Munich as sole base malt in session saison

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eulipion2

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Hello,
I'm working on another session saison, and I'm wondering if I could use Munich malt as the sole base malt to get it into the appropriate color range, but without getting too much melanoidin. Also, I've seen some saison recipes call for flaked oats, which doesn't seem to-style for me, but may help with mouthfeel. Here's what I've got so far:

6 gallons, 85% efficiency
Brew-In-A-Bag, No-Chill

Per BrewTarget 2.0.1:
OG: 1.029
FG: 1.006 (possibly lower)
ABV: 2.9% (possibly higher)
IBU: 15.6
SRM: 6.5
BU:GU: .55

5 lb Munich malt (9°L)
.5 lb flaked oats (for mouthfeel, but could be dropped for something else)
3 oz Acid malt (for pH)

.125 oz Belma (12.1% AA, whole leaf) - FWH, calculated as 30 min
1 oz Strisselspalt (2.0% AA, pellet) - Cube hop, calculated as 20 min
.25 oz Belma - Cube hop, calculated as 20 min
1 oz Strisselspalt - dry hop
1 oz Belma - dry hop

Wyeast 3711 French Saison
 

daksin

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Munich is the king of melanoidin, not sure why you'd use that if that's the flavor you're trying to avoid. I wouldn't want a saison with oats- saisons should be DRYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY and oats are just going to mess that up. Start with some pils or vienna malt and use character malts or a bit of crystal to adjust the color if you want.

Also, FWH contributes MORE bitterness than a 60m addition but with a smoother bitterness. Some people say they get flavor/aroma out of them (I don't) which is why you hear "use like 20m" when referring to them, but you should calculate IBUs as 5-10% more than a 60m addition.
 
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eulipion2

eulipion2

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I'm worried that with pils/pale malt I won't have enough malt backbone or color for the style. My session saison recipe in the recipe database calls for something like 5 lb pils and 1 lb Munich, and it turned out okay, but really light in color, and I would have liked a little more malt backbone. The hops I used with it were Styrian Golding and Strisselspalt, which were very smooth flavor/aroma hops. With this recipe I'll be using Belma hops, which are somewhat lacking in flavor, but they have a good bit of bittering potential. While I'm not using a large amount, I still don't want the hops to bury the malt.

As for oats, I know it's not a typical saison ingredient, but I'm looking to add a little bit of body. Even a saison shouldn't feel too thin, and with just over 5 lb of grains for a 6-gallon batch, this could easily have a Bud Light mouthfeel if I don't build it up just a little. I know I read on the forum somewhere that quite a few commercial saison brewers use oats.

While first wort hops do, in theory, add more bitterness than a 60 minute addition, it's been my experience that it's better to calculate them as Perceived Bitterness rather than actual bitterness or else you could really under-hop your beer. I've been doing no-chill for a few years now, and calculating FWH as a 30 min addition is nothing new. I do tend to get flavor and aroma with about the same bitterness as a 20-30 minute addition.
 
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eulipion2

eulipion2

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Okay, how about this:
3 lb Munich 9°L
2 lb Pilsner (Bel)
.5 lb flaked wheat
3 oz Acid malt

Still comes in around 5 SRM, wheat will enhance mouthfeel, though maybe not as much as oats would.

Alternately, I could up my bittering addition a little, bump it up to about 21 IBU, BU:GU ratio of .73, which is a bit high for a saison, but would definitely counter the Munich.
 

Yooper

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Okay, how about this:
3 lb Munich 9°L
2 lb Pilsner (Bel)
.5 lb flaked wheat
3 oz Acid malt

Still comes in around 5 SRM, wheat will enhance mouthfeel, though maybe not as much as oats would.

Alternately, I could up my bittering addition a little, bump it up to about 21 IBU, BU:GU ratio of .73, which is a bit high for a saison, but would definitely counter the Munich.
Oats are "slippery" and slick, which gives a creamy mouthfeel. It does NOT enhance body- at least not in the way that something like carapils does. It's nothing like Munich malt. A little (like a pound) would be great, but more would be too much in my opinion. If you want more malt flavor and aroma, you could try a tiny bit of aromatic malt. But I wouldn't mess with it- your original is a nice base recipe.

That's not to say that this won't be good, but keep in mind that the whole idea of a saison is light and crisp and dry- totally opposite of what Munich malt brings to the table.
 
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eulipion2

eulipion2

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So basically stick to the grain bill of my other recipe, forgo color for crisp dryness? Sounds good, and don't get me wrong, my original session saison was fantastic. I was just hoping to make all other aspects of the beer line up with the style guidelines. One of my favorite things about well-made session beers is that you can't tell that they're session beers, that is, they taste like the styles they're modeled after.

So adapting my original SS's grain bill, plus the new hops I get:

4.5 lb Pilsner (Belg)
1 lb Munich 9°L
2 oz Acid malt

.25 oz Belma (12.1% AA, whole leaf) - FWH, calculated as 30 min
1 oz Strisselspalt (2.0% AA, pellet) - Cube hop, calculated as 20 min
.25 oz Belma - Cube hop, calculated as 20 min
1 oz Strisselspalt - dry hop
1 oz Belma - dry hop

Wyeast 3711 French Saison

BrewTarget gives me:
OG: 1.029
FG: 1.006 (probably more like 1.002)
ABV: 2.9
SRM: 3.3
BU:GU: .73
 
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eulipion2

eulipion2

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If you want more malt flavor and aroma, you could try a tiny bit of aromatic malt. But I wouldn't mess with it- your original is a nice base recipe.

