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Saison Article in July/Aug 2014 Issue

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Just wondering what others think about the authors numerous references to "Traditional Saison Yeasts" not being able to adequately ferment a Saison on their own.  First off, if the style is defined, as he states, by a high attenuation and very low FG, how is it that the "Traditional Saison Yeasts" (Dupont, Blaugies, Fantome, etc) which set the style aren't able to sufficiently ferment the wort?  I mean, if these are the traditional Saisons that set and defined the style that we as brewers are trying to emulate or at least take inspiration from, and we are using these brewery's own yeast strains to ferment our beers, how is that not sufficient? 

Personally I have used the Dupont strain 3 times, and have finished at 1.005 or lower.  I have used the Blaugies (3726) 3 times and had it finish once below 1.007, once at 1.004, and once at 1.011 (had caramel malts in that recipe and higher mash temp).  I have had the Fantome finish under 1.008 with a 160*F mash.  Not sure how he came up with this idea (that he asserts as though it is objective truth) that all these "Traditional Saison Yeasts" need the assistance of 3711 or Brett or an American strain to finish that low.  I get the added complexity of blends, I have blended Blaugies and Fantome and had it finish at 1.003, then finished it with multiple Brett strains, but stating that they have to be blended to finish is simply wrong.  He states that they have an app att in the low to mid 70s, I have personally had much higher than that, as have  other homebrewers.  I remember an experiment that another brewer did with the Dupont strain: 1.060 OG, 150*F 60 minute mash, all Pils, no sugar, fermented in mid to high 60*Fs for 6 weeks, 1.000 FG.

What are you thoughts?

I pretty much ignored that part of the article.

I would assume that he would be pitching a first generation of the Dupont strains without proper aeration or pitching rates, which will lead to a stuck fermentation around 1.030. Using a second generation pitch from a friend clears that right up for me.

PS: my last 565/3724 combo went from 1.054 to 1.004 in 7 days. 7 days! Temp from 64 to 80.

I was disappointed that the author didn't include the Belle Saison dry yeast in the mix. In my review of that dry yeast, it is not really a saison yeast. However, it is a nice light yeast with mild character. I think it would be great in a BPA.

I guess Belle Saison yeast is not a "traditional" saison yeast!?!  I got my saison down to 1.002 with no trouble at all with the Belle Saison.  I think it is a fantastic saison yeast, finishes low but doesn't taste nearly that dry, with a beautiful peppery spiciness and slight lemony flavor.  I will probably never use any other saison yeast because that one is perfection.  Oh, and uh, I sprinkled it directly on top of the wort, no second generation or rehydration or starter required.


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