Saison with peppercorns

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Architect & Fledgling Home Brewer (5-Mana Brewing)
HBT Supporter
Oct 21, 2022
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New york
I have made a few saison recipes and I like them…they have a farmhouse funk flavor profile, easy to drink and seemingly all over the place. I had a saison a few months ago in a small brewery in Florida - the brewmaster was not in that day. We I’ve in NY so cannot go back anytime soon. The saison was crisp with a taste of pepper (according to the description, peppercorns were added). The beer also did not have that typical farmhouse flavor profile - it was there, but balanced. It was good, but still a saison. I am trying to emulate that but do not know anything about the amount of pepper to add, when to add it and what kind of yeast to produce a mild farmhouse flavor without all the heavy ester notes associated with a saison (not sure if I am using the right word to describe it) - still want some, but not over the top. I have been researching on here and on the web and even in Brewfather, but the recipes and the advice are ll over the place.
It's probably going to take a few tries to get the pepper level where you like it.

I like to add spices in a post-boil stand: finish the boil, cool to ~150 F, and put the spices in a tea ball or fine-mesh basket/spider to soak in the wort for 10 minutes. Then remove the tea ball and proceed as usual. My feeling is that this avoids cooked flavors for more subtle spices, and gives some reproducibility. I'd use coarse crushed pepper.

I'd get a first idea of how much pepper to use by making a tea in exactly the same fashion, soaking a tea ball in 150 F water for 10 minutes. Then, use half that, in your first beer. Maybe a third. That's what I do, and sometimes I'll have to dial it back up for a second batch, but just as often it's still too much.

Lallemand Farmhouse has a nice flavor profile, but it's not diastaticus, so the attenuation just isn't there to make what I consider a proper saison. Can't beat it for convenience, though...

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