3711 Saison - Like a punch in the nose

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Magnus44

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Hey guys,

I typically love saisons, and want to develop a recipe that I am happy with and can make repeatedly.

I brewed a Saison a month or so ago (recipe below) with 3711 French Saison yeast from a Wyeast smack pack. I am really satisfied with the color and head of this beer, and I can't really detect any off flavors, but the taste is way too strong. I wish I had a more developed vocabulary for beer tasting, but I would say that there is a ton of black pepper and clove, and some bubblegum on the nose. All of these things sound great in theory, but in this quantity it is just obnoxiously flavorful. In addition, it has a pretty 'hot' alcohol flavor, even though it is only 6.8% (are this fusel alcohols I am tasting?)

As a point of comparison, I bought an Allagash Saison and a Boulevard Tank 7; I would say that both were a little milder than I was hoping, but much closer to what I was trying to achieve than either my bottled and kegged beer.

I didn't ferment it hot to increase esters etc, and I checked my pitch rate before brewing and it seems like one package was sufficient.

So where should I go from here, is it worth tweaking the recipe or method and taking another crack at 3711, or should I try a different yeast? Any advice would be helpful.

Thanks!

Here's my recipe and some details:

OG 1.056
FG 1.004
Attenuation 93%
ABV 6.8%

Pilsner 83% 4.81 lbs
Vienna 11% 0.64 lbs
Wheat malt 5% 0.29 lbs
Caramunich 1% 0.06 lbs
(had to supplement with .4lbs DME during boil)

Fuggle and Willamette .55oz - 30min
Styrian Goldings and Willamette .55oz - 10 min.

Gypsum 2.6 mash / 1.4 sparge
Lactic Acid 1.3 mL

30 min mash, with 15 minute extra sparge/mash
30 minute boil

10/13/2018 Primary at ambient temp in house 66°
10/15/2018 Move to extra bedroom 68°
10/27/2018 Bottled, stored at room temp 68° Transferred 1 gallon into carboy and let sit on high shelf in pantry
11/26/2018 Kegged 1 gallon, set to 12 lbs CO2
 

SoCal-Doug

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Nothing about your recipe or process is out of line (a tad unorthodox, but totally ok). Looks like a perfectly good saison. I love 3711 and use it often, but I typically ferment it in the mid 80's. I have tasted other Saisons using 3711 that were run in the 90's and they were just as good. Many Belgian type yeasts will throw clove/pepper at lower temps.

You might also try a batch with something a bit more saison-esq for hops. Maybe Saaz or Spalt, or other noble type. Liberty also works nicely IMHO (go easy though, let the malty dryness and yeast flavors shine through). Grab a bottle of Saison Dupont for a reference. It really is the standard. Allegash is pretty good, but it is rumored to use a wheat/wit house yeast and it doesn't quite have the saison "funk" that people would expect.

As far as the ABV, yes. You probably are tasting the alcohol some also. It's a dry and "lighter" style and there is nothing to hide the alcohol. You may have also noticed a little bit of "throat warming" from it.

Getting some malt backbone, with a ultra-high attenuating yeast, and keeping the alcohol level lower, is part of the "fun" about designing and brewing a Saison.
 
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Magnus44

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Thanks for your considered reply. Maybe I'll give it a go using a heating pad to boost the temps and see what effect it has. I thought that it would ferment cleaner if I held the temp lower, but maybe the opposite is the case, or it is kicking off some of the flavors I don't like. Definitely worth the experiment.
 
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