Batch 41: Old Lanes traditional saison

Brew Date: Nov 13, 2017 Bottle Date: Dec 10, 2017

Yet another saison.  I’ve been wanting to do a saison style beer in a more historically-accurate manner for a while:  lower gravity, very simple malt bill, and a higher hopping rate using lower-AA hops.  I would like to take it a step further next time with a proper mixed-culture fermentation but for now I’d like to brew it on my clean equipment, so I’m using the Fantome strain WY3725, as I have a jar of it in the fridge.

In the future I’d like to push this further into historical accuracy with a turbid step mash process and mixed culture fermentation, but wanted a clean version as a baseline. Strength is based on what I want for this beer, which may be a little higher than many historical examples.

The details are as follows:

Batch size: 5.50 gals
Mash: 145F for 45 minutes, 155F for 45 minutes
Boil time: 150 minutes

OG: 1.042
FG: 1.001
IBU: 30
ABV: 5.4%

7.50 lbs Floor-malted Bohemian pilsner (100%)

3.5 oz Saaz (2.3% AA) at 60 minutes
1.0 oz Saaz (2.3% AA) at 10 minutes
1.0 oz Saaz (2.3% AA) dry hop 5 days

Fermented at 70F ambient for 28 days

Brew day Notes:

Pretty smooth brew day, but a few glitches: I forgot salt additions in the mash and sparge water, so just added 1 tsp of CaCl to the boil for yeast health. Meant to make a starter to wake up the old jar of yeast (though there was 175-200B cells, at least), but did not so I just let it warm up to room temp and pitched. Also realized I’m out of O2, so aerated by shaking instead. Underestimated the coldness of our tap water right now and cooled all the way to 58F. Let rise for a couple hours, then pitched and put beside the heater. Only raised to 64F after 24 hours, activity started sometime between that and 36 hours.  Next to a heater, it got up to 72F before major airlock activity and remained at that temp throughout fermentation.

Bottled Dec 10 – 4.5 gallons of finished beer collected, primed with 5.7 oz of dextrose (3.2 vols).