Homebrewers Association | AHA Forum

General Category => Beer Recipes => Topic started by: jivetyrant on July 17, 2011, 06:37:34 PM

Title: Sorachi Ace Saison, feedback time!
Post by: jivetyrant on July 17, 2011, 06:37:34 PM
It almost seems like fate.

A little while ago I stumbled across some threads discussing the use and availability of Sorachi Ace hops.  They sounded interesting but difficult to find, I ended up going a different route and brewed something else instead.  Well, I went by one of my local micro breweries yesterday to try out their new summer ale and found out that they used solely Sorachi Ace for it!  Wow, what a flavor!  Crisp, dry and very citrusy, I fell in love immediately.  They screamed "Saison" to me!  After some hunting around I found an online source for them and I started working on a recipe.  Here's what I came up with;

Batch size 5.5 gal
OG 1.060
FG est 1.005
Color est 6.4 SRM
IBU est 32.3

1lb Honey Malt, steeped
6.6 lbs Pilsen LME
2 lbs honey, varietal as yet to be determined
1/2 oz Sorachi Ace - 60 mins (10.7% AA)
1/2 oz Sorachi Ace - 30 mins
1/2 tsp yeast nutrient - 10 mins
1/2 tsp Irish Moss - 10 mins
1 oz Sorachi Ace - 0 mins, steeped for 20 mins
Pitch Wyeast French Saison 3711, 1.5L starter

Rack to secondary when complete, dry hop with 1oz Sorachi Ace for 14 days.

I have heard of a technique used when brewing Saisons.  It says to pitch at 68 F and slowly raise the temp, over the course of a week or so, to the max of the range specified by the yeast producer, in this case 77 F.  It seems like this would assist in creating the super dry finish common to the style without creating a beer loaded with fusels.  Has anyone ever tried this technique?  I've also heard of brewers spiking their Saisons with Brett B at bottling time, though I don't know if that would clash with the bright citrus flavors from the hops.  Any thoughts?
Title: Re: Sorachi Ace Saison, feedback time!
Post by: a10t2 on July 17, 2011, 07:59:31 PM
Looks good to me; a little bigger than I'd want it but that's just personal preference. As soon as I read the topic title I thought, "Sorachi Ace in a Saison? Sounds perfect." It's very lemony.

I've never used honey malt, but from what I hear a pound is going to be way over the top.

I have heard of a technique used when brewing Saisons.  It says to pitch at 68 F and slowly raise the temp, over the course of a week or so, to the max of the range specified by the yeast producer, in this case 77 F.

That's more or less my standard technique for Belgian ales in general. I like to pitch cool (~63°F) and let the fermentation warm itself up as quickly as possible. I feel like that maximizes ester production while still keeping fusels in check.
Title: Re: Sorachi Ace Saison, feedback time!
Post by: EHall on July 17, 2011, 08:39:48 PM
You realize that Sorachi Ace are high alpha hops right? averaging about 13-16% Your recipe looks good but your into that pale ale/IPA range... if you want a saison thats hops fwd, go for it.
Title: Re: Sorachi Ace Saison, feedback time!
Post by: majorvices on July 17, 2011, 08:46:04 PM
It's very semony.

WTF is "semony"? Maybe I don't wanna know?

I have always though sorachi ace would make a great saison hop. Recipe looks OK, I'd probably drop the honey malt.
Title: Re: Sorachi Ace Saison, feedback time!
Post by: a10t2 on July 17, 2011, 08:53:43 PM
WTF is "semony"? Maybe I don't wanna know?

Lemony! Lemony!

Geez man, head out of the gutter. ::)
Title: Re: Sorachi Ace Saison, feedback time!
Post by: majorvices on July 17, 2011, 09:04:41 PM
Hey, "L" is on the other side of the keyboard from "S" .... just sayin'.  ;)
Title: Re: Sorachi Ace Saison, feedback time!
Post by: jivetyrant on July 17, 2011, 09:49:32 PM
Ya, my bittering hop additions are very small,  1/2 oz at 60 and 1/2 oz at 30.  The website (Austin homebrew supply) I'm getting them from says they are 10.7%,though I've gotten conflicting reports on that.  Beersmith 2 reads 12%, Morebeer.com reads 10.7%-15%, misc forum posts read 13%-16%.  All the conflicting information is making nailing down my hop additions tough.  I could bump the 30 minute addition to 20 or 15 minutes if necessary.
Title: Re: Sorachi Ace Saison, feedback time!
Post by: morticaixavier on July 17, 2011, 10:21:55 PM
AA% stated in a program like beersmith or whatever are an average. Like all agricultural products there is variability. year to year and farm to farm. If the batch you are buying has been tested at 10.4 than that is probably fairly close to what it actually is for those actual hops...actually


