Author Topic: Belgian saison  (Read 2522 times)

Offline bluedog

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Belgian saison
« on: March 25, 2011, 10:54:21 AM »
How long should my primary fermentation last for my saison. My OG was 1.070 on March 5th. I am using the wyeast Belgian saison which everything I have read can be problematic. I pitched a starter that had been built up twice with a half gallon each time and pitched only the slurry. My 70 F fermentation stalled right around 1.030 which I kind of expected. I put a heating pad underneath and raised the temp up to 78 F. The airlock is bubbling again and my gravity is dropping. Last summer I did a saison with the French saison yeast and left it the primary for almost a month. The aroma was great and it tasted like I expected but had kind of yeasty aftertaste. Anyway if the airlock is showing signs that active fermentation is happening I guess I just let it go until I get into the single digits without moving it off the primary yeast. I think that this yeast likes warmer temps and maybe with the room temps being around 66 F my fermentation time is going to be longer. I just want those cool saison phenols and esters without the yeasty aftertaste. Thoughts?

Offline euge

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Re: Belgian saison
« Reply #1 on: March 25, 2011, 11:38:45 AM »
I think you'll be just fine. What is the current gravity?

I had that yeast stall as you mentioned 3 out of 4 batches. I think the trick is warming it up after a couple days high krausen and letting it finish warmer sooner.
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. -Richard P. Feynman

Offline bluedog

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Re: Belgian saison
« Reply #2 on: March 25, 2011, 11:51:44 AM »
3 days ago it was down to 1.025. I can see activity in the air lock so I will check it again in a few days to see where it's at then.

Offline jeffy

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Re: Belgian saison
« Reply #3 on: March 25, 2011, 12:41:12 PM »
Yes, saison yeast is notorious for slowng down, but it will come back to life if you warm it up. 
Jeff Gladish, Tampa (989.3, 175.1 Apparent Rennarian)
Homebrewing since 1990
AHA member since 1991, now a lifetime member
BJCP judge since 1995

Offline Mark G

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Re: Belgian saison
« Reply #4 on: March 25, 2011, 02:36:58 PM »
I've always had good luck with letting the temp free rise after pitching, then holding it at an elevated temp until done. 78F should do the trick, but don't be shocked if it still takes a while. I think my fastest saison still took 3 weeks to finish. Be patient and you'll be happy at the end.
Mark Gres

Offline tumarkin

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Re: Belgian saison
« Reply #5 on: March 25, 2011, 02:39:25 PM »
Saison is a great style for summer brewing. Hell, it's great all the time, but the yeast stay happier in the summer. And we're here to make the yeast happy, no? Happy yeast make happy brewers.
Mark Tumarkin
Hogtown Brewers
Gainesville, FL

Offline nateo

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Re: Belgian saison
« Reply #6 on: March 25, 2011, 04:36:11 PM »
I have a batch with 3711 going right now. It hit 1.004 on the 8th, but the krausen is still lingering around. I'm not in a hurry, so I'll let it fall before I rack or bottle it.
In der Kürze liegt die Würze.

Offline andyi

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Re: Belgian saison
« Reply #7 on: March 25, 2011, 04:53:32 PM »

nateo,

I also have a 3711 saison fermenting now.  How do find the flocuation for this yeast? Last time the FG was 1.005 after 7 days but it took 24 days to clear.

Offline nateo

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Re: Belgian saison
« Reply #8 on: March 25, 2011, 09:26:57 PM »
Andyi: I've had the same experience. It'll be one month tomorrow from pitching, and I've still got a little bit of krausen on top. It's mostly fallen, but some is lingering around.
In der Kürze liegt die Würze.

Offline chumley

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Re: Belgian saison
« Reply #9 on: March 29, 2011, 08:03:56 AM »
I have a saison with 3711 going right now as well.  I fermented for a week in a bucket, then racked to a carboy and put it down in my 50°F basement.

Weirdest thing I've ever seen.  The beer is crystal clear in the carboy, yet there is vigorous krausen in the bottle neck.  Twice its spewed up into the air lock, which I've had to clean.  Yet, you look at it and would swear it is done.

Offline richardt

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Re: Belgian saison
« Reply #10 on: March 29, 2011, 10:23:43 AM »
Warm it up and give it time.  It needs to be done and the FG in low single digits before you bottle that beer--o/w you'll have bottle bombs.  IME, the French Saison yeast ferments rather quickly, does not get stuck as easily during fermentation, and flocculates and clears better compared to the Belgian Saison yeast.  I find the taste to be similar.  If your FG readings are around 1.005 or so and consistent after several readings, then I'd chill the fermentor to help clarify the beer.  You will have some "yeast bite" if you're drinking/sampling beer that hasn't been clarified.

Offline bluedog

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Re: Belgian saison
« Reply #11 on: March 30, 2011, 12:30:52 PM »
My OG is still dropping (10B), fermentation is at 80F, no krausen and cloudy. Tomorrow's forecast when we come back...

Offline resto3

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Re: Belgian saison
« Reply #12 on: April 10, 2011, 05:42:19 PM »
I pitch at around 65 DF and let raise to the mid to high 70s, low 80's even. 

I love Saisons.  My favorite beer to brew and drink. 

Offline anthony

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Re: Belgian saison
« Reply #13 on: April 11, 2011, 11:30:28 PM »
I love the classic strains flavor profile but I hate babying it so I do things a little different to work around its weird speed issues (which actually seem to sort of correlate to pH drop, similar to other published findings regarding wine yeasts and mead pH). I make a big starter of the classic yeast and then using extra wort on brewday, I make a starter for the 2nd string yeast, usually one of the other Saison strains and get it going.. then after 2-3 days, I dump that entire starter into the batch and attenuation sails right into single digits while still maintaining all those great esters that the classic strain is so known for.

Offline bluedog

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Re: Belgian saison
« Reply #14 on: April 12, 2011, 07:13:30 AM »
So how low should I expect this to go. My OG was 1.070 and is currently at 1.013. I am patient, but are single digits out of the question with this starting gravity?