Saison

In my “learning to like Belgians” quest (beer, not the people), I decided to take a stab at a saison. Chimay and Trappist styles are certainly enjoyable, but I had yet to develop a great fondness for the overly estery quality of Belgian ale. High time to broaden the palette.

A second motivation is to brew a collaboration beer with two of my best buddies (more on that in a later entry). Trouble is, I lean towards the IPAs while one of my buddies most definitely does not. So, I’m throwing in the towel and brewing up a saison for the collaboration, but that’ll be later. So, I saw this as something of a dry run to practice and to gauge the style.

Turned out damn fine. I don’t remember exactly where I got the recipe from. I think it’s a hodgepodge of the saison in Sam Calagione’s Extreme Brewing, a saison kit at morebeer.com, and various recipes at Beersmithrecipes.com. My recipe and notes are available at Beersmithrecipes and included here:

  • 7 lbs Pilsner Liquid Extract (3.5 SRM)
  • 2.0 oz Hallertauer Mittelfrueh [2.7%] – Boil 60 min
  • 10.00 g Gypsum (Calcium Sulfate) (Boil 60 min)
  • 1 lbs Candi Sugar, Light [Boil for 20 min] (22.0 SRM)
  • 0.25 tsp Irish Moss (Boil 10 min)
  • 0.5 oz Styrian Goldings [4.0%] – Boil 5 min
  • 1 pkgs Belgian Saison (Wyeast Labs #3724)

Brewed 2-21-2015

3/6/15 Kegged, but oops, didn’t finish fermenting. SG 1.03-ish. Didn’t take OG reading, but that’s still way too high.

3/14/15 returned to bucket and pitched hydrated Lallemand Belle Saison. Hopefully will restart. Was depressurizing keg repeatedly this past week, which suggests it was still fermenting in the keg. (Confession: I had it under 10psi in fridge over first weekend, so maybe it was just getting rid of the carbonation rather than fermentation CO2.)

3/22 Airlock bubbles increased from 30 sec to more frequently than 30 sec.

SG 1.027

4/2 SG 1.008 Damn! I think that’s the lowest I’ve ever gotten a beer. Did the extra Belle Saison take it to town or would it have gotten here on its own if I’d have let it be? Tastes good, but some more aging in the keg will help. Honey would be a great addition. C.f. Cerberus Collaboration Saison.

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