It almost seems like fate.
A little while ago I stumbled across some threads discussing the use and availability of Sorachi Ace hops. They sounded interesting but difficult to find, I ended up going a different route and brewed something else instead. Well, I went by one of my local micro breweries yesterday to try out their new summer ale and found out that they used solely Sorachi Ace for it! Wow, what a flavor! Crisp, dry and very citrusy, I fell in love immediately. They screamed "Saison" to me! After some hunting around I found an online source for them and I started working on a recipe. Here's what I came up with;
Batch size 5.5 gal
FG est 1.005
Color est 6.4 SRM
IBU est 32.3
1lb Honey Malt, steeped
6.6 lbs Pilsen LME
2 lbs honey, varietal as yet to be determined
1/2 oz Sorachi Ace - 60 mins (10.7% AA)
1/2 oz Sorachi Ace - 30 mins
1/2 tsp yeast nutrient - 10 mins
1/2 tsp Irish Moss - 10 mins
1 oz Sorachi Ace - 0 mins, steeped for 20 mins
Pitch Wyeast French Saison 3711, 1.5L starter
Rack to secondary when complete, dry hop with 1oz Sorachi Ace for 14 days.
I have heard of a technique used when brewing Saisons. It says to pitch at 68 F and slowly raise the temp, over the course of a week or so, to the max of the range specified by the yeast producer, in this case 77 F. It seems like this would assist in creating the super dry finish common to the style without creating a beer loaded with fusels. Has anyone ever tried this technique? I've also heard of brewers spiking their Saisons with Brett B at bottling time, though I don't know if that would clash with the bright citrus flavors from the hops. Any thoughts?