« on: July 02, 2012, 02:09:11 PM »
I'm a little burned out on saisons right now.
Some suggestions for newbies:
restrain the temps unless you really like phenols (peppery). I prefer saisons that have esters (aroma and flavor) that are not overwhelmed by phenols. I've encountered far too many excessively peppery examples--read the BJCP guidelines--yes, the pepper/spicy phenols is there, but balance/drinkability is key. For example, most versions of St. Somewhere are too peppery for me--a full glass is too much "pepper" for me to find enjoyable; I find the beers to be unbalanced. And I'm someone who puts a little pepper on almost everything I eat.
WY3711 is the easiest to use--fermentation proceeds quickly and does not get stuck.
Do not add more peppery spices -- the yeast gives you plenty of that.
Instead, try floral, fruit, or citrusy spice additions to enhance the pleasant esters.
Homemade candied ginger, on the other hand, is a nice touch if used with a lot of restraint.
I suggest pouring off the water used to boil the ginger as it gets rid of the harshness.
Use RO water to help dissolve the sugar when candying the ginger. Using a fine-mesh nylon hop bag, you can add the ginger for the last 10 minutes or so of the boil and then remove.