Monday, August 25, 2008

Sean and Ray's "session" saison

Wow, it's been a long time since I've added anything to this blog, but yep, I've been brewing. I'll try and go back and add the recipes for the last couple of beers I've done: a flanders red (also with Ray) and an imperial wit.

Ray and I did this brew yesteday on his 10 gallon outdoor setup. It was our second beer on the system and things went a lot smoother. Even with a 95 minute mash and a 90 minute boil, it was under 6 hours from start to finish.

We were going to brew this beer as our entry to the Diamond Bar's homebrew and food pairing competition on Septmber 28th, but now it looks like Ray is going to be out of town that weekend, so maybe I will just do it on my own, with this beer or something else.

Anyway, here is the recipe for a standard gravity saison, should be around 5.5 - 6% ABV. We used the Wyeast 3711 French saison yeast, which is supposedly the Brasserie Theriez yeast. It should attenuate more quickly than the standard Dupont yeast, but so far it doesn't seem to be as complex and enticing of a flavor & aroma. Also, we get a pretty killer price on American hops, so we decided to try Glacier (an American noble-hybrid) for the bittering addition.

Recipe is for 12 gallons post-boil, about 11 in the fermenter, plus almost a full 1-gallon starter was added. Including the starter, the actual O.G. is probably a point lower, and the IBU's might be 3 lower than calculated here.

O.G. 1.052 F.G. 1.006 ABV 6.1% IBU's 29

19.75 lb. Durst pilsner malt
.5 lb. aromatic malt
.75 lb. German sauer malt

58 gr. Glacier pellets 6.1% 60 min
28 gr. Styrian Goldings pellets 1 min
28 gr. East Kent Goldings 0 min

Mash: 7.5 gallons water to 157, mashed in to only 140. We were way low for what we wanted, so we added another half-gallon water to bring the temp up to 147. Altogether it had 15 min at 140 and 80 min at 147.

Sparged with 10 gallons at 170 degrees, collected 13.5 gallons at 1.049. I think this reading may have been slightly off though...might have been more like 1.047.

Boil: 90 min. Hop additions as noted. 1 tab whirlfloc, 1 tsp. wyeast nutrient at 10 min.

Chilled to 71, collected 11 gallons and pitched a 1 gallon starter (1.042 O.G.) of Wyeast 3711.
Fermented in the mid 70's, probably hit 78 at high krausen.

Racked to kegs on 9/7/08.

Final Tasting:
This beer turned out really great. It was one of my best beers in a while. I wouldn't change much, maybe reduce the Sauer malt by half. Didn't really seem necessary for the flavor. It might also be nice to up the finishing hop additions by 25-50%.

I bottled this beer for competition with my new beer gun, but it only got a middling score (low 30's). I didn't do such a great job with my first time on the beer gun and lost most of the carbonation, and that's a pretty big fault in a saison. It really changes the judges' perception of the beer. When I was trying it off the keg, I was thinking it was a 39-40 point beer.

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