French Saison

Over the summer I found myself gravitating towards some low and moderate strength saisons and decided it was a beer I wanted to take a crack at.  I originally wanted to have this beer ready for early fall, but I guess late fall will have to do.  I formulated this recipe to yield a super dry and traditional saison using Sorachi Ace to get some lemony flavors mixed with the peppery esters of the yeast.  I stuck with a very simple grain bill to highlight the yeast and hop flavors which are the real attraction on this one.

OG: 1.056
FG: 1.002
ABV: 7.0%
Mash: 147 (75 min)
Boil: 90 min.

Added: 1.9g Gypsum, 1.5g CaCl to Mash and 1.8g Gypsum & 1.4g CaCl to Sparge water

Water Profile:

Ca: 62.1
Mg: 0.6
Na: 8.3
So4: 76.7
Cl: 60.0
BiCarbonate: 9.7
Mash pH: 5.4

73.% Pilsner Malt
10.3% Wheat Malt
10.3% Rye Malt
2.1% Acid Malt
7 oz Corn Sugar (15 min. Boil)

1.00 oz Tettnanger (4.8%) 60 min.
0.50 oz Sorachi Ace (11.9%) 15 min.
2.50 oz Sorachi Ace (11.9%) 0 min. (10 min. steep before starting to cool)
1.00 oz Sorachi Ace (11.9%) Dry Hop
1.50 oz Amarillo (10.0%) Dry Hop

Wyeast 3711 – French Saison

Yeast on the stir plate for about a day before pitching. Pitched into 68 deg. wort with no cooling or other adjustments being made. Pretty smooth brewday, excited to start drinking on this one in a few weeks.

Well, all the info I read about this yeast was true. This beer finished bone dry at 1.002. I won’t lie, I didn’t really think it would finish THAT low, but it sure did. So much for a normal strength saison as this one is clocking in at 7%. The gravity sample tasted super hoppy and peppery.

Tasting Notes – 12.12.13

Appearance: Cloudy yellow with a white head that lingers about for a few mins. before fading away.

Aroma: Peppery saison esters up front but some citrus and lemon hop notes also come through. Real inviting aroma.

Taste: Lemony citrus hop flavors meet palate first with the peppery saison esters coming next. Crisp and clean. A hint of bitterness remains on the tongue, but just enough to want another sip. There’s some backing grainy malt sweetness tucked away.

Mouthfeel: Medium-high carbonation with medium – low mouthfeel. Nice and dry.

Overall: This beer finished bone dry, but it still has a little bit of body. It drinks crisp and smooth and the 7% is pretty well hidden. The lemony hops and the saison esters are really a great combo (thanks Brooklyn Brewery). I find this one quite enjoyable and this yeast was really easy to work with. There will more saison’s brewed with this strain when the warm weather comes back.


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