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General Category => Yeast and Fermentation => Topic started by: bluedog on March 25, 2011, 05:54:21 PM

Title: Belgian saison
Post by: bluedog on March 25, 2011, 05:54:21 PM
How long should my primary fermentation last for my saison. My OG was 1.070 on March 5th. I am using the wyeast Belgian saison which everything I have read can be problematic. I pitched a starter that had been built up twice with a half gallon each time and pitched only the slurry. My 70 F fermentation stalled right around 1.030 which I kind of expected. I put a heating pad underneath and raised the temp up to 78 F. The airlock is bubbling again and my gravity is dropping. Last summer I did a saison with the French saison yeast and left it the primary for almost a month. The aroma was great and it tasted like I expected but had kind of yeasty aftertaste. Anyway if the airlock is showing signs that active fermentation is happening I guess I just let it go until I get into the single digits without moving it off the primary yeast. I think that this yeast likes warmer temps and maybe with the room temps being around 66 F my fermentation time is going to be longer. I just want those cool saison phenols and esters without the yeasty aftertaste. Thoughts?
Title: Re: Belgian saison
Post by: euge on March 25, 2011, 06:38:45 PM
I think you'll be just fine. What is the current gravity?

I had that yeast stall as you mentioned 3 out of 4 batches. I think the trick is warming it up after a couple days high krausen and letting it finish warmer sooner.
Title: Re: Belgian saison
Post by: bluedog on March 25, 2011, 06:51:44 PM
3 days ago it was down to 1.025. I can see activity in the air lock so I will check it again in a few days to see where it's at then.
Title: Re: Belgian saison
Post by: jeffy on March 25, 2011, 07:41:12 PM
Yes, saison yeast is notorious for slowng down, but it will come back to life if you warm it up. 
Title: Re: Belgian saison
Post by: Mark G on March 25, 2011, 09:36:58 PM
I've always had good luck with letting the temp free rise after pitching, then holding it at an elevated temp until done. 78F should do the trick, but don't be shocked if it still takes a while. I think my fastest saison still took 3 weeks to finish. Be patient and you'll be happy at the end.
Title: Re: Belgian saison
Post by: tumarkin on March 25, 2011, 09:39:25 PM
Saison is a great style for summer brewing. Hell, it's great all the time, but the yeast stay happier in the summer. And we're here to make the yeast happy, no? Happy yeast make happy brewers.
Title: Re: Belgian saison
Post by: nateo on March 25, 2011, 11:36:11 PM
I have a batch with 3711 going right now. It hit 1.004 on the 8th, but the krausen is still lingering around. I'm not in a hurry, so I'll let it fall before I rack or bottle it.
Title: Re: Belgian saison
Post by: andyi on March 25, 2011, 11:53:32 PM

nateo,

I also have a 3711 saison fermenting now.  How do find the flocuation for this yeast? Last time the FG was 1.005 after 7 days but it took 24 days to clear.
Title: Re: Belgian saison
Post by: nateo on March 26, 2011, 04:26:57 AM
Andyi: I've had the same experience. It'll be one month tomorrow from pitching, and I've still got a little bit of krausen on top. It's mostly fallen, but some is lingering around.
Title: Re: Belgian saison
Post by: chumley on March 29, 2011, 03:03:56 PM
I have a saison with 3711 going right now as well.  I fermented for a week in a bucket, then racked to a carboy and put it down in my 50°F basement.

Weirdest thing I've ever seen.  The beer is crystal clear in the carboy, yet there is vigorous krausen in the bottle neck.  Twice its spewed up into the air lock, which I've had to clean.  Yet, you look at it and would swear it is done.
Title: Re: Belgian saison
Post by: richardt on March 29, 2011, 05:23:43 PM
Warm it up and give it time.  It needs to be done and the FG in low single digits before you bottle that beer--o/w you'll have bottle bombs.  IME, the French Saison yeast ferments rather quickly, does not get stuck as easily during fermentation, and flocculates and clears better compared to the Belgian Saison yeast.  I find the taste to be similar.  If your FG readings are around 1.005 or so and consistent after several readings, then I'd chill the fermentor to help clarify the beer.  You will have some "yeast bite" if you're drinking/sampling beer that hasn't been clarified.
Title: Re: Belgian saison
Post by: bluedog on March 30, 2011, 07:30:52 PM
My OG is still dropping (10B), fermentation is at 80F, no krausen and cloudy. Tomorrow's forecast when we come back...
Title: Re: Belgian saison
Post by: resto3 on April 11, 2011, 12:42:19 AM
I pitch at around 65 DF and let raise to the mid to high 70s, low 80's even. 

I love Saisons.  My favorite beer to brew and drink. 
Title: Re: Belgian saison
Post by: anthony on April 12, 2011, 06:30:28 AM
I love the classic strains flavor profile but I hate babying it so I do things a little different to work around its weird speed issues (which actually seem to sort of correlate to pH drop, similar to other published findings regarding wine yeasts and mead pH). I make a big starter of the classic yeast and then using extra wort on brewday, I make a starter for the 2nd string yeast, usually one of the other Saison strains and get it going.. then after 2-3 days, I dump that entire starter into the batch and attenuation sails right into single digits while still maintaining all those great esters that the classic strain is so known for.
Title: Re: Belgian saison
Post by: bluedog on April 12, 2011, 02:13:30 PM
So how low should I expect this to go. My OG was 1.070 and is currently at 1.013. I am patient, but are single digits out of the question with this starting gravity?
Title: Re: Belgian saison
Post by: dbeechum on April 12, 2011, 03:49:09 PM
OOQ? nope, but at the same time I would fret it too much. Just give it a little more time and see.
Title: Re: Belgian saison
Post by: bluedog on April 23, 2011, 01:51:46 PM
50 days in the primary fermenter - SG is at 1.009.  No airlock activity and it is starting to clear. I am racking it tonight. For sure this is the longest I have ever waited on a primary - hopefully the results will be good.   
Title: Re: Belgian saison
Post by: bluesman on April 23, 2011, 05:43:36 PM
So how low should I expect this to go. My OG was 1.070 and is currently at 1.013. I am patient, but are single digits out of the question with this starting gravity?

Let the yeast decide when they're finished. I would give it another week and check the gravity. When you get 2-3 consecutive gravity readings...it's done.

Being clear is a sure sign that it's done.
Title: Re: Belgian saison
Post by: narvin on April 23, 2011, 09:35:15 PM
Looks like you are almost there  :)

One thing I would say is that an OG of 1.070 is high for a traditional Saison... you are pushing 8%+ and this is more in line with Dupont Moinette and other "Super" Saisons.  You would have a much easier and quicker time getting it to finish low (1.004 - 1.006) if you started around 1.055 - 1.060.

My current all-malt Saison had an OG of 1.057.  I just checked the gravity this morning, 6 days after brewing and it's under 1.008.  I used WLP565, mashed long and low and have been fermenting at 85+.