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Looking for input on making a good saison


read 8905 times • 31 replies • posted 5/28/2010 7:59:03 PM

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GEOBRAU 188:
Hey Iím looking at making a saison this weekend and iím looking for input.. I see that there is a Saison contest going on and thats not why Iím asking for input.. The main reason I want to make saison is aside from it being delicious, I live in the awesome state of AZ where for the next 6 months it will be easier to brew on the higher end of the temp scale.

Here is a recipe I found.. I have no loyalty to this recipe, so please toss your input my way.. In fact, I would prefer to do a extract/mini mash recipe..

Ingredients
9 1/2 lb.Pilsner malt
1lb. Wheat
1/2 Lb. Vienna
1 lb. Clear candi sugar
1 oz. Styrian Goldings
3/4 oz. East kent goldings
1/2 oz. Bitter orange peel
1/4 oz. Saaz
1 tsp. Irish Moss
Wyeast 1214 Belgian Abbey yeast
1 1/4 cup xtra light D.M.E.
Directions
Mash all grain at 150f. for 90 min.Sparge with 170 f. water and accumulate 1 1/2 gallon of wort.Bring to a boil aand add candi sugar and the Styrians. Add enough water to make 2 1/2 gallons.Boil for 45 min. and add 1/2 oz. of East kents,orange peel and the irish moss.Boil for 10 min. and add the final 1/4 oz. of East kents.Boil for 5 more min.Remove from heat,cool and pitch yeast.
Nutritional info
Primary 7 days
Secondary: 1 week
O.G.-1.065
F.G.- 1.014
Alcohol-6.5%

A few questions... What temp range do i need to be in to acheive the funkiness of a Saison Dupont?

Also, iíve heard table sugar is a fine substitute for belgian cani sugar, any thoughts?

Any thoughts on the best brand of yeast for saison?

I made a saison right after i started brewing years ago and it came out too "clean" so Iím looking to funk it up a bit.

Cheers!
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joet 2228:93
Hi George. Good on you for taking this on.

I think the only way to get Dupont flavors is to use the Dupont yeast - the flavor profile from Dupont relies heavily on the yeast with hops playing second fiddle.

Unfortunately itís very different from 1214. Youíll need 3724. I think

Besides that I think your hop bill looks good, though if youíre sending some to me, Iíd prefer you used Hallertau in place of Saaz.

Iíve tasted a 3724 that was dried out with another yeast (3711?) and that one unfortunately seemed to lose a lot of dupont goodness, however Iím uncertain if this is always the case. People do seem to think that the six weeks or more of waiting for the beer to dry out is an essential for getting the right complexity.

The Wyeast handout on 3724 says something ridiculous like 75 degrees but itís comfortable in the upper 80s and even 90s.
5/28/2010 8:16:07 PM

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GEOBRAU 188:

Joe, I remember reading about your love of the funky beers..

I suppose to do it right I should buy some Dupont and culture it but I have the itch to brew this weekend.

Thanks man...



Originally posted by joet
Hi George. Good on you for taking this on.

I think the only way to get Dupont flavors is to use the Dupont yeast - the flavor profile from Dupont relies heavily on the yeast with hops playing second fiddle.

Unfortunately itís very different from 1214. Youíll need 3724. I


Besides that I think your hop bill looks good, though if youíre sending some to me, Iíd prefer you used Hallertau in place of Saaz.

Iíve tasted a 3724 that was dried out with another yeast (3711?) and that one unfortunately seemed to lose a lot of dupont goodness, however Iím uncertain if this is always the case. People do seem to think that the six weeks or more of waiting for the beer to dry out is an essential for getting the right complexity.

The Wyeast handout on 3724 says something ridiculous like 75 degrees but itís comfortable in the upper 80s and even 90s.
5/28/2010 8:34:55 PM

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ToolHead 266:1
This advice is for an all-grain saison, since thatís the only thing I have experience with...

Aim for significantly lower OG and FG - think OG 1.055 and FG 1.005. Thisíll yield an abv. of approximately 6.5% (Saison Dupont territory) if you get it to ferment out.

Next, use 100% Pilsner malt - you donít want anything stealing the show from the yeast. Well, this is what Saison Dupont is based on, anyway; personally I tend to include quite a bit of wheat malt (up to 100% of the grist, in fact) - but again; if youíre looking for maximum yeast character, go with Pilsner.

