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Nick P.
09/02/12 03:59 PM  
Session strength Saison Brett - too thin?
Alright, so I recently made a session Saison Brett. OG was around 1.036. I used Wyeast 3711, and pitched with Brett C.

I'm wondering if I should have Mashed it really high like in the 156-158 degree range.

Instead I did a traditional mash at 112, 135, 146, 154, 170.

Anyone had success with a session strength Saison brett? What was your process?

09/02/12 05:00 PM  
Re: Session strength Saison Brett - too thin?
If you're worried about body I would suggest staying away from the 3711 strain in combination with Brett primary.

It's possible to obtain good results but it will depend more on grain bill and fermentation temp. simply due to 3711's attenuation.

09/02/12 06:17 PM  
Re: Session strength Saison Brett - too thin?
The lowest I've gone with a saison brett so far is 1.049 to 1.003 and ended up at around 5.6%abv. I used heavy wheat and some oats though. The body isn't very thin but it was also a sort of test using 25% acidulated malt. So it has lactic acid qualities but not like a true sour fermented beer.

Anyhow I think you should be okay, I do believe the 3711 strain produces an ample amount of glycerol along with the fermentation. This leaves a incredibly lush mouthfeel considering the crazy attenuations people often experience. I have little experience with 3711 and brett but based on 3711 on it's own you should be safe I think.

Nick P.
09/04/12 03:15 PM  
Re: Session strength Saison Brett - too thin?
Here is my grain bill on a 10 gallon batch..

5 lbs American 2-row

4 lbs Rahr Pilsner

3 lbs Red Wheat

2 lbs Vienna

1 lb Unmalted Wheat

Hopped with a mixture of Amarillo and Fr. Strisselspalt.

I didn't realize I went 5,4,3,2,1 on the grain bill...weird.

***it looks like I may have enough wheat in there to retain some resemblance of body.

09/04/12 04:00 PM  
Re: Session strength Saison Brett - too thin?
surprised to see no mention of flaked barley here.

it always seems to add body to any thing I use it in.

Though I'm still aging the only saison I've ever used it in.

09/05/12 11:30 AM  
Re: Session strength Saison Brett - too thin?
I've only used Brett down to 1.058 with 3711 and was somewhat pleased. The brew was a little thin however.

The recipe in the post contains 33% wheat grains in the grist. Considering that Blaugies' saison contains 33% spelt with a starting gravity of 12P and is stepped mashed with no brett in the fermentation. The resulting brew is fairly thin and light - In a good way though. IMO, I think using wheat for the purpose of body enhancement is overated; it seems to dilute the flavor of the brew so I wouldn't use it in a very low gravity beer.

I've brewed with the 3711 quite a bit and have always wanted these saisons to finish with a little more body so I kept adding Munich, Vienna, Wheat, Oats, Flaked barley etc. Problem here is the more of these different grains are added, the muddier the flavor, IMO. The Belgians really do have it right with simple grists for saisons and is why I always slap my forehead when I see beers brewed with a bunch of different grains and called "saison". The best saisons I've ever had have simple grain bills. To each his own.

I've found that simplifying the grain bill with maybe two grains (Pils + pale, Pils + Vienna, Pils + Munich, Pils + Dingemans Crystal 8) and using certain hops help. Styrians combined with Hallertau seem to contribute a perceived body enhancement if hopped about four times during brewing spaced at 60, 30, 15 and 5 min with equal additions. Crazy I know but seems to work for me.

Additionally, I've evolved to higher step mash temps for saisons as well. Seems to help a little bit but I think this is somewhat overated as well. Most homebrewers would be shocked to see how far their thermometers are out of tolerance.

When I think of body and pils dominated, lower gravity beers, I think of Czech pils. These beers are usually decoction mashed and may have a light crystal malt added. But the illusion of body is also contibuted to by the yeast fermenation - there's some diacetyl in there.

09/05/12 08:16 PM  
Re: Session strength Saison Brett - too thin?
I can honestly say that best body I've ever had in a saison was from the one I did a triple decoction on, it may have been a tad too much body even.
09/08/12 12:24 PM  
Re: Session strength Saison Brett - too thin?
Am currently enjoying an american style session saison brewed with belgian pils, equal parts wheat and vienna malt, and about 1.5% each of victory and caramunich 60 at a 1.049 OG. I decided to use citra and amarillo combined through the boil, with about 25 IBU's and a half ounce each at knockout (5.5 gallons).

The beer was fermented with WY 3724 (my absolute fav strain for saisons), then racked to a keg for 2 mos aging on with jolly pumpkin dregs. The FG is 1.006 and has a really nice tropical fruit and citrus aroma with some subtle notes of hay and brett in the background. The flavor is much of the same with a touch of acidity from the yeast and dregs and the high carbonation. I really prefer when the beers have just a touch of brett and they are not fully overun by the farmyard, goaty funk.

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