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French IPA - Looking for feedback & suggestions

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RBinson

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Hello everyone, first time I'm posting here and I'm looking for feedback on a recipe. I got my hand on some french hops with peculiar flavor profiles: Mistral and Barbe-Rouge, and plan to do a french-ingredients-based IPA with those. I was thinking about doing something inspired by both Brut IPA and Belgian IPA: use a French Saison yeast to get a dry beer but with a fruity yeast profile. Please keep in mind that I'm still pretty much a beginner in brewing and I might be missing some key points.

Type: All Grain
5L/1 Gallon batch (I brew small for the moment, I'm still experimenting and learning a lot)

Grain Bill
------------
For the grain bill I was thinking about trying to get a highly fermentable wort with something like this:
80% Pilsner malt
10% Vienna malt
10% Wheat malt
The goal is to aim for an OG of 1.060 and (hopefully) an FG of 1.005 for a ~7% ABV. I might be a bit optimistic here but this is what I have seen other people getting with this yeast. I kept the bill simple but I wondered if a diastatic yeast like the French Saison yeast could also manage to break done some specialty malt in small quantities?

Water Profile
------------------
I started to really look into water chemistry recently so I won't do anything complex. I have a quite soft water to work as a base and I was thinking about getting a sulfate/chloride profile of 100ppm/100ppm to get started and experiment more later on.

Mash
----------
To get a highly fermentable wort, I was thinking of going with a step mash (inspired by typical belgian step mash):
  • (A protein rest?)
  • 45 minutes at 145°F/63°C
  • 30 minutes at 154°F/68°C
  • No mash out
But then I realized people got higher attenuated beers with single-temperature mash of 2 hours at 150°F/65°C. I will do more research and switch to that if needed.

Hop Additions
--------------
Mistral gives melon, citrusy, muscat grape notes.
Barbe-Rouge gives some nice red berry aromas but, from what I've read, could easily be hidden by other notes if not put in sufficient quantities.

For a 1 gallon batch:
5g (0.18oz) Mistral (7.5%AA) @ 15 minutes
5g (0.18oz) Barbe-Rouge (8.5%AA) @ 15 minutes
3g (0.1oz) Mistral (7.5%AA) @ flameout
5g (0.18oz) Barbe-Rouge (8.5%AA) @ flameout

3g (0.1oz) Mistral @ dry-hop
5g (0.18oz) Barbe-Rouge @ dry-hop

That should give me a bit more than 30 IBU. As it is a dry beer I try to keep the IBU low enough.

Yeast
--------
Concerning the French Saison yeast, I've never used it but was told the flavor is quite strong and I'm afraid the peppery notes could eclipse the hops? It could also enhance the fruitiness of Mistral and Barbe-Rouge hop, I have no idea, I guess that's what experimentation is for.

Feel free to give any feedback. I've followed some IPA recipes but never made my own so far so I'm really looking for useful tips and advice! Thanks!
 

Sammy86

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Mash
----------
To get a highly fermentable wort, I was thinking of going with a step mash (inspired by typical belgian step mash):
  • (A protein rest?)
  • 45 minutes at 145°F/63°C
  • 30 minutes at 154°F/68°C
  • No mash out
But then I realized people got higher attenuated beers with single-temperature mash of 2 hours at 150°F/65°C. I will do more research and switch to that if needed.
If you want a drier beer you'll want a more fermentable beer...there mash lower. Since we now have modified grains a step mash isn't really necessary...you could mash at 148° for 90 minutes and be perfectly ok.

Thats not to say try the step mash if you have the ability to...I recently went electric with a pump so ill be trying my first step mash myself next brew.

As far as your hops go, flavor and aroma come later in the boil so adding more late will enhance those flavors.

Hope this helps!
 

dawn_kiebawls

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If you're using WY3711 I'd bet that it'll hit 1.000 in about 2 days. Really, most any Saison strain will chew through the sugar really quickly and take you down close to 1.000, or even below in some cases. They (Saison yeasts) also like to be hot. I've taken mine all the way up to 90F before but now I just let them free rise to about 75F and hold them there until they finish out and condition.

Saisons will also benefit from a slight underpitch to help stress the yeast and produce the flavor profiles you're after.

