This Cranberry Saison Automne was inspired by Unibroue’s Quelque Chose, which is a beer made by blending beer-soaked wild cherries into the final product. The impetus for the cranberries in this recipe was to maximize the fermentation of the sugars by adding them to the mash rather than adding them for flavor at the end.
Frozen cranberries were chosen because the cell walls would be ready to burst so as to get as much flavor as possible, while a relatively cool mash allows for maximum fermentable sugar extraction. The finished product has a flavor very much like a semi-dry white wine with lots of vinous overtones.
This recipe was featured in “Brewing with Food: Oddities in the Mashtun” by Jonny Lieberman from the November/December 2006 issue of Zymurgy magazine.
The Fall (Cranberry Saison) | Fruit Beer
- 5.5 lb. (2.5 kg) Belgian Pilsner malt
- 5.5 lb. (2.5 kg) British pale malt
- 1.33 lb. (0.6 kg) Belgian wheat malt
- 0.45 lb. (0.2 kg) Belgian crystal malt 20° L
- 0.25 lb. (0.1 kg) acidulated malt
- 2.25 lb. (1.0 kg) frozen organic cranberries
- 0.9 lb. (0.4 kg) amber candi sugar
- 0.5 oz. (14 g) Styrian Golding pellet hops (75 min.)
- 1.0 oz. (28 g) Styrian Golding pellet hops (60 min.)
- 0.5 oz. (14 g) Czech Saaz pellet hops (1 min.)
- White Labs WLP565 Belgian Saison I Yeast
- Original Gravity: 1.085
- IBU: 28
- Boil Time: 75 minutes
- Efficiency: 75%
Mash grains and cranberries at 150° F (65° C) for 60 minutes. Sparge with 170° F (76° C) water.
Steep crystal malt and crushed cranberries in your brew pot, removing the grains and fruit at 170° F (76° C). Add 10 lb. of light liquid malt extract and proceed with the boil (if doing a partial boil, increase initial hop addition by 0.75 oz.).