Saison recipe critique / insight / criticism / opinions / etc

Discussion in 'Brewing & Beer Knowledge' started by TomTwanks, Nov 3, 2014.

  1. ncaudle

    ncaudle

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2013
    Location:
    Virginia
    what was your gravity when you pitched the brett?
     
  2. axeman9182

    axeman9182

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2013
    That's a good question actually. Starting gravity for the beer was around 1.050, and I actually pitched the brett two days into fermentation as I hadn't received it from the homebrew store in time for brewday.
     
  3. Snarf

    Snarf

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2013
    Did you make a starter for the brett? The white lab brett is pitiful as far as cell count goes.
     
  4. axeman9182

    axeman9182

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2013
    Ah, didn't know that. I did not. I guess I'll give it some more time.
     
  5. TomTwanks

    TomTwanks

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2013
    Location:
    Cleveland, OH
    Thanks for all the tips gents. My revised plan/bill is

    70% pilsner
    30% wheat
    hopped to mid 20s
    pitch 3726 in primary, move to secondary after a month
    add dregs of several bretty/sour beers to secondary along with .5-1.0 oz of medium toast, boiled and wine soaked oak cubes
    medium dry hop 10 days prior to kegging

    Thanks folks! Will report back when everything is said and done.
     
  6. drgarage

    drgarage

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2013
    Location:
    Fran Sanfrisfro!
    Stop trying to be so controlled! You Will never make a good farmhouse beer I such. Controlled fashion.
     
    lopejuice likes this.
  7. drgarage

    drgarage

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2013
    Location:
    Fran Sanfrisfro!
    Thanks autocorrect, I sound like danyP.
     
    mojo, sliverx, fletch and 6 others like this.
  8. TomTwanks

    TomTwanks

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2013
    Location:
    Cleveland, OH
    Define controlled. Just looking for advice from people with my experience than myself, especially with wild yeast.
     
  9. drgarage

    drgarage

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2013
    Location:
    Fran Sanfrisfro!
    Farmhouse beers need to be a little looser. Toss in some dregs in primary. Vomit into your secondary. Do something to create surprise. Wild beers made like clean beers taste like it.
     
    Five28 hz likes this.
  10. Skittle34

    Skittle34

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2013
    Location:
    Northampton, MA
    ISO: Vom-saison FT: Mud-butt porter
     
  11. Snarf

    Snarf

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2013
    [​IMG]
     
    drgarage, JulianB and axeman9182 like this.
  12. Thorpe429

    Thorpe429

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2013
    Location:
    Lombard, Illinois
    Making it to this thread way late, adding some thoughts on earlier posts and some advice below.

    Agree with everything, oak maybe a bit on the low end if you're not planning on going for more than 4 weeks or so. Liked for the fact that 3711 is garbage.

    HF has never bottled using only the saison/Brett combo. Shaun told me about a year and a half ago that the saisons were bottled with a neutral ale yeast.

    If 60*F ambient is your only option, there are some saison yeasts that will work better, especially paired with Brett. I've come to let my saisons work with the seasons in my basement/garage, and I've had great success with low temperature saisons mixing The Yeast Bay Wallonian Farmhouse and plenty of Brett (more on that at the end of the post).

    So long as it's with Brett, I think you can have good results, especially as the actual temperature of the ferment will probably be closer to 63-65*F. The caveat, discussed more below, is that when doing a healthy Brett pitch along with the saison yeast, you're going to get a much more fruity/ester-heavy saison, which isn't ideal if you prefer saisons that are on the phenolic side. I don't like the phenols in beers like Hennepin and vastly prefer the fruitiness of Fantôme, so this works for me.

    I pitch Sacch. plus Brett in the primary and usually also use spent oak cubes and/or scratched buckets that have Brett and LAB. I generally just do 4 weeks with this and then bottle/keg.

    When I first saw the post, I thought you were intentionally channeling danyP, and doing a good job of it :D

    ______________

    General Saison Thoughts:

    A lot of this depends on what you're going for, as it's a wide-ranging "style" and people certainly have different goals. If you're shooting for something that's more funky, spicy, and phenolic, I'd recommend just going with Sacch. in the primary, letting it get down quite low, and then add dregs/Brett in secondary or at bottling. Nearly any saison strain should work for that, though as others have, I would recommend the Blaugies strain (3726).

    If you prefer saisons that are fruitier with some tartness, I'd go with something along the lines of The Yeast Bay Wallonian Farmhouse or ECY08 (Saison Blend). I would then also pitch this alongside a healthy dose of Brett that tends to be fruity-heavy in primary before it starts working on the Sacch.-created compounds. Here, best bets in my opinion are Brett C and Brett Trois. I use both. You could then also go with some fruitier American hops at flameout or for dry-hopping. Think IPA hops, just only use a third or a half of what you'd use for a bigger IPA.

