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Old 04-02-2011, 02:57 AM   #1
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Default Wyeast 3711: My saison became british?

About a year ago I brewed Northern Brewer's Petit Saison with 3711. I loved it, definitely my most successful beer to date. Since getting into all grain, I wanted to brew this beer again. I added a bit more grain and changed the hopping scheme to bring out hoppiness as I thought the yeast flavor/aroma was almost too much from my previous batch. After carbonating the all grain recipe up, the beer has almost no 3711 qualities! It is only comparable to my engish bitter i brewed, just with more carbonation. They had the same finishing hops (styrian goldings) but different strains (3711 over west yorkshire). My only guess is my more efficient cooling techniques post boil and my more controlled fermentation temps kept the hops in the beer and prevented more saison esters from coming out in the ferment?

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Old 04-02-2011, 06:31 AM   #2
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Did you ferment both of the saisons at the same temp? What temps did the latest one ferment at? Did you use a starter?

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Old 04-03-2011, 02:35 AM   #3
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the more belgian one was probably colder, actually. I can't be sure because back then I didn't keep accurate temp notes (doh!) of my swamp cooler, but this time the ambient water temp was 61F maintained for the first 48 hrs of fermentation. So i figure the inside is no more than 67F? Both times it was a 1L starter that tasted very belgian; the first time I pitched the whole starter, this time I cooled and pitched 500mL.

What may be critical is this time I had a lot hop matter in my carboy. Last time I strained almost all of it out before going to the carboy. Could this respond like dry hopping?

Also, blow off was different: old one had blow off, new one no blow off.

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Old 04-04-2011, 02:17 AM   #4
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If you have plenty of water in the swamp cooler, the wort/beer will be pretty close to the same temperature. The water sucks the temperature out much more effectively than if it were sitting in air.

61 F is way cool for that yeast. Last time I used this yeast, I got the water in my swamp cooler up to 75 right at the start, and ramped up to 85 F.

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Old 04-04-2011, 06:17 AM   #5
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Yeah, my previous cooler was actually a beverage cooler, so its smaller, less water, and more insulating, while this is just a storage tank. Less insulating, more water, better wicker of heat. Its a better heatsink!

It is shocking though, with an OG of ~1.05, Its down to 1.004. With no (apparent) saison qualities, it would be a great yeast to dry any beer out, as long as the temps were kept in check! Gotta love selective evolution! I will say some of the "mouth slickness/silkiness" is still in the beer, though.

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Old 04-04-2011, 07:01 AM   #6
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Thanks for posting. I'm going to try out the French Saison yeast for the first time two batches from now, and while I wasn't planning on fermenting in the low 60s, it's good to know what could happen if I set my chest freezer too cool for too long: I may well lose all the yeast character I'm after.

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Old 04-04-2011, 05:26 PM   #7
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if you give it 6-9 months in the bottle, it'll taste great. Maybe not as saison-like as you want, but great nonetheless.

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Old 04-04-2011, 11:21 PM   #8
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Good call Jboggeye. It was amazing because the in carboy samples tasted pretty good saison qualities, but now its all hops. The hops will fade off and leave the beer with a better saison quality. I really need to get a thermowell in there and see what the beer temp is a day after pitching. I played it safe with this arrangement, but i should of raised the temps to get the flavors out.

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Old 04-05-2011, 02:15 AM   #9
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I'll report back with what the flavors do-
controlled at 65 rise to 74
pitch at 65 and let it do whatever it wants in 74 ambient

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