I'll see where it gets me - I kind of want to do smaller, maybe 1g, batches for each one though I suspect some of the strands from the different brands are the same essentially.

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Old 08-05-2012, 04:02 PM   #6
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Do you leave the beer at these high temps for the duration of the primary? For instance if I ramped my temps from 68 to 85 over the first week do I keep it at 85 for the next 2 to 3 weeks?

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Old 10-06-2012, 09:35 PM   #7
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Thought you might want an update - my final gravity was 1.004. Very peppery from the coriander at first but that mellowed over the 4 weeks I had it kegged. The orange peel was light but noticeable. I kept it in primary for 4 weeks - kegged directly from there. The starting temp was 74 and I ramped over the first week to 82 which maintained. Over all, the first week kegged, I wasn't very impressed. By week 3 and 4 it was spectacular. Pretty good attempt for my first saison (though kind of a saison/ Belgian white hybrid). I had no issue with the yeast at all - glad I picked the one I did (thought I know a lot of people dislike it).

Jonboy - to get ideal favors from the yeast, you want the high ferment temps and you want to steadily maintain them as much as possible. I usually have my fermenters in the closet (in a container of water and a fan blowing on them if necessary). For this one, I set it in a darker corner of the living, put an old tshirt over it since the better bottle is clear. It was summer so I didn't have to cater too much to it - this would be a difficult beer to make any other time of year.

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Old 10-06-2012, 11:50 PM   #8
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Sounds delicious. I'm fermenting saison with that yeast right now. Two weeks and it's down to 1.002 from 1.065. Looking forward.

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