Monday, February 28, 2011

Amber Saison Brewday

On Friday I spontaneously decided to use my saison ingredients and go for it.  I had been planning on making a saison since I began brewing and had been slowly working on a recipe the entire time.  The bill for the 5 gallon batch is listed below:

6 lb Northern Brewer Amber LME
1.5 lb Briess Wheat DME
7 oz. Turbinado Sugar
8 oz. Caravienne
1 oz. Glacier (60 minutes)
.25 oz. Citra (40 minutes)
.25 oz. Citra (20 minutes)
.25 oz. Citra (10 minutes)
.25 oz. Citra (flameout)
.5 tsp irish moss (15 minutes)
.25 oz. Bitter Orange Peel (15 minutes)
.25 oz. Sweet Orange Peel (15 minutes)
Wyeast 3711 yeast (French Saison)

I have more than a few worries about this one: the orange peel floated and, because I didn't think to strain it, much of it ended up transferring to the fermenter.  Also the 1 oz. of citra hops looks like a small amount in hindsight when split as much as it was, depending on taste I may choose to use twice as much, with most coming at flameout, next time.  Due to lack of heating control the beer is also fermenting away at temperatures much lower than are typical of a saison, probably closer to 60 than the 70 or 80 typical of the style.  Lastly I have not had an amber saison and I fear that the sweet/malty character could overpower the yeast, hop, and orange flavors.  All of these might be unfounded since I haven't tasted the beer yet.  Of course forgetting to take the OG was a beginner mistake I regret but I assume it to be right around 1.062.

I'm really excited for this beer but also more nervous than with my others because I have higher expectations and seemingly more room for errors.  If it does not live up to my expectations when I taste it in a few days and do a gravity reading I may have to dry hop and/or crank up the temperature with a space heater in order to get the flavor profile I intended.  Either way I will brew a similar beer to this again with some modifications. I also plan on farming the yeast and doing a big biere de garde.

I should have up a tasting athe pumpkin ale soon as well as the beer of the month club beers, and eventually this saison.

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