Projects and Thoughts

Fall is the Saison Season

IMG 3795

Saison is a style I feel a closeness to, I’m a small farmer and french Canadian by heritage. The idea of making an artisanal product with a raw edge, using my own hops, and rustic grain just moves me. This recipe is a simple table saison, something I think the farm hands may have enjoyed during the long work days. I found the recipe on via Nathan Smith. He’s a staple on the brewing network, has presented at NHC, ANHC, Beersmith, and Basic brewing radio. He’s even given talk on Saisons.

This is his recipe:

I brewed a much smaller sized batch, I didn’t futz with water, didn’t test two yeasts, and I used my own hops.

3.00 gal   OG: 1.043 SG
IBU: 34.8 IBUs
Mash 145.0 F        90 min        
Boil 90 Minutes
1.20 g                Gypsum

IMG 3793

2.00 kg               Pilsner95.2 %        
0.10 kg               Acidulated Malt4.8 %         
20.00 g               Galena [4.00 %] - Boil 60.0 min17.3 IBUs     
10.00 g               Fuggle [4.50 %] - Boil 30.0 min   8.2 IBUs      
0.25                  Whirlfloc Tablet (Boil 5.0 mins)  
24.30 g               Belma [9.80 %] - Steep/Whirlpool  10.0 m Hop9.3 IBUs      
1L Starter            French Saison (Wyeast Labs #3711)

This was simple to brew, mash, 60/30/0 hop additions, no hop stand, or dry hopping, just brew run off and let fermentation go. My brew day started nice and early, with my grain and hops milled and measured before hand, and my gear left on the porch, I was mashed in by 7:45. I’ve forgotten my grain bag in the mash tun the last few batches, but this like those I avoided stuck or slow sparges. I over shot my gravity, hitting in the area of 84% mash efficiency. I’ve been all over the place predicting my mash efficiency, but it seems looking back, my volume adjusted efficiency has been reasonably consistent. Knowing this should help me properly tweak recipes going forward. My post boil volume was spot on (go me!), I collected my expected 3g (2.5 into fermenter, 2qt to jars for future starters). One week in, the beer is still in primary and has worked its way down to the 1.004. That is assuming the beer bug is accurate. I’m going to give it a few more days of heat, but then it’s going to need to be moved from the water bath to make way for the next batchs.

I didn’t screw anything up, but this beer is not what I was aiming for. The efficiency and attenuation have changed it from a low gravity table saison to 5.1%, not exactly session IMG 3800strength. Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad it’s drying out, my first experience with the french saison strain (3711) felt quite thick at 1.010 from 1.068. However I wish it was a little bit smaller.

Changes for next time:
Adjust recipe calculation to account for efficiency.
Decrease bitterness.



10/27/14 – I feel like I’m rushing this beer along, but I needed to make room in the fermentation bucket for the upcoming brew day. Transfered to keg, FG 1.006. Transferred 1g onto 400g Frozen Rhubarb and 400g Frozen Strawberries.

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