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Saison Recipe Design

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SamInNJ

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So I've been looking over a ton of different takes on the saison style lately and am starting to come up with a plan for what I wanted to do and wanted to see what homebrewtalkers thought.

I want to avoid sugar/spice/fruit-peel additions, I think that I'd rather achieve the driness/spicey/fruity flavor from allowing the yeast and other standard ingredients to shine.

Targeting an OG around 1.050, Target FG of 1.004.

I was thinking a grain bill that would be something like:
60% Belgian Pils
20 % Wheat
10 % Rye
10 % Oats

Wheat and Oats contributing to mouthfeel & head retention, rye adding some spiciness.

For hops I wanted to do a combination of hops that would contribute to the earthy/fruity flavors. I was leaning towards something like:

60 min ~ 15 IBU (CTZ, bittering)
15 Minute Whirlpool -> Blend of Galaxy and Saaz for Fruity/Earthy Flavors

Yeast: TYB Wallonian Farmhouse

Does this sound reasonable? Anything look out of place? Not sure how much to add in whirlpool to get the flavors to blend well. I want a balance between the yeast flavors and that which will come out from the hops and the rye.

Also not sure if my IBU's are high enough. Beersmith contributes IBU's from the whirlpool but I've read that the software isn't super accurate there. Maybe I should move the whirlpool additions to late boil additions so I get a better IBU approximation?
 

tagz

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I don't know if you've already purchased it, but I would not use wallonian if you haven't brewed very many. It's not a typical saison strain. Some people like it, some don't (myself included). But I think most would agree that it doesn't throw the standard saison esters/phenols. I would use another one of their saison strains/blends or grab something from wyeast/white labs.
 
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SamInNJ

SamInNJ

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I already ordered it, but if folks think the base recipe looks fine I definitely like saison's enough to try the same thing with a few different yeasts.
 

hanuswalrus

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I like to keep Saison's grain bills as simple as possible. If it were my recipe, I'd probably drop the oats. The wheat should take care of the mouthfeel/head retention itself. Also, it seems that most people on this forum agree that a minimum of 15% Rye is recommended in order to get any noticeable contribution to flavor. I would probably go w/ something like this :

60% Pils
25% Wheat
15% Rye

Or if you want more Rye character, go 60% pils, 20% wheat, 20% rye
 

groutgauss

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I'm assuming you live in NJ from your handle :D

I'd wait until temps reach the 60-70s to attempt, unless you have a heating fermentation chamber setup (?)
 
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SamInNJ

SamInNJ

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Thanks, I'll drop the oats and up the Rye. I didn't want the rye to be overpowering, I'm just trying to accentuate the flavors that are typical in saison's without adding spices/peels/fruit etc.
 
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SamInNJ

SamInNJ

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Yah I live in NJ :D

I'm currently putting my ferm chamber together, but it's going to have a heating element yah. I was also thinking of starting ferm in my basement, moving to first floor after a few days, then moving to an upstairs closet wrapped in a sleeping bag in a closet. It''s usually in the low 70's up there and if I wrap it up and close the room/closet off it should get the beer up a bit higher.


I'm also considering just fermenting at typical 68 degrees and not ramping up the temperature unless it doesn't look like the attenuation is that great. Has anybody tried that?
 

tagz

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Attenuation shouldn't be a problem with that strain. Mine came out thin from being overly dry. I might leave the oats in even though conventional wisdom is to leave them out due to the attenuation. I think they actually recommend to overcompensate for body in the strain description.
 

m00ps

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Not a huge of wallonian farmhouse for making saisons to my tastes. It dries things out (last beer I used 3711 and Wallonian got to 0.998), but seems to accentuate the malt flavors. That being said, It makes a great addition to a Belgian Strong ale or something to help dry it out

Id say to still add the sugar. It isnt going to change the flavor contributions fo the yeast or hops. If anything, the extra dryness will help the yeast esters and hops come forward

Also keep in mind that temperature plays a major role for saison yeast profiles.

My standard hopped up saison is usually a tiny bittering charge, 1oz at 15min, 3oz at flameout with a 30min steep. Seems to make a nice middle ground between saison yeast and hop flavor. If you pick your strain(s) and hops right, you can try to match them. I did an awesome one with Belma thats all strawberry
 
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SamInNJ

SamInNJ

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Has anyone tried fermenting at a regular temperature (68ish) before? I'm curious how it turned out.

Conventional wisdom seems to be to let the temp raise up and eventually get quite high, how does that bring out the yeast character?
 

HausBrauerei_Harvey

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I was thinking a grain bill that would be something like:
60% Belgian Pils
20 % Wheat
10 % Rye
10 % Oats
I think this sounds great, i'm brewing iteration 4 of my quest for my perfect saison this weekend, the last one was 80% pils, 15% wheat, 5% oats, this time i'm adding 5% rye, again to try and get a bit of spicyness folks say it imparts. So I think your recipe looks pretty great.

I love the wallonian farmhouse strain (WLP 565), its a classic saison strain I love it, for my tastes.

