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Nightturtles

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This is my first ever saison. I decided to get a little crazy and do something aged on oak with wine because I've had a few similar examples I've really enjoyed. I mostly chose the malt bill because it's what I have on hand, but if you have any suggestions on adjustments up/down please let me know.

Name: Nelson Saisauvignon
Style: Oak Aged Saison

Grains:
  • 9.5 lbs base malt
  • 1.5 lbs Raw Wheat
  • 1.0 lbs Flaked Oats
  • 0.5 lbs Honey Malt

Hops:
  • 0.25 oz Nelson Sauvin pellets at 60 min
  • 0.5 oz Nelson Sauvin pellets at 10 min
  • 2 oz Nelson Sauvin pellets in 175f whirlpool for 10 min

Yeast:
  • WLP566 & WLP650 copitched

Planned Fermentation Schedule:
  • Primary for 2 weeks (ramp from ~68-78 over first 4 days)
  • While in primary, soak oak stave in Sauv Blanc in vacuum bag in the fridge
  • Secondary for 6 weeks w/ oak stave (tasting periodically)
  • If @ 6 weeks not enough wine flavor, blend in Sauv Blanc to taste
  • Bottle condition 2 weeks
  • Age at least a few bottles
 

deadwolfbones

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I've made a lot of saisons and this sounds pretty good to me. I'd personally make a couple changes, but this is all based on personal tastes (except maybe the hop bit), so obviously feel free to ignore me entirely. It'll come out great regardless:

1. I like pilsner and wheat malt in my saisons. I don't think you need the oats or honey malt, but they might add something nice.
2. Don't waste Nelson at 60min. Use Magnum or something to get the IBUs. And don't do a 10min charge, either. Add all the Nelson in the whirlpool or at FO.
3. Use WY3726 (just my personal favorite).

Be sure to carb high, like 3vols+. Just make sure your bottles are in good shape before you do so.
 

bucketnative

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2. Don't waste Nelson at 60min. Use Magnum or something to get the IBUs. And don't do a 10min charge, either. Add all the Nelson in the whirlpool or at FO.
Assuming 1 oz. pouches of hops, he's not really wasting it if he's adding 0.25 oz out of a 1 oz. pouch that has to be opened anyway... I would question the waste of the missing 0.25 oz, assuming OP has three pouches. Throw that in at 0 min.
 

deadwolfbones

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Yeah, I wasn't making any assumptions about pouches. I buy hops by the pound or half-pound, myself.
 
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Nightturtles

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Really appreciate the replies! As for the hops, you're correct that they're 1oz packs.

I'm thinking I may cut the honey malt and sub in a little 2-row instead, I'd only really added it for some more color. As for the yeast, I really appreciate the suggestion and will give it a shot next time but the WLPs are what I have access to right now.

Glad to hear I'm on the right path with this one!
 
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Nightturtles

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@deadwolfbones - Any idea what I can expect the difference in the end product to be between using WY3726 and using a mix of WLP566 & WLP650? I've read the descriptions online but would love a first-hand account.
 

deadwolfbones

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I've never actually used WLP566 or 650, just love the Blaugies yeast. :)

Please do report back when you use the mix!
 

Calder

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Drop the honey malt completely. It will be too prominent in the taste (note: I really hate the flavor from Honey Malt, and 0.5 lbs is a lot). from the Saison flavors. If you have the fermenters, I would split the batch and only oak half, and see if it improves the beer or detracts from the clean saison flavor.
 

brownni5

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I'd you really want some color, you could also get it from a little Vienna or Munich. I often put them in my Saisons if I have them on hand. Really don't need it, but at 5% or less, they're not really hurting, either.

Should also be flexible with primary time. Saison yeasts sometimes work on their own schedule.
 
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Nightturtles

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Sorry for the delay, but here's a quick update for everyone:

I took the advice and dropped the honey malt entirely. I also upped the batch size to 6.5 gal to accommodate (1) 4.5 gal batch as described above, (1) 1 gal batch w/o oak, and (1) 1 gal batch kettle soured.

Brew day went very smoothly with 1 small hiccup - my mash efficiency was WAY low. I decided to go with the "it is what it is" way of thinking and ended up with a post-boil OG of 1.045. My theories about what happened are:
  1. Crush wasn't fine enough - I just got my own mill so I'm still dialing things in.
  2. Didn't mix my mash properly - In an almost definitely misguided attempt at avoiding clogging the pump on my Grainfather I layered my grains Barley/Oats+Wheat/Barley in the grain basket (in an attempt to create some filtration) then dropped that in the kettle without stirring the grains. I have a strong feeling there were some big dough balls in there.
Despite the low gravity I'm happy with the way things turned out. Will report back in a couple weeks once primary is done.
 
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