Well it’s that time of year again to get a summer saison flowing from the kegerator. My previous 4 versions have all been solid beers but I’ve always felt they just missed the mark a little bit. Last year I even tried out the Dupont strain but it got stuck at 1.025 and I needed to pitch a pack of French Saison to dry it out enough. I’ve previously used French Saison (2x) and their Farmhouse ale strains from Wyeast. The Farmhouse strain had a great ester character and was just what I was looking for however the attenuation wasn’t the best (79%). This years batch I used a similar strain to the Wyeast Farmhouse Ale in Imperial’s Rustic. The yeast was pretty old so I made a starter to get the cell count up. It fermented the started with no problem and was ready to go. The malt bill was similar to other saison’s I’ve done in the past. Mostly pilsner malt with little bit of vienna and rye. I did up the amount of sugar to get a drier finish. I dialed back the hops for this one and used Mt. Hood and Sterlings.
Mash: 147 (60 min.)
Boil: 60 min.
Mash pH: 5.4
48.8% Briess Pilsen Malt
19.5% Briess Goldpils Vienna Malt
14.6% Rye Malt
14.6% Dextrose (added in boil)
2.4% Acid Malt
10g Nugget – 60 min.
1.50 oz Mt. Hood – 5 min.
2.00 oz Sterling – 0 min.
Imperial B56 – Rustic
Pitched yeast at 70 degrees and allowed to free rise up to 77 and set controller there for a range of 76 – 78. Took about a day and a half to reach 77. Fermentation started off pretty quickly as it looked like the starter was still fermenting slightly. Fermentation appeared done after just 3 days or so.
Kegged on 5/29 and finished super dry at 1.003. I was hoping to dry this one out with the low mash temperature and 15% corn sugar and mission accomplished. This is attenuation I’ve only had before with French Saison strain. The gravity sample smelled amazing with the complex ester profile I was looking for.
Tasting notes – 8.4.17
Aroma: wonderful aroma of peppery/bubblegum esters, no hops.
Appearance: Hazy golden with a good white head that lingers away fairly quickly.
Taste: Complex ester notes up front, grainy malt notes come in next and finished with a dry, spiciness (I’m guessing from the rye). Hops balance things out but no discernible flavors are noticeable.
Mouthfeel: Medium low with medium plus carbonation.
Overall: Love this beer! 5th time was the charm as this one is dialed in to right where I like it. Amazing ester profile and rye really compliments this. Hops just balance things out but this beer is all about the yeast and rye. The super dry finish really makes this easy to drink and a really nice summer beer. This one will be coming back next summer in a very similar form. Cheers.