Monday, October 6, 2008

"Farmhouse" Saison

I stole this wonderful picture of a saison from some other guy's blog.
Uh...Thanks man.

Me and Ray did this one with Wyeast 3726 Farmhouse, which is the Blaugies strain, I'm pretty sure. The first batch of saison we brewed together went the the Brew & Chew homebrew and food pairing comp at the Diamond, and it did really well. Not to be modest, but it was the best beer there. The second batch of saison, or "grisette" as we are calling it, is going to Brewtopia. But this batch is just for us, minus maybe a few for competitions and trades. We're trying to get the alcohol up to 7+% for a more "brewer's reserve" feel.

The only thing I didn't really like in the first saison was a little too much sour twang from the sauer malt. We just used a little lactic acid addition in this beer to adjust the mash pH and left the sauer malt out.

Recipe is for 12 gallons, 10.5 in the fermentors.
O.G. before dilution with starter 1.064 IBU's 33
O.G. after dilution with starter 1.061 IBU's 30
F.G. 1.006 ABV 7.2%

19 lb. Durst pilsner malt
2 lb. wheat malt
.5 lb. aromatic malt
2 lb. table sugar

26 gr. Millenium pellets 14.9% 60 min
28 gr. Kent Goldings pellets 5.5% 15 min
28 gr. Styrian Goldings pellets 3.5% 0 min
28 gr. Saphir pellets 4% 0 min

7.5 gallons water + 1 ml lactic acid. Mash at 146 for 90 minutes.
Sparge with 8.5 gallons at 175
Collect 13 gallons, added.5 gallons top-up water and the sugar. Pre-boil gravity was 1.058

Boiled 90 minutes, additions as noted.
Whirlfloc at 15 min, 1 tsp Wyeast nutrient at 10 min

Chilled to 68, racked to carboys and aerated by shaking.
Pitched a huge starter: 1 gallon made on a stirplate the day before, threw the whole thing in.
Should effectively reduce the O.G. to 1.061 and IBU's to 30.
Currently fermenting at 72, topped out at around 75.

Racked to keg on 11/7/08, The sample was tasty with a nice tangerine note and some earthyness, but the overall aroma was a little underwhelming IMO.

Here is the finished beer. Need to work on my photography skills!

12/2/08 Tasting:
Aroma: Spicy, some light vanilla malt combining with esters of banana, pear, and apple. Very clean and spicy.

Appearance: Slightly hazy light gold, good head, tight bubbles.

Flavor: Round initial malt with big esters of banana/pear/apple, followed by a light zing of acidity and a dry, spicy finish. Medium bitterness, medium noble hop flavor in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Light, expands in mouth from high carbonation. Dry spicy finish with a touch of warming alcohol.

Overall: Subtle, well crafted and clean, missing that complex fruityness (too much banana), and wild or earthy "rustic" flavor you might expect. Very Drinkable!