I do a single infusion, 60 minute mash at 147F, no mashout for my Saisons and they always take off in about 12 hours.

Just like @Sammy86 already pointed out, the later your hop additions are added the more flavor and aroma you'll get out of them. Cheers!
 

IslandLizard

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Just like @Sammy86 already pointed out, the later your hop additions are added the more flavor and aroma you'll get out of them.
That^

In that light, instead of doing a flameout hop addition, look into adding whirlpool hops or doing hopstands.
Those are typically added and done after flameout, at much lower temps, after the wort has been chilled down somewhat.
When those hopstands are completed, resume chilling down to ferm temps, aerate well, and pitch yeast.

For example instead of a flameout addition (at 0'), do a hopstand at 170F (or anywhere between 150F and 170F) for 15-30'.

You could do 1, 2, or 3, or more hopstand hop additions if you want.
Such as doing a hop addition at flameout, then chill down to 170F (fast or slow, your choice).
Then add more hops (@170F) for a hopstand of 10'.
Chill down to 150F and add another dose of hops for a hopstand of another 20-30'.
Then chill down to ferm temp.

During a hopstand, gently stir every 3-5 minutes for better extraction/dispersion.
 
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RBinson

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Thank you all for the feedback!

If you want a drier beer you'll want a more fermentable beer...there mash lower. Since we now have modified grains a step mash isn't really necessary...you could mash at 148° for 90 minutes and be perfectly ok.

Thats not to say try the step mash if you have the ability to...I recently went electric with a pump so ill be trying my first step mash myself next brew.
I will go for the single low temp mash for now, seems to be the easiest way to get a highly fermentable wort indeed. But I'll will probably experiment with side by side batches at one point.

If you're using WY3711 I'd bet that it'll hit 1.000 in about 2 days. Really, most any Saison strain will chew through the sugar really quickly and take you down close to 1.000, or even below in some cases. They (Saison yeasts) also like to be hot. I've taken mine all the way up to 90F before but now I just let them free rise to about 75F and hold them there until they finish out and condition.
That sounds crazy indeed! I had fast fermentation with other yeasts but never as dry.

In that light, instead of doing a flameout hop addition, look into adding whirlpool hops or doing hopstands.
Those are typically added and done after flameout, at much lower temps, after the wort has been chilled down somewhat.
When those hopstands are completed, resume chilling down to ferm temps, aerate well, and pitch yeast.

For example instead of a flameout addition (at 0'), do a hopstand at 170F (or anywhere between 150F and 170F) for 15-30'.

You could do 1, 2, or 3, or more hopstand hop additions if you want.
Such as doing a hop addition at flameout, then chill down to 170F (fast or slow, your choice).
Then add more hops (@170F) for a hopstand of 10'.
Chill down to 150F and add another dose of hops for a hopstand of another 20-30'.
Then chill down to ferm temp.

During a hopstand, gently stir every 3-5 minutes for better extraction/dispersion.
Thanks for the tips. I've played with some online calculators and modified my hop bill to use a bit more hops but with the hopstand you suggested. I'm still around 30 IBU and hope to get much more flavor.

For a 1 gallon batch:

5.5g (0.19oz) Mistral (7.5%AA) @ 15 minutes
5.5g (0.19oz) Barbe-Rouge (8.5%AA) @ 15 minutes
-
3g (0.11oz) Mistral (7.5%AA) @ flameout
3g (0.11oz) Barbe-Rouge (8.5%AA) @ flameout
2g (0.07oz) Mistral (7.5%AA) @ hopstand at 76°C/170°F 10 minutes
4g (0.14oz) Barbe-Rouge (8.5%AA) @ hopstand at 76°C76°C/170°F 10 minutes
2g (0.07oz) Mistral (7.5%AA) @ hopstand at 65°C/150°F 30 minutes
4g (0.14oz) Barbe-Rouge (8.5%AA) @ hopstand at 65°C/150°F 30 minutes
-
4g (0.14oz) Mistral @ dry-hop
6g (0.21oz) Barbe-Rouge @ dry-hop

Now I guess I just have to brew it!
 

Dgallo

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If you want a drier beer you'll want a more fermentable beer...there mash lower. Since we now have modified grains a step mash isn't really necessary...you could mash at 148° for 90 minutes and be perfectly ok.

