Trying to make non-dry brew / malty biere de garde with Belle Saison

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leedspointbrew

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This may not be possible, and if not, understood, but....I (mistakenly) bought some Belle Saison yeast, that I don't want to waste. I am not a particular fan of Saisons, which makes this mistake perplexing, I understand, but I bought the yeast for its good response to ambient temperatures that I'll be having this summer, not fully understanding that it will gut the beer I'm brewing, leaving it un-malty, dry, extremely attenuated.
What I guess I'm trying to make with the yeast, if it's possible, is something like a biere de garde, that's somewhat malty, not too dry. Could using crystal malts in the grain bill help with this? I have some leftover meladoinin malt that I could use. I've heard that dextrin malts add body to beer.
Any input or insight is as always much appreciated.
 
A Biere de garde is usually a fairly clean beer without yeast phenolics, or very low pepper/spice notes. Would say to ferment it on the cooler side to suppress the Saison yeast esters, but since you mention ambient temps, assume you don't have temp control.

One warning about that yeast, it's a diastaticus yeast, so it will attenuate like crazy, as it will cause the yeast cells to release glucoamylase, which is an enzyme that will convert dextrins and starches into sugar. This type of yeast supposedly came from infections in breweries, and has been known to cause gushers and exploding bodies in breweries. You need to clean well after using it and really should use separate equipment (anything plastic especially) that is nowhere near other equipment. Glass and stainless should be cleaned well with iodophor or bleach and rinsed well. You don't want any of that yeast lingering around infecting all future beers.
 
This type of yeast supposedly came from infections in breweries, and has been known to cause gushers and exploding bodies in breweries.
No that's the gluten!!


To OP: it will get dry no matter what, but there is some body due to the glycerol production. If you're not into dry beers try it in cider or mead. They are surprisingly full bodied compared to more traditional versions.
 
What's your ferm temps? High 70s to low 80s for Belle is usually pretty clean for me. Relatively speaking. Less phenolic than in the lows 70s. Still a saison yeast, though. If you're committed then realize that Belle will keep chewing through longer chain sugars for quite a while. I've even had it pick up carb after weeks in the keezer at 37F. I think throwing a bunch of crystal at it will definitely give you a certain flavor but might not lend it the body you want. The glycerol that Belle produces will help with the body, though.

I like saisons a lot so take this with a grain of salt. If I were you I'd go something like 10/15% crystal, 15/20% wheat or rye, and pils for the rest. Bitter it firmly with some old world hops. Ferment it warm as possible and see what happens. Let it sit a couple weeks to finish up fully. It's not an expensive beer and might give you something in the direction you want. It's not an expensive beer. You can sit on the Belle forever, like Mac said, but incubating it won't change it to a different yeast.
 
What's your ferm temps? High 70s to low 80s for Belle is usually pretty clean for me. Relatively speaking. Less phenolic than in the lows 70s. Still a saison yeast, though. If you're committed then realize that Belle will keep chewing through longer chain sugars for quite a while. I've even had it pick up carb after weeks in the keezer at 37F. I think throwing a bunch of crystal at it will definitely give you a certain flavor but might not lend it the body you want. The glycerol that Belle produces will help with the body, though.

I like saisons a lot so take this with a grain of salt. If I were you I'd go something like 10/15% crystal, 15/20% wheat or rye, and pils for the rest. Bitter it firmly with some old world hops. Ferment it warm as possible and see what happens. Let it sit a couple weeks to finish up fully. It's not an expensive beer and might give you something in the direction you want. It's not an expensive beer. You can sit on the Belle forever, like Mac said, but incubating it won't change it to a different yeast.
Ok. That sounds like a plan that I'm going to try. Two more questions : 1). the equipment infection concerns that jdauria mentioned - valid? I had heard that sour yeasts infected equipment once used, but wasn't aware that saison yeasts did the same. And 2). by Old World yeasts - continental I'm assuming? I have Styrian Goldings - would that work with Saaz?
Thanks for the advice. Appreciated.
 
Ok. That sounds like a plan that I'm going to try. Two more questions : 1). the equipment infection concerns that jdauria mentioned - valid? I had heard that sour yeasts infected equipment once used, but wasn't aware that saison yeasts did the same. And 2). by Old World yeasts - continental I'm assuming? I have Styrian Goldings - would that work with Saaz?
Thanks for the advice. Appreciated.

Just to be clear, it's not all Saison yeasts, Belle Saison just happens to be one. And some yeasts that test positive for diastaticus don't necessarily cause an infection, they just have the gene. It's something to just keep an eye on, say you brew the Saison and then brew a Brown ale in a few weeks, if that Brown has an estimated 1.012 final gravity and it finishes at 1.001, then the fact you used a diastaticus positive yeast previously would point you in the right direction as to why your next beer over attenuated. Or if you bottled that Brown after it was at 1.012 for several days and then weeks later, if you got bottle explosions or gushers....again it gives you a clue as to why. Besides the chance of bottle bombs, the only "infection" will be that beers may finish much drier than you planned on.
 
I like the idea of trying Lallemand Farmhouse instead, it won't dry out so much.

Otherwise you could always add lactose, even Belle cannot ferment lactose.
 
Ok. That sounds like a plan that I'm going to try. Two more questions : 1). the equipment infection concerns that jdauria mentioned - valid? I had heard that sour yeasts infected equipment once used, but wasn't aware that saison yeasts did the same. And 2). by Old World yeasts - continental I'm assuming? I have Styrian Goldings - would that work with Saaz?
Thanks for the advice. Appreciated.
Well, it's true that diastaticus isn't something to take lightly. I agree with that. It's not the same as fighting with brettanomyces or other sour bugs, though. As far as I know it doesn't create a biofilm and Starsan or Iodophor should knock it out fine. It's valid to worry and be cautious, but I think the level of concern around it can be overblown. If you have both good cleaning and sanitizing processes then you should be fine. I am diligent about rinsing immediately, washing thoroughly, and doing PBW soaks periodically on the cold side. I have never replaced soft parts as a precaution against diastaticus. Belle was my first brew ever, and my second brew ever, and my fifth brew ever and so on with several other saison yeasts as well. I'm hundreds of batches in at this point and have played with many diastaticus yeasts. Be careful and you should be fine. Any soft parts and soft or scratched plastic can get you in trouble, though. Maybe a good opportunity to break down everything and give it a good soak after this batch, but not a reason to freak. I see @jdauria beat me to a response. Agreed with them 100% I also just think it's important to let the ferment fully finish. Give it a week longer than you think it needs, or more. Belle is a monster and it can keep creeping along for a while. If you're hasty you'll get gushers.

Second, yes, I was thinking something continental or continental-adjacent from the US. Saaz and Styrian Golding go great in a saison. I'd choose the goldings for this but pick your poison. I also really like relatively high hopping rates added at a couple points through the boil. Especially with saaz. It gives it a really nice character. I do it with saisons and Czech pale lagers pretty regularly. I think it would work for an amber like this. Otherwise, drop in an ounce or two at 5 mins and adjust your 60 min to get where you want for IBUs.

Couple parting thoughts. I wouldn't push the crystal too much. It's more likely to ruin the beer than fix it the way you want, I think. And let the bottles condition cold for a little bit if you have time. Saisons get really pretty after a few weeks of cold conditioning.

...I don't think people are reading your post. I agree that Farmhouse would be a very good yeast choice if you want to do this again in the future. You mistakenly bought Belle and you're not a big fan of saisons. I'm going to suggest you don't buy another saison yeast to address your situation ;)
 
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