Batch 29: Autumn Saison

Brewed: Dec 3, 2016
Bottled: Dec 26, 2016
OG: 1.060   FG: 1.002
IBU: 40


Today was supposed to be my Grodziskie brew day, but the oak smoked wheat did not show up when it was supposed to, so I bought the grist I had in mind for a third attempt at a biere de garde instead. The second batch of biere de garde turned out quite well, and was actually well received at a BJCP training session on the style, but I wanted to try a version with a higher proportion of pilsner malt and just a small amount of very dark malt to see how that compares.

However, not finding the yeast I wanted easily and the fact I was going to be bottling two beers at the same time made me realize it would be efficient and economical to use one (or a mix) of the yeast cakes. I decided to go with the WYeast 3711 cake, as WLP550 is showing different esters than I’m looking for. I looked at the grist I had bought and realized it should make a pretty good, slightly darker and maltier saison base.  It was designed to be dry and toasty rather than caramel or fruity, so it should work well.  I added some dextrose to further dry it out and allow me to brew a slightly larger batch size than I planned with the biere de garde.

The recipe is as follows, for a 3.3 gallon batch (approx 72% efficiency):

5.04 lb Bohemian Pilsner malt  batch29-1
1.05 lb Munich 10L malt
0.56 lb  Flaked wheat
0.35 lb  Dextrose
0.06 lb  Victory malt
0.05 lb  Carafa II (de-husked)

0.5 oz Apollo (13.6% AA) at 90 minutes (~37 IBU)
1.0 oz Styrian Goldings (3.9% AA) at 10 minutes (~5 IBU)

Fermented with WY3711 (pitched onto fresh yeast cake from table saison brew) at 65-67F ambient to try to keep things cool, though with the knowledge that 3711 will give similar character regardless.


Tasting Notes: 

Dec 26, 2016 – Bottled. Checked FG from the bottling bucket and even with the priming sugar it read 1.002. 3711 sure is a beast. Tastes good – bitterness is assertive enough to balance the darker malts without overpowering.

Jan 8, 2017 – First bottle.  Carb is about right. Both aroma and taste is very bready with plummy fruit flavours as well. The spice from the French saison yeast is there but not as dominant as in more pale recipes. Bit heavy on the back end but I think that’s likely due to the beer’s youth at this point. Looking forward to seeing how this ages.

June 19, 2017 – This beer developed nicely, not particularly interesting but very dry, and the malt character is pleasantly bready with a little bit of red fruit peeking through. While the use of WY3711 definitely balanced the malt with great dryness, it also limited the expression of the beer.