Thats not to say try the step mash if you have the ability to...I recently went electric with a pump so ill be trying my first step mash myself next brew.

As far as your hops go, flavor and aroma come later in the boil so adding more late will enhance those flavors.

Hope this helps!
He’s planning on using a STA-1 positive yeast strain so, his mash temp won’t matter that much for dryness since that strain can easily get him down to 1.001/1.002 and probably lower

I actually brewed a 100% Brett fermented ipa About 3 months ago. Seems like the route you’re going down would be pretty close to this but with French ingredients. I might up the wheat a little more. Do a more tradition “farmhouse” inspired grain bill of Pilsner and white wheat at about 60-70% to 30-40%. And then hop it like a NEIPA with a touch more bitterness. This is what mine ended up coming out like, was very happy with it and I love how much funkyness is coming through now
DBA73DF9-39FB-4287-BA84-03B4F910F8EF.jpeg
 

IslandLizard

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For a 1 gallon batch: [...]
What kind of fermenter(s) are you using for your gallon/5 liter batches?

Regarding small batches, especially all grain, it's a lot of work for a mere gallon of beer.

Perhaps think about doing 2 or 3 batches like that. Only one mash, perhaps even only one boil up to a certain point where you start adding flavor/aroma hops. Then separate out for 3 different IPAs, using different hops/combinations.
You may be able to do short boils too, such as 30' instead of 60'.

A single pack of WY3711 will cover your 3 1-gallon pitches.
 

dawn_kiebawls

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::d'OH!!:: This entire time I've been thinking you were talking about a super hopped Saison. My apologies. With an IPA in mind I would mash higher than the 147F I mentioned earlier and keep the Saison yeast on the cool side to avoid some of the pepperiness/bubblegum.

As long as you don't let me confuse you I think you'll be happy and it looks like you're on the right track!

FWIW I prefer WY3726 over 3711 but either will get you what you want.

I'm done handing out my bad advice. Cheers!

edit: spelling is hard
 
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couchsending

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There are two French yeasts available that aren’t “French Saison” if you want to make a beer with more defined “ipa” character.

WLP072 is a vault strain but you can order it through White Labs right now, got an email that they had vials available last week. It’s more of a malty Kolsch like strain but I’ve made great hoppy beer with it.

WLP073 or Wyeast 3725 are also interesting options. Both are seasonal though and not out now. An interesting yeast that is diastaticus but has virtually no POF+ characteristics, it’s incredibly clean and fast at even high 60s, low 70s.

I’d use either of those options before I use 3711 or Belle Saison any day. I loathe the profile those yeasts create.
 
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RBinson

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He’s planning on using a STA-1 positive yeast strain so, his mash temp won’t matter that much for dryness since that strain can easily get him down to 1.001/1.002 and probably lower

I actually brewed a 100% Brett fermented ipa About 3 months ago. Seems like the route you’re going down would be pretty close to this but with French ingredients. I might up the wheat a little more. Do a more tradition “farmhouse” inspired grain bill of Pilsner and white wheat at about 60-70% to 30-40%. And then hop it like a NEIPA with a touch more bitterness. This is what mine ended up coming out like, was very happy with it and I love how much funkyness is coming through now
Thanks for the tip, I will definitely try increasing wheat proportion.

WLP072 is a vault strain but you can order it through White Labs right now, got an email that they had vials available last week. It’s more of a malty Kolsch like strain but I’ve made great hoppy beer with it.

WLP073 or Wyeast 3725 are also interesting options. Both are seasonal though and not out now. An interesting yeast that is diastaticus but has virtually no POF+ characteristics, it’s incredibly clean and fast at even high 60s, low 70s.
I'm planning on using Mangrove's Jack M29 French Saison yeast since it is the one I have easy access to (not sure it makes any difference). WLP073 or Wyeast 3725 would be perfect since there are diastatic but no idea how I can find them for now.

I was looking at the WLP072 Bière de Garde yeast as well and it looks interesting. Since WLP072 is a non-diastatic strain, I was thinking of starting with this one and pitch the French Saison yeast later on to finish the fermentation dry while avoiding most of the associated aroma. I would need to find it first though.
 
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RBinson

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What kind of fermenter(s) are you using for your gallon/5 liter batches?

