WLP565 Belgian Saison Yeast in a Black Saison
I am thinking about brewing a black saison this Friday to be ready for consumption in February. I haven't used this yeast before.
Here is the recipe I found in : "A Saision for Every Season" - Drew Beechum
for 5.5 U.S. gallons (20.8 L)
11.5 lb (5.21 kg) Belgian Pilsner Malt
0.60 lb (0.27 kg) Crystal 120L
1.0 lb (0.45 kg) Munich Malt
0.4 lb (0.18 kg) Vienna Malt
0.4 lb (0.18 kg) Wheat Malt
0.25 lb (0.11 kg) Carafa Malt
0.50 lb (0.22 kg) Turbinado Sugar
0.75 lb (0.34 kg) Dark Candi Sugar
1.4 oz (40 g) Styrian Goldings Hop
Pellets, 4.7% AA, 60 minutes
0.5 oz (14 g) Saaz Hop Pellets, 3.5%
AA, 20 minutes
1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
1 cinnamon stick (secondary)
Yeast: See text for a selection of
Saison yeasts to choose from
Original Gravity: 1.080
90 minute boil
Mash in at 149° F (65° C) (1.25 quarts/lb
strike water) and hold 60 minutes. Boil 90
minutes adding hops as indicated in recipe.
Add turbinado and candi sugar for last 5 minutes
of the boil. Add vanilla bean and cinnamon
stick to the secondary and age one
WLP565 Belgian Saison: This is the stuff
of legends. Slightly funky and earthy with
a deep spicy bite, with the right treatment
and patience the yeast can drop a 1.080
beer to 1.010 or lower.
I haven't used that yeast actually, but I bet by "right treatment" that means ferment 75-80F+ for at least a week or two. Anyhow, sounds tasty to me!
That's what I was thinking 75 degrees sounds about right. Plus I can use my new fermwrap and temp controller!
if its anything like wyeast 3724 (and im not sure that it is, i know that they are both belgian), be prepared for it to get stuck at 1.03.
I have used the 3724 and also white labs Farmhouse Blend (platinum series availabe in late summer) The farmhouse blend attenuated much better and has more "funkiness" to it that the 3724 in my opinion. My friend really likes the WLP Saison II, his attenuated all he way down.
If you don't have that yeast fermenting in the 80-90 your wasting your time. Saison is a saison because of yeast behavior.
I had my Saison outside covered with a black tarp on a concrete slab in the heat of summer...At night it fell back down to 75...In the day I put it back outside. The Saison will be remarkably dry and have very little funky character. If you can keep it into the 80's by all means do it.
The nice thing about Saison yeast is that you don't have to cool the wort down as long. Those who complain about the WLP565 not attenuating as good as the 3724 are being wimps...Give the Saison hell for temperatures and it will give you ale of epic complexity and dryness. Enjoy.
75 is okay to start. But I would strongly recommend ramping it up from there. Try 2° per day for 7 days, so that after a week you'll be at 89°.
Have some cojones. Dupont ferments it at 95°. That's more to increase turnover than anything else, but obviously it still produces a good beer. Maintaining 75° with this yeast will result in a boring, and probably underattenuated, beer.
Some other recommendations:
- underpitch, but oxygenate heavily
- do NOT use a blow-off. In fact, try to just cover the opening with tinfoil instead of using an airlock. The higher the water column that the beer is venting into, the more pressure it's under, and the more esters are suppressed.
emjay I disagree...Ramping up serves no purpose. The Saison yeast will create the desired esters when pushed at higher temperatures 80-90 degrees is optimal. The ale will drop gravity points in the first three days rather rapidly then finish down just fine if you give it an extra two weeks.
Saison yeast is not like a conventional American ale yeast...The hotter the temp the better for Saison.
The last time I used 565 I had it up to 82-84*F and kept it there for the 1st week. I also pitched at 75. The trick with this yeast is temperature and a big starter. As far as ramping up or not I haven't been able to tell the difference, so I think thats personal preference. Keep it warm and it will do it's thing. Like many other Belgian strains it doesn't like rapid temp drops. It shocks the yeast, so avoid that.
Yes, only the first little while is going to have an impact on esters. Having it ramp up, from a starting temp that's already somewhat high, encourages a more balanced overall profile in my experience. Don't forget, there are a number of esters that have different contributions.
After the first few days, yes, the impact on esters will be negligible. The reason I suggest to continue ramping up is to make sure it attenuates as fully as possible.
Don't get me wrong, I am all about the esters in a saison and think they are critical and should be in high levels. But "the hotter the better" simply isn't true. Even the foremost authorities on these ales concede that Dupont's use of a 95° temperature is solely to make fermentation speed along, and that more moderate temperatures produce a better beer.
Believe me, I'm not confusing this with an American ale, and I sort of resent the implication. I would never ferment an APA at 75-80°, it would taste like crap. But in my opinion (and in the unambiguous opinion of the judges who have scored so many of my saisons), hotter is not always better, and high-70's to mid-80's have produced beers with this yeast that have been far superior to saisons fermented outside this range - on the high and low ends.
I also edited the post to include several other things that have improved the ester profile in my saisons.
There are few "rules" for Saisons. I've only brewed one but I had it sitting around 80F for most of the primary fermentation time. Tastes amazing. Then again Saison Dupont is one of my favorite saisons, which as people have noted is fermented at 95F. Whether it's done to speed up fermentation or not, I think it pretty clearly makes for a characteristic flavor and aroma that many enjoy. Anyhow, this is all good advice but I'm sure if you have a good yeast, ferment higher than typical ales, and just have good ingredients and process I'm sure you'll make a delicious Saison! :mug:
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