Barrel Saison Solera

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brownni5

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For the past couple years, I've had a barrel Solera going in a 15 gal rye barrel - more or less a Flanders red type beer. It's always good, but I have more red beer than I like to drink. Time to switch things up.

I might want to go to a Saison like recipe for the barrel - I can always seem to drink a Saison, and the couple Bier de Coupage type blends I've done I've really liked. My barrel culture is pretty aggressive (with lots of JP dregs), so I'd like to tone that down a pinch. I'm looking at about 30-35 IBU, but am wondering how that should happen. All up front hops? Late boil hops too? Would I taste those? Would I taste early boil hops?

Right now, I'm thinking all early addition hops, either Saaz, Tettnang, EKG, or something similar. Thoughts?
 
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For my ongoing sours I’m right around 7-10 ibu that come from 15ish minute additions of noble hops (sometimes others) and I don’t think I’m getting any flavor/aroma from that. I’ve done 60 min additions too but not a direct comparison.
 
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brownni5

brownni5

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For my ongoing sours I’m right around 7-10 ibu that come from 15ish minute additions of noble hops (sometimes others) and I don’t think I’m getting any flavor/aroma from that. I’ve done 60 min additions too but not a direct comparison.
That's what I figured - thanks!

I've to this point used old, low AA hops for "bittering" my current solera brews, but would like to tone down the acid a bit. I soured a calculated 40 IBU Saison with JP dregs a couple years ago - it was sour, but very good (no sour-bitter clash).

I can always dry hop for a little aroma/flavor - I've done that with what I consider huge success.
 

mashpaddled

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I generally bitter my sour beers to around 30 IBUs with absolutely no problem developing sufficient but soft sourness. (I usually end up around mid-3 ph.) I've done it with aged hops and new low to mid AA hops. I've soured beers that had late additions and I don't get much if any of the hop character shining through but that doesn't mean the hop compounds from the late additions aren't turning into other flavors in the beer. If you're looking for hop flavor/aroma in the final beer then dry hopping is an easier way to go.

I've seen people say the JP dregs are fairly hop tolerant so even 30-50 IBUs may not stop the degree of acidity you obtain. You may want to steam the barrel and pitch something new to at least make the JP dregs less competitive.
 

Beer666

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What is the jp you are referring to?
 

stealthfixr

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I have a Saison Solera going in a 0.5BBL foeder. I ferment in a SS conical with the Mad Fermentationist Saison Blend, which includes Brett and Lacto. Hop wise, I shoot for about 30 IBUs using a lot of Nelson Sauvin & Saaz late additions.

After 6 months of aging, the Brett is more prominent that I had thought it would be, and the souring more of a light tartness. The Brett is starting to mellow some with time and getting to an amazing smoothness that's so fantastic. Complex, layered, so interesting...but not as 'classically' a Saison that I expected. That said, over Xmas the first keg from this solera was very popular with those that love sour & Belgian beers. Even with 30 IBUs, the result is more Brett forward than bitter, and not in conflict at all. Not at all like a lambic, but really it's own 'type' while still being clearly Belgian.

I started light on the Brett, since you can add but not necessarily take away once introduced into the foeder, My inclination was to go big on Brett, but I held back to see how the Saison Blend worked out. And, I am so glad I did. I think a lighter touch with Brett is definitely the way to go for a Brett Saison solera.

If your barrel is already complex souring saturated, I think that's always the result that will come out of it, right?
 
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