Regarding small batches, especially all grain, it's a lot of work for a mere gallon of beer.

Perhaps think about doing 2 or 3 batches like that. Only one mash, perhaps even only one boil up to a certain point where you start adding flavor/aroma hops. Then separate out for 3 different IPAs, using different hops/combinations.
You may be able to do short boils too, such as 30' instead of 60'.

A single pack of WY3711 will cover your 3 1-gallon pitches.
I'm still using 1-gallon glass carboys. It suits me well for now since I have limited space and equipment. I can brew new batches quickly and experiment fast but I admit it is quite time-consumming for a limited amount of beer. I also have a bottleneck on my botteling but I just moved from swing-tops to caps so it should not really be a problem anymore.
I already did some split worts in the past. Might do that for experimenting with different yeast as well as hops on this one.

::d'OH!!:: This entire time I've been thinking you were talking about a super hopped Saison. My apologies. With an IPA in mind I would mash higher than the 147F I mentioned earlier and keep the Saison yeast on the cool side to avoid some of the pepperiness/bubblegum.

As long as you don't let me confuse you I think you'll be happy and it looks like you're on the right track!

FWIW I prefer WY3726 over 3711 but either will get you what you want.

I'm done handing out my bad advice. Cheers!

edit: spelling is hard
Would mashing higher help keeping some body or it won't make a difference since the yeast will produce the enzymes to break down everything?

Yes I would ferment low to keep the esters and phenolics low, or only use that yeast at end of fermentation for the dry finish.
 

Northern_Brewer

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I'm planning on using Mangrove's Jack M29 French Saison yeast since it is the one I have easy access to
Just so you know, it's repacked Belle Saison.

Also don't forget to look for bottle-conditioned commercial beers that you can harvest yeast from.
 
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RBinson

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Just so you know, it's repacked Belle Saison.
Really? Is it not related to the other French Saison yeasts from other companies? As long as I get the insane attenuation it is famous for it should be okay.

Just so you know, it's repacked Belle Saison.

Also don't forget to look for bottle-conditioned commercial beers that you can harvest yeast from.
I actually harvested yeast from commercial beers before even buying yeast. My plan would be to get my hand on the unfiltered 3 Monts. It has a quite neutral yeast with high attenuation.
 
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RBinson

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So I actually brewed the recipe yesterday.

My efficiency was not very good and I ended up missing my target OG (1.049 instead of 1.1056). I also ended up with less volume than anticipated, so it will be hoppier than I expected.

It really smelled like an hop bomb when I transferred to the carboys! I will have to be careful with oxidation.

I splitted into 2x 4L batches:
- One fermenting with Mangrove's Jack French Saison yeast (at low temp)
- One fermenting with Safale S-33, that I will dry using French Saison yeast after primary fermentation
 

Northern_Brewer

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Really? Is it not related to the other French Saison yeasts from other companies?
??
You don't get much more related than literally being the same yeast that another company sells!

Mangrove Jack don't make their own yeast, all their yeasts are repacks of somebody else's, a lot of them are from Lallemand but not all of them.
 
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RBinson

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??
You don't get much more related than literally being the same yeast that another company sells!

Mangrove Jack don't make their own yeast, all their yeasts are repacks of somebody else's, a lot of them are from Lallemand but not all of them.

Sorry if I was not clear. This is related to Belle Saison which is a Belgian Saison yeast. But other companies have a clear distinction between their French Saison yeast (from Thierez brewery apparently) and their "classic" Begian Saison yeast.
 
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Northern_Brewer

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I wouldn't get too hung up on those kinds of things - the closer you look, many of those differences tend to disappear, there's been a lot of yeast exchanges over the years, particularly in a region that's had such a ...complicated... history.

Belle seems to be a dry version of a Dupont strain (or a close relative) and falls in the classic saison group of S. cerevisiae, unlike for instance the WY1214/WLP500/Abbaye group which are hybrids of S. cerevisiae and S. kudriavzevii.
 
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RBinson

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Good to know!

My only concern is that I chose the French Saison yeast to dry my beer as much as possible and the Belgian Saison yeast (from Wyeast and White Labs) is famous for stalling. But considering the advertised attenuation (85-90%) of the M29 I'm confident it will work. Still bubbling at the moment.
 
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