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Old 06-13-2012, 03:31 PM   #511
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I wonder if the aging out of the funkiness has to do with preferred ferm temps. Would higher temps giving more funk last longer? Would fermenting cooler be better to enjoy fresh? Maybe some of the above posters can comment on how long they aged at the preferred temps stated above. I also remember a post claiming that funkiness increased with aging, and I'm curious to know which is right.
I fermented mine on the cool side (68F) and kept it there for maybe 7-8 days before putting it in a room around 70F for a week longer, then primed & bottled and started drinking 7 days later. So that was 21 days Grain-to-Glass. The competition where I won 1st out of 41 entries was about a month later, and now, 3 months after brewing, there are only 5 bottles left (competition entries).

The funk was low from the beginning and remained low throughout. It had that great 3711 silky medium body, an intense citrus-orange start, and a hint of peppery phenol on the finish. The phenols faded first, but everything else has remained pretty much as it started.
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Old 06-13-2012, 05:49 PM   #512
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Awesome info, smagee! Thank you! I'd probably decant the Cointreau, but I hadn't taken the sweetness into account--good call. Did you soak your peels at all or just toss 'em in?
Unless I have some special reason to do otherwise, I just toss 'em. This particular recipe has them added with 5 min left in the boil with the intent of removing them prior to primary, but I typically just leave them in for the entire fermentation.
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Old 06-13-2012, 05:56 PM   #513
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Originally Posted by tennesseean_87 View Post
I wonder if the aging out of the funkiness has to do with preferred ferm temps. Would higher temps giving more funk last longer? Would fermenting cooler be better to enjoy fresh? Maybe some of the above posters can comment on how long they aged at the preferred temps stated above. I also remember a post claiming that funkiness increased with aging, and I'm curious to know which is right.
The idea that the fermentation temp might impact the funk retention (heh) hadn't occurred to me; my last actual saison with this, I actually kept the temp somewhat tightly controlled as best my limited means allowed--I recall it hovering in the 70F range according to the external bucket thermometer, so it was probably around 75F fairly consistently. For a saison, that's pretty low, and that batch is pretty mellow now (~1.5 years, I think), albeit still delicious. I just brought it to a HB share recently where it was lauded both for complexity (by saison fans) and its mild funk (for those that prefer mellower beer). The funkiness in this case definitely mellowed with time, and it faded into almost a tartness that I'd have associated with a sour instead. This was a rye saison, so the rye character may be coming out a bit stronger as the funk fades away, but it's been interesting to see the progression. I'm planning to re-brew this sometime this month, time permitting; maybe I'll let 3711 take the temp where it wishes and see how it differs from my memory of the original.

The wit and tripel I did with it were less tightly controlled, but they were also done in winter, so I can't really speak to how hot they got. I *think* the wit fermented warmer, probably closer to 80F at its peak, but my memory may be messing with me. The wit specifically mellowed in funkiness with a couple months at ambient conditioning, but it was still very obvious that a saison yeast was used; I'm *hoping* the tripel does the same thing once I throw it in the kegerator towards the end of the month.
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Old 06-13-2012, 06:13 PM   #514
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I fermented mine on the cool side (68F) and kept it there for maybe 7-8 days before putting it in a room around 70F for a week longer, then primed & bottled and started drinking 7 days later. So that was 21 days Grain-to-Glass. The competition where I won 1st out of 41 entries was about a month later, and now, 3 months after brewing, there are only 5 bottles left (competition entries).

The funk was low from the beginning and remained low throughout. It had that great 3711 silky medium body, an intense citrus-orange start, and a hint of peppery phenol on the finish. The phenols faded first, but everything else has remained pretty much as it started.
A timely update from earlier. Just took my first hydro reading on the new batch--1.006 after 8 days! Gotta love this yeast!

For this batch, pitched around 68F, I employed no temp control at all. Put the carboy in a closet that probably averaged 72-73F and just let it rock n roll. The Belgian character--spicy phenols and citrus over a hint of sweat/funk-- is MUCH more pronounced. I'll keep tabs on that as it ages to see what differences may emerge in longevity.
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Old 06-13-2012, 08:33 PM   #515
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I found one bottle of last year saison at about 12 months. I'll drink it this weekend and give you guys a readout.

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Old 06-14-2012, 05:05 AM   #516
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Anyone have any opinions on dry hops that work well with this yeast? My first 3711 batch is finishing up now. I kept the recipe simple to let the yeast come through and get a feel for it (just pilsner, a touch of wheat, and a little sugar, no dry hop). As it was getting close to time to bottle, I remembered I had a couple 1 gallon jugs so I filled two of 'em and dry hopped with .4oz Cascade in one, and .4oz Willamette in the other. Thought a little citrus, a little spice might be nice, and I've still got 3 gallons with no dry hop. Any opinions on this? Do you prefer your 3711 saisons with no dry hop or any in particular?

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Old 06-14-2012, 05:59 AM   #517
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I like a nice hoppy saison; I find that spicier ones like saaz or chinook do well to complement the natural flavors of the yeast, but cascade or centennial can be excellent for complementing the citrusy aspects of it as well. Of your choices, I'd bet the cascade will be better, but that's just because I haven't had a lot of great experiences with willamette, myself .

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Old 06-14-2012, 12:09 PM   #518
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I wasn't saying that funk retention might increase with fermentation temps, but that funk level might. So if Saison A was fermented cool and enjoyed young, and Saison B fermented warm and aged several months, by that time the funk level might have faded some, but only to the point of a young Saison A. If Saison A were aged, it might get boring because the mellower funk would die out to nothing, as one poster mentioned above.

That was my hypothesis, anyway. I'm still interested in anyone's results.

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Old 06-14-2012, 01:14 PM   #519
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I'm quite glad this thread has been more active lately. Although my brothers won't let me brew a saison anytime soon- we've made wayyy too many saisons- I'm itching to get more of a handle on this yeast.

We mentioned dry hops- I've done that with a little hallertau on a table saison, and it was lovely. I think the floral aspects of noble hops really complement this yeast.
(think Thierez extra- one of my favs)

What bothers me so much about this yeast are two things:

1. aging this yeast- while still good- gets a little boring. It gets a little too one-dimensional citrusy.
Fermenting hot does help- but I don't like the higher alcohols that come out-

2. My biggest grief about the yeast is that people ALWAYS prefer the 3724 when I make saisons. So it's hard to really want to get this one perfect with 3724 available.
(I do like blending them)

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Old 06-14-2012, 01:17 PM   #520
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Have you guys tried Ama Bionda?

I have a sneaking suspicion that they are using 3711 or a very similar yeast. This leads me to think of 3711 as a perfect one for a "smooth" and easy drinking saison. Both Ama Bionda and Thierez extra have that really nice bready character that other saisons don't seem to have. (think Dupont)

I know a lot of this has to do with the soft/hard water- so it looks like I have more experimentation to do.

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