That's not to say that this won't be good, but keep in mind that the whole idea of a saison is light and crisp and dry- totally opposite of what Munich malt brings to the table.
Yooper, did you mean the original recipe posted in this thread, or the original session saison from my recipe drop-down? Should have asked for clarification before posting.
 

kingwood-kid

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To me, if not to any body else, a Saison is more about the flavors the yeast brings than it is about color, body or gravity. With 3711 and a mild-like OG, I don't think you'll have any problems with dryness anyway. Maybe you could try a grain bill of something like equal parts malted wheat and Munich, mashed hot.
 

Corey_SS

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I'm personally interested to see what kind of flavors you would get with a saison yeast and the munich, just for curiosity's sake.
 

TNGabe

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With 3711 and a 1.029 OG, I don't think dry will be a problem. I don't feel that a small amount of oats makes a beer creamy or slick, maybe it's yeast dependant, but I frequently use rolled oats or oat malt in my saisons and don't get that at all. Brewing low grav beers is a different ball of wax, so maybe a 1.070 saison with all munich wouldn't work, I think it's a great idea for a petite saison and think you should try the original recipe you posted, or at least the grainbill. 2 oz dryhop sounds like a ton and ditto what Daksin said on FWH IBU contribution.
 
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eulipion2

eulipion2

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Thanks for all the feedback. Yeah, definitely not concerned about dryness. 3711 is a beast! Almost certain you could make a brew of nothing but specialty grains and it'd eat it all anyway.

I just want to make sure the malt doesn't get lost in the mix, and that there's at least a little mouthfeel. When doing session ales I find mashing a little higher will help with body, but with this beer I doubt it will help, so I need some way to enhance body and malt flavor. I doubt with less than 6 lbs of grain in 6 gallons of beer that I can give it TOO MUCH body, but I don't know.

I'm not concerned about the FWH contribution. As I've said, I've been using FWH for a few years, and if anything, I almost think calculating them as a 30 min addition is too much. Gordon Strong says in Brewing Better Beer that it's about the equivalent of a 20 minute addition, but I'm not willing to go quite that far just yet.
 

hbhudy

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I hate to bump and older thread but how did this turn out? I have been doing mainly session strength brews for the last couple years and have not mastered the session Saison yet.. I have been using Vienna and Pils with some carapils but mashing around 158 with 3711 or the Belle Saison as they will eat through anything from my experience
 
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eulipion2

eulipion2

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I hate to bump and older thread but how did this turn out? I have been doing mainly session strength brews for the last couple years and have not mastered the session Saison yet.. I have been using Vienna and Pils with some carapils but mashing around 158 with 3711 or the Belle Saison as they will eat through anything from my experience
I don't have my brew log on hand -- I'll look for it tomorrow -- but I do remember the Belma/Strisselspalt combo was pretty amazing!
 

ESBrewer

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To get the darker color of some saisons, I would probably go with Vienna or Münich (in addition to the pilsner). Then maybe add some sugar to reach the desired OG. This would thin it out so that it is going to attenuate and won't be too malty or full bodied for the style. It should be dry and crisp and yeast character should cone through.
 
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Miraculix

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Oats are "slippery" and slick, which gives a creamy mouthfeel. It does NOT enhance body- at least not in the way that something like carapils does. It's nothing like Munich malt. A little (like a pound) would be great, but more would be too much in my opinion. If you want more malt flavor and aroma, you could try a tiny bit of aromatic malt. But I wouldn't mess with it- your original is a nice base recipe.

That's not to say that this won't be good, but keep in mind that the whole idea of a saison is light and crisp and dry- totally opposite of what Munich malt brings to the table.
I think this might be the power of auto suggestion. We see those sticky, slimy oats in the mash so we expect this to have an influence on mouthfeel. We taste the beer afterwards with this in mind and surely we are perceiving exactly what we expected.

I read recently a quite detailed article about oats and how they could actually enhance mouthfeel and to sum it up, they don't. At least not within the range we are using them. They start doing this at about 20% of the grist and upwards, but then they also kill the head.

I would love to post the link but I am at work and cannot search for it.

Edit: found it! http://scottjanish.com/case-brewing-oats/

I had some blind tests with a lot of oats, next one a lot of flaked barley and a control beer without adjuncts. There was no difference in mouthfeel detectable for me. But the oat beer was fermenting faster and stronger than the others, as oats provide nutrition that the other grains don't. So I keep adding it for yeast health reasons.
 
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eulipion2

eulipion2

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I hate to bump and older thread but how did this turn out? I have been doing mainly session strength brews for the last couple years and have not mastered the session Saison yet.. I have been using Vienna and Pils with some carapils but mashing around 158 with 3711 or the Belle Saison as they will eat through anything from my experience
Looking back at my notes from shortly after the initial post, it looks like I went with 97% Maris Otter, 3% acidulated malt (for pH adjustment). I remember really liking that beer, and even rebrewed it a month later. I haven't brewed a session saison in a while, but next time I do I'm either going to go with the Maris Otter or maybe a Pils/Munich or Pils/Vienna split.
 

Jayjay1976

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85% efficiency? Are you sure?
Either way, I like the idea of a malt-forward saison. This might be awesome.
 

filthyastronaut

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Oats are totally to-style, in fact using a mixture of cereal grains is perfectly in the saison spirit. I'd say a really low OG beer with all Munich and 3711 will turn out just fine, too. Just a bit of toast, but it won't be a bad thing. I usually use at least a bit of Munich in my saisons.
 

popsicleian

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I've made a couple of low gravity saisons (OG 1.042, but both times I was aiming lower) with primarily Vienna malt (60-70%, remainder wheat malt). It drinks like a much bigger beer, almost too much so.

For the 60% Vienna batch I did a double batch and fermented half with Wyeast 3031 (Saison-Brett). I liked that one much better than the sacc version.
 
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