Saturday, July 23, 2011

Farmhouse Saison is Finished!

I finally got to pride myself after the first sip of my Farmhouse Saison. That's right I cracked one bottle open today just a week and a half after bottling them. The first pour was tremendously carbonated which is definitely not a bad thing since saisons are suppose to be highly carbonated beers. The flavor was incredible! Lots of great fruity flavors come through at the nose with a VERY dry finish. Some of the fruity flavors I do get from this are alot of Pear and some slight bubblegum type flavors are present. I can definitely taste the German influence from the grains I used in this one. Even my wife really enjoyed this one. I dont have my book in front of me right now but I believe it finished right around 6% ABV. This is a GREAT beer for the summer! Cheers

Friday, July 15, 2011

'Tis the season for Saison

The title says it all in this one. I recently just made a Saison or to some a Farmhouse Ale which was actually my first time making one. The high temps complement this styles yeast just wonderfully. I ended up going with Wyeast's 3724 Begian Saison strain. Which when I was building this recipe and started brewing it up I actually didn't do enough research to know of its well...lets say interesting reputation.
"This strain is notorious for a rapid and vigorous start to fermentation, only to stick around 1.035 S.G. Fermentation will finish, given time and warm temperatures. "

Carboy with warming blanket
Straight from Wyeast's own descripion of the yeast strain it is true! It generally hangs around 1.030 or so then picks back up. So, if anyone out there goes to use this bad boy of a yeast strain make sure its hot out and I mean hot! It generally likes temps in the low 90s. Wyeast says it works best in the ranges of 70-95 degrees. Thats a pretty big range but I would primarily try to keep it in the high 80's to low 90's for the first few weeks if you can. Temperature control is a real pain for most home brewers mostly trying to keep it at a very precise temperature. I use the common methods of temp control like the old swamp cooler method. Thats just keeping a cooler filled with water and changing out bottles of ice packs/ frozen bottles with the fermentation carboy inside. Others also use a towel and a fan as well. Wyeast 3724 likes it hot! So I did just that. I kept it hot by fermenting the saison in a warming blanket. It actually only took about 3 weeks for complete fermentation. Sometimes it can take up to several weeks from what I have heard.

I will share my Farmhouse Saison recipe for a 2.5 gallon batch:

Grains in the Mash tun
  • 4.5 lbs of German 2-Row
  • 1 lb Vienna
  • 5 oz honey Malt
  • 6 oz Belgian Aromatic malt
  • @ 60 min .6oz Spalt
  • @ 10 min .2 oz spalt and .3oz Perle
  • @ 5 min 2 tablespoons of crushed coriander
  • @ 0 min 1 tsp Irish Moss
  • Wyeast 3724 Belgian Saison
There it is. I mash in at 148 degrees for 60 minutes and batch sparge at 170 degrees. I do use 1.5 quarts of water per a pound of grain. Just bottled them on July 11th using 2.5 ounces of priming sugar. The OG was 1.050 and ended at FG 1.014.

Fermentation taking off
This should come out really nice and I cannot wait to share it with family and friends. Especially with the summer heat still among us. I hope all my fellow home brewers enjoy this summer with a beautiful hand-crafted Saison like myself because 'tis the season for Saison.