actual
Title: Re: Sorachi Ace Saison, feedback time!
Post by: jeffy on July 17, 2011, 10:46:36 PM
(http://www.brooklynbrewery.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/Sorachi-Ace-Rendering-446x1024.jpg)

Brooklyn's Sorachi Ace is definitely worth seeking.  It's a very nice Saison.
Title: Re: Sorachi Ace Saison, feedback time!
Post by: jivetyrant on July 17, 2011, 10:49:30 PM
Oh excellent, they have that at my local place.  I'll pick some up tonight or tomorrow, thanks for the tip!
Title: Re: Sorachi Ace Saison, feedback time!
Post by: a10t2 on July 17, 2011, 11:12:37 PM
Hey, "L" is on the other side of the keyboard from "S" .... just sayin'.  ;)

In my defense, they're right next to one another on my keyboard (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dvorak_Simplified_Keyboard)!
Title: Re: Sorachi Ace Saison, feedback time!
Post by: phillamb168 on July 18, 2011, 11:50:29 AM
Hey, "L" is on the other side of the keyboard from "S" .... just sayin'.  ;)

In my defense, they're right next to one another on my keyboard (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dvorak_Simplified_Keyboard)!

 :o

Dvorak, that's even more geek than me with my das keyboard with no lettering. Props.
Title: Re: Sorachi Ace Saison, feedback time!
Post by: jivetyrant on July 18, 2011, 11:45:28 PM
So I took a trip to the local beer Mecca and picked up some bottles for "style research" purposes.  ;)  I got a Sorachi Ace from Brooklyn Brewing Company to I can get a sense of the hops in the same style.  Additionally, I got some nice Brett examples including Saison de Lente from The Bruery (a saison spiked with Brett) a Wild Devil from Victory (an IPA fermented almost entirely with Brett) and an Orval, which I didn't like the first time I tried it. (It has grown on me)  I also snagged a Saison du Buff to taste the best example of the style that I know.

Will all of this "style research" get me anywhere but under the table?  Time will tell. :)
Title: Re: Sorachi Ace Saison, feedback time!
Post by: tankdeer on July 19, 2011, 11:10:11 PM
Brewed this up a couple months back. Sitting in a keg now awaiting a free tap. Quite tasty, and not "semony" at all (so I'm told).  ;D

7.50 lbs. 2-row
3.00 lbs. Wheat
0.50 lbs. Biscuit

0.50 oz.    Sorachi Ace @ 60 min.
1.00 oz.    Sorachi Ace @ 15 min.
1.00 oz.    Sorachi Ace @ 0 min.

Single infusion at 146° for 90 minutes
My house saison yeast blend

OG: 1.048
FG: 1.000 (yes, zero)
SRM: ~5
IBUs: 50

IBUs are definitely up there, but it's so smooth you'd think it was closer to 35 IBUs
Title: Re: Sorachi Ace Saison, feedback time!
Post by: pinnah on July 22, 2011, 04:32:30 AM
Yum, I have been thinking of a sorachi saison for a while now.  I love me some semony sorachi.

Tank, what you have there for yeast? and if you were a poor LHBS buyer, would you go with the 3711?
Title: Re: Sorachi Ace Saison, feedback time!
Post by: narvin on July 22, 2011, 04:39:13 AM
I also snagged a Saison du Buff to taste the best example of the style that I know.

Keep looking.  I personally didn't like this one, but objectively it's also not very true to any Belgian Saison I've ever had.
Title: Re: Sorachi Ace Saison, feedback time!
Post by: jivetyrant on July 22, 2011, 12:46:07 PM
Do you have any other recommendations Narv?  I've always held it up as a shining example of the style, maybe I've been wrong the whole time!
Title: Re: Sorachi Ace Saison, feedback time!
Post by: narvin on July 22, 2011, 12:57:12 PM
Do you have any other recommendations Narv?  I've always held it up as a shining example of the style, maybe I've been wrong the whole time!

