Author Topic: local flabby and banana ridden saisons  (Read 1126 times)

Offline dilluh98

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local flabby and banana ridden saisons
« on: September 27, 2016, 05:03:50 PM »
A few local breweries have saison offerings and both of them miss the mark... by quite a lot, IMO. I asked the assistant brewer of one what yeast they were using and he mentioned a mix of saison and wit yeasts. That might explain the overriding banana I get out of theirs which I consider a fault in a saison. The other brewery has one that is not sharp/dry at all - just a flabby and sweet mess in which the dry hopping does nothing to cover the mistakes.

Is this the norm or am I just having bad luck with local saisons?

Offline dls5492

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Re: local flabby and banana ridden saisons
« Reply #1 on: September 27, 2016, 05:24:54 PM »
A few local breweries have saison offerings and both of them miss the mark... by quite a lot, IMO. I asked the assistant brewer of one what yeast they were using and he mentioned a mix of saison and wit yeasts. That might explain the overriding banana I get out of theirs which I consider a fault in a saison. The other brewery has one that is not sharp/dry at all - just a flabby and sweet mess in which the dry hopping does nothing to cover the mistakes.

Is this the norm or am I just having bad luck with local saisons?

On the first one, if they used a mix of saison and wit yeast, and you get mostly banana flavor, they shouldn't call it a saison. Or, at least indicate they used two different yeast on their menu.
On the second one, saison are highly attenuated and dry. My last one had a final gravity around 1.002. So it shouldn't be sweet at all. Or, at least have very little sweetness. It looks like that beer stalled in the fermentation and they didn't raise the temperature to help it finish. Saison yeast can be fickle that way. Perhaps you can ask them if that is what has happened.
Well, that's just my opinion. I hope it helps.
David S.
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Offline muzak

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Re: local flabby and banana ridden saisons
« Reply #2 on: September 27, 2016, 05:26:11 PM »
I've noticed this as well, with many styles, as more and more new breweries continue to pop up. It almost seems like people are jumping into pro brewing, without first learning how to brew a good beer.

For example, I had an ESB at a local brewery that had an overwhelming solvent/hot alcohol aroma and flavor. Their other beers weren't as bad, but they weren't good either.
John L.
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Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: local flabby and banana ridden saisons
« Reply #3 on: September 27, 2016, 05:38:54 PM »
Is this the norm or am I just having bad luck with local saisons?


Unfortunately, it's the norm with most breweries around here, too. My guess is that 3944 or 3787 seem to be the norm  - I agree that banana should not be part of the profile, period, but is here. And judging by body and sweetness, many of these beers finish 1.010-1.012. Not saison to me. Embarassing.
Jon H.

Offline pete b

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Re: local flabby and banana ridden saisons
« Reply #4 on: September 27, 2016, 05:42:04 PM »
The brewery that just opened in my little town makes a Farmhouse Ale. Their first one was boring and IMO underattenuated. Their 2.0 version uses French saison yeast and is more saison like and rock solid. At 3.8% its a nice session beer.
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Offline dilluh98

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Re: local flabby and banana ridden saisons
« Reply #5 on: September 27, 2016, 06:53:23 PM »
On the first one, if they used a mix of saison and wit yeast, and you get mostly banana flavor, they shouldn't call it a saison. Or, at least indicate they used two different yeast on their menu.
On the second one, saison are highly attenuated and dry. My last one had a final gravity around 1.002. So it shouldn't be sweet at all. Or, at least have very little sweetness. It looks like that beer stalled in the fermentation and they didn't raise the temperature to help it finish. Saison yeast can be fickle that way. Perhaps you can ask them if that is what has happened.
Well, that's just my opinion. I hope it helps.

I agree on the use of wit yeast. I was holding back from using scrunched up confused face when he told me that. The other one was definitely under attenuated and their Pacific Jade dry hop didn't help one bit. I've probably brewed more saisons than any other style at this point and feel like I make a decent one: no banana and bone dry with a good range of spicy phenolics. I consistently get 565 down to 1.002 on its own these days.

For example, I had an ESB at a local brewery that had an overwhelming solvent/hot alcohol aroma and flavor. Their other beers weren't as bad, but they weren't good either.

Yes! This is the other one that's been annoying me in the past few years. Local attempts at Bitters or Golden Ales or English IPAs that have no detectable English yeast character. They are all as clean as an APA with a bit more color (which all gets snuffed out by over-the-top late hopping). 
« Last Edit: September 27, 2016, 06:56:01 PM by dilluh98 »

Offline goschman

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Re: local flabby and banana ridden saisons
« Reply #6 on: September 28, 2016, 01:56:38 PM »
Around here it seems that about 1/3 of breweries opening have no idea what they are doing with their beers. This applies to most styles not just saison. I ordered a Kolsch at one place. Upon tasting, it was not Kolsch like at all. Upon reading the menu further, they used a hefe yeast!?

It seems to possibly be turning around and I am crossing my fingers.
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Offline muzak

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Re: local flabby and banana ridden saisons
« Reply #7 on: September 28, 2016, 02:17:10 PM »
It seems to possibly be turning around and I am crossing my fingers.

