Okay, saison round 2! The temperatures are steadily rising so I’ve begun switching gears towards styles that can handle a little bit higher of a fermentation temperature. I brewed a simple saison last year inspired by Brooklyn Brewery’s Sorachi Ace and it turned out really well. I really love how easy the French Saison strain from Wyeast is to work with and the ester profile is really nice. I’m starting out with a lower gravity than last time since this strain ferments down super low (was at 1.002 last time). I switched up the grist a bit with what I had on hand and threw in some hops that needed to get used up and ones I thought would work at well in a saison. I really wanted to use the Pacific Jade since it gives a little bit of pepper and some fruit, much like the yeast strain gives in esters.
Mash: 149 (65 min)
Boil: 90 min.
Added: 2.1g Gypsum, 1.9g CaCl to Mash and 2.1g Gypsum & 1.9g CaCl to Sparge water
Mash pH: 5.4
62.8% Pilsner Malt (Malteries Franco-Belges)
20.9% Wheat Malt
14% Vienna Malt
2.3% Acid Malt
0.25 oz Pacific Jade (13.7%) 60 min.
0.50 oz Pacific Jade (13.7%) 10 min.
0.75 oz Belma (11.3%) 5 min.
1.25 oz Pacific Jade (13.7%) 0 min.
1.50 oz Belma (11.3%) 0 min.
1.75 oz Pacifica (4.9%) 0 min.
Wyeast 3711 French Saison
Made a 1l starter the day before and pitched at 75 degrees. Brought temp down to 72 after fermentation begun. The last time I used this yeast I fermented on the lower end (68 -70) so this time I’m planning on running the fermentation temperature a little closer to the high end of 77. It will be interesting to see if the ester profile is any different with a few extra degrees of a fermentation temperature.
Kegged on 7.29 and finished out at 1.002. 96% attenuation (again). I guess a low mash temp or adding dextrose doesn’t have much affect on how far this strain will ferment down.
Tasting notes – 8.20.14
Appearance: Hazy golden with some yeast haze. Foamy white head lingers for a bit before fading away.
Aroma: Peppery esters hit first with a little bit fruitiness that follows. Very phenolic and aromatic.
Taste: Graininess is the first flavor then some fruitiness comes in next, like a real dialed back citrus note. Hard to pick the fruit exactly, but definitely not tropical. Next is some peppery esters that round out the taste and leave the tongue with an earthy note. The pepper ester profile is an underlying flavor the whole time, just tucked more in the back until the end.
Mouthfeel: Silky mouthfeel, Medium-high carbonation.
Overall: I like this saison much better than the previous version. The hops are a little more toned down, but do compliment the fruit component of the ester profile nicely but still allow the peppery flavors to shine through. A more well round saison overall. Still a tad strong for my liking but is a really enjoyable pint on a warm evening. It’s amazing the mouthfeel that it has with being so dry.