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Old 04-03-2009, 08:07 PM   #1
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Default How long do I ferment Saison warm?

So I've got a Saison in primary. I really like the style so I had to brew one. I harvested some WLP568 (Saison Blend) from a buddy's homebrew and made a decent starter. I pitched it Saturday evening and it was going strong all day Sunday and part of Monday. It was fermenting at ~68-70 for the first 48 hours. I finally got the temps up and now it's sitting at ~83 (based on the thermometer taped to the side). The fermentation has kicked back up and is going decent.

I'm in no hurry to rack it off the yeast cake, but the rig that I have for keeping it warm is a little obtrusive. I'm using a root ball heater, wrapped around a better bottle, with a blanket over the whole thing for insulation. Not pretty, but more effective than I expected!

My question is, how long should I keep it warm? Should I keep the temps up until I get to my target gravity and then let it cool off? Do I keep it warm for an extra week or two after target gravity has been achieved?

Thanks!


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Old 04-03-2009, 08:32 PM   #2
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I've only had one horrible experience brewing Saison, but what I understand you want to try to find the sweet spot for the yeast to get it to attenuate as much as possible. I've heard this can be as high as 85 to 90f. Saison yeast is notorious for not attenuating and my one attempt at the style is still to this day stuck at 1.031 and its been two months with lots of attempts to get it started again. Better luck to you.


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Old 04-03-2009, 08:59 PM   #3
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I'll give it some time, but if sticks above 1.020 for too long (4 weeks or so), I'll probably rack it onto a 1056 cake to try to dry it out. I've never done a Saison before and I have heard they are finicky. I'll probably take a gravity measurement middle of next week to see where it's at.
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Old 04-03-2009, 10:07 PM   #4
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Saw you over on my Saison thread. I think that patience will be the key with this one. Keep the temperature in the 85-90 degree range and hope it doesn’t stall, but a couple of months is not unusual. Before you pitch it on another cake, you might want to try giving it a swirl and jacking up the heat closer to 90. The Saison yeast should be able to do the job. It’s just a bit temperamental. I’ll be interested in hearing your progress.
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Old 04-12-2009, 06:54 PM   #5
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Just to follow up on this one...

I brewed this a couple weeks ago and pitched in the high 60s where it stayed for about 2 days. I raised the temperature up to the mid-high 80s for ~10 days. Yesterday I was curious so I pulled a sample. I was quite happy to see that the gravity was down to 1.010. I'm going to pull the heater off and leave it in primary for another week or two to see if drops a few more points, but I'm pretty happy with it at 010.

And it tasted fan-****ing-tastic!
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Old 05-04-2009, 02:52 PM   #6
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I have a saison fermenting (with wyeast 3724, supposedly the Dupont strain) now and what people say about this yeast being slow is very much true. It's been in primary for over 2 weeks and last time I checked it was down at 1.027. That was a few days ago and there is still activity in the airlock. Pitched 1.5 liter starter. What I have found, though is that a little bit of aeration seems to kick the fementation back up (no, not only because it releases co2 when i rock the baby).
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Old 05-04-2009, 09:31 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RudeLead View Post
What I have found, though is that a little bit of aeration seems to kick the fementation back up (no, not only because it releases co2 when i rock the baby).
So do you mean you are putting in an airstone and putting oxygen in there or just rousing the yeast? (Should not really be much 02 in the fermenter headspace)

I am going through the same thing right now and will rouse the yeast by swirling it around and that seems to help for a bit, but it just settles back down again. Seems to be fermenting more like the Apfelwein I am brewing than a typical beer. The krausen dropped after a couple days but I still have bubbles coming to the surface.
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Old 05-05-2009, 02:13 AM   #8
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Last weekend I brewed the AHS Ginger Hibiscus Saison. I went with the WLP568 Belgian Saison Ale yeast. I made a 1/2 gallon starter afew days before. When I pitched the yeast it was at high krausen and the wort was at ~70 degrees. The thing took off like a rocket within a couple hours. After two days it had warmed up to about 78 and was chugging along nicely. The krausen dropped after 5 days and I took a reading of 1.020. Saturday it started back up after actually dropping a few degrees to 76 and reformed a nice layer of krausen. Yesterday, 7 days after pitching, it was sitting at 1.015. Still moving along. This was my first time making a saison and didn't really know how the yeast would do. I was worried I couldn't get it warm enough, and truth be told I might not have gotten it warm enough to get some of the desired flavors. I don't think I've ever had the problem of not being able to get the primary warm enough. Usually the opposite.
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Old 05-05-2009, 03:14 PM   #9
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I have a Sasion that is closing on 2 weeks now. After about 4 days, all activity came to a stall. I was siggested by my homebrew club to give it a swirl to kick it back up. the Sasion yeast is quirky.

A swirl on the 6th and 7th day got things going faster than they were after 36 hours, and it has been going for the last 3 days with an airlock bubble at least every 3 seconds for 3 days streight.

My plan is 4 weeks int he primary fermenter, then streight to keg, and give it a month to condition before dropping it to 38 degrees and carbing.
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Old 05-05-2009, 06:09 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steelerguy View Post
So do you mean you are putting in an airstone and putting oxygen in there or just rousing the yeast? (Should not really be much 02 in the fermenter headspace)

I am going through the same thing right now and will rouse the yeast by swirling it around and that seems to help for a bit, but it just settles back down again. Seems to be fermenting more like the Apfelwein I am brewing than a typical beer. The krausen dropped after a couple days but I still have bubbles coming to the surface.
Same with mine that i have going right now. Krausen settled quick after a couple of days but i still get fairly consistent bubbles in the airlock/blowoff tube setup.

I've tried rousing my yeast once but i didnt notice much difference. I have mine fermenting at around 87* (atleast i hope so.. i have a dial thermometer taped and shielded to the side of my carboy).

i'll probably pull a sample this weekend to see how its doing since that will be the 2 week mark.


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