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Old 08-21-2013, 04:40 PM   #1
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Default How to ferment a saison

Hi everyone. I am on my third brew and trying an orange blossom saison. the yeast Im using is WLP568. I have read a lot about staring the fermentation in the 60's and gradually raising it up into the 70's, 80's and even 90's?!? So I have a few pretty basic questions.

1. Is the temperature referenced the ambient temp or the temp of the wort itself?

2. How do you control the temperature that closely? M idea was to start it in the basement and then bring it up to the first floor and if needed the second floor. Other than that I could turn the heat on in a spare room. It's probably a dumb question.

3. Is it really a good idea to bring it up to the high 80's or even 90's?
Any advice is greatly appreciated!

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Old 08-21-2013, 04:49 PM   #2
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No experience with Belgian saison but I use French saison quite a bit.

1. Temperature of wort, but the two should be pretty much the same. I am not sure how people are getting big differences between wort and ambient. I run a 1 BBL nano and my 36 gallon batches are 1-3 degrees higher than ambient.

2. You really don't need insanely close temp control if you ferment on the cooler side and make sure temp doesn't fluctuate. The main risk with some yeasts is temperature drops, which can cause the yeast to stall. The basement, first floor, second floor method was all I used as a homebrewer--after experimenting with JC controllers and ferm chambers I decided it was a waste of time, generally.

3. I can't speak on the Belgian or Dupont strains, but with French saison, absolutely not. It will spit out so much fruit flavor it will completely cover up your malt or spices. Do a little searching on the Belgian strain, there are probably some tips.

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Old 08-21-2013, 04:59 PM   #3
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I've made a few saisons, but my go to yeast has been 565. My method has been to pitch at 68, and then after the first signs of fermentation raise the temp 2 degrees every 12 hours until I'm at 86. I hold at 86 for a week, check to ensure I'm below 1.010 and then set my temp control for a bottom temp of 65 and let it coast down to that temp. I'll hold again for 2 weeks, check to ensure I've reached at least 1.008, cold crash at 38 for 2 days, keg, and serve two weeks after that.
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Old 08-21-2013, 05:40 PM   #4
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I just finished a keg of a saison that I fermented with WLP568. OG was 1.051. I just set the fermenter in the bathtub for 2 weeks. No temperature control, with ambient temp of 75*F. In two weeks it stabilized at 1.005. The beer was absolutely FANTASTIC (80% 2-row, 20% vienna, cascade, amarillo). Definitely plan to rebrew it. I like this yeast as it allows me to properly make a tasty beer without controlling fermentation temperatures. This is handy for me since my fermentation chamber only holds one fermenter at a time.

I highly recommend the 568 at ambient temps in the mid-70's. It's awesome. Good luck with your brew.

Edit: Forgot to mention - I chilled to about 67, pitched and then let it do its thing at ambient temps of 75.
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