I want to do a Hennepin clone and the recipe from The Replicator shows 1oz dried ginger and 1 oz dried orange peel. I’ve always held a belief that fresh is better, so what does 1oz of dried spice like ginger and orange peel translate to when fresh?
Go fresh. Ommegang probably uses dried for cost reasons, but one of the great things about homebrewing is that ingredient costs aren’t nearly as relevant/critical in recipe development at our volume levels.
It may not be exactly like Hennepin, but it will be a better beer.
I would almost cut volume/amount of the spices in half though, particularly when using fresh herbs/spices. Depending on how you like your saisons, I like mine bone dry with hints of all the spice. THAT comes from the yeast and careful manipulation of ferment temps, not actual spice additions.
I was dumb-lucky enough to get to judge saisons with Dave Houseman (Grand Master judge, contributes to “Calibration” column in Zymurgy and is generally regarded as the man), and I felt extra cool when he agreed with my statement that with Belgian beer styles in general, in particular saisons, subtle is better.
Generally I do keep the spices to the more moderate side. Usually no more than 1 ounce TOTAL of varying combinations of fresh ginger/white pepper/coriander/cumin seed with fresh peel from a smallish naval orange. Sometimes I don’t use any spice at all. And yes I always use an appropriate yeast (favorite is Wyeast 3726 Farmhouse, but 3711 when that’s not available) fermented at 80-82F.
I have found that when young (a month or less old) the ginger and pepper are very pronounced but mellow well as it ages. 3-6 months is prime, IMO. I have 3 saisons in the bottle right now that I plan to enter at least 2 of in Carolina Brewmaster’s US Open in May.
I’ll just go with my standard 1/2oz fresh ginger and peel from a smallish naval for the Hennepin clone.