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Subject: basic saison recipe formulation
Author: goschman
Jun 19th, 2012
6:09 pm
Can someone give me some basic guidelines on coming up with a decent recipe for a saison. I never liked saisons until recently so I thought it would be good to brew one. I have seen that the grain bill is usually mostly pilsner with vienna and/or munich as well as wheat. What specialty malts should I use for color. Aromatic? Also what yeast would you recommend? Are there any good dry yeasts for saisons?

I will get away from the style by using american hops

I was thinking something like

70% pilsner
20% white wheat
5% munich
5% specialty (aromatic?)

oh..should I add sugar to help dry it out or just mash low?
Subject: Re: basic saison recipe formulation
Author: Rex_Irae
Jun 19th, 2012
6:48 pm
I use Victory and CaraVienne and corn syrup in my saison.
Wheat is traditional. Spelt is supposed