Well, Saison Dupont is the traditional example, if there is such a thing as one for a Saison.  I like the Dupont Foret a little bit better, even.  Saison Pipaix is a well known spiced version of a Saison.  Saison D'Epeautre is a fantastic example that uses raw grains (spelt) and wild yeast make to make a delicious dry, slightly sour and refreshing beer.  One of my favorites.
Title: Re: Sorachi Ace Saison, feedback time!
Post by: tankdeer on July 22, 2011, 03:20:07 PM
^ Anything from Fantome. Plus Avec Les Bons Voeux from Dupont is pretty fantastic.

Yum, I have been thinking of a sorachi saison for a while now.  I love me some semony sorachi.

Tank, what you have there for yeast? and if you were a poor LHBS buyer, would you go with the 3711?
I usually am a poor LHBS buyer. 3711 is a great saison yeast. Were you at the NHC this year? Drew had a great session on saisons and served 7 different examples of the same wort with different yeasts. Very interesting to see the differences.

My house blend started out as a culture sent to me by Al Buck (east coast yeast) back when he was still sending it out via the Babblebelt forum. I don't recall all what was in it when it started, but it was one of the best blends I've ever used. I've had the culture going for a couple years now and it's since mutated/change proportions a bit and also picked up a small amount of brett (claussenii I'm thinking) which adds a nice character to it as well. Either way, I'm still a fan and use it for all my saisons - of which I brew at least a couple a year. Only done 2 this year so far. That will change
Title: Re: Sorachi Ace Saison, feedback time!
Post by: jivetyrant on July 22, 2011, 04:56:23 PM
My hops and yeast arrived via Fedex today.... on the hottest day of the year. (98ish F)  :P  The ice pack with the yeast was decidedly warm and squishy, but the activator pack wasn't swelled up so obviously it did it's job!  I'll probably make a starter today or tomorrow, I hope to brew on Tuesday.  Wish me luck!
Title: Re: Sorachi Ace Saison, feedback time!
Post by: a10t2 on July 22, 2011, 07:40:44 PM
The ice pack with the yeast was decidedly warm and squishy, but the activator pack wasn't swelled up so obviously it did it's job!

I hate to be the one to tell you this, but the pack won't swell unless the inner pouch is broken. If it got warm enough to do damage, you'll find out when you smack the pack to proof it. Since you're making a starter anyway, I doubt you'll have any issues no matter how warm it got.
Title: Re: Sorachi Ace Saison, feedback time!
Post by: ted on July 22, 2011, 08:08:55 PM
(http://www.brooklynbrewery.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/Sorachi-Ace-Rendering-446x1024.jpg)

Brooklyn's Sorachi Ace is definitely worth seeking.  It's a very nice Saison.
At $15 per 22 oz, I'll pass!
Title: Re: Sorachi Ace Saison, feedback time!
Post by: jivetyrant on July 23, 2011, 01:35:54 AM
I guess prices on commercial beer generally don't bother me.  I'm the type that will go to the bottle shop and spend $50 on 4 22oz bottles and leave happy.  It's a bad habit I need to break, it'll make me broke!  Will I actually break it?  Doubtful.
Title: Re: Sorachi Ace Saison, feedback time!
Post by: tankdeer on July 29, 2011, 09:38:46 PM
Pic whoring above mentioned saison. Soooo tasty.

(http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6002/5988925148_891ea52f4d_b.jpg)


Title: Re: Sorachi Ace Saison, feedback time!
Post by: rightasrain on July 29, 2011, 10:56:55 PM
I recently brewed a very simple beer with 1/2 oz yakima @ 60 and 1/2 @ 30 and it wasn't all that bitter. I think the beer turned out pretty good. Yakima's AA is 13.5 % on average according to the supplier. After reading Designing Great Beers I think it would have more to do with the %'s of what Alpha Acids are involved.  The cohumulone for sarachi is 23% according to the USDA (Which I don't have the highest confidence in but thats besides the point.) http://www.ars.usda.gov/SP2UserFiles/person/2450/hopcultivars/21702.html This is very close to yakima's at 24-28% so If it were me I would go for it. I'm not entirely sure what the term cohumulone means but i'm off to research that cause you got me thinking and curious.