I have about 22 IBU in my saison, small bittering charge to about 15 IBU, then a bit of saaz at 5 min. The hops dont shine in my saison the yeast does the talking, but belgians are such a loose style so do what you want with the hops. I also do an imperial farmhouse ale which I love, I split my IPA wort and do a farmhouse strain with it and it makes a fantastic beer, but the belgian yeast really tones down the hop flavors, FYI.
 

m00ps

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Has anyone tried fermenting at a regular temperature (68ish) before? I'm curious how it turned out.

Conventional wisdom seems to be to let the temp raise up and eventually get quite high, how does that bring out the yeast character?
I think most people actually do regular fermentation temps.

Most of the yeast flavor is locked in after a few days. If you let it go for a week and then warm it up, the end flavor shouldnt be too different than a regular fermentation except you will probably avoid any stalls and should get a tiny bit drier

IME, the general trend with saison yeasts is that warmer tends towards more fruity while cooler is spicier. A warmer temp also gives a more prominent yeast character I think
 

m00ps

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I love the wallonian farmhouse strain (WLP 565), its a classic saison strain I love it, for my tastes.
WLP565 / WY3724 is the Dupont strain (or at least the most prominent one. they reportedly have multiple strains in their house culture)

Yeast Bay Wallonian Farmhouse is pretty different from it (and also from Wallonia im guessing, which the Dupont Brewery isnt). It defintiely attenuates higher and has less citrusy notes going on. I think of it as a maltier WY3711
 

HausBrauerei_Harvey

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I think most people actually do regular fermentation temps.

Most of the yeast flavor is locked in after a few days. If you let it go for a week and then warm it up, the end flavor shouldnt be too different than a regular fermentation except you will probably avoid any stalls and should get a tiny bit drier

IME, the general trend with saison yeasts is that warmer tends towards more fruity while cooler is spicier. A warmer temp also gives a more prominent yeast character I think
FWIW with 565 i've been pitching at 70F, staying there for 3 days, then slowly ramping the temp to 90F over the course of a week to hold there for a few days. I have FG's at 1.000 with this method.
 

NorthwestBrewman2013

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I like to keep Saison's grain bills as simple as possible. If it were my recipe, I'd probably drop the oats. The wheat should take care of the mouthfeel/head retention itself. Also, it seems that most people on this forum agree that a minimum of 15% Rye is recommended in order to get any noticeable contribution to flavor. I would probably go w/ something like this :

60% Pils
25% Wheat
15% Rye

Or if you want more Rye character, go 60% pils, 20% wheat, 20% rye
This. I've done a few Saison's and found that with them, simpler is better. I usually do a Pils base (80% or so) and let the yeast really do the work. I tend to lean toward Mangrove Jacks Belgian strain. Fermented high at 78 degrees. Great fruit forward (orange and spice) flavor. Fantastic results. Always floccs out super clean, great attenuation (got a 1063 OG down to 1001 in a week) and is less expensive. I also added some cracked black pepper, corriander and sweet orange peel. Delicious! Good luck!
 

teamcoaster

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FWIW with 565 i've been pitching at 70F, staying there for 3 days, then slowly ramping the temp to 90F over the course of a week to hold there for a few days. I have FG's at 1.000 with this method.
How long does it usually take you to reach FG with 565 and that fermentation temperature profile?
 

steveabt12

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Yep totally agree the MJ M27 is great for a dried yeast, vigorous ferment, very high attenuation but the beer is not thin, very clear also. Good Belgian fruity esters and some phenolics-I fermented at 24-29C.
 

Happydad1689

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This. I've done a few Saison's and found that with them, simpler is better. I usually do a Pils base (80% or so) and let the yeast really do the work. I tend to lean toward Mangrove Jacks Belgian strain. Fermented high at 78 degrees. Great fruit forward (orange and spice) flavor. Fantastic results. Always floccs out super clean, great attenuation (got a 1063 OG down to 1001 in a week) and is less expensive. I also added some cracked black pepper, corriander and sweet orange peel. Delicious! Good luck!

How much of the pepper, coriander and orange peel do you add? And on what scheduled? Sounds good!
 

NorthwestBrewman2013

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How much of the pepper, coriander and orange peel do you add? And on what scheduled? Sounds good!
I've done a couple of different additions and found that a 15 minute addition works best.

2oz Sweet Orange Peel
2oz Crushed Coriander
1oz Fresh Cracked Black Pepper

This was for a 10gallon batch. I'd probably add a touch more pepper to it the next time but it was still very tasty.
 

m00ps

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I did a lemon pepper saison with 2 fresh lemons and 10g cracked peppercorns. Ended up adding another lemon in the primary.

The pepper was definitely noticeable at first but after a few months it all kinda melded with the yeast esters
 

tagz

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I did a witbier with the zest of three lemons and was not happy with how it came out. It came across very perfumey.
 

shorestyle

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Thanks, I'll drop the oats and up the Rye. I didn't want the rye to be overpowering, I'm just trying to accentuate the flavors that are typical in saison's without adding spices/peels/fruit etc.

