To Spice or not to Spice (Saison)


Well been doing some research and I have found that some spice and some don’t spice there Saison’s.

Last Time I entered the Competition I got dinged for “Spices” I did zest of an Orange, Lemon, and Lime with about a tablespoon of coriander heated that in 170 H20 and added to secondary. I think it score in the low 30s. However this is a different Recipe…

I would like to know should I just leave it? Or try to spice again. I guess Pepper Corn might be a good addition too.

I am fermenting in my new chamber @ 62 (Denny Recommended).

My recipe is:

72% pilsner
8% White Wheat
8% Wheat Flaked
8% RIce hulls
4% Biscuit Malt
Beast Wyeast 3711


Hops are Cascade @ 60 and willamette hops @ 15 1 oz each…

You don’t need to spice a saison, just let the fermentation temperature rise over the course of a week after pitching (from high 60s to end all the way up in the low 80s) and you’ll get plenty of spicyness from the yeast. If you do want to spice it, just a tiny amount is all you need.

I say don’t spice it. Those yeasts throw off awesome esters if manipulated correctly (IME/O pitch around 65 and start ramping up after day 3).

Saisons were most often not spiced. Belgian Saisons might be. Looking up the definition of a saison will tell you why. A saison is all in the yeast. Pay attention to the optimum fermentation temperature for the yeast you are using. Not all saison yeasts will produce good flavors over 76°.
Start out simple then decide if you want to tweak it.

3711 generally likes it a hair cooler than 3724 in my experience. Both will yield interesting flavors that will resemble a spices. I don’t think orange or coriander will hurt it, but I often find them unneccessary with these strains.

I made a saison with Danstar’s dry strain. Was my least favorite saison that I’ve made.

On my last saison, I split the batch and spiced half with a tiny amount of basil and oregano. The spices came through very nicely and were not at all overpowering, and very enjoyable. HOWEVER… I thought the non-spiced half of the batch turned out much better. Maybe a different combination of spices would have made the difference. However, I am certainly an advocate of not spicing your saison, as a well fermented one should turn out spicy and citrusy all by itself, without any meddling.

I also love 3711. Like others I start around 65 and let it heat up after initial ferm. I started out with spices. Now over time I’ve dropped them completely. I believe now that Belgian strains are so complex
they don’t need any spicing, plus you can change things just by ferm temps and pitching rates.

Just wanted to follow up on this post…I did not spice and he judges liked it that way!

Placed 2!

Highest score yet at a 39.

Way to go Tim. That score is the best answer to your question.

Thanks feels good…first time I have placed with any beer…I guess I am on to something!