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Saison? Anyone?

Man, I love a good saison. Especially a homemade one. I just tapped a Cynic made from a Northern Brewer kit that I received as a gift. Unfortunately, I’ve never had the original. But this beer is awesome. I was fermenting another beer in the ferm fridge at the same time so I didn’t get to warm it up during the fermentation. Even so, I am pleased. Anybody else made this beer and care to share their experience?

Sorry. I am not familiar with that kit. It is summer so you can let your beer warm up in the house for a few days unless you keep your house AC at 68. If the kit uses WL 565 or WY 3724, you can let it warm up to 90 in the garage. The bottom line is, make sure your saison finishes dry, below 1.010, and 1.004 is better. If you let it finish higher, you will have bottle bombs. If you keg it at that gravity, you will just have overly sweet beer or foamy saison when the yeast decides to finish out. I have tried many saisons over the years. Best wishes with yours.

Saison is just an awesome style and thankfully it has become a widely popular category for most craft beer producers. One of the drawbacks of its surge in popularity though is that many places make them to be more ‘approachable’ (ie sweeter than the style should be…the ones I have enjoyed the most are bone dry and spritzy).

One of the keys to brewing saison is working the yeast (and selection of strain). As noted 565/3724 (“Dupont”) is the original and in many’s opinion, the best. That yeast is VERY finicky though, at least in my experience.

Since the rise in popularity, a lot of labs are releasing other strains. I have made great beers with WY 3711 (French Saison), WLP566 (Saison II) and even Belle Saison (dry yeast) from Danstar, which are all a lot easier to work with. Chris White even said on a podcast that Dupont is meant to be used with a brewery’s house yeast. Of the three of those, I probably prefer 3711.

Just bottled the Petite Saison from NB Monday. Gravity sample was peppery and incredibly dry with an FG of 1.004, and that was the extract kit. Yeast was 3711.

Had it sitting in my 2nd story with our A/C set to 70, but upstairs always being at least 3-5 degrees warmer in our loft area. Sat for just over 30 days, and will let it sit in bottles to age for at least another 30 more. One of my favorite styles right now.

Goose Island Sofie is what drove me to brew this one.

I brewed the Lawnmower Saison from Midwest on Father’s Day and used the Wyeast 3724. That yeast is notorious for stalling out at around 1.030, but I put my carboy in our boiler room in the basement to keep it warm…in fact, I set the thing right on top of the boiler itself and was able to keep the wort at 90 degrees for several weeks. Slowly but steadily, the gravity kept dropping even after any sign of active fermentation had long since stopped. It just got down to 1.004 and stayed early last week. Bottled a week ago and am just waiting for em to carb up before trying one. The gravity samples (and I took a LOT of them to monitor progress) tasted great.

This is exactly what happened to me when I brewed the NB Saison. I didn’t know better at the time; I just thought it was done.

I’ve been meaning to go back to that kit with better temperature profile or a different yeast, now that I know a bit more.

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