I finally got a chance to use Farmhouse yesterday, and I'll update as I go.
90-minute Mash at 152°
One 11g packet into 3 gallons of 1.052 wort.
I decided against any sugar because 1) that's my typical Saison grain bill and 2) I'd like to see what kind of attenuation I get from Farmhouse without inflating the number by adding sugar.
Pitched at 66°, fermentation showed some life in about 4-5 hours, chugging along with conviction at 12hrs. The fermentation has bumped the temp up to about 68° right now, and I think I'll just let it go until fermentation settles down. Maybe then I will move the fermenter into a mid-70's area. Not sure though. I may just let it finish at ambient cellar temp of 67°. If my intention is to play around with this yeast, I'll need to set some baseline.
Kegged this morning.
So I just let the yeast run it’s course without futzing with temperature changes. The yeast took the temperature up to 74 at peak activity and then it gradually fell back to about 68, where I let it be. I use a small Speidel without a lot of head space so I set up a blowoff tube as is normally needed for any Saison I brew. But this was unwarranted as the activity never got that crazy, fermenting out like a typical beer. 2 weeks in the fermenter.
Went from 1.052 —-> 1.008, almost 85%.
Sample taste was really nice. Definite Saison character, clove/pepper, a bit of lemon (hopped with Nelson Sauvin, so there’s that), spicy bite, no banana, no tropical fruit, dry-ish but not overly so, nothing funny or “off”.
Looking forward to this.
One final update (I promise!):
Almost two weeks in the keg, carbed to about 13psi.
I'm getting lemon notes with a classic Saison bite of pepper/clove. The Lallemand flavor wheel suggests "tropical fruit" is a major player with Farmhouse, but I'm getting none of that. Maybe if I fermented at a much warmer temperature this flavor would have been more apparent, but maybe it would also unbalance and mess up the whole works. Also not getting any banana/hot phenols. It's hard to describe, but the flavor feels
right and seems less forced on the tongue as opposed to Belle/3711, which are fine but maybe a bit...mechanically uninspired.
This is certainly not as bone dry as Belle/3711, the yeast (and spelt?) has left a bit of a smooth mouthfeel. Not sweet mind you, just not as crisp and sharp like some Saisons are. Would a touch of sugar dry out, crisp up and improve the mouthfeel, or take away that nice touch of softness?
The beer pours with a nice white head that stays clingy as she goes. It's not clear at all and I'm assuming it never will. Very refreshing. I dare say it's the best Saison I've ever made, though I'm certainly no great Saison brewer.
Maybe next time I'll add a smidge of sugar, and maybe I might push the temp just a wee bit further. Or maybe not.
There's a pic here
if you are interested.
There are so many nice Saison yeasts out there, all offering a little something different. Personal preference picks the winner, but I would not hesitate to use Farmhouse again. I'm sure I will.