Sunday, June 2, 2013

#28 - American Saison

Saison is one of my favorite styles of beer especially on hot summer days.  It is also a very versatile style that I have experimented with a few variations over the last two years. For this variation I wanted to go with something a little more traditional than my past recipes but with a slight twist, in this case influenced by Boulevard Tank 7 by adding Amarillo hops and Ommegang Hennepin by adding ginger.
  One important aspect of this recipe was keeping the fermentation warm to keep the DuPont strain going and to elicit the classic pepper and fruit character.  In order to try to maintain this warm temperature I wrapped the fermentor in towels and blankets and places a box over top to keep this insulation in place.

Sampled a few highly regarded beers of the style on brew day and saves the yeast (Brett and Sacc) from Saison de Lente.

Update 6/2/13
Down to 1.038, fermentation seems to have at least slowed if not stopped entirely and temperature has clearly dropped closer to the ambient low 60's than the 70s/80s it had been at for the first few. I will probably add the French Saison strain if I don't see a sizeable drop in gravity in a week.

Down to 1.030, not as big a drop as I would like to see so I will purchase the French Saison yeast and add next week barring a bigger drop. Smell is black pepper, ginger and citrusy tropical hops.

After 2 weeks with the Wyeast 3711 French Saison yeast the beer has plummeted down to a 1.002 gravity, time to bottle.  Taste is refreshing with some citrus characteristics and a surprising amount of candy sweetness despite the measured dryness.

Bottled using conditioning tablets (4 tabs/12 oz or 6/22 oz). Tastes strongly of citrus with some solid pit fruits and a prickliness, and a balancing but not aggressive bitterness.