Brewing Saisons

Sounds great. I am excited, as always when it comes to brewing something new :slight_smile:

I’ll plan to mash a little low and a little longer to make it extra dry. I’ve seen recipes where people just add candi sugar to the boil to add the dryness, but I figure I’ll skip that and just make my wort a little more fermentable from the start. Will probably use all Saaz for bittering and some at flameout.

@Pietro, I’ve been seeing more and more recommendations to start fermentation with Dupont, and to finish with 3711 to bring it down quickly with max attenuation. What do you think of this approach? Sounds like it might work, with the Dupont giving you some of its character at the start of fermentation…

Have a saison on tap now 60% Belgian pills 30% Belgian Munich and 10% Belgian wheat. Styrian Golding hops. I used belle saison after a jar off 3711 failed. The 3711 is definitely my favorite… I ramp the temps up by the end of the first week I get it around 80 for four of five days and then reverse the temps and drop it back down. That’s just what I do.

Right, that always seemed to be the thinking, that you had to use another yeast to finish it off. In fact, I remember hearing a podcast circa 2011 when Chris White indicated that 565 is MEANT to be used in conjunction with a brewery’s house yeast!

I think that would work, but given the somewhat new information that 565 is essentially a wine yeast, and needs to be treated accordingly, and recommendations from Denny/Drew Beechum on depressurizing the ferment, blending yeast does not seem to be necessary. Dupont will chew through what you give it, but no pressure is in the headspace seems to be the key, or else it will give up in the low 1.030’s.

Said simply, the fine brewers at Dupont use one yeast. If we treat it right, we can too!

[quote=“porkchop”]Brett Trois is actually a saccharomyces yeast, so you can use it in a primary fermentation just like any other sacch yeast. You should be good to go for August! Just build up a big starter, as White Labs vials have very low cell counts for brett, and until recently they packaged Trois as if it were a brett strain intended for secondary pitch.

Actually, any variety of brettanomyces can be used for primary fermentation in a similar timeline to sacch, and it performs and attenuates almost identically. Where a sacch yeast might take 2 weeks to ferment, brett will take maybe 3 weeks, and most of that is due to increased lag time. What takes a long time is using it in secondary, as the by-products from a sacch fermentation are slowly metabolized by the brett to create the classic funk flavors.[/quote]

Which brett strain would you recommend for a primary in my split batch? I don’t know much about brett, and have no idea which strain might work nice for primary fermentation of a Saison.

Would you still do a starter for only 3 gallons?

Definitely want a starter for a 3-gallon primary. The brett vials are set up for a secondary pitch, so the cell count is incredibly low, especially on white labs vials.

Are you looking for fruit or funk in your saison? Brett-C is pretty neutral and stays on the fruitier side of things, whereas brett-b is more horsey/barnyard. Orval has strong brett-b character. Brettanomyces lambicus is probably more in the middle, maybe a little more on the fruitier side. There are some other single-strains from ECY, but I don’t know much about them. White labs also just released their brett trois vrai strain - don’t know much about it, but I understand it’s on the fruity side as well.

Well I just updated BS on my phone with the new BJCP standards. Reading through their guidelines for Saison: “Brettanomyces is not typical for this style; Saisons with Brett should be entered in the American Wild Ale category.”

Ok, that’s cool and all.

Listed examples of the style - Boulevard Tank 7 Farmhouse Ale. Umm… yeah. Fail.

Love the brett character they get in Tank 7, though! Fantastic beer.

Going to resurrect this thread. Have a ‘standard’ saison on tap right now, actually made from German pils wort fermented with 565 (depressurized). It is solid, good subtle pepper and citrus, and even though it finished at around 80% apparent attenuation, I still want it drier.

Comparatively, I had the last 750ml of my “brett” saison (made with Brett Trois/Sacc Trois about a year ago) next to it with a peanut sauce/thai-rubbed pork tenderloin and there was no comparison. The “Brett” beer was so dry and awesome, and it retained so much character even after a year and frankly got better (maybe even though trois is a sacc yeast, it still scavenges oxygen like a brett).

Going to experiment with more farmhouse beers with this stuff. So good.

Tank 7 doesn’t have a brett character. Boulevard Saison Brett, of course, does-- but not Tank 7.

That’s interesting - looking at it, you’re right, it’s not supposed to have brett. I had a bottle this summer, though, that had an unmistakable brett character to it - contaminated bottle, perhaps? Either way, it was fantastic.

@pietro, what kind of attenuation did you get out of 644? I haven’t had it finish below around 1.008. My next attempt, I think I’m going to pitch 644 slurry on a pils/wheat grist with TYB Beersel blend. Just bottled one recently, and that brett blend was pretty close to mind-blowing. Can’t wait to try it carbonated!

IIRC it was around 1.060, down to around 1.004, so low 90%'s. I had read though that 100% brett fermentations (at the time, the world and I thought trois was a brett) required lager-sized pitches. So I grew up the smaller amount of cells given in a vial (I want to say through at least 2 stepped starters) to a pretty big pitch for a relatively small beer.

Here’s what I’m struggling with - a pils-based beer fermented with 644 or brettanomyces is an awesome beer, and it’s what I’m finding myself brewing more and more often, but why would it still be a saison? Should we be calling this more of a pale ale? I know, semantics.

Listen, I am definitely an advocate of beer styles in general. They help people (drinkers and brewers) know what they are talking about. But there are a few styles, especially saison, where the guidelines can often do more harm than good.

It is kind of frustrating that the UPDATES to the guidelines fail to mention that one of the best ways to produce the characteristics described in the guidelines…IS WITH A 100% BRETT FERMENTATION! I am assuming they are referring to the horse-blanket, barnyard (two of the worst flavor descriptors ever…I kind of wish they would just go away) characteristics of SECONDARY brett fermentations. Frankly, I love brett beers and wild ales, but hope I never have to taste a barnyard or a horse blanket in my beer.

I think you are safe calling it a farmhouse ale. Take a page from Stillwater or Crooked Stave :smile:

Yeah, good luck finding a bottle of Fantome that falls within the description. I’m not even sure what a “grainy, rustic quality” is. Wait… maybe I’m doing it all wrong. Should I be using Briess 2-row in these beers instead of continental pils??