new brewer w/ many Qs about a Saison Dupont clone recipe

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RexPDX

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Hi everyone,

I have been lurking on HBT over the past few weeks and have learned a ton. Thanks to everyone on here! You are great.

My first batch is hanging out in the primary and I can't wait to move on. Here is the kit I used--> Homebrewers Outpost IPA.

I plan to bottle it this weekend (it will have been sitting for 2 weeks 5 days in the primary) and get another brew up and running. I'm especially excited to take a crack at this Saison Dupont from Clone Brews --> Saison Dupont Clone Recipe. But before I jump in I have a few questions for you all.

1. I plan on fermenting this beer in my basement which maintains a temperature around 73 degrees. The recipe says the fermenting temp should be between 70-75 degrees, however, I have read elsewhere on the forums that a Saison style beer should have a fermentation temperature in the mid 80s. So... should I hold off until warmer weather before attempting this recipe?

2. I'm a bit confused about the first part of this recipe. It says to take 1/2 lb German Viana malt and to "crush and steep in 1/2 Gallon of water for 20 minutes at 150 degrees". It then goes on to say to "strain the grain water into your brew pot. Sparge the grains with 1/2 gallon water at 150 degrees." I don't get it. I thought sparging was something you did with all grain. Is this the same process as the IPA kit where I put the specialty grains in a muslin sack and let them steep until the water temp hit 150 degrees? Am I supposed to keep a 1/2 gallon at 150 degrees for 20 minutes while I steep and then add a gallon of water? Or is this a 2 step process with the grains that I am just not getting? Any translation, advice, or help with this step would be huge.

3. The IPA kit instructed me to use muslin bags to keep most of the hop pellets out of the wort. Should I do it again for this Saison recipe? What about the Irish moss and orange peels? Should/Can they be placed in bags?

4. The recipe says to "remove the pot from the stove, and cool for 15 minutes." By "cool" do they mean give your kettle an ice batch for 15 minutes? Or is this simply taking it off the heat enough for this style.

5. How much yeast? The Mr Malty Calculator says I should use 2.3 liquid yeast packs without a starter (only one if I have a starter). Is this overkill? And is Wyeast 12214 the best strain for a Saison?

6. The recipe instructs to prime with 1 1/4 cup extra light DME. Do I need to boil the DME until there is a hot break or just dissolve it into boiling water? Is DME even a good primer for this style?

7. The recipe doesn't give any clues about how to handle the beer after it is in the fermentor. I plan to allow the beer three weeks in the primary before bottling, and allow at least 3 weeks for conditioning before cracking into them. Does this sound about right?

I think that is all I got... for now. Thanks for putting up with all of my noob questions. :)
 

bbrim

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1. Yes you should wait for warmer temps if you want to achieve the desired yeast profile. I save Saison for July/August when it is hard to hit the correct fermentation temps for anything else. It fills an otherwise empty space in my brew calendar. Maybe you'll want to take a crack at an abbey or witbier instead.

2. That is a mini-mash. At 150 it will take more than 20 minutes for complete conversion. I would up the temp to 155 and run about 45 minutes if you want to keep it quick. Sparging will help your efficiency on the mash but you can skip it and run a thinner mash without losing too much efficiency (you will still lose some). A lot of people are fans of mashing with a ratio of 2qt water:1lbs grain, this is quite thin but I am sure someone has gone thinner.
If you are intimidated by this then just step back and stick with steeping grains, I'm sure there is a list somewhere on this site.

3.When you put the hops in a bag it makes it easier to remove them from the wort at the end of the boil, but you lose quite a bit on hop utilization. Personally, I have never bagged my hops and I always end up with some making it into my carboy, it has never been a problem for me. Irish moss you definitely want to leave loose. Orange peel can sometimes create a problem by clogging my racking cane, I now prefer to put these in a bag, and I will put coriander or fresh ginger in a bag too.

4. You may want to look into "no chill brewing" if you have a problem cooling your wort. This makes me nervous. An ice bath will work for extract batches. Eventually you will want an immersion chiller, these are easy to make. Just get soft copper tubing and wrap coils around a small bucket, or other round object, making sure they will fit inside your brewpot. Then use hose clamps to attach tubing on the in and out, and add a faucet adapter on the in-side using another hose clamp. I made a 50' chiller for about $30.

5. Trust Mr. Malty. Starters are easy, don't be intimidated. Just use the same sort of sanitation practice you would use for a batch (maybe be a little bit extra careful).

