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Old 07-12-2010, 03:13 PM   #1
steveo929
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Default Finishing a Saison extra dry

Jamil Z says that to finish a Saison extra dry (as the style demands) you will probably need to add a finishing yeast. Something along the lines of WLP001 or a champagne yeast. But the fermentation temps of Saisons slowly ramps up from 68-85 over the course of a week or so.

My question is do I add the finishing yeast at 85 degrees? All signs point to yes, but this high temp would usually cause off flavors. Or is it such a small additional fermentation that they wouldn't even be noticed?! I'm sure you wouldn't want to bring the temp back down to 68 to pitch the WLP001 but I'm just looking for a correct answer here! Jamil is very vague on the subject of pitching the additional yeast.

Thanks in advance for your help!

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Old 07-13-2010, 02:12 AM   #2
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I'd check the gravity over the course of several days to check if the yeast has actually stalled. If it has e.g. the gravity remains the same, then I would pitch another yeast.

Which strain are you using by the way? If you're using the Wyeast 3711 (French Saison) then you really don't have to worry about it stalling out, it's only with the DuPont strains (WLP 565, 566, Wyeast 3724) that you have to worry about.

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Old 07-13-2010, 02:53 AM   #3
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I used only 3724 in my saison and it finished at 1.002. Raise the temp into the 80's and rouse the yeast when it starts to slow down and it'll finish out. It may take a while but it'll get there.

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Old 07-13-2010, 02:56 AM   #4
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Saisons are also one of the styles I think it is easier to get right doing AG than extract. In my experience it's hard to get extract to ferment out super dry like that, but if you do a long and low mash it'll attenuate like there's no tomorrow.

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Old 07-13-2010, 02:59 AM   #5
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I'm looking at a saison with Wyeast 3711 that's gone from 1.061 to 1.007 in 5 days and is still bubbling. I don't know what the flavor profile will be, but this yeast is an attenuation winner. Of course, if I don't get some farmhouse from it I'll be pissed.

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Old 07-13-2010, 03:23 AM   #6
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Thanks for the tips guys...I do all grain and mashed at 147 for 90 minutes. The yeast is WLP568 which is a Belgian Saison blend. I just made it yesterday and it's bubbling like crazy and I'm sure I'll get it down really low as I increase the temps over the course of fermentation....but the main question I was asking is IF it doesn't get dry enough do I pitch the extra yeast at the 85 degrees or lower it back down?

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Old 07-13-2010, 03:29 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kidsmoke View Post
I'd check the gravity over the course of several days to check if the yeast has actually stalled. If it has e.g. the gravity remains the same, then I would pitch another yeast.

Which strain are you using by the way? If you're using the Wyeast 3711 (French Saison) then you really don't have to worry about it stalling out, it's only with the DuPont strains (WLP 565, 566, Wyeast 3724) that you have to worry about.
In fact, I've heard of people using 3711 as a finishing yeast with a Dupont strain as the primary; supposedly it gives a mostly Dupont-ish flavor but isn't as finicky as trying to raise the temps and keep the Dupont in suspension until it ferments out totally.

I haven't done that, but I have used 3711 and it's a beast--huge attenuation, no problem.
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Old 07-13-2010, 03:37 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steveo929 View Post
Thanks for the tips guys...I do all grain and mashed at 147 for 90 minutes. The yeast is WLP568 which is a Belgian Saison blend. I just made it yesterday and it's bubbling like crazy and I'm sure I'll get it down really low as I increase the temps over the course of fermentation....but the main question I was asking is IF it doesn't get dry enough do I pitch the extra yeast at the 85 degrees or lower it back down?
Yes, you must get the gravity down. If it doesn't get there and the fermentation stalls, pitch some champagne yeast (or better 3711). Keep the temp high through the end of the fermentation. This is what I would do.
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Old 07-13-2010, 06:09 AM   #9
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Yeah, like passedpawn said, keep that temp high even if you pitch another yeast. The majority of fermentation is done by the time you even think about pitching more yeast. Off flavors will be negligible.

Don't rush WLP568. Belgian saison strains take 4-6 weeks to drop to FG. If you mashed at 147 and ramped the temperature up like you said, then you shouldn't have any problem getting to 1.006 - 1.002 - given time and some swirling. If you're really worried about it stalling, go ahead and pitch a healthy 3711 when it gets to 1.020 or so. Not as cheap as champagne yeast, but it tastes better than champagne yeast. Champagne yeast has the potential to take it too low. Trust me. I've done it once and it was below 1.000. Almost too dry. Personal tastes, however.

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Old 07-13-2010, 02:08 PM   #10
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Thanks guys.

I'm hoping it doesn't take 4 weeks! Not that I can't wait but my fermentation chamber will be out of service for other beers if it's holding 85 degree temps. I'm trying to have about 4 kegs for a week-long beach house August 28th! Should have done a 10 gallon batch but I've never done a saison before so I don't know how it'll turn out.

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