Thursday, September 3, 2009
Brewing a Saison
Last Saturday I brewed a Saison, which is a nice, refreshing summer beer. I started thinking about this in early August, when summer finally arrived in Boston this year, and it was HOT!!! Ironically, it has gotten much cooler here, starting the day I brewed. Oh well.
I followed Jamil's recipe for the Saison, pretty faithfully. The biggest change was that I replaced 1.4 oz of one malt with a slight lighter version of the same malt. In a grain bill of about 12lbs, it shouldn't make much difference.
Anyway, it was a really interesting brew session because I was using a lower than normal mash temperature, and per Jamil, mashed for 90 minutes rather than the usual 60 to make sure I extracted all the fermentable sugars. I guess I did it right because I hit the appropriate gravity in the fermenter when all was said and done, and there was a fairly short lag before fermentation really kicked off. I used a Saison blend yeast, rather than a straight Saison yeast--so White Labs says it will ferment more completely than the standard Saison yeast.
Right now (Thursday afternoon, 5 days later) it is still fermenting away, with the airlock bubbling out about every 7 seconds. That's a pretty long fermentation, but it bodes well with regard to hitting the appropriate FG. If it doesn't hit, then I would have to pitch some Champaign yeast to dry it out the rest of the way. I think I'll know in a few days when it slows down significantly and I check the gravity (that's the amount of sugar left).
More on this as it develops. In the meantime, bottoms up!
Note, if you want to try a Saison, look for Saison DuPont, which is fantastic. If you can't find that, there are some other commercial examples that are quite good, but that's my favorite.