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First Saison - WLP565

Brewing my first Saison. I’ve got 5.25 gallons of 1.065 Saison fermenting with White Labs 565. I pitched a 1.5 liter starter after dosing the wort with 1 lpm oxygen at 68 degrees (wort and ambient temp). I’m letting this free rise until the temps stop climbing at then will be using the Fermwrap to bump the temp up a couple degrees per day. 18 hours later there is plenty of activity (krausen, airlock activity) and the temp is at 73 degrees.

This process goes against everything I’ve learned in the last year and a half. Normally, I’d have the temperature controlled for the first 48 hours at least before letting it rise or bumping it up.
Five degrees in 18 hours is pretty rapid and specifically I don’t want to taste acetaldehyde or hot alcohol. I believe the ester production from high temps are desirable with this yeast.

I’ve read a bit about this yeast tending to stall, so I’ll be picking up some champagne yeast just in case, but really just looking for some feedback on fermentation temps, specifically beginning fermentation temps for Saisons and/or this yeast. :cheers:

This is definitely a post I’m going to learn from.

:cheers:

I personally don’t buy the “ferment saisons hot” philosophy. I find I get plenty of pepper/coriander/citrus esters by pitching around where you pitched 66-68, holding for 2 days, then letting rise into the 70’s, eventually mid 70’s. One other trick I’ve used with success is pitching some actively fermenting wort in the form of a ‘brewday starter’ into my saison wort.

Bear in mind though, the original Dupont strain you used is very finicky, but there are purists who won’t use anything else. I think it produces a truly original saison, but I listened to a podcast where Chris White admits that it is a yeast that is MEANT TO BE USED IN CONJUNCTION WITH a brewery’s house yeast. I think some of the other saison strains out there are excellent and way easier to work with.

For me however, after tasting a few, I will be making all my farmhouse ales with Brett Trois going forward :cheers:

Thanks Pietro. The beer climbed to 74 degrees in the first 24 hours, so I’m definitely concerned about off flavors. Will post back when fermentation completes with results.

Don’t get me wrong, I think that will make a good beer. I’ve just found that I prefer my schedule. The flavors are nice and subtle starting out in the mid 60’s, and if its raised up, it will still finish out nice and dry.

At the higher temps, it will create more acetaldehyde, so you will need to let it ferment longer to reabsorb.

I’ve used 565 and fermented in the mid-70’s and other batches up to 85F. I didn’t notice any off flavors with the warmer batch. As others note, the biggest problem will be attentuation with this strain. Short of waiting 3 months, my saisons with 565 never dropped below 1.016. I finished with 1056 in the secondary with OG around 1.008.

Thanks, this is good to hear. I will likely pitch champagne yeast on it tonight.

Took a gravity reading tonight and after 72 hours the 1.065 saison is down to 1.024. There is still activity in the airlock, but unless I’m talked out of it in the next hour or so, I’m pitching 5 grams of rehydrated Red Star Pasteur Champagne yeast on it while there are still fermentable sugars present.
FWIW, there are no hot alcohol or acetaldehyde flavors present. :cheers:

Update: Not too pleased with the flavor since adding the champagne yeast. I may have to add that to my list of things not to do again. Maybe WLP001 would have been a better choice… or perhaps I should have let the 565 ride it out. Gravity today was 1.001 after 2 weeks so I kegged today, but I’ll have to see if the flavor improves after cold conditioning for a couple weeks.

can you describe what you don’t like about it? too dry? I 1.001 sounds like the sahara.

Just the flavor since the yeast addition, it really doesn’t strike me as overly dry or puckering. I was under the impression the champagne yeast wouldn’t contribute noticeable flavor, however the flavor is certainly different and not as good. Perhaps it was because of the warm fermentation temp. Perhaps I’m still tasting young beer or yeast in suspension. I just kegged it and crashed to 40 while carbing. I will let it sit for a couple weeks and taste again.

Taste has improved after conditioning and dropping out more yeast. Only problem now is the higher than normal saison abv 8.5%. All in all, pleased for my first run at this beer. Will likely change some things up for next batch, but currently working on setting up an electric brewery in the basement. Winter is coming.

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