Wednesday, July 20, 2011


So I wanted something great and refreshing to drink while it was hot out, and since I don't have a way of cooling my fermentation, that means that I need something that ferments hot. Like a saison. So I decided to pull bits and pieces of a few different recipes together and make my own.  

The corn comes from here, to add head retention and mild residual sweetness while retaining a nice, light body (that's what she said), the Special B is for a little bit of maltiness to the grist bill, and the candi sugar is to help it dry out a little and providing some sweet aroma. I chose to use Wyeast 3711 French Saison because of its notoriety for being extremely attenuative and producing bone dry beers. I would have chosen to use 3724, their Belgian Saison that I think is a DuPont strain, except for the fact that it needs like 6 weeks at 90°F to finish...and I have run out of homebrew to drink.

Saison Premiè

Recipe Specs
Batch Size (G): 5.0
Total Grain (lb): 7.750
Total Hops (oz): 2.00
Original Gravity (OG): 1.050 (°P): 12.4
Final Gravity (FG): 1.000 (°P): 0
Alcohol by Volume (ABV): 6.55 %
Colour (SRM): 8.1 (EBC): 16.0
Bitterness (IBU): 32.0 (Tinseth)
Brewhouse Efficiency (%): 70
Boil Time (Minutes): 60

Grain Bill
5.000 lb Liquid Malt Extract - Pilsen (64.52%)
1.000 lb Candi Sugar, Clear (12.9%)
1.000 lb Liquid Malt Extract - Wheat (12.9%)
0.500 lb Flaked Corn (6.45%)
0.250 lb Special-B (3.23%)

Hop Bill
1.00 oz East Kent Golding Pellet (7.2% Alpha) @ 60 Minutes (Boil) (0.2 oz/Gal)
0.50 oz Saaz Pellet (3.6% Alpha) @ 60 Minutes (Boil) (0.1 oz/Gal)
0.50 oz Saaz Pellet (3.6% Alpha) @ 0 Minutes (Aroma) (0.1 oz/Gal)

Wyeast 3711 - French Saison

Boil Details

Boil Volume: 3 gallons
Boil Time: 60 minutes
Whirlpool: 10 minutes

Ferment Details
O.G. : 1.050
Pitch WY3711 at 74°F.
07/17: Fermented at 74°F for 48 hours
07/19: Raise temp to 76°F for 48 hours
07/21: Raise temp to 80°F to let fermentation complete.
07/28: Cool to ~50°F and hold.
07/30: Bottle with ~3.5 oz dextrose.
F.G. : 1.000
Primary length: 11 days

Recipe Generated with BrewMate.

I was really surprised by how vigorous this yeast was. Just like everything I read, it took off really quickly and looked like it was done with fermentation within 48 hours. I pitched a smack pack of this yeast around 18:00 Sunday evening. The next morning when I got up, there was already a ring of krausen around the carboy and a light white foam on the top of the beer. Since there didn't seem to be any violent activity imminent, I went ahead and replaced the foil covering with a 3 piece airlock, which has been bubbling steadily ever since, accompanied by small bubbles on the surface of the beer.

After 11 days, I was pretty sure that this yeast was finished with its business.  I went ahead and cooled as much as I could with my ghetto temperature control (a tupperware bin full of water and ice packs) and held for two days to help settle things out.  This complete, I bottled into cleaned and sanitized bombers using about 3.5 oz dextrose for priming, which should give me around 2.3 volumes of CO2.  The hydrometer sample I took tasted really nice.  It was lightly sweet, very dry, and slightly lemony.  I am very excited to see how this turns out once it's carbonated...which shouldn't be too long, knowing how those Saison yeast eat.
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