Author Topic: Saison maturing/aging  (Read 1396 times)

Offline -Liam-

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Saison maturing/aging
« on: September 05, 2014, 05:56:23 AM »
I have a Saison in bottles for about 3/4 weeks. It finished super dry @ 1.000 and is perhaps ever so slightly harsh. I think the next one I brew I will try aim for an FG of around 1.004-6 for a little touch of sweetness. Anyway, what should I expect this brew to do over the course of time and how does a Saison's taste change, generally speaking? I know all Saisons will taste differently, but as a general guide, what tends to happen to them as they age?

Offline mattybrass

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Re: Saison maturing/aging
« Reply #1 on: September 05, 2014, 05:59:20 AM »
What was the OG? What yeast did you use? and wow that's dry, what was the recipe?

Offline -Liam-

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Re: Saison maturing/aging
« Reply #2 on: September 05, 2014, 06:25:56 AM »
8lb Pilsner malt
1.5lb Wheat malt
10oz Acidulated malt
8oz caramunich
8oz Flaked oats
1lb Orange blossom honey
1oz Orange zest
4gm Coriander seed
4gm Black pepper
.45oz Fuggles FWH
.45oz Sorachi FWH
.5oz Fuggles 30 mins
.5oz Fuggles 15 mins
Yeast 3711 French Saison
Mashed @ 148F
OG 1.058

Offline mattybrass

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Re: Saison maturing/aging
« Reply #3 on: September 05, 2014, 06:40:14 AM »
Hmm, typically saisons arent usually meant for aging unless you add something funky/sour into them IMO.


Offline reverseapachemaster

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Re: Saison maturing/aging
« Reply #4 on: September 05, 2014, 07:36:12 AM »
You would be surprised by how well saisons age. I plucked out a three year old bottle of Hennepin a month or two ago from my cellar pile of beer and it was quite fantastic.

The question for the OP is why he or she wants to age the beer. The dryness won't really go away. You will get some oxidative reactions in the bottle that will produce some slightly sweet flavors but not enough to make a 1.000 beer taste like 1.005.
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Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Saison maturing/aging
« Reply #5 on: September 05, 2014, 07:39:00 AM »
I don't add spices to saisons, though I know it's sometimes done. I prefer to use different strains and manipulate fermentation temps to get the spice 'peppery' character I like, among other characteristics. I've never used pepper in a beer, but I wonder if that's contributing to the harshness. Also, what temp did you ferment the 3711 at?  If you went a little too warm fusels could have formed which give beer a rough edge, and actually can cause a mean headache. Having said that, many saison strains seem less prone to this. Saison shouldn't need much aging (as said) unless you pitched a brett strain.
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Offline -Liam-

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Re: Saison maturing/aging
« Reply #6 on: September 05, 2014, 09:07:34 AM »
You would be surprised by how well saisons age. I plucked out a three year old bottle of Hennepin a month or two ago from my cellar pile of beer and it was quite fantastic.

The question for the OP is why he or she wants to age the beer. The dryness won't really go away. You will get some oxidative reactions in the bottle that will produce some slightly sweet flavors but not enough to make a 1.000 beer taste like 1.005.

It's not that I'm intentionally ageing it, more a case of wondering how it will have changed by the time I get through the batch.

Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Saison maturing/aging
« Reply #7 on: September 05, 2014, 09:34:14 AM »
You would be surprised by how well saisons age. I plucked out a three year old bottle of Hennepin a month or two ago from my cellar pile of beer and it was quite fantastic.

The question for the OP is why he or she wants to age the beer. The dryness won't really go away. You will get some oxidative reactions in the bottle that will produce some slightly sweet flavors but not enough to make a 1.000 beer taste like 1.005.

It's not that I'm intentionally ageing it, more a case of wondering how it will have changed by the time I get through the batch.

that is something only you will ever know.
the processes that will occur mainly oxidative ones, although live yeast in the bottle will continue slowly to metabolize... things into... other things.

A big one will be that some alcohols will bind with acids and create esters. any contamination will eventually start to show itself, although at 1.000 there isn't much for contamination organisms to work with. hops alpha acids will oxidize into non-bitter forms. delicate hop aroma molecules will oxidize into less aromatic forms. As someone else mentioned, some oxidative processes will likely darken the color of the beer and lend sweet 'sherry' like notes. if there is a lot of yeast and trub, eventually you will get some meaty, brothy , umami character as well.

All this is assuming you are not storing it cold and don't finish it for years to come. if it's gone in the next three months you shouldn't notice a huge amount of change at all.
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Offline kylekohlmorgen

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Re: Saison maturing/aging
« Reply #8 on: September 05, 2014, 09:54:03 AM »
Assuming a 5 gallon batch in the kettle, that's hop load yields > 45 IBU, which is REALLY bitter for a beer with such a dry finish (and moderate ABV).

Next time, I would either cut down on the bittering addition, or just move the additions to later in the boil (15 min and around KO). You can bring up the final gravity a few points just by replacing some/all of the honey with base malt. At that starting gravity, 3711 will attenuate below 1.005 without any simple sugar.

The bitterness will fade, but so will the spices. If you've got the room, might as well store them and see what happens!
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Offline -Liam-

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Re: Saison maturing/aging
« Reply #9 on: September 05, 2014, 10:16:48 AM »
Assuming a 5 gallon batch in the kettle, that's hop load yields > 45 IBU, which is REALLY bitter for a beer with such a dry finish (and moderate ABV).

Next time, I would either cut down on the bittering addition, or just move the additions to later in the boil (15 min and around KO). You can bring up the final gravity a few points just by replacing some/all of the honey with base malt. At that starting gravity, 3711 will attenuate below 1.005 without any simple sugar.

The bitterness will fade, but so will the spices. If you've got the room, might as well store them and see what happens!
o

That was 5gallons bottled. I believe I had 7.5gallons in the BK.
So would you suggest leaving out the honey completely next time or just cutting down? Should I increase my mash temp at all?

Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Saison maturing/aging
« Reply #10 on: September 05, 2014, 10:39:16 AM »
FWIW, I like to mash saison ~ 148F. IMO the really high attenuation is one of the distinct characteristics of the style. I've always felt that 3711 leaves a surprising amount of mouthfeel  even @ 1.000 FG. YMMV.
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Offline stpug

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Re: Saison maturing/aging
« Reply #11 on: September 05, 2014, 11:50:00 AM »
To see how the batch changes over time, just put one bottle in your fridge now and leave it there. When you're down to your last couple then open one side-by-side with your fridge-preserved beer and compare. The one that goes in the fridge should not change too drastically, IMO.

I actually had a saison that went on tap last summer, and then pulled off. Then back on tap last winter, then pulled off. Then on tap this summer and finally kicked. I was surprised at how much it DIDN'T change over the course of the year. I expected much more change/mellowing/blending/etc, but it really tasted like it did last summer.

I actually have an experimental saison lined up for brewing in a couple weeks that I intend on aging for 6-14 months, and this one will have B. Brux added. My experience with B. Brux in secondary is that it takes a few months to really get the goodness from it, otherwise it's just barely there. As a primary strain, it's character is not much different than most other ale yeasts - maybe a tad bit fruity but not a lot; fairly neutral overall.