Bière de Garde and Saison yeast in BJCP style?

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JediJoel

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Hey All,

I recently entered a Bière de Garde that I have brewed a few times in a local comp under 24C. The beer scored a 31. I'm mainly looking to double check my understanding of the style and variance within it.

Most of the low score was due to my yeast choice: Yeast Bay Wallonian Farmhouse. I fermented cool and ended up with a subtle finish of the classic Saison spicy-tart.

For any BJCP folks - what is your experience with BdGs? I thought some of saison yeast characteristics were acceptable and part of the style?
 

brewstergalVT

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The BJCP description of BdG can be a bit confusing as the comparison section list it as similar to a Saison but then describes just the opposite of a Saison.

I like to describe a BdG to those who haven't had one as being like a Marzen (or what we used to call Oktoberfest) on steroids. Same clean, malty elegance but with some sugar added to increase the alcohol and also keep it from being too heavy. Malty but dry and clean, no spicy Belgian yeast type flavors.
Did the judges ding you on the spicy-tart flavor?
 

beergolf

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Biere de Garde is a much maltier beer than a saison, so a saison yeast is wrong for the style. Use a more neutral yeast and you will be closer to style. I brew one every year and use WY1007 and it works perfectly.
 
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JediJoel

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Did the judges ding you on the spicy-tart flavor?
Yea, I did get dinged for tart notes and the comment was about using the proper yeast.

I brew one every year and use WY1007 and it works perfectly.
Yeah I have seen recipes with WY1007 or WY2565. But what I'm trying to understand is the presence of recipes with Saison or Belgian strains.

AHA's site has a recipe with WLP550. Wyeast's site list 3725PC as Biere de Garde as well as 3726 and 3711 all of which have a tart spicy finish.

Is there some subset of BdGs that aren't technically to style but everyone brews and knows it's not to style?
 

brewstergalVT

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Is there some subset of BdGs that aren't technically to style but everyone brews and knows it's not to style?
I'm guessing you mean a subset for entering beer in a competition? If so, I'd say your best bet would be entering it as perhaps a dark Saison. You'll see a vague description under the BJCP Saison style guidelines.

If you're just talking about BdG not to style but everyone brews, I'm sure that's the case for many BdG. Kind of like Saison with Brett, some feel it's not a Saison without Brett (commercial or homebrew) and finally the BJCP guidelines state that if it's a Saison with Brett, it should be entered in the wild category. But just because my tastes prefer a Saison without Brett doesn't mean it's a terrible beer because it has Brett. Same with your BdG with a Saison yeast, doesn't mean it's a bad beer, just not to style.

Also for yeast, WLP 029 could work well for a BdG to style.
 
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