Why? Spices are a great way to accentuate flavour profiles in most belgian style beers. Remember, you're getting most of the estery/phenolic flavours from the yeast not the malt. Grain bills for Belgian style beers should be as simple as possible. You don't need the oats, and IMO you don't need the rye. If you feel the yeast strain you're using isn't producing enough "saison" flavours, switch strains, ferment warmer or add some spices.

For the record: I'm an assistant brewer at a commercial brewery that exclusively brews Belgian style beers. We have never used rye and all our beers have spice additions.

Don't mess with a good thing ;)
 
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SamInNJ

SamInNJ

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Why? Spices are a great way to accentuate flavour profiles in most belgian style beers. Remember, you're getting most of the estery/phenolic flavours from the yeast not the malt. Grain bills for Belgian style beers should be as simple as possible. You don't need the oats, and IMO you don't need the rye. If you feel the yeast strain you're using isn't producing enough "saison" flavours, switch strains, ferment warmer or add some spices.

For the record: I'm an assistant brewer at a commercial brewery that exclusively brews Belgian style beers. We have never used rye and all our beers have spice additions.

Don't mess with a good thing ;)
I'll certainly defer to your judgment as I haven't nearly your level of expertise. My reasoning is mostly that I just kind have this feeling that I could get all of the flavors I'm looking for by controlling yeast/malt/hops and fermentation temp and not need to add spices to get that. Maybe I'm wrong there *shrug*

Going to brew the following tomorrow, I like saison's a lot so maybe I'll try something more basic with a more standard yeast strain and add spices/fruit peel per your recommendations.

Malt
60% Pils
25% Wheat
15% Rye

Hops
12 IBU Colombus @ 60
5.7 IBU Cascade @ 20
3.4 IBU Cascade @ 10
4.8 IBU Colombus @ 5

Yeast
1L Starter Crashed and Decanted of TYB Wallonian

Metrics:
OG: 1.049
FG: 1.004
IBU: 25.1
SRM: 4.2
ABV: 5.88%
 

shorestyle

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I'll certainly defer to your judgment as I haven't nearly your level of expertise. My reasoning is mostly that I just kind have this feeling that I could get all of the flavors I'm looking for by controlling yeast/malt/hops and fermentation temp and not need to add spices to get that. Maybe I'm wrong there *shrug*

Going to brew the following tomorrow, I like saison's a lot so maybe I'll try something more basic with a more standard yeast strain and add spices/fruit peel per your recommendations.

Malt
60% Pils
25% Wheat
15% Rye

Hops
12 IBU Colombus @ 60
5.7 IBU Cascade @ 20
3.4 IBU Cascade @ 10
4.8 IBU Colombus @ 5

Yeast
1L Starter Crashed and Decanted of TYB Wallonian

Metrics:
OG: 1.049
FG: 1.004
IBU: 25.1
SRM: 4.2
ABV: 5.88%

Sounds good. Just wanted to give my 2 cents is all. All your estery/phenolic flavours in a saison should come from the yeast and enhanced with spicing. Hops and malt aren't as important this why I say simpler is better. Make sure you do a 90 min boil in to drive off DMS as well. I'm sure it'll taste great. Good luck!
 
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SamInNJ

SamInNJ

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I'm going to do a 90 minute boil for DMS. That said, have you seen the stuff on that on Brulosophy?

Makes me wonder if it's 100% necessary. I wonder if batch size influences boil length/vigor to drive off DMS.
 

shorestyle

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I'm going to do a 90 minute boil for DMS. That said, have you seen the stuff on that on Brulosophy?



Makes me wonder if it's 100% necessary. I wonder if batch size influences boil length/vigor to drive off DMS.

I always boil anything with Pilsner malt as a base for 90 mins. All our beers at the brewery have Pilsner base malt and we boil them all for 90 mins. I've never tried to boil a beer with a Pilsner base for 60 mins so I can't comment on the difference but it's just good practice. DMS in a Belgian style beer is not welcome.
 

tagz

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I use pils as a base for all my beers and always do a 60 min boil. No DMS issues. I'm pretty sure it's a non-issue these days. IIRC Marshall had those samples lab tested in that experiment too.
 

shorestyle

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I use pils as a base for all my beers and always do a 60 min boil. No DMS issues. I'm pretty sure it's a non-issue these days. IIRC Marshall had those samples lab tested in that experiment too.

Well i'd rather be safe than sorry
 

tagz

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Yeah, no problem. I definitely understand sticking with convention on the commercial side though. It doesn't cost me anything if I get some DMS in a home experiment. If 90 min works for you guys, it's understandable to keep rolling with it.
 

m00ps

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FWIW, Ive done one 90min boil, and +100 60min boils with pilsner based malt bills. Never had an issue with DMS or smelled it coming off the boil. I think with modern malting techniques, the problem isnt nearly as big as it used to be
 
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