    In terms of fermentation temperature, I've honestly had success anywhere from the low 60s to the upper 70s when going with a fruitier strain paired with Brett, with fermentations taking about 2 weeks at the upper end of the range, and more toward 4 weeks at the lower end. However, the flavor profiles aren't that noticeably different.

    A few other things you may or may not want to consider:
    • If you want the resulting beer to be more ester heavy, go with a little bit less oxygen (I use 30 seconds of pure O2 per 5 gallons, as opposed to the general recommendation of 45-60 seconds.)
    • If you're looking for more acidity and/or funk, I recommend doing a cleaner saison with just Sacch. and Brett, and then always keep on hand some base blonde wild for blending (even half a gallon of that in 5 gallons of beer without lactic acid banter will make a noticeable difference).
    • I always use double the recommended rate of yeast nutrient per the recommendation in Farmhouse Ales. I don't know if it really makes a difference, but it's not hurting anything and the stuff isn't expensive.
    • If you're messing with water profiles, a lot of people recommend heavier sulfate additions in saisons. I really don't like this. The finishing gravity is low enough to make it dry, and 25-30 IBUs will give it a nice bitter edge. I favor keeping chloride and sulfate roughly the same, aiming for 75-100ppm.
    • If you're dealing with pH, keeping the mash pH down in the range of 5.2-5.4 (room temperature) really helps smooth things out.
    • For the malt profile, as others have stated, it's always nice to get at least 10-20% wheat, spelt, oats, rye, flaked corn, etc. in there for some additional mouthfeel. 5-10% of something like Vienna is nice as well if you want to have a bit more ready flavor. With Munich, you can go higher, maybe around 20%.
    Best of luck!
     
  13. FTowne

    FTowne

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2013
    Location:
    Home
    Bump.

    Any updates, Tom?

    My first "saison" that I brewed I pretty much threw the kitchen sink at it as far as dregs go. Fantome, JP, CS, and something else that I can't recall. It's very tart and acidic. Not bad by any means, but it's not a saison. More like a wild ale.

    Second attempt I only used a pack of Belle saison yeast (dry). I let the temp go naturally for the first few days, then I cranked it up to the mid 80's for 7-10 days (I'm terrible at keeping notes). This was also hopped with citra and the results were very nice if you like a bright, fruity profile. Not much black pepper or esters that I'm picking up.

    My third attempt is sitting in a carboy at the moment. Used Belle saison yeast and galaxy hops. I've been dumping Fantome saison dregs in the carboy whenever I finish a bottle. It's sitting in my kitchen where the temp varies from 65-72 degrees.
     
    Beerontwowheels and Thorpe429 like this.
  14. ncaudle

    ncaudle

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2013
    Location:
    Virginia
    what makes you think any of those things are not indicative of a saison?
    what is a saison?
    ;)
     
    drgarage and FTowne like this.
  15. FTowne

    FTowne

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2013
    Location:
    Home
    The first batch I was talking about with the Frankenstein dregs is way more acidic than anything I've had that's labeled as a saison.

    The second batch which is nice and fruity still tastes like a saison.

    Happy with the way both of them turned out, just for different reasons. :cool:

    I'm just happy that I've had a decent success rate so far without following any tried and true recipes.
     
  16. ncaudle

    ncaudle

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2013
    Location:
    Virginia
    [​IMG]

    saisons can be acidic/tart
    saisons can be spicy
    saisons can be dry
    saisons can be bubblegummy
    saisons can be earthy
    saisons can be funky
    saisons can be fruity
    saisons can be hoppy
    saisons can be any permutation of the above
    saisons can be none of the above

    saison is not a style
     
    Five28 hz, FTowne and doobiegoobie like this.
  17. Thorpe429

    Thorpe429

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2013
    Location:
    Lombard, Illinois
    Almost all the way :) Saisons MUST be dry. That's really about it. I'd say yeast-forward too. Otherwise, I don't have any constraints.
     
  18. drgarage

    drgarage

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2013
    Location:
    Fran Sanfrisfro!
    Minimum of a saison strain and/or brett, too. And not that troi pretender stuff.

    ...

    Hot fermentation?
     
  19. axeman9182

    axeman9182

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2013
    I want to do a saison soon. Might get real simple with it and do Pils + 3726 + Saaz.
     
    FTowne likes this.
  20. Thorpe429

    Thorpe429

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2013
    Location:
    Lombard, Illinois
    I left that out since I think you can get a pretty good saison with other Belgian yeasts, so maybe just Belgian yeast and/or Brett as the requirement.

    I'd say definitely not on hot fermentation as fruitier strains (e.g., YB Wallonian) paired with Brett work damn well in the 60s.
     
    ncaudle, drgarage and FTowne like this.