OK so its summer again and its bloody hot, that means I’m back to brewing saisons again. My search for the perfect saison recipe continues. Some old recipes can be found here and in other posts on this blog.
Yes OK I know there is no such thing as the perfect saison recipe, but I’m trying to get to the point where I have a couple where I say “yep that’s it”. A couple of the paler versions brewed last season fit that bill, my favorite being the 100% pills and styrian goldings version with the belgian saison yeast. It took a while to come into its own and for the spicy complexity of the yeast to come through but when it did I really struggled to fault it. Love that yeast but it does take a while to do its thing.
I think simple is best with saisons, that said I did a couple of versions with palm sugar, got to love that dirty sugar. I’ve also used the Wyeast Farmhouse ale yeast a couple of times. It does a great job and is much more forgiving than the Belgian saison but it just isn’t quite as exciting. Great quick saison but in the long run it’s just not quite there.
Last year I also figured out that I dont like the use of Stella (or Ella now I think) as a dry hop in a saison. Tasted like petroleum. I may have been a little to heavy fisted with it but its put me off the idea. The old school Noble and Euro hops just seem to sit better with the esters and phenolic. Pearl, Halertau, Styrian Goldings. I am keen to try something tropical and fruity like Pacific Gem though, maybe even Galaxy. Should prove interesting.
So what did I brew for my first 2013 saison? Its a blend of what I learned in 2012 with a yeast i havent much experience with, the French Saison (by all accounts a more civilised yeast than the Belgian). So mostly pills, some palm sugar, mostly Styrian goldings, mash at 63 deg c and start the ferment at about 22 then let it go in an old farmhouse. I thought this beer needed a name, something sexy in french seemed a good idea. However I don’t know any french appart from being able to lip sync to Plastic Bertrand, so I’ll just stick with calling it “Something Sexy in French”. Heres the recipe –
Batch Size: 23.00 L
Boil Size: 28.00 L
Boil Time: 45 min
Brewhouse Efficiency: 70.00
Amount Item Type % or IBU
4.00 kg Pilsner (2 Row) Bel (3.9 EBC) Grain 70.39 %
1.00 kg White Wheat Malt (4.7 EBC) Grain 17.60 %
0.40 kg Vienna Malt (6.9 EBC) Grain 7.04 %
0.15 kg Acid Malt (5.9 EBC) Grain 2.64 %
0.05 kg Roasted Barley (591.0 EBC) Grain 0.88 %
10.00 gm Warrior [16.70 %] (45 min) (First Wort Hop) Hops 21.4 IBU
45.00 gm Styrian Goldings [3.40 %] (30 min) (First Wort Hop) Hops 11.2 IBU
10.00 gm Styrian Goldings [3.40 %] (10 min) Hops 0.9 IBU
40.00 gm Styrian Goldings [3.40 %] (1 min) Hops 2.9 IBU
0.08 kg palm sugar (0.0 EBC) Sugar 1.46 %
1 Pkgs French Saison (Wyeast Labs) Yeast-Ale
Measured Original Gravity: 1.050 SG
Est Final Gravity: 1.011 SG
Estimated Alcohol by Vol: 5.42 %
Bitterness: 36.4 IBU
No idea how this will come out, but should be OK, really looking forward to seeing how this yeast behaves, and the wort tasted great. Next saisons in the gun are an all pills and Belgian saison yeast rebrew from last year, just a little hoppier, an amberish version, and I really want to do a batch of the porter I brewed for Christmas but with a saison yeast, that could be interesting. I’ll probably have to throw some fruit in a saison too, but then again its probably a distraction from getting my saison recipe dialed in.