As for mashing; think fermentability and aim for low temps. Apparently Dupont uses a special rising temperature mash starting at 113 F and rising to 162 F over the course of 108 mins. (Farmhouse Ales p. 156).

Styrian Goldings and EKG is what Markowski reports is being used in Saison Dupont, so you have this covered.

I would stay away from spices; I see no reason to include any if you use a characterful yeast.

Speaking of which; there really is no substitute (that I know of, anyway) for the Dupont strain. Personally, I love 3711 (a sugar eating monster), but this wonít give you the fruit or farmhouse funk youíre looking for. WLP566 (Br. Blaugies) is a very good attenuator, but I find it produces a significantly softer and less spicy yeasty fruitiness than the Dupont strain. 568 is a strong attenuator as well, but I find it to be more sharply phenolic than 565.

Ferment warm, warm, warm; crazy warm, in fact - you seem to have this covered already as well. :-) And be patient; the Dupont yeast can be quite sluggish.

Best of luck!
5/29/2010 12:21:04 AM

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absolutesites 2:
Originally posted by ToolHead
Next, use 100% Pilsner malt - you donít want anything stealing the show from the yeast. Well, this is what Saison Dupont is based on, anyway; personally I tend to include quite a bit of wheat malt (up to 100% of the grist, in fact) - but again; if youíre looking for maximum yeast character, go with Pilsner.


All base malt is the best way to go IMO. That being said, last saison that I did I used 100% Vienna. It was lovely.

Originally posted by ToolHead
As for mashing; think fermentability and aim for low temps.


Absolutely

Originally posted by ToolHead
Styrian Goldings and EKG is what Markowski reports is being used in Saison Dupont, so you have this covered.


I think any noble varietal will work wonderfully. Strisselspalt is lovely.

Originally posted by ToolHead
I would stay away from spices; I see no reason to include any if you use a characterful yeast.


I could not agree with you more. Also, if you keep your yeast warm and happy there is absolutely no reason to add sugar to increase the fermentability of your wort. My saisons tend to come in around 1.006, which is really were the OP should be aiming. 1.014 is WAY too high a FG for this style.

Originally posted by ToolHead
Speaking of which; there really is no substitute (that I know of, anyway) for the Dupont strain. Personally, I love 3711 (a sugar eating monster), but this wonít give you the fruit or farmhouse funk youíre looking for.


Though Iíve never used 3711, from what I hear it is more suited to a BdG than a saison. I guess this makes sense as itís French and all.

The horror stories about the Dupont strain are overblown, IMO. As long as you keep your fermenter warm, attenuation wonít be a problem and neither will getting that nice yeast character for which you are looking.

Originally posted by ToolHead
Ferment warm, warm, warm; crazy warm, in fact - you seem to have this covered already as well. :-) And be patient; the Dupont yeast can be quite sluggish.


Again, just keep the fermenter warm and itíll be done in a couple weeks.

Good luck.
5/29/2010 6:25:17 AM

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ToolHead 266:1
Best Saison (well, India Pale Wheat Saison, or something like that, I guess) Iíve ever brewed/tasted:

Malt: 100% Weyermann Wheat Malt
Hops: 1/3 Nelson Sauvin; 2/3 Motueka (90, 10, 5, 1 mins. + dry hopping)
Yeast: Wyeast 3711

Mash low (be sure to use a shitload of rice hulls...)

OG 1.062; FG 1.003; IBU 59; EBC 7.

How it turned out: Incredibly crisp and brightly flavored; think lemon and elderberry; perhaps a touch of gooseberry. Subdued fruity yeast, but more than enough character to qualify for the "farmhouse" moniker.

Do this. Now.
5/29/2010 2:00:01 PM

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Cobra 1100:24
Better figure 6-8 weeks for primary, then 10-12 weeks for secondary.
Take it from someone who has a lot of experience in this style.
Ferment it hot, ~80*F or better, then drop it down to ~65*F for secondary.
5/29/2010 4:05:50 PM

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notlob
Originally posted by Cobra
Better figure 6-8 weeks for primary, then 10-12 weeks for secondary.
Take it from someone who has a lot of experience in this style.
Ferment it hot, ~80*F or better, then drop it down to ~65*F for secondary.

