Brewing Saison, but I have questions...

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Miguel Ruelas
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Brewing Saison, but I have questions...

Postby Miguel Ruelas » Mon Nov 12, 2012 8:18 pm

As I mentioned to Mark and Josh at last weeks monthly gathering, I'm looking at brewing a saison this weekend. I'm working with a blonde ale extract kit and some liquid saison yeast. I'm also wanting at adding some candied quince, probably in the secondary (time permitting) but that might change.

This is only my third brew, so I'm still wet behind the ears. My goal is to have this beer ready to hand out for the upcoming birth of my son around Christmas time instead of the traditional cigars (due date is Dec. 26). I'm looking for advice to make this a successful brew and ready to drink by then. Don't worry, I'll save some for the following CVBG gathering. :D

My main concern is that saison yeast slows down during fermentation so I'd like to know when to add the more/other yeast. I've heard that finishing with a champagne yeast will work, but want to hear some more suggestions as far as different yeast strains and when to add the fruit. The beer will be bottled which so that should also be taken in account time wise.

Looking forward to the feedback,

Miguel

Peter Munoz
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Re: Brewing Saison, but I have questions...

Postby Peter Munoz » Fri Nov 16, 2012 4:43 pm

While I love the idea of a nice bottle of homebrew over a cigar..You might be pushing the timeline for a Saison.
Saisons done right can be fairly tricky. Some homebrewers dedicate a lot of time to get one right but If your looking to get a beer thats close enough heres some tips.
A blond ale kit will be just fine as a base. Brew as is and pitch a good starter. Start fermentation at about 65 deg and slowly ramp to 68 over 2days give another shake to arrate again after second day . Saison yeast needs it.. At that point you can add in 1/2 lb of cane or corn sugar or your fruit . About two tablespoons a day feeding the yeast and slowly ramp the temp up to 78 to 80 over the course of a week. Hold it at temp till complete. If your starting gravity is in the 1.055 to 1.06 range you want it to drop to 1.01 or below. 1.006 proper Saisons should finish bone dry.
Remember as fruit by nature is sour when you strip away the sugar. If you havnt played with fruit yet do some research on it first. Some fruits dont come thru as well as expected and can leave quite an undesirable haze.
If your yeast poops out at about 1.015 to 1.02 thats pretty common. You can hold temp or pitch a rolling starter of some cal ale yeast. Again if you want a saison it has to be dry.
Getting a yeast like this to perform in the fall/ winter can be a challenge. If your looking for a fruit beer Id stick with the Cal ale yeast or if you want some belgian character Id go with the WY 3787 or WL 530 Trappist ale. Its a workhorse for belgian ales.
I will ask some of my Saison brewing friends to see if one can be done within a month.

Peter Munoz
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Re: Brewing Saison, but I have questions...

Postby Peter Munoz » Sun Nov 18, 2012 11:36 am

Last night I sent a message to Kim Wood . She said it can be done with proper temp management but she prefers to serve hers with some age to them

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Miguel Ruelas
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Re: Brewing Saison, but I have questions...

Postby Miguel Ruelas » Mon Nov 19, 2012 11:43 pm

After some delays, I'll finally be brewing tomorrow. After speaking with the gentlemen at Barley & Wine, they recommended I use the Safbrew S-33 dry yeast for that Belgian flavor and because it's not as temperature sensitive as the 3724. While not a saison, they said it should finish in time. Considering my current schedule, babysitting a saison isn't really feasible right now. I'll likely save that yeast for the winter break from school. BTW thanks for the help!

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Mark Ranes
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Re: Brewing Saison, but I have questions...

Postby Mark Ranes » Tue Nov 20, 2012 10:35 pm

Good luck, Miguel! Let us know how your brew day, and the beer turn out:)

Mark
Eat, drink, and be merry. For tomorrow we die. ~Dave Matthews~


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