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Farmhouse Biere de Table Pointers

Hello Everyone,

I’ll be brewing up NB’s Farmhouse Biere de Table recipe next weekend and have a laundry list of questions.

The recipe calls for:

8 lb Belgian Pilsner
.5 lb Gambrinus Honey Malt

1 oz. Tradition (First Wort)

Wyeast 3725 Bier de Garde

OG 1.043

I plan on doing two weeks primary, possibly 2 weeks secondary (if I clarify) & then 4 weeks in the bottle

  1. Under which style category would this recipe be categorized?

  2. Would this beer be considered a soft water beer?

  3. Would this recipe benefit from a 90 minute boil?

  4. … on that same topic, what are the ground rules for deciding when a 90 minute boil is beneficial? I’m guessing it has to do with malt selection?

  5. What sort of temperature schedule would be beneficial for fermentation? I’ve seen posts that suggest holding in the mid-60’s and then letting the temps rise freely after a couple of days?

  6. Would clarifying this beer be appropriate?

  7. To what level (vols. of CO2) should this beer be carbonated?

  8. Any other best practice advice?

Thanks in advance for any help!

Since its a light colored beer, soft water would be best. Since you are using pilsner malt, a 90 min boil would be best.

It depends on what you are looking for in your final beer, for more belgian related flavors, ferment warmer.

I would pitch in the mid 60’s and let it free rise.

Once again, clarification of the beer would be up to you. Much of the yeast will settle out in the timeframe you are proposing so it should be pretty clear in the bottle anyway.

Thanks, onthekeg - this weekend will be my first time around with this kind of beer and I appreciate your help.

I’m planning to make this beer for the first time this weekend also, so thanks for the post and for the replies. From what I have read, a 90 minute boil is warrented anytime pilsner malt is used in order to reduce DMS. For the fermentation temperature, I am planning to pitch as close to 68 as I can cool the wort to then let it rise over the next several days up to the low 80s. Finally, I have also read that this beer should be carbed to about 3 volumes Co2.


Just leave it in primary and then package. This yeast is a good flocculator for a Belgian strain, so it’ll drop clear on it’s own.

  1. Style-wise it’d be a saison. If it comes out really squeaky clean (it could if you ferment under 68), then it’d be a Belgian specialty - specifically, a low alcohol Biere de Garde. It kinda blends those two lines, so it’s pretty much a saison.

  2. Don’t worry about it if you have slightly hard water, it’ll still be good.

  3. No strict need to do a 90 minute boil, unless you collect too much volume and need to evaporate it off. No harm either way.

  4. People will disagree, but it’s hard to find a pils malt that needs a 90 minute boil. Unless you’re boiling really gently, that is. A good, 15-20% evap rate boil should take care of DMS in 60 minutes.

  5. This yeast isn’t very picky. Under 68 it’ll take longer but make a slightly cleaner beer. 68-74 would be the highest I’d go. It’ll still be relatively clean for a saison/Belgian/French/farmhouse yeast. Most important thing with any fermentation schedule is to avoid rapid swings. Don’t worry about raising the temp, that’s mainly done to ensure attenuation with higher gravity beers. A 1.048 gravity should finish in 3-5 days at the most.

  6. I’m not sure what you mean - like with gelatin or biofine? Again, the yeast itself is pretty flocculant. Clarity of saisons is a preference thing. Many of them have a slight haze, and that’s fine.

  7. 2.5-3 volumes should be good. Too high and a low gravity beer like this could come across as harsh/flinty.

  8. Get brewin’.

Thanks, Vaughan – I wound up fermenting at 70/72 for the first 5 days and then let it free rise to around 76 after the krausen fell. I tasted a sample yesterday (at 1 week) and thought the beer had a nice character to it.

On that note, I’ll throw out another follow up question to the community:

This recipe was the first one in which I used a refractometer to measure gravity. OG was 9.6 Brix, or 1.038 according to NB’s refractometer calculator. I took a reading yesterday that read 4 brix, or 1.002 after plugging the numbers into the same calculator to correct for alcohol. Unfortunately, I no longer have a functioning hydrometer to check these numbers against (I replaced the one I dropped two weeks ago with the refractometer), but the 1.002 reading is much lower than I was expecting using Wyeast 3725 (I was thinking 1.010 or so). I was wondering if anyone had experience with this yeast finishing that low.

A couple of thoughts I had were that 1. This is my first time using a refractometer and maybe I’m reading it wrong or 2. In this batch, I accidentally poured the wort (5.5 gallons or so) onto 1/2 gallon of Star San that I forgot to drain from the primary carboy. Some replied that the Star San at that concentration would just serve as food for the yeast; could this have lowered the FG?

I don’t know how much that volume of Star-San would affect the the FG, but consider that it’s half a gallon of liquid vs whatever your final volume was.

My own experience with the NB Biere de Garde recipe is that my FG with 3725 ended in the ballpark of 1.002-1.004 with their recommended mash temps and grain bill. My OG started a point or two above the recipe, and I fermented at ambient temps which averaged around 75F.

To me it sounds like this strain of yeast is pretty aggressive.

I’ve made this beer many a time, ranching the 3725. I find I get the best results with fermentation between 75-78F. The yeast can handle 70-84F. Don’t ferment below 70 or it might stall and likely be quite boring. This is a simple beer, 2 grains and 1 hops…the yeast delivers the interestingness.

The yeast is pretty clean so the flavors will be restrained even up to 84F. Well, restrained compared to the super funky Bieres De Garde. The problem with fermenting in the 80s is that it dries right out. We had a heat wave and my beer spent much time at 82F or so. 1.046 OG resulted in 1.003 FG! I usually see 1.008-1.010 FG when I do a better job of control. I prefer this as otherwise it is too dry and the funky mustiness seems weird.

Doing the same kit what does first wort mean

[quote=“muktuk31”]Doing the same kit what does first wort mean[/quote]Add the first wort hops to the kettle before you start the flow from the mashtun - they will steep in the wort as the kettle fills and you should leave them in for the entire boil.

ok thanks fvor the information

Now that I’m about three weeks into drinking this beer I can report back that this is exactly what I’m tasting. I fermented ~72* throughout primary fermentation and wound up with a nice clean beer that is perfectly enjoyable, but lacking in any individuality to speak of. Next time around, I think I will definitely keep the temperatures in the mid to upper 70’s.

I brewed this beer this spring and enjoyed it this summer and my sentiments are the same- a very nice beer, but not much oomph. Much safer than the 7.5% ABV saison I brewed last year, but not nearly as much character. A tasty lawnmower beer for sure, though.

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