Author Topic: Sasion Water Profile?  (Read 1169 times)

Offline quattlebaum

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Sasion Water Profile?
« on: April 24, 2014, 04:25:21 PM »
Little info out there on Sasion water suggestions that i can find. Wondering what everyone thought. Thinking
ca 70, mg 14, Na 19, Sulfate 72, Cl 20, Bicarb 220, RA 124 a little high maybe this will cause to much "harshness"?, Alkalinity 182.

Grains:
Pilsner 82%
Acidulated 5.9
Aromatic 5.9
oats 5.9
SRM around 5 SRM

PH at 5.4 room temp

Offline mchrispen

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Re: Sasion Water Profile?
« Reply #1 on: April 24, 2014, 04:37:01 PM »
If you read the book "Farmhouse Ales" you should find that there are regions of Wallonia with surprisingly high levels of sulfates. I changed my saison water profile after reading to include roughly 100 ppm sulfate and about 20 chloride. Not all that far from yours...


My last saison had a spicier and more rustic hop character, and I think the sulfate helped on the dryness. It scored very well in judging. The only common criticism was that it didn't have enough tartness. I plan to mash lower around 5.2 next time, and possibly make some adjustments using lactic after primary to get just a touch of tart.

Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Sasion Water Profile?
« Reply #2 on: April 24, 2014, 04:41:22 PM »
If you read the book "Farmhouse Ales" you should find that there are regions of Wallonia with surprisingly high levels of sulfates. I changed my saison water profile after reading to include roughly 100 ppm sulfate and about 20 chloride. Not all that far from yours...


My last saison had a spicier and more rustic hop character, and I think the sulfate helped on the dryness. It scored very well in judging. The only common criticism was that it didn't have enough tartness. I plan to mash lower around 5.2 next time, and possibly make some adjustments using lactic after primary to get just a touch of tart.

+1.  I used similar sulfate and chloride levels on my last one. I also targeted a mash pH just above 5.2, and it did enhance the tart character I love out of Saison. I'm gonna keep using that profile - I really liked it.
« Last Edit: April 24, 2014, 05:15:38 PM by HoosierBrew »
Jon H.

Offline mabrungard

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Re: Sasion Water Profile?
« Reply #3 on: April 24, 2014, 06:24:34 PM »
Sulfate is presented as such a bad guy by some folks. Its not really that bad a component to have in water. Even in a malty beer, a low level of sulfate can help dry the finish. I would not go much above 100 ppm in a malty beer though. If the finish is too dry, it will diminish the malt perception.
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Offline erockrph

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Re: Sasion Water Profile?
« Reply #4 on: April 24, 2014, 09:05:36 PM »
Personally, my saisons aren't generally too hop forward, and I target a water profile suitable for something along the lines of a Helles. If you're brewing a more hop-forward saison, then I'd probably target something along the lines of 100-150ppm of Sulfate.

I think your profile looks pretty good, but I'd use lactic acid to bring your mash pH down closer to 5.2-5.3. That really helps bring out that bit of tartness that makes a saison "pop".
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Offline mabrungard

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Re: Sasion Water Profile?
« Reply #5 on: April 25, 2014, 04:25:39 AM »
Eric, sulfate has little to do with a style that is not hop forward. We need to lose the mantra that sulfate makes beer bitter...it doesn't. Sulfate makes beer finish dry. In a bittered beer, that allows the hop character and bittering to exhibit. But it didn't make the beer more bitter.

In a malty beer, excessive dryness could become counter-productive to leaving the drinker with that desired perception of malt in the finish. Using sulfate to dial up or down the dryness of the finish is a pretty handy tool in the brewer's tool kit.
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Offline erockrph

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Re: Sasion Water Profile?
« Reply #6 on: April 25, 2014, 08:54:54 PM »
Eric, sulfate has little to do with a style that is not hop forward. We need to lose the mantra that sulfate makes beer bitter...it doesn't. Sulfate makes beer finish dry. In a bittered beer, that allows the hop character and bittering to exhibit. But it didn't make the beer more bitter.

In a malty beer, excessive dryness could become counter-productive to leaving the drinker with that desired perception of malt in the finish. Using sulfate to dial up or down the dryness of the finish is a pretty handy tool in the brewer's tool kit.

Maybe you were misunderstanding where I was coming from - I agree with your points completely.

I don't think of saison as a style that is specifically malt-forward or hop-forward. It is primarily a yeast-driven style to me. My personal preference is to focus on the maltier side. Aside from the yeast character I like a lot of Pils malt flavor akin to a pale lager, and I shoot for a water profile to back that up.

But I have had several saisons that are approaching an APA-like hop character, with bold hops such as Nelson Sauvin or Citra. If I were shooting for that character, I would prefer some extra dryness in the finish. That's where I'd consider bumping up my sulfate a bit.
Eric B.

Finally got around to starting a homebrewing blog: The Hop Whisperer