Belgian Saison ( Brewers Best Extract Kit )

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paulbert07

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reading down through the steps to brewing this Saison extract kit it is saying to only use 1 gal of water to 2 lbs of grains, well this kit only has 2 lbs of grains. The water will not cover the grain bag at the bottom of the Kettle.
My question is , Is it critical to only use the 1 gal of water for this or can I use enough water to cover the specialty grains?
specialty grains used in kit 1 lb Vienna , 12oz Flaked Wheat, 4 ozs Caramel 30L, spice pack
Thank you for your help
 

BlackRock

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You should be fine using a bit more water. I usually use 2 quarts of water per pound of grain so for two pounds of grain I'd use 4 quarts (1 gallon) and then rinse with another gallon of water. Looks like your recipe is spot on to those same ratio's so I'm not sure why it won't cover the grain? How big is your brew kettle? I've also read a number of people simply steeping say 2lbs of grain in 2 gallons of water in the brew kettle and then not rinsing.
 
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paulbert07

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my kettle is 12.5 gal , I'm gonna give it a shot this Sat morning. Thank you for your help
I'll keep you posted
 

ivydog

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I just brewed the same kit on Sunday. The water barely covered the grains and made it really difficult maintaining a steeping temp. I used a spatula to distribute the grain bag as evenly as I could to get it under the water.
i did rinse the grains with a gallon of water, so hoping it works out.

One note - the kit instructions neglect to mention when to add the spice pack. The online pdf has it listed in the hopping schedule.
 
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paulbert07

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looking at the PDF online for the saison, I'm thinking the spice pack would go into the muslin bag with the specialty grains, But I could be reading it wrong. I will give it a shot Saturday.
Thanks again for the info.
 

sublevel007

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I brewed that as my first batch and had the same issue, rinsed with 1 gallon but ended up with a low OG from what it called for but not much. It's in the bottles now we'll see how it goes in about a month
 

grem135

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I bought a 2 gallon beverage cooler to steep my grains in. Keeps the temps spot on and frees up my kettle to start more water boiling. for $9 it was well worth it.
 

amie

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Hmmm... I bought this kit for my husband and we're planning on brewing it on Monday; it will be our first time homebrewing. Any tips or suggestions? Did you do the secondary fermentation process that Brewers Best recommends, or just stick to primary for 3-4 weeks instead?

I'm going over the process in my head, and here's what I've been thinking of doing for the steep/partial mash process:

1) Use a kitchen pot to bring recommended quantity of water up to temperature, and have another small amount of water heated and ready to add if the mash temperature falls too much when we add the grains.

2) Transfer the heated water into a beverage cooler or some other vessel that I can insulate to regulate the temperature, add grain bag and steep.

3) Heat water for rinsing/sparging(?)

4) Remove grain bag from the mini mash tun, transfer wort to my brew kettle (5 gal stainless steel pot), replace grain bag in mash tun, pour rinsing water over grain bag and let sit for a few minutes.

5) Remove grain bag and transfer sparge(?) water to brew kettle.

6) Top off brew kettle with as much water as I dare, since I can't do a full boil in that size of a pot, and begin boil schedule.

7) Cool, transfer to primary fermentation bucket, top off with water to make 5 gallons or recommended OG.

Does that sound vaguely correct? Like I said, we're complete brewing noobs, so I'm not clear on all the terminology yet... hence all the (?) parentheses. ;)
 

darrenbrews

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@amie I just brewed this kit two weeks ago, seems like a popular one lately. It's been two weeks in primary already and still bubbling, so I'm going with three weeks in primary then a week in secondary. The only reason I'm doing the secondary is because I'll be having a surgery and won't be able to bottle, also I just want to do a secondary as an exercise, as I've never done secondary yet and curious about the result.

Use a kitchen pot to bring recommended quantity of water up to temperature, and have another small amount of water heated and ready to add if the mash temperature falls too much when we add the grains.
My temp did not drop but 2-3 degrees when I added the grains. I just turned the burner on for a few seconds and brought it back up to proper temp.

Transfer the heated water into a beverage cooler or some other vessel that I can insulate to regulate the temperature, add grain bag and steep.
I'm not sure about the cooler, and the kit directions do not mention doing this. It might be over-thinking this recipe, but again maybe it's the better technique and improvement over the kit directions.

