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Saison de Noel fermentation?

Hey all!

I’m making this seasonal brew, extract kit, in hopes to add something special to Christmas dinner. It has gotten great reviews and looks straight forward.

Directions has listed 2 weeks primary fermentation and 2 weeks secondary. Is it worth moving it to secondary since it is only a month total? I’m not too worried about contaminating, but I would rather not go through the trouble and lose beer (amount) in the process. Or does secondary add to the conditioning of the flavor pretty well for this saison and is therefore worth it?

Thanks!

I doubt you will notice a difference between the two beers.

Ok sounds good. I still haven’t decided which route I’m going to take lol anyone out there with preferences for this particular kit?

I let my saison go 3-5 weeks in the fermenter. And it’s only a 1.050 beer.

Reading the reviews, I might go 4-6 with this kit. Then in the bottle for 4 weeks before sampling.

If you decide to transfer to a bulk aging vessel, I would do it after 3 weeks.

Either way the beer will turn out great. But give it time to mature.

Thanks Nighthawk, I really appreciate your advice! Fingers crossed that it is ready in time for Christmas dinner ha Fermentation started yesterday. Got a good krausen already, just hoping for some more flocculation soon

What is your definition of flocculation?

To make your saison de noel tasty, mind your fermentation temps. You’ve already started it and hopefully that was lowish - say 65 to 67. Depending on how much control you have, try to crank up the temps as it slows down. The yeast - while truly an attenuative beast - is not dramatic but rather chugs along. Mine is nearing the end of its run. I have to make my magic mostly with ambient temps. We have a heated bathroom floor. I set the temp for 72 and let it sit on that for about 10 days to finish. It would probably like warmer temps, but that’s all I got. I noticed the fermentation lock started up burping again. When treated right, the yeast is also a monster masker. By that I mean it can mask high alcohol flavors and leave one with the best silky feel there is in beerdom. Of course, I say this as I sip a somewhat fusel-ized #8 that fermented too warm - at this point I don’t mind the fusel though - in fact, I don’t mind anything at all. :slight_smile:

I’m new at this, but I guess I define flocculation as lots of active bubbling through the krausen.

Jtb - how long have you kept it in primary? It started fermenting since Friday and has been slowly chugging along. Definitely not as…active looking?..as my dead ringer IPA but it sounds like it might be the yeast used from what you said. It definitely isn’t slowly down and with all of the grain and sugars in it I would assume fermentation should go pretty long. Unfortunately, I have little control over temps so it is sitting at ambient temps of 70-71. But it looks like I should keep it there for this brew.

http://www.whitelabs.com/beer/homebrew/ ... efinitions

[quote] Flocculation:

Brewers have created their own unique vocabulary. Words such as pitching, attenuation, and flocculation take on special meaning to brewers. Pitching is adding yeast to wort to start fermentation. Attenuation is the percentage of sugars yeast consume during fermentation. The magical art of yeast coming together, dropping to the bottom of a fermentor, is called flocculation.

Flocculation is a desirable and important characteristic that is unique to brewers yeast. When brewers yeast nears the end of fermentation, single cells aggregate into clumps of thousands of cells, and drop to the bottom of the fermentor, leaving clear beer behind. If yeast flocculate too early, the beer will be underattenuated and sweet. If yeast do not flocculate, the beer will be cloudy and have a yeasty taste.

Most strains of yeast, which brewers call “wild” yeast, do not flocculate well, and remain in suspension for extended periods of time. The ability to flocculate is a product of natural selection. Brewers have continually collected yeast either from the bottom or top of a fermentor and in doing so, selected for increasingly flocculent stains. The chemistry of flocculation is complex, and will be the subject of a future article.

Yeast flocculation can be classified as high, medium, or low. Ale yeast strains are found in each category, while lager yeast are predominantly medium flocculators. An English/London Ale strain would be a high flocculator, while an California/American Ale strain a medium flocculator. A Hefeweizen strain is an example of a low flocculator. It is difficult to tell which category of flocculator is used to produce individual commercial beers, because most commercial beers are filtered before being bottled or kegged.[/quote]

Sorry I never really answered your primary question (no pun intended) - I blame the #8. Keep it in primary. IMHO, there is really no need to rack to secondary unless you need to free up a carboy or some such. I’m letting it sit in primary for 6 weeks - I’ve got one week to go before I keg it. If you slowly elevate the temp - if at all possible it will chug along. I went from 65 up to 72 with mine over the last week as it had slowed to nothing and now it’s picked up again - nothing like it used to, but I’m trying to get it bone dry and it’s doing a good job of eating up the last of the sugars in there.

jtb, it’s possible that yeast has finished converting all the sugar it can. The air lock activity you are seeing is the CO2 coming out of solution because of the warmer temps.

Only way to know if the yeast are finished is with a gravity reading.

True Nighthawk - I’m actually biding my time till one of my kegs kick which should be by next weekend. I didn’t want it to finish off in my usual basement closet as that’s down to 58 now. I’d take a gravity reading, but I figure that can wait till I keg it.

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