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Old 07-08-2011, 04:46 PM   #1
MrPat
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Default Old school saison?

Does anyone have experience with brewing traditional, low- gravity saisons? It seems like most of the recipes out there are more in the Dupont style, which I love, but I'd like to try something similar to the low-alcohol farmhouse ales originally brewed in belgium (something in the 3-4% range). My inclination is to just scale down a stronger saison recipe, but I was wondering if anyone else has done this before. Seems like this would make a killer session beer.


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Old 07-08-2011, 05:04 PM   #2
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I've brewed some in the 4% range and found that they will finish out very dry and tasty.

If you scale down and will use spices, the spices should scale down more than the malts as they will be more assertive in the smaller beer.

I brewed a very basic blonde ale recipe once and pitched White Labs - WLP565 and it came out very nice.


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Old 07-08-2011, 05:10 PM   #3
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Subscribed. I would also like anyone's experience doing this. I have one in primary that is lowish (in belgian terms) 1.050 with a saison dupont bottle culture, but with the expected attenuation will still be like 6% alcohol. Between that and my tripel that i'm bottling this weekend I'll have to warn my friends or they will get lit without realizing.
I'd also be interested to see if anyone has experience using more adjunct grains than base malt. Farmhouse brews makes a good point that these brewers used whatever they had (rye, oats, spelt, wheat). I used some rye in my last saison, but has anyone made a beer that is more of these (malted or unmalted) than it is barley malt? I'm assuming it would need a long saccharification rest and possibly a protein rest, though I am usually against that.
Also, does anyone know when the use of sugar became widespread in belgian brewing?

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Old 07-08-2011, 05:21 PM   #4
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I did one last summer........OG of 1.060, of course it could be mellowed out to get in the session category. I went traditional with mostly pils malts, threw in a little rye.....and some crystal 10........used the wyeast bel saison and fermented traditionally......started at 70 degrees and after a day put it in the garage and fermented at 85 for a week. after a week i put 2oz of chaomile flowers in and let go another 5 days...........SPECATULAR saison, florally, spicy.......no spices added, used temp like the farmhouse ales back in the day.......

good luck!!
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Old 07-09-2011, 06:46 PM   #5
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It will be a week or two before I can brew because my fermenters are tied up, but what do you all think about this as a highly rustic classic saison.
Moorfield Farmhand's Ale
malt & fermentables
% LB OZ MALT OR FERMENTABLE PPG L
25% 2 0 muntons marris otter 34 3 ~
19% 1 8 Wheat Malt 39 2 ~
19% 1 8 Spelt 34 5 ~
19% 1 8 Rye Malt 29 4 ~
19% 1 8 Rolled Oats 34 5 ~
8 0
Batch size: 5.0 gallons
Original Gravity 1.040 / 10.0 Plato
Final Gravity 1.006 / 1.5 Plato
Color 5 SRM / 10 EBC (Yellow to Gold)
Mash Efficiency ~70%
hops
USE TIME OZ VARIETY FORM AA
boil 30 mins 1.0 Brewer's Gold pellet 8.0
Boil: 5.5 avg gallons for 90 minutes
Bitterness
21.2 IBU / 0 HBU
: Tinseth
BU:GU
0.52
yeast Saison ale yeast cultured from Saison Dupont, est 85% attenuation
Alcohol 4.5% ABV / 4% ABW

I haven't used Marris Otter before but has a high diastatic power (140 or so L) which would be important in this sort of thing. My LHBS doesn't sell 6 row which would be useful. I am considering going another step and using flaked rye and wheat instead of malted, or possibly even raw stuff. Would still have an overall diastatic power of 35, so should work, just have to mash long and low. Also not married to the hops choice, have some homegrown cascade I could use, but would prefer to stay domestic. Maybe also some orange peel? Thoughts?
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Old 07-09-2011, 09:07 PM   #6
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I love lower gravity saisons. They are so crisp and refreshing it is nice to be able to throw a few back on a hot day and not be hammered. A really good moderate gravity saison(about 1.052 OG) is the Surly Cynic kit from Northern brewer. I made a version of it recently and loved it, do a search under "Surly Cynic" and the thread where I posted the recipe should pop up. As for spices, orange peel, etc. - I would stay away from them in a lower gravity beer since they will tend to take over the flavor and make for a beer that is not as refreshing as it should be.
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Old 07-10-2011, 03:06 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmarshall View Post
It will be a week or two before I can brew because my fermenters are tied up, but what do you all think about this as a highly rustic classic saison.
Moorfield Farmhand's Ale
malt & fermentables
% LB OZ MALT OR FERMENTABLE PPG L
25% 2 0 muntons marris otter 34 3 ~
19% 1 8 Wheat Malt 39 2 ~
19% 1 8 Spelt 34 5 ~
19% 1 8 Rye Malt 29 4 ~
19% 1 8 Rolled Oats 34 5 ~
8 0
Batch size: 5.0 gallons
Original Gravity 1.040 / 10.0 Plato
Final Gravity 1.006 / 1.5 Plato
Color 5 SRM / 10 EBC (Yellow to Gold)
Mash Efficiency ~70%
hops
USE TIME OZ VARIETY FORM AA
boil 30 mins 1.0 Brewer's Gold pellet 8.0
Boil: 5.5 avg gallons for 90 minutes
Bitterness
21.2 IBU / 0 HBU
: Tinseth
BU:GU
0.52
yeast Saison ale yeast cultured from Saison Dupont, est 85% attenuation
Alcohol 4.5% ABV / 4% ABW

I haven't used Marris Otter before but has a high diastatic power (140 or so L) which would be important in this sort of thing. My LHBS doesn't sell 6 row which would be useful. I am considering going another step and using flaked rye and wheat instead of malted, or possibly even raw stuff. Would still have an overall diastatic power of 35, so should work, just have to mash long and low. Also not married to the hops choice, have some homegrown cascade I could use, but would prefer to stay domestic. Maybe also some orange peel? Thoughts?
This sounds fantastic! I bet the flavor of all those non-barley grains are really gonna shine through in such a low gravity beer.
One thing I'd love to experiment with is doing a ridiculously long boil, like 2+ hours, as I've read a lot of farmhouse brewers used to do that.
The thing I find so great about these farmhouse ales is the level of creative freedom they allow. As mentioned, the people making these beers were basically using whatever they had on hand, and it's probably safe to say that every farm had it's own recipe. So while the good people at the BJCP may try to pigeonhole this style, ultimately we are talking about a very broad stylistic range


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