-Darren
 

ivydog

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Final gravity came in at 1.010. For about a 5.1. Taste is pretty good too. I think I could improve on it, but a month in bottles should do some good. And the temp seemed to hover around 57 degrees after fermentation was complete.
Not bottling for a couple weeks though...
 

amie

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Final gravity came in at 1.010. For about a 5.1. Taste is pretty good too. I think I could improve on it, but a month in bottles should do some good. And the temp seemed to hover around 57 degrees after fermentation was complete.
Not bottling for a couple weeks though...
Any updates on how this turned out? We tasted ours last night and it was pretty good! It's still green (4 weeks primary, 2 weeks in bottles), but it turned out quite nice and pours surprisingly clear for a brew that we didn't use any Irish moss, whirl-flock, gelatin finings or cold crashing for.

Does anyone know or remember what particular dry yeast was supplied in this kit? On the instructions it just says "Belgian" and I threw out the package on brew day without looking at it or writing it down in my notes...
 

ivydog

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I was just thinking about writing an update. Opened first bottle Thursday night after two weeks in. Good carbonation and color, maybe a touch lighter in color than expected. Initial taste is good. Mouthfeel was on the dry side. And there was no finish at all. All taste vanished after being in the mouth. Going to try another in a week and see how it comes out.
 

amie

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I found mine quite dry on the palate too, which I guess is pretty typical of the style. According to Nathan Smith, it's a very yeast-driven style, meant to be highly-attenuated, with very little malt sweetness and a fair amount of hop bitterness:

BeerSmith Podcast #50 - Brewing Saison Beer

Ours has a decently bitter finish and is definitely dry, perhaps even bordering on tasting too much of alcohol, but we'll see how it comes along after it spends some more time in the bottle. What I think we're missing in the profile is some more of the fruity/spicy yeast esters from the Belgian Saison yeast... Our fermentation temperature (64-66*F) was low for the style. We got great attenuation, but perhaps not as much of the flavour we were supposed to get, leaving the taste a bit one-dimensional.

All in all, I think it's decent for our first brew, but I might try to make a couple of changes to the BB recipe next time we try a Saison. I'd like to try shifting the hop schedule a little bit towards more late addition hops (maybe Golding @ 15 minutes), and try the Willamette as a first wort hop addition (add before the boil). I'd also like to try fermenting this a little on the warmer side of optimal (72-74*F or even warmer) to see if we can coax some rustic and fruity esters from the yeast to balance out the dryness.

I think it would be interesting to try this one again and see how small changes affect the final product. :mug:
 

ivydog

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Cracked open the second bottle tonight. What a difference a week makes. Much better profile all in all. The flat flavor has really rounded out and a good, expected, saison-y aftertaste exists.
Can't wait to see how it is in a couple more weeks.
 

tnsen

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ok I just had to chime in here.the yeast that I got with that kit was Lallemand Belle Saison yeast...its new and wants to ferment @ around 90...I brewed this and fermented @90 for 6 days...1 week @70 degrees...5 weeks @70 degrees (secondary)...3 weeks in bottle, I probobly wont try this until next weekend...I just dident have time to bottle..thats why 5 weeks in secondary...og was 1.05....finished up @1.00....I put my fermenter in a water bath utility tub in laundry room, with an aquarium heater,old winter jacket on top.......more here https://www.homebrewtalk.com/f163/fermenting-siason-temp-379055/
 

amie

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Cracked open the second bottle tonight. What a difference a week makes. Much better profile all in all. The flat flavor has really rounded out and a good, expected, saison-y aftertaste exists.
Can't wait to see how it is in a couple more weeks.
We tried another bottle today, same thing. Much fuller and smoother taste now (4 weeks primary, 3 weeks bottle, 24 hrs refrigerator). Looking forward to see how this develops! :mug:
 

ivydog

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Again, I think the additional 2 weeks have made it even better. Really happy with the results of the kit - even though the instructions were kind of lacking in necessary detail.
 

DrWill

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postulat said:
What will be the best spices for this Saison ?
Purely my own opinion here, so you have extra liberty above and beyond the usual to disregard, but if you're using a good Saison yeast (we use the Wyeast French Saison strain) you should be getting all of those lovely spice notes from your yeast, especially if your beer is drying out properly. (Your final gravity should be under 1°P)
 
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