Batch 51: Aurea

Brewed: Jan 19, 2019
Bottled: Feb 3, 2019

This is my first batch of the bière de miel I have given the name ‘Aurea’, but it has been a long time in the making. I’ve spent a lot of hours thinking about what has ended up being a very simple beer on the surface. The idea behind this beer is to showcase the honey addition in a significant way, so there is a significant amount of honey added, and the rest of the recipe is designed to support rather than overshadow the honey’s delicate flavours. Malted wheat and flaked oats are used in place of my typically favoured raw or flaked wheat to offer a little more perceived sweetness to balance the extremely dry finish and light body expected from all that honey. Water additions are kept minimal and balanced.

Target OG: 1.052 (Theoretical)
Target FG: 1.000
IBU: 25
ABV: 7%

Brewing on my Grainfather system (~73% BHE)
19L batch size (24.5L pre boil, 21L post boil targets)

Water adjustments:
2g CaCl
2g Gypsum

Mash schedule:
Dough in 131F for 15 min
Raise to 153F for 20 min
Raise to 161F for 20 min
Mash out, sparge at 170F

Boil 90 minutes


45% Bohemian Pilsner malt [1.60 kg]
15% Malted wheat [0.60 kg]
5% Munich II [0.20 kg]
5% Flaked oats [0.20 kg]
5% Cranberry blossom honey @ flameout [0.20 kg]
30% Cranberry blossom honey @ 72 hours [1.20 kg]


20 AAU of German Tradition at 60 min
5 AAU of Saaz at 15 min


Escarpment Labs ‘Old World Saison blend’ 180B cell pack
Pitched at 72F, free rise and hold at 78F 72 hrs

Brew Day Notes:

Brewed on the Grainfather, fermented in the 7-gal Brew Bucket and first time using the FTSs temp control setup.

Mashed in with 15L @ 131F at 11:40am. Since the mash needed to be thin to avoid pump cavitation, added 4 mL of 88% lactic acid to adjust pH. Still not great pumping and the drain pipe was a bit too tall; better to use 16L as a minimum. The mash temp reading was all over the place once I raised set point to 153F – spiked to 158, then dropped to 144 when I switched from the 1500W to the 500W element. back up to 158 again when I switched back – I think the lower water volume and lack of fluidity of the mash was leaving the probe out of the water, possibly. Settled in on the 500W element after a bit more time.

Gravity check at one week, down to 1.004 despite having added honey just a few days prior. Taste is promising, the saison yeast character is good and there is a noticeable young mead-like flavour which should hopefully round out. I realized I forgot to add nutrient when I added the post-fermentation honey, which was a pretty poor error to make, but I’m hoping the yeast was healthy enough at this time that I got away with it.