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Old 07-08-2011, 08:31 PM   #1
cripplecreek
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Default Help me figure out where my Saison went wrong

So two weeks ago I attempted to brew my first Saison. I mashed:

8.5lbs of Belgian Pale
1.25lbs White Wheat
6oz of Crystal

at 145F for 60min.

I then batch sparged twice with 175F water (screwed up my calculations and ended up adding 1gal of water to fermenter to get 5.25 gallons).

I added .4lb Turbinado Sugar .75oz Hersbrucker pellets and 1.25oz East Kent pellets and boiled for 60min.

I added another .5 oz East Kent for the last 15 as well as .5oz bitter orange peel, 2g paradise seed, and some corriander for the last 5 mins.

Ice bath and I was down to about 80F in 20-30 mins.

Then pitched one tube White Labs Belgian Saison Blend. It was one day past the "best before" date, but I figure worse case is that it wouldn't take off. But this may have been where I went wrong.

I forgot to dry my bung before installing it and it ended up falling into the wort. This wasn't too much of a disaster b/c it has a thermowell for the temp control. I was able to retrieve with a hanger that I heat treated and doused with some Crown Russe. (Again maybe where I went wrong)

I then set my fermenter control to 80F and waited. Within 12hrs I had and strong and rigorous fermentation. It had a 2-3in krausen head and the airlock was humming away.

I was able to monitor progress for the next 48hrs, got the temp up to 83F , but then was away (Dogfish head, WHOOHOO!). Everything seemed fine. When I returned home on the 6th day there was still an occasional blip in the airlock and everything looked / smelled normal.

On the 9th day I transfered to 2ndary, again it looked and smelled fine. But then I tasted it. It's got a sort of sour tart nastiness to it that I can't quite put my finger on. It's seems familiar, and not in a good way (BBQ frito laced vomit???). I tasted it again today (day 13), and it still tastes gross. Gravity reads at 1.008.

This was only my 5th all grain batch, but it is my first bad batch since I started brewing 2+ years ago.

I'm thinking it may be lactobacillus??? Or could it have been the yeast?? I know it will be in large part speculative, but any educated guesses would be appreciated.

THANKS!!



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Old 07-08-2011, 08:37 PM   #2
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I know last year I made a batch...not sure what but it also had a very sour flavor. Almost undrinkable...actually it was undrinkable. I put the keg aside for probably over a month and when I tried again...it was better. Definitely more drinkable. SO I decided to get rid of it (by drinking it) so I could free up a keg. By the last pint is wasn't horrible anymore. Not what I would call great but definitely better. Maybe it is not an infection and you just need to let it sit for a while?



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Old 07-09-2011, 11:37 PM   #3
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Well I have it in the 2ndary and plan to leave it for a while. Phil says "If you love it, let it go". I really hope it gets better, a lot better.

Would I see an infection if it was lactobacillus?

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Old 07-10-2011, 12:19 AM   #4
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you raised the temperature to 83 on day two of fermentation? I don't have much experience with belgian yeast but that seems WAYYYY too warm for that early in fermentation. From what i understand you shouldn't be doing that temperature raise until after a little bit, like maybe a week or so, otherwise the nasty byproducts that you want to avoid are going to be produced. i think what you're tasting isn't an infection but instead nasty yeast byproducts

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Old 07-10-2011, 01:27 PM   #5
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If you read up on them (Farmhouse Ales by Phil Markowski and there is an article in this months BYO) it's fairly common to let these yeasts get up to that temp and sometimes even higher into the 90s even that early on.

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Old 07-10-2011, 01:54 PM   #6
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i believe you i just had no idea. I made a saison recently but i didn't raise the temperature like that for a week in. I'm not sure man, just let it age out. it is still early after all

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Old 07-10-2011, 04:04 PM   #7
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I thought you mash saisons in the 160s or higher that would make a huge difference FWIW

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Old 07-10-2011, 04:33 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jklinden View Post
I thought you mash saisons in the 160s or higher that would make a huge difference FWIW
Nope, saisons are typically mashed in the mid/high 140's to maximize fermentability.

Saison yeast can throw a fair amount of tartness and acidity that is part of the style. Perhaps this is what you are experiencing?
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Old 07-10-2011, 04:50 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jklinden View Post
I thought you mash saisons in the 160s or higher that would make a huge difference FWIW
WAT

Don't do that your saison will never dry out/attenuate correctly.
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Old 07-10-2011, 09:00 PM   #10
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Agreed mash temps in the 140s are normal but a step profile to mid 150s is said to help with mouthfeel...



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