So 6-8 weeks in the primary at 80F and up you donít get any ill-effects from leaving the beer on the yeast cake? Nice. I never really trusted this and transferred sooner. Never had attenuation problems nor did I ever secondary. I usually wait 2-3 weeks and keg. What do you taste differently with these longer periods, especially in the secondary? Are you using brett or anything?

As to grain, Iíd say pilsner and any other starchy grain you can get ahold of. Try wheat, rye, oats, corn, etc., but definitely a pilsner base. For hops I use mostly EKG and Styrian Goldings, and definitely some noble hops. I like using Saaz at flameout.

For WY 3711, youíll get crazy attenuation and lots of orange citrus and peppery notes, even at lower temps. Iíll pitch around 68F and slowly let it rise to mid 80s. For the WL 565, Iíve had it at low-mid 80s and definitely agree that higher would be better.
5/29/2010 5:44:10 PM

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gunhaver 1030:13
i ferment in the 90s, holla
5/29/2010 8:44:31 PM

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erway 1004:41
I personally like the addition of wheat malt in many different styles. Itís my thing so I say keep it. As far as specialty malts, as long as your not using something that will take away from fermentability, itís up to your own taste. I, like many, do not feel that you should rely on spices, instead use the right yeast. Mash at 145 for 60 min. If you can find a pils malt low enough in DMSO and SMM, go ahead and only boil for 60 min. otherwise donít chance it. The only pils malt that I would trust for this is Durst. I have ceased using Belgian Pils malt (castle/dingemans) because of itís unusually high levels. I have yet to brew extensively with Franco-Belges Pils, so I canít say for that. Weyerman is very nice, but I have found that a 90 min. strong boil is necessary.

For hops, get creative if you like. Sterling could be great here. I have really liked a blend of amarillo with noble varieties like Saphir. Spalt is a big favorite of mine for the style. Itís up to your taste how much IMO. I have gone as high as Bo-Pils levels of hops and it has come out great. I think a 7-8% Saison/IPA could be pretty awesome.

As far as yeast, my preference is to blend. I do not like sitting around and twittling my thumbs. 3 weeks in primary seems silly to me. If you really want to stick to Dupont strains, then go ahead and do it, but blend them. WLP 566 and WLP565/Wyeast 3724 are both Dupont strains. The 565/3724 is spicier, while the 566 has more of the apricot, pineapple aromatics. I have used the 566 solely for a lot of saisons, because it floccs better, so it works for repitching in a conical, and it ferments out, which means I could make a saison in a 14 day brew cycle, but I think blending them in an open fermenter or a carboy would be ideal. Solely that yeast is plenty spicy, ferments clean in the upper 80s, and ferments out in 5-6 days with 94%+ AA.

Ferment somewhere between 80-88. Some will tell you to go higher, and they might have with great luck. I myself have brewed a very nice saison that got as hot as 94. I once chanced it and got a very fusely mess of a beer though. Never again. Youíll get plenty of character anywhere in that 80-88 range. Plenty, and you wonít be risking quite so much, but hey, if you like gambling, be my guest.

On a side note...When are one of you guys gonna make one of these with a bordeaux wine yeast and report back? Common, thereís got to be someone that wants to try this.
5/30/2010 6:22:01 AM

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erway 1004:41
Originally posted by ToolHead
Best Saison (well, India Pale Wheat Saison, or something like that, I guess) Iíve ever brewed/tasted:

Malt: 100% Weyermann Wheat Malt
Hops: 1/3 Nelson Sauvin; 2/3 Motueka (90, 10, 5, 1 mins. + dry hopping)
Yeast: Wyeast 3711

Mash low (be sure to use a shitload of rice hulls...)

OG 1.062; FG 1.003; IBU 59; EBC 7.

How it turned out: Incredibly crisp and brightly flavored; think lemon and elderberry; perhaps a touch of gooseberry. Subdued fruity yeast, but more than enough character to qualify for the "farmhouse" moniker.

Do this. Now.


That sounds damn interesting. How much rice hulls did you use and how was the runoff? Weíre you able to get any clarity and did you even try to?
5/30/2010 6:24:05 AM

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