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.


  1. Make sure to post how it turns out.

    Also if you want to experiment a bit, Dry-hopping worked well with this style and so did adding Ancho Chiles

  2. Thanks for the tips. I love chiles, so adding anchos to this might be right up my alley.


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