Author Topic: First Saison Attempt  (Read 1486 times)

Offline IMperry9

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First Saison Attempt
« on: October 22, 2015, 06:01:45 AM »
Thanks to some help on  previous thread I have decided to brew a Saison for this holiday season. I don't have experience obviously but I have been reading and studying and I think I am ready. When It comes to brewing I like to consider myself unconventional for I like brewing beers with unconventional additions. I plan on brewing this Saison for my family for the holidays. My family comes from a mostly German background that enjoys typical German dishes around the holidays. So for starters I wanted this recipe to be German Inspired second I love the idea of a black saison so it is going to be dark. Here is what I have so far.
Grain Bill:
8.5lbs Weyermann-Barke Pilsner Malt
1lb Weyermann-Barke Munich Malt
.5lbs Carafa special III(strictly for color adjustment)
SRM~30

Hop Schedule:
.8oz Willamette @ FWH
.5oz German Tettang @ FWH
IBU=22
White mustard seed @ Flameout
Fresh Thyme @ flameout

Yeast:
Either WLP568 or WLP565 still undecided?
Any suggestion or feedback is appreciated! Cheers.
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Offline majorvices

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Re: First Saison Attempt
« Reply #1 on: October 22, 2015, 11:00:00 AM »
general recipe looks good, though I personally like my IBUs to be a bit higher on saisons. But I highly recommend waiting to experiment with spices until you understand what flavors the yeast will give you first. saison yeast tends to be very "spicy", since this is your first saison, wouldn't you like to know what flavors the yeast is actually giving you rather than mixing or hiding it behind spice additions?

Offline reverseapachemaster

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Re: First Saison Attempt
« Reply #2 on: October 22, 2015, 02:07:15 PM »
As far as yeast go WLP565 will be more finicky than the blend but IMO a more obvious saison flavor.

I also like to go higher on IBUs on my saisons although you will find many on the market that fit around 20-25. I'm not a fan of FWH for saisons. I think saisons needs a harsher bitterness you get out of an early boil additions to help drive that dry perception. I've tried FWH in saisons and I think it ends up too soft. I like FWH in many other styles. I would do a sixty or ninety minute addition and then add the other hops at flameout.
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Offline IMperry9

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Re: First Saison Attempt
« Reply #3 on: October 22, 2015, 02:18:23 PM »
Awesome thanks for the feedback. I wasn't sure on the hop additions based on the variance of what I read but I will probably move the tettang to a 60min addition and the Willamette to flameout and bump up the IBUs. Also you are right on the spices I will probably wait and see how this one plays out first before adding spices. On a side note I might run off a gallon into a secondary to add these spices just to see the difference they would make. Thanks again everyone for your feedback.
A fine beer may be judged with only one sip, but it's better to be thoroughly sure.
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Offline JJeffers09

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Re: First Saison Attempt
« Reply #4 on: October 24, 2015, 11:11:58 AM »
I think your IBUs are mid range for the style.  You could go as low as 19 as high as 28.  New Belgium Brewing Co - Long Table is a bitter, they call Fall, version of Saison/Farmhouse Ale and I would say it is about 30-35.  Not 100% on that, just guestimating.  ;)

I like Rye or Crystal Wheat in my Saison.  I think it fits well in the summer feel of a fruity Saison, and a nice bodied smooth drinkable finished product.  As well, (I feel like I have been saying this a lot lately), think about some Special B Malt.  @ ~3-3.5% It will give a raisin, rum-raisin, flavor to your beer that can help balance the spice from the yeast and boost the malty sweet aroma, and bready mouth feel.  Above 4% Special B will give you caramel/toffee sweetness without toasty impressions.  Which you are already getting malty flavors from your Munich, I think you could boost the body with Special B.

For a Dark Color I think that goes in the "Specialty Ale" or "Holiday ale" that you're are close to in style.  I would think about how you feel about using Dark Candi Syrup instead of Carafa Special III.  Plus can't hurt to boost ABV and darken your beer for the same $.  I know that is what I need around the holidays, MORE ABV!  ;D

I would +1 the waiting to see what spicy clove flavor your yeast can produce, You could always add the mustard seed to the bottling bucket just boil up with, or separate to, your carbonation.  Also these yeasts can have a bubblegum flavor (And mouthfeel) too at high temps.

WLP568 can tolerate fermentation temps of 70-80F which when you get above 74 with this yeast. I am sure the spicey-clove will really get out of control if fermented at 80F. 

WLP565 is another story, you need to ferment at 68-75F and you will get plenty of spice out of that if done at 73F.  But I am cheap and don't like to buy multiple vials of yeast for one batch of beer, and this one needs another pick me up, or oxygen (which I am not ready to equip) So I have, and probably will, stay away from that variety. Although I think it could produce better tasting beers. 

Often these beers are corked and stored for MONTHS!  And the darker the beer, the better it would probably due with capped/waxed and put down in the back of the basement until next year.
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Offline dilluh98

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Re: First Saison Attempt
« Reply #5 on: October 28, 2015, 03:51:33 PM »
My experience with 565 is to start it a bit on the cooler side for the first 2 days (63-65F) and then let it slowly free rise into the mid-70s for as long as it needs (I've let saison with this yeast sit for a month and it turned out wonderfully and dry as a bone (FG:1.000)). Not sure if it matters on the oxygenation part but I pitch a single vial that's made with a "shaken not stirred" starter and just splash the wort around before pitching (no direct O2) and leave the carboy open for the first few days. I've never had a problem with 565 stalling out using these guidelines. It's still my favorite saison strain amongst the handful of them I've tried.