I'm not an expert on styles though so if your going for that *shrug* i dunno.

I really want to try some Sarachi Ace myself now they look like they could make some tasty beer.
Title: Re: Sorachi Ace Saison, feedback time!
Post by: a10t2 on July 29, 2011, 11:24:07 PM
I'm not entirely sure what the term cohumulone means but i'm off to research that cause you got me thinking and curious.

Cohumulone is supposedly the "harshest" of the alpha acids. Many brewers will bitter with so-called "lo-co" hops when they want a smoother bitterness. I don't know that it's a 100% reliable indicator, but it certainly does seem to hold up if you compare something like Magnum (24-28% cohumulone per HopUnion) to Galena (38-42%).
Title: Re: Sorachi Ace Saison, feedback time!
Post by: jivetyrant on August 03, 2011, 12:29:50 PM
Brewing this batch today, updated recipe is as follows;

Batch size 5.5 gal
OG 1.060 1.050
FG est 1.005
Color est 6.4 4.5 SRM
IBU est 32.3 31.8
ABV est 6.0%

1lb Honey Malt, steeped
6.6 3.3 lbs Pilsen LME
1 lb Light DME (new)
1 lb Wheat DME (new)
2 lbs honey, raw local wildflower
1/2 oz Sorachi Ace - 60 mins (10.7% AA)
1/2 oz Sorachi Ace - 20 mins
1/2 tsp yeast nutrient - 10 mins
1/2 tsp Irish Moss - 10 mins
1 oz Sorachi Ace - 0 mins, steeped for 20 mins
Pitch Wyeast French Saison 3711, 1.5L starter

Rack to secondary when complete, dry hop with 1oz Sorachi Ace for 14 days.

I have one final question.  I was going to add the honey to primary once fermentation has begun, do I need to pasteurize it first?  It's filtered, raw honey. 
Title: Re: Sorachi Ace Saison, feedback time!
Post by: rightasrain on August 03, 2011, 08:15:32 PM
Honey has antibacterial properties naturally. However, Radical Brewing recommends steeping for thirty minutes at 145 - 150˚ F to kill any wild yeast.
Title: Re: Sorachi Ace Saison, feedback time!
Post by: majorvices on August 03, 2011, 10:45:09 PM
I'd just go with the honey raw. Its a saison, a little "wildness" won't hurt the beer.  ;) Seriously the yeast will out compete anything in the honey and dry the beer out so thoroughly that nothing will have a chance to compete.

Good job dropping the honey malt.  ;)
Title: Re: Sorachi Ace Saison, feedback time!
Post by: rightasrain on August 04, 2011, 01:31:58 AM
I'd just go with the honey raw. Its a saison, a little "wildness" won't hurt the beer.  ;) Seriously the yeast will out compete anything in the honey and dry the beer out so thoroughly that nothing will have a chance to compete.

Good job dropping the honey malt.  ;)

I can't argue with that. I do love complexity in beer.
Title: Re: Sorachi Ace Saison, feedback time!
Post by: jivetyrant on August 04, 2011, 12:03:35 PM
Brewed it last night.  The yeast starter concerned me somewhat, it wasn't as active as I had hoped it would be.  I did O2 injection to compensate and that seems to have done the trick, the batch was already actively fermenting after only 5 hours!  OG was 1.039 prior to the addition of the honey, just about on target. (1.037)  I plan to add the honey this evening after work which should bump the "OG" up to 1.050-1.052.  It started a little warm due to the elevated temperature in the basement yesterday so I surrounded the fermenter with a few large ice packs and wrapped it in a towel to help drop the temp a bit.  I think my ME was a bit old though, it's darker than I had hoped for.

Regarding pasteurizing the honey, I'll have to think on that during work today.  It's great tasting but mildly waxy and definitely has some pollen in it.  I don't want those two things be reflected in the final taste.  When I've used this honey for mead in the past I've heated to 150 and skimmed, that seemed to help substantially.  On the other hand, a little funkiness would be in character for a Saison....

Decisions.