I think with large amount of breweries open, and opening soon, we will reach a point where the public will weed out the poor quality breweries.
John L.
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Offline Stevie

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local flabby and banana ridden saisons
« Reply #8 on: September 28, 2016, 02:36:03 PM »
I think with large amount of breweries open, and opening soon, we will reach a point where the public will weed out the poor quality breweries.
I don't know about that. Way too much local fanboy-ism.

Offline dilluh98

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Re: local flabby and banana ridden saisons
« Reply #9 on: September 28, 2016, 03:38:37 PM »
I think with large amount of breweries open, and opening soon, we will reach a point where the public will weed out the poor quality breweries.
I don't know about that. Way too much local fanboy-ism.

Yup. Because it's "local" and they have a slick taproom space, the beer is automatically awesome.

Offline stevecrawshaw

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Re: local flabby and banana ridden saisons
« Reply #10 on: September 28, 2016, 04:06:09 PM »
.... I've probably brewed more saisons than any other style at this point and feel like I make a decent one: no banana and bone dry with a good range of spicy phenolics. I consistently get 565 down to 1.002 on its own these days.


@dillah98

So, I'm interested in your saison technique because I've been struggling with making a good saison. My recent attempts have been banana and pear disappointments despite (or maybe because of) following accepted wisdom with 565 fermentation temperature profiles, i.e ramping up towards the end of fermentation. I have followed an all - pilsner malt dupont style recipe. I am relatively experienced homebrewer with some good results in other styles but struggle to nail the classic saison.

The off flavours (excessive fruitiness) I get indicate yeast stress to me so I wonder whether temperature ramping causes this - it's not excessive - max 22C. My attenuation is good and I've never had a stall with 565.

I oxygenate wort prior to pitching and make SNS starters with a fresh tube of 565. Interested to hear your techniques and critique of mine.

cheers
steve
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Offline pete b

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Re: local flabby and banana ridden saisons
« Reply #11 on: September 28, 2016, 04:06:38 PM »
I think with large amount of breweries open, and opening soon, we will reach a point where the public will weed out the poor quality breweries.
I don't know about that. Way too much local fanboy-ism.

Yup. Because it's "local" and they have a slick taproom space, the beer is automatically awesome.
I think that this may be true when its the only game in town but in areas where local is competing with other local the bad will get weeded out. Also, some get better.
Don't let the bastards cheer you up.

Offline Stevie

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Re: local flabby and banana ridden saisons
« Reply #12 on: September 28, 2016, 04:14:40 PM »
I think with large amount of breweries open, and opening soon, we will reach a point where the public will weed out the poor quality breweries.
I don't know about that. Way too much local fanboy-ism.

Yup. Because it's "local" and they have a slick taproom space, the beer is automatically awesome.
I think that this may be true when its the only game in town but in areas where local is competing with other local the bad will get weeded out. Also, some get better.
I think many crap brewers wouldn't bothers if they were in an area with good beer.

Offline Joe Sr.

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Re: local flabby and banana ridden saisons
« Reply #13 on: September 28, 2016, 04:17:12 PM »
There is also the fact that there is no accounting for taste.  Some people like bad beer.  I've heard tell of people liking Magic Hat No. 9.  Nasty stuff.

.... I've probably brewed more saisons than any other style at this point and feel like I make a decent one: no banana and bone dry with a good range of spicy phenolics. I consistently get 565 down to 1.002 on its own these days.


@dillah98

So, I'm interested in your saison technique because I've been struggling with making a good saison. My recent attempts have been banana and pear disappointments despite (or maybe because of) following accepted wisdom with 565 fermentation temperature profiles, i.e ramping up towards the end of fermentation. I have followed an all - pilsner malt dupont style recipe. I am relatively experienced homebrewer with some good results in other styles but struggle to nail the classic saison.

The off flavours (excessive fruitiness) I get indicate yeast stress to me so I wonder whether temperature ramping causes this - it's not excessive - max 22C. My attenuation is good and I've never had a stall with 565.

I oxygenate wort prior to pitching and make SNS starters with a fresh tube of 565. Interested to hear your techniques and critique of mine.

cheers
steve

I've never gotten banana from a saison.  I don't know how people are fermenting to get banana from a saison yeast, but it's never happened to me.  I've done them hot (80), ambient (68), and cool (60) and get various differences in flavor, but no banana.

Pear and some fruitiness should be OK.  I guess it depends on the level.  WY French Saison yeast typically gives me some nice tartness and often flavors similar to white wine.  3724 is harder to describe, but also a much harder yeast (for me) from which to get great performance.
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Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: local flabby and banana ridden saisons
« Reply #14 on: September 28, 2016, 04:26:44 PM »
I've never gotten banana from a saison.  I don't know how people are fermenting to get banana from a saison yeast


Haven't either and I've used a lot of strains. Thing is, around here at least, I'm convinced they're not using saison yeast. I've used enough 3787 (and other Belgian strains) to recognize it pretty easily. One marginal (at best) brewpub had a Belgian blond on tap as well as a 'saison' , and both had identical yeast character. Not a coincidence to me. Almost identical experience at a different place, except there was a Belgian pale ale with the same yeast character as its 'saison'. Both saisons were fairly sweet as well.
Jon H.