Offline reverseapachemaster

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Re: First Saison Attempt
« Reply #6 on: October 29, 2015, 02:49:16 PM »
As well, (I feel like I have been saying this a lot lately), think about some Special B Malt.  @ ~3-3.5% It will give a raisin, rum-raisin, flavor to your beer that can help balance the spice from the yeast and boost the malty sweet aroma, and bready mouth feel.  Above 4% Special B will give you caramel/toffee sweetness without toasty impressions.  Which you are already getting malty flavors from your Munich, I think you could boost the body with Special B.

I can't quibble with you over your own personal preferences but "bready mouth feel" and "caramel/toffee sweetness" are things that typically do not belong in a saison.
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Re: First Saison Attempt
« Reply #7 on: October 29, 2015, 05:51:37 PM »
As well, (I feel like I have been saying this a lot lately), think about some Special B Malt.  @ ~3-3.5% It will give a raisin, rum-raisin, flavor to your beer that can help balance the spice from the yeast and boost the malty sweet aroma, and bready mouth feel.  Above 4% Special B will give you caramel/toffee sweetness without toasty impressions.  Which you are already getting malty flavors from your Munich, I think you could boost the body with Special B.

I can't quibble with you over your own personal preferences but "bready mouth feel" and "caramel/toffee sweetness" are things that typically do not belong in a saison.

I'd be a bit thrown off if I bought a Saison and it possessed those qualities.

Offline dilluh98

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Re: First Saison Attempt
« Reply #8 on: October 29, 2015, 09:24:29 PM »
Agreed. If "dry" isn't one of the main, overall impressions I get out of a saison I attempt to make, I simply call it a Belgian Ale.  :)

Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: First Saison Attempt
« Reply #9 on: October 29, 2015, 09:38:27 PM »
I have to agree with the above - saison is all about a very dry finish/very high attenuation and yeast profile. Anything sweet/toffee/bready makes it not a saison IMO in the traditional sense.  Doesn't mean it wouldn't be a good beer in its own right.
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Offline JJeffers09

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Re: First Saison Attempt
« Reply #10 on: October 31, 2015, 12:53:12 AM »
I feel like the good import Saisons (to my taste) are sweet/fruity (like chardonnay) and have a mouth coating chewyness from rye or wheat give it a bread like impression on my palate.  It does finish dry, but I think the yeast has a chewyness that I think is supported by the rye and wheat to me anyway.  But by all accounts that is JMO, the beauty of Homebrew is you are in control, to make it the way you like it.  Although I am no expert, that is the impressions I get when I drink Saisons
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Offline reverseapachemaster

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Re: First Saison Attempt
« Reply #11 on: October 31, 2015, 04:52:38 PM »
I feel like the good import Saisons (to my taste) are sweet/fruity (like chardonnay) and have a mouth coating chewyness from rye or wheat give it a bread like impression on my palate.  It does finish dry, but I think the yeast has a chewyness that I think is supported by the rye and wheat to me anyway.  But by all accounts that is JMO, the beauty of Homebrew is you are in control, to make it the way you like it.  Although I am no expert, that is the impressions I get when I drink Saisons

Can you identify which saisons you are referencing?
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Offline brewinhard

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Re: First Saison Attempt
« Reply #12 on: October 31, 2015, 06:07:35 PM »
I feel like the good import Saisons (to my taste) are sweet/fruity (like chardonnay) and have a mouth coating chewyness from rye or wheat give it a bread like impression on my palate.  It does finish dry, but I think the yeast has a chewyness that I think is supported by the rye and wheat to me anyway. 

I do get some "slickness" on the palate from some saison strains, but I wouldn't describe it as "chewy".  Apparently some saison strains produce extra glycosides which add to the mouthfeel of the finished product even though they finish quite dry. 

Offline JJeffers09

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Re: First Saison Attempt
« Reply #13 on: November 05, 2015, 04:15:13 PM »
Hennepin by Ommegang
Saison Dupont by Brasserie Dupont sprl
Arthur by Hill Farmstead Brewery
Noble Rot by Dogfish Head Brewery
Saison du BUFF by Stone Brewing Co.
framboise du fermier Side Project Brewing
Nectarine Premiere de Garde Brewing

Started to doubt my own palate.  Went back and tried Arthur by Hill Farmstead Brewery, and Noble Rot by Dogfish Head,Saison Dupont by Brasserie Dupont sprl, and Saison du BUFF by stone brewing Co.  and they were exactly as I remembered.  My wife and I both feel these beers have a chewy, bread like, impression on the finish before the crisp alcohol rounds off the beer.  The personal favorite in the house is Saison Dupont by Brasserie for having a banana bread chewy sweetness with a chardonnay alcohol quality.  Even smells of chewy high quality bread.
« Last Edit: November 05, 2015, 04:28:20 PM by JJeffers09 »
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Offline gman23

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Re: First Saison Attempt
« Reply #14 on: November 05, 2015, 04:23:22 PM »
Very interesting here. The last thing I think of in a saison is a 'mouthcoating chewyness'. I suppose it comes down to perception and palate. My buddy and I will completely disagree on how a beer tastes while drinking the exact same one at the exact same time. He is very sensitive to the way a yeast affects a beer so anything that does not have a very clean character is usually 'flawed' to him.

Any update on the OP? I am planning a 'black' saison at some point in the future based on a local brewery that does one very well. I plan to either add the dark grain at sparge or soak overnight and add the liquid to the kettle.
« Last Edit: November 05, 2015, 04:31:21 PM by goschman »
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