6. DME takes a little longer than priming sugar, but it is supposed to create better head. I tried it once and found no change so I stick with priming sugar. Every style has a different ideal level of carbonation and your priming sugar should be adjusted accordingly.

7. Trust your hydrometer. Once the gravity doesn't change for at least 3 days you should be done fermenting. Be sure you are close to your estimated final gravity though. I had a beer sit at 1.020 for about two weeks and I bottled it even though I knew it should have finished around 1.014. Sure enough the yeast woke up and finished the job, I'm just lucky none have exploded, but the volcano I get isn't very fun.

Just stay patient and have fun. Do your best to maintain proper fermentation temperatures and your beers should turn out well.
 

dcp27

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1. If you really don't want to wait, mid 70s should just get less esters (fruity and spicy notes) from the yeast.

2. Vienna needs to be mashed to get any fermentable sugars out of it. It looks like most of your fermentables are coming from the extract and sugar anyway, so if you don't want to try what bbrim said doing the 20min steep at 150F will just give you some color and flavor.

3. Yup, hops in a bag will lose about 10% utilization. Pellets should just settle out during fermentation anyway,
 

AnOldUR

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1. I plan on fermenting this beer in my basement which maintains a temperature around 73 degrees. The recipe says the fermenting temp should be between 70-75 degrees, however, I have read elsewhere on the forums that a Saison style beer should have a fermentation temperature in the mid 80s. So... should I hold off until warmer weather before attempting this recipe?
I'm not sure why they recommend Wyeast 1214 for a Saison, but if you use this yeast 70-75 it the proper range. The problem is that a good Saison develops its character from using the right yeast. For Wyeast that would be 3724 or 3711. The 3711 is more tolerant of the lower temperatures that you are capable of, but in my opinion, the 3724 used at higher temperatures makes a better beer.
 
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RexPDX

RexPDX

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bbrim- thanks for the great response overall. Man, you opened up a whole new world for me by letting me know the directions called for a mini-mash/partial mash. I have since found the mini-mash sticky and a great Basic Brewing podcast on the subject. At first I was intimidated, but now I'm actually very excited to try this out.

Bummer to have to wait until warmer days to brew a Saison, but I'll definitely look into recipes for an Abbey style ale (and I am open to any recommendations).

DCP27 and AnOldUR - thanks for the comments on the yeast. I am a complete beginner and know very little about selecting the right yeast for the style- I suppose if I followed this recipe to the T it would turn out as expected (considering the temperature of the room I will be fermenting in). But if I want a truly tasty Saison I should use a more appropriate yeast and wait for warmer days.

:mug:
 

brando

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You could always use an aquarium heater in a water bath to maintain the correct temperatures or use a cheap heating blanket under your fermenter to keep the higher temps.

I just had the Saison Dupont with lunch today and it didn't taste very good, a little skunky tasting like heinekin. $10 too, yikes!! On the contrary, last week I tried an Ommegang Hennepin Saison at a wine bar in NOPO and it was out of this world... I would love to do a clone of that beer. Perhaps the storage was bad at Market of Choice on the Dupont, but the Hennepin had a wonderful flavor profile with wild citrus notes, more alcohol and a dry finish. Could it be the Americans make a better Saison than the Belgians?
 

RoomTenONine

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I just had the Saison Dupont with lunch today and it didn't taste very good, a little skunky tasting like heinekin. $10 too, yikes!! On the contrary, last week I tried an Ommegang Hennepin Saison at a wine bar in NOPO and it was out of this world... I would love to do a clone of that beer. Perhaps the storage was bad at Market of Choice on the Dupont, but the Hennepin had a wonderful flavor profile with wild citrus notes, more alcohol and a dry finish. Could it be the Americans make a better Saison than the Belgians?
Sounds like that Dupont was old or uncared for. It should not be skunky, but light, crisp and a little tart with those nice citrus notes. I love Hennepin, but Dupont > Hennepin IMO.

I once had a bottle of 4 year old Hennepin. It poured dark amber, smelled like vinegar and tasted like band-aids.
 

sconnie

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I just wanted to comment on the clone recipe you're using:
according to the book Farmhouse Ales, in which the author actually spoke with the folks at Dupont, the beer is made with 100% Pilsner malt. No wheat, no vienna. Also no spices. If you use the Dupont strain (WLP 565 or Wyeast 3724) you should use higher temps to get the spicy character and high attenuation.
 
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