Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Funky Saison

So I have decided to play around with a couple of things this time. First, I am trying my hand at reusing yeast, as I saved the French Saison yeast from my last batch. I am doing my very first partial mash. IN ADDITION, I am pitching bottle dregs for the first time. This should be an exciting brew.

To start things off, I tasted my batch of Saison Première from a couple weeks ago. It was a little early, but I had a bottle that was only partially filled, and I wanted to make sure it wouldn't explode on me. Since the Saison yeast took off so quickly, I imagined that the priming sugars were probably mostly consumed by this point, and it could be properly carbonated. I put the bottle in the fridge to chill after 3 days of bottle conditioning, so that it could have overnight to dissolve the CO2 and let the yeast drop out of suspension.

On tasting this bottle, it was immediately apparent that it wasn't ready, because there was a huge hit of yeastiness on the aroma, followed by the same in the flavor. This is fine, because my primary reason for drinking this bottle was to not waste the beer and to not let the bottle explode. I didn't judge this batch on the flavor and aroma I got from this particular bottle, however, it was decent, allowing for the fact that it wasn't ready. At 6.5% ABV, this was a nice, smooth drinking beer. I'm pretty excited for the finished results.

Funky Saison

Recipe Specs
Batch Size (G):           2.75
Total Grain (lb):         4.250
Total Hops (oz):          1.00
Original Gravity (OG):    1.054
Final Gravity (FG):       0.998
Alcohol by Volume (ABV)*:  8.0 %
Colour (SRM):             11.4   (EBC): 22.5
Bitterness (IBU):         35.2   (Tinseth)
Brewhouse Efficiency (%): 70
Boil Time (Minutes):      40

Grain Bill
2.000 lb American 2-Row (47.06%)
2.000 lb Dry Malt Extract - Light (47.06%)
0.250 lb Crystal 120 (5.88%)

Hop Bill
0.50 oz Challenger Pellet (7% Alpha) @ 40 Minutes (Boil) (0.2 oz/Gal)
0.50 oz Challenger Pellet (7% Alpha) @ 20 Minutes (Boil) (0.2 oz/Gal)

Multi-Step Mash (in a bag)
115°F for 15 minutes.
150°F for 30 minutes.
154°F for 10 minutes.

Recipe Generated with BrewMate.

Ferment Plan
Brew day.  Pitched 50mL slurry of second generation Wyeast 3711 - French Saison.

I mashed in a bag, using a warm oven to maintain temp.  For a sparge, I took a gallon of water at 180°F and dipped the bag of grains in, swirling it around to rinse the grains of all their sugary goodness.  I then added the hops and boiled for 40 minutes.  

This didn't go exactly as planned.  I was hoping to mash high at 158°F.  Oh well.  Everything else went really well.

Checked gravity - 1.003.  Not much left for the Brett. to eat, will have to add some complex sugars tomorrow.  Transferred to secondary and pitched Orval dregs (Brettanomyces).

During autosiphoning, created a little too much turbulence and ended up racking more French Saison yeast than I wanted to the secondary container.

*Finally got around to adding maltodextrine.  Boiled 4-5 oz in 3-4 cups water to sanitize, cooled and added to secondary.  At 40 ppg, this should add about 5 gravity points.  I'll add some more to taste, if this doesn't give me enough funk.

Gravity down to 1.000.  Maybe a slight tartness.  Not much funk to speak of; we'll wait another couple weeks and add some more maltodextrine if it doesn't taste much different.

Gravity down to 0.998.  Smells wonderful and complex.  A lot of fruit and tartness in the aroma, but I can't tell if it's made it to the flavor, yet.  Certainly not much of a change if it has, mostly a nice, peppery saison; this has a really nice flavor.  Bottled with ~1/3 cup of table sugar because I need the fermenter for a quick sour brown I'm making for a small contest with some friends in February.

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