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Author Replies
05/24/10 02:52 PM  
Re: Saisons
Your description of WLP566 sounds a bit like T-58 (though, supposedly T-58 is similar to WLP500). I got lots of pepper from T-58 and that's about it.

I was thinking of using T-58 and getting some fruit flavors from a late hop addition.

I wonder what would happen if I mixed T-58 with a white wine yeast like Cote Des Blanc. Would the strains get along?

05/25/10 05:52 AM  
Re: Saisons
The majority of wine strains will kill off pretty much any ale strain. Either pitch the wine strain after a few days of primary fermentation, or better yet in my opinion, split the batch and ferment with each strain separately then blend.
05/27/10 03:18 PM  
Re: Saisons
There was a good podcast on the brewing network which talks about what wine strains are killer and what will work together with other yeast.

i don't have notes from it but you can download it.


05/28/10 02:11 AM  
Re: Saisons
I'll start a new thread with notes from the that podcast rather than further hijack this one from the topic of saison.
06/02/10 04:32 PM  
Re: Saisons
In reply to jwk <<Has anyone brewed a Saison using Amarillo and Citra Hops?>>

I did just this thing in the past month.

76% Pale Ale

8% Crystal 20L

8% Wheat Malt

8% Cane

.5oz Amarillo 55 min

.5oz Amarillo 45 min

1/3oz Citra 15 min

1/3oz Citra 5 min

1/3oz Citra Flameout

OG 1.066

Wyeast 3724

Fermentation was very slow at around 73 for about a week.

Highs hit upper 80s and lower 90s the following week and finished in 4 days at 1.006

Amazing smells of citrus. Oranges, tangerine a hint of grapefruit and pine. Tastes the same as it smells but not as intense with a bit of herby, gritty spiciness.

The hop combo is amazing and turned out better than I could of imagined. It turned out so amazing that I have a split batch going now with the same grain bill and hop schedule except one has Brett C. and the other has 3711

06/17/10 10:40 AM  
Re: Saisons
I've got 2 saisons planned for the next month with Wyeast 3711. Brewing this one tomorrow:

6 lbs 2-row

2.2 lbs flaked wheat

~ 25 IBUs Galena @ 60

1oz Goldings @ flameout

OG ~ 1.040-1.045

I'm expecting this to be a light thirst quencher for summer. Might bump up the sulfate a tad to make it even more crisp. Probably mash around 152-154F, as 3711 will rip through it anyways. Once this one is done, I'm brewing this:

12 lbs 2-row

2.2 lbs flaked wheat

~ 50 IBUs Galena @ 60

1oz Goldings @ flameout

2oz Amarillo dry hop

OG ~ 1.070

Probably mash this one around 148-150F.

Any thoughts?

Rob B
06/17/10 11:02 AM  
Re: Saisons
Both look great to me Mark...

I am planning this one soon...

OG 1.058

8lbs pilsner

2lbs vienna

2.5lbs rye malt

6oz special B

1oz Carafa II dehusked


10z Santiam@60mins

2oz Saaz@15mins

Wyeast 3711

06/17/10 11:24 AM  
Re: Saisons
Just brewed this one last week:

OG 1.052

8 lbs pilsner

2 lbs vienna

.5 lb biscuit


.5 oz Amarillo @ 60

1 oz Amarillo @ 15, 5, and flameout

Mashed at ~146°

Al's Saison Blend

06/17/10 07:39 PM  
Re: Saisons

Recipe looks good except for 50 IBU's of Galena at 60 min? The beer will be very dry so I'd back that down to around 35ish max, especially if using pellets.

06/17/10 09:55 PM  
Re: Saisons
I totally agree with Ross - Saisons are NOT heavily hopped for bitterness, aroma and flavor yes but not high bitterness. You hop heads will have to back down quite a bit!!
06/18/10 02:25 PM  
Re: Saisons
Ross - You think so? Even with a 1.070 OG? I was somewhat basing it off the specs of Chouffe Houblon which finishes quite dry.

I made an IPA a few months ago that was lab measured at 1.065 SG/ 1.006 FG with 55 IBUs that does not taste bitter at all. I know it is not necessarily the same thing, but still somewhat comparable.

06/18/10 04:14 PM  
Re: Saisons

I know what you mean but consider this. Dupont which which has a decent hop bite; the gravity is around 1.055 with 32 IBU's. A BU:GU of .58

Saison D'Erpe-Mere, another one with a decent hop presence has a gravity around 1.059 with an IBU of 35. A BU:GU of .59

Other saisons don't have an IBU as high as these two. So at 1.070, your maximum bitterness should come in around 41 IBU total.

Just be careful because a saison can really be harsh if the bitterness is too high. Not to mention, the beer you're brewing is not going to have any specialty malts to hide behind so the hop bitterness is going to stand out.

06/18/10 04:19 PM  
Re: Saisons
Some other data points from me:

Strong Rye Saison 1.082/1.003 At 41 IBU, a balancing bitterness evident but hoppiness is not very perceptible.

Bons Voeux-esque Strong Saison Actual OG: 1.096/1.015, 43 IBU with late Amarillo additions and dry-hopping. Yeah, it's hoppy but not overwhelming. 87% Pils, 8% wheat, 5% cane sugar.

So . . . um, yeah. Guess I would dial that back a bit. Maybe 40 IBU, and as for the late additions - Goldings + Amarillo? Hm. Anyone done such a combo?

06/18/10 04:19 PM  
Re: Saisons
Sorry for the double "which". Anyway, don't forget if you're using whole hops, this might not be as much of an issue. But 50 IBU's with pellets could get really harsh.
06/18/10 04:25 PM  
Re: Saisons
I think a key in brewing saisons as well as any beer is knowing the final gravity and ADF%. A drier beer, one with a lower F.G. gives the perception of higher bitterness. Most saisons have an ADF% in the 90 - 96% range. Bone dry.
06/19/10 12:35 PM  
Re: Saisons
You guys have convinced me to go for low 40s with the IBUs on the 1.070 saison.

Re: goldings and amarillo - why the hell not?

I brewed the smaller saison last night. 1.041 OG. Pitched at 66F, it is at 68F this morning and just getting a nice krausen going. I'll ramp it up to the mid-70s over the next 3-4 days.

06/19/10 09:45 PM  
Re: Saisons
Mark; I catch hell when I diss American hops in Belgian beers. But what the heck, I say try the Amarillo. Who knows? Usually though, saisons have Hallertauer, Saaz, EKG, Styrians or a combination of these.
06/21/10 11:21 AM  
Re: Saisons
I've used Amarillo in several saisons and I must say that I am a fan.
06/21/10 02:47 PM  
Re: Saisons
Dupont Avril. Wow. This past weekend I enjoyed a bottle of this stuff while out at Stone for my 30th birthday. I was thoroughly impressed with the amount of flavor considering the low gravity.

Has anyone tried to brew something like this? Is it really just a mini version of Saison Dupont? I noticed a lemon-like tartness to the brew and wonder how that was accomplished.

I was also surprised at the level of cloudiness for a beer that is (supposedly) made using 100% pilsner malt. Perhaps a turbid mash scheme was employed?

The combination of dry peppery goodness and luscious fruitness made this very nice. Back that up with just a hint of herbal earthiness and Dupont Avril got my vote of favorite beer of the day.

Has anyone tried a blend of Fermentis T-58 dry yeast and Whitelabs WLP566? The former would provide the peppery spice and the latter would offer up the fruitiness.

I’d like to brew something just as tasty using the ingredients I have on hand. For hops I’ve got Willamette, UK First Gold, and Bullion (pound of each, was on an English kick for a while). Dry hop?

Any other suggestions? What sort of starting gravity would I shoot for to brew a 3.5% ABV Saison? Is acidulated malt advisable? What’s the water profile like for Dupont’s beers?

06/21/10 05:38 PM  
Re: Saisons
I too am a fan of American-hopped Saisons as sort of its own sub-style. Amarillo and Nugget are definitely on the plus list for me.

I was more asking specifically about the Amarillo/Goldings mix. I've used American high-alpha hops with Saaz (and Sterling, FWIW) in the past and felt that they played very nice together, just not familiar with how Goldings contributes to this kind of blend.

I guess I have come to think of Saaz and other noble varieties as pretty good 'neutral blenders' that can play a nice supporting role to a more aggressive hop and kind of smooth things out. In the more traditional Saison hopping (ie. SD's Saaz + Goldings) I thought of the English ale hop as playing the more dominant flavor role, and that's why I ask the question.

06/21/10 06:33 PM  
Re: Saisons
ErikH: No problem, I knew what you meant. I just feel like using Goldings because that is what I have on hand.
06/21/10 06:40 PM  
Re: Saisons
Well there are several beers out there that use Cascade and EKGs, and I've tried it myself and it works well. Given these are not saisons, but it would give me hope in thinking that the Amarillo/Goldings thing would have potential.
06/21/10 10:43 PM  
Re: Saisons
I'm all for experimenting with different hops and malts etc. My only wish is that folks would stop calling these hybrid type beers saisons. I feel it takes more than fermenting with a saison yeast to call a beer "saison". The beer has to have that charming, rustic quality to it that typifies saison. What can I say, it's my favorite style, I'm a purist and don't want to see this style watered down so to speak.

Regarding Avril, I too think it's a wonderful beer. I can almost drink it like soda. I think the lemony quality can be had using the 3724 yeast and a high proportion of wheat and maybe a little acid malt. If you read the lable, the ingredients list wheat syrup. I'd be willing to bet there is at least 20% wheat in this beer. I'd stay away from bullion hops in this brew unless it's used as a bittering hop. I like the First Gold but be careful with this as well as it has a rather harsh bitterness. The Williamette and EKG would work. Tettnang has a nice soft bitterness as well and could be worth a shot in a low gravity beer along with Saaz of course.

06/22/10 10:41 AM  
Re: Saisons
Hey Ross, I totally respect your "tradtional" opinion.

What should these "hybrid type" beers be called?

And as a purist, what do you think of "super saisons" such as Avec les Bons Voeux? Surely, this is not a "traditional" saison, just as Sam Adams Imperial Pilsner is not a traditional Pilsner.

06/22/10 11:21 AM  
Re: Saisons
Just because a Saison has American hops in it doesn't mean it has to taste like an IPA. One of the nice things I like about Amarillo in a Saison is that it's not an overwhelming hop and yet still adds a really nice character to the beer. We're talking 30-40 IBUs here, not 80+. If we were using chinook or something like that it would be a different story.

Saison is easily one of my favorite styles as well and one thing I love about it is the versatility and variability you can get with only a couple small ingredient changes. Remember that being a farmhouse beer, it's very unlikely that traditionally any of these beers were the same, or even close to it.

Besides, the Belgians love to experiment with their beers. Look at Dany over at Fantôme, every one of his beers is labeled as a saison and yet none are really very traditional yet all are delicious. It just goes to show that it's one of those styles that has a broad range.

06/22/10 02:44 PM  
Re: Saisons
I hear my WY 3711 Calling to me....brew beer....brew beer....(I have some juniper berries and some special B and some Aromatic and some victory and some pils....and some sterling hops) now there is an experiment waiting for a time to happen
06/22/10 04:31 PM  
Re: Saisons
Listen to the berries, 1v.

Listen to their sweet, sweet siren song.

06/23/10 12:07 PM  
Re: Saisons
Mark, Tank;

I respect your opinions as well, very good discussion. So here's my thing.

I don't absolutely think a saison should be 6.5% abv or below to be traditional tasting. However, we all know that, traditionally, these were low abv beers so to stay traditional means to brew a beer with a lower O.G.

However, I would probably call the "Best Wishes" brew by Dupont a saison because it has that rustic charm I speak of. It's hard to describe the "rustic charm" in words but I think you all know I mean. It's like trying describe a painting or the tone of Jimi Hendrix. The style is found in the nuances. When I drink these beers, I taste an authentic, rustic and rough quality that I've seen very few brewers pull off. Even the brewer at Dupont doesn't call the "Best Wishes" brew a saison, go figure. Maybe you guys should pick an argument with him...I'm just kidding :)

So,if a brewer throws in some American hops and can still achieve that authentic saison character, I'm all for it. My belief is when most guys are asking for advice on how to brew this beer, I say start with ingredients that are traditionally used and brew a great traditional saison first. Afterwards, go ahead and experiment. You'll at least know your way back home if the brew strays too far off the beaten path. But if you can't pull off a traditonal, rustic saison from the start, I think your just spinning your wheels and taking shots in the dark.

I agree that many of these beers have different ingredients so no two are the same. But..each one has that quality and charm I speak of.

Dany at Phantome can brew a great traditional saison if he desires to. I love the straight up saison he brews. That's the difference I see with him and the American brewers, he knows his base beer and can brew it at anytime.

Did I make any sense here?

06/23/10 12:13 PM  
Re: Saisons
By the way gentlemen, I just want all of you to know that it's nice to have other people willing to have a discussion about these beers. I really appreciate your opinions and ideas and have to admit, I've had to re-think some of my own convictions on these beers as well.

I've been kegging everything for the last year so I have no bottles laying around. But when I get a brew bottled in the next month or so, I think we should do some swapping if your all up for it. I does get kind of expensive to ship these things to five different guys though!

Rob B
06/23/10 12:56 PM  
Re: Saisons
I would totally be up for a saison swap in a month or two.
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