Search for the perfect Saison number 3.

Ah here we are again on a Sunday night, watching Homeland (excellent show), eating a bacon and egg sandwich (excellent sandwich even if I do say myself) and having a beer (saison no. 2, the one with all the Stella, its settled a little but still isnt great). This is all fairly normal. BUT TOMORROW IS A PUBLIC HOLIDAY. Thats a pretty good thing, a day off amid all the crazy bump and grind of work. Excellent, so I’m brewing. This will be Saison no. 4 of the season.

I’ve just bottled no. 3, the Sushi Tribute beer, it’s a little more caramelish and maltyish (I doubt either of those are real words) than I expected (that might be the rye or the fresh vienna malt?), and has less yeast influence but after a little time in the bottle I think this will be a fairly decent beer. A little darker than style but should be ok. The recipe for this beer is a post or two back (the one with 3 saison recipes on it) and although I think it is fitting that Sushi gets a good beer in his honor I have hope that tomorrows beer will be a little closer to where I am heading. The Sushi beer was fairly complicated, lots of malts. Perhaps that’s not what a saison is about and I’m fairly sure that palm sugar wasnt an on the shelf ingredient for french/Belgian farmers.

The recipe is incredibly simple. 100% european pilsner malt, mashed at about 64deg c with a little gypsum, hopped to about 30 IBU’s with some Styrian Goldings, and a bunch more thrown in at flame out. Add in the Wyeast Belgian Saison yeast and a hot few days coming and we are set.

However (there always needs to be a however doesnt there?) I’m taking the simplicity and fucking with it. I’m making a bigger batch than normal and 10 or so litres will be fermented out with some peaches. I’ve got about 1kg of yellow peaches from the South Melbourne Market today, I’ll let the beer get about 3 days into the ferment and throw them in, pits and all. No idea how this will go, but it works in my mind that a farmer with too much ripe fruit, in the peak of harvest, would have fermented some out in a beer.

I went to a show or presentation by Anthony Bourdain, one of my favorite authors and TV guys. He’s kind of cranky, hates vegetarians, loves good simple food prepared with care, and seems to be a generally happy guy despite it all. He spoke of his travels and sitting down with people in little back waters, always happy to share what they have with him, that simple good thing. This often involves him, as he put drinking cloudy fermented liquid from a Pepsi bottle that was fermented by Grandpa in a 44 gallon drum.

I’m thinking that Saisons are the cloudy shit in a Pepsi bottle of the beer world, made from what simple farming people have at hand. Perhaps the peach saison will get close to this. I might put some in a Pepsi bottle for Anthony Bourdain.

So fingers crossed this beer will be a step closer to what I see as my perfect saison recipe. After adding all but the kitchen sink, perhaps a simple no fucking around recipe could be the go. Time will tell.

Cheers D

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