Monday, August 9, 2010

Saison De Duas Notas So

Saison season has opened! That's right, we are in the middle of Oregon's mild excuse for a summer (it's currently 63 degrees at 2:30 pm). This would typically warrant only saison homebrewing in many other cities, but here the only difference is the groundwater temp goes up a bit and it's a littler harder to chill the wort properly with your heat exchanger. I was planning on doing another Saison Dupont clone attempt, but when I went to the homebrew store, all they had was $2 an ounce, 2008 crop American Goldings sitting in a refrigerator. No way I am gonna get jacked like that, so I had to come up with a different idea.

Luckily, I had an idea earlier that week to try some Northern Brewer hops in a saison, and they had a good selection of NB from 2009. This is a hop I have hardly used at all, and I want to isolate it by using it as the only hop to try and get a feel for the flavor and aroma potential. I decided to leave everything else very predictable and clean, to really let those hops shine through. So, I went with 100% Pilsner malt and 100% Northern Brewer, and Dupont yeast. If the Northern Brewer proves to be a good hop for this, I might try to substitute some American malts next time to get a real "American" saison.

The name of this recipe comes from a play off an old Samba song called "Samba De Uma Nota So", or "One Note Samba". This is my 2-note saison.

Above: THE MAN, Joao Gilberto!

Saison De Duas Notas So
Recipe is for 7 gallons pre-booil, 6.2 gallons post-boil, all grain
O.G. 1.055 F.G. 1.007 ABV 6.4% IBU's 32

10 lb. Weyermann Pilsner malt

14 gr. Northern Brewer whole 7.8% AA (First Wort Hop)
12 gr. Northern Brewer pellet 9.8% AA 90 min
45 gr. Northern Brewer whole 7.8% AA 0 min

Mash: 4 gallons H2O + 4 gr. gypsum + 4 gr. calcium chloride
Mash in to 128, hold 15 min
Heat to 147 over 10 min, hold 35 min
Heat to 158 over 10 min, hold 10 min
Heat to 170 over 10 min, hold 5 minutes and begin sparging.

Add First Wort Hops to kettle before sparging.
Sparge with 5 gallons H2O at 170, over 40 minutes
Collect 7 gallons at 1.049 = 90% efficiency
(I checked my last runnings which were at about 1.014)

Boil 90 minutes, additions as noted
Wyeast nutrient & Whirlfloc at 10 min
"Topped off" the kettle with some water to 6.2 gallons at the end of the boil.

Whirlpool & rest 15 minutes while setting up heat exchanger.
Ran through plate chiller over 10 minutes, to 76 degrees
oxygen for 60 seconds
Pitched a 1 liter, stirplate starter of Wyeast 3724 Belgian Saison yeast.
Fermentation rose on it's own to 81 over the first 24 hours
Raised to 88 degrees by day 3, left there until day 5, when I lowered the thermostat to 84.

***Racked to secondary after about a week so I could collect the yeast. Kept at above 80 for 6 weeks total, the damn beer was still at 1.020!!!***

Alex from Upright hooked me up with a krausening wort from his fresh hop beer. I pitched about a quart of this into the beer which helped get it going. This was the De Ranke isolate.

Racked to keg on 11/8/10. The sample tastes freakin' awesome. 1.007. I also filled a growler and I am going to bottle condition it. Can't wait to do a tasting of this beer and maybe do a side-by side with keg & the bottle conditioned growler.


danger said...

aside from the step mash, look's good, but now, how's that specific gravity lookin? also, do you really only boil off .8 gallon in 90 minutes? that's crazy. imo, northern brewer is a tasty hop but i've never used it in the tons of saisons i've made. interested in the results.

Seanywonton said...

So, you disapprove of the step mash in a saison, and the gravity is not right? Is it too low or too high for you? Could you please provide a recipe I should use? ; )

I did add a little top-up water at the end of the boil, which I did not mention in the post (I will add this in so I don't confuse anyone). I do this before I chill so the water basically gets pasteurized before I chill.

danger said...

the step mash i think is unnecessary, but whatever. nothing wrong with the gravity, was just curious about where it is at now (how far attenuated) considering you're using 3724.

Seanywonton said...

The gravity is still pretty high, but it usually goes down with patience. I would normally leave it in the primary for at least 2-3 weeks but I needed the yeast, so I racked it after a week. Sitting at 1.040 right now. Damn, that's slow! Keeping it above 84 degrees.

Paul! said...

at this point my beer with dupont yeast took 12 days to get to 1.030.
7 days to get to 1.020
another 7 to get to 1.012
I can see why commercial breweries don't use it much

Seanywonton said...

It can be a drag, but Phil Markowski has a fermentation chart in Farmhouse Ales that is showing he gets it to completion in 3 weeks. I think it has to do with the fact that at Dupont it's a multicultural yeast they are using, whereas the isolates are just that. So I think if a brewery wants to work with this yeast in a timely manner they need to think about how to blend their own culture and keep it fairly stable. Also, I would expect it to work better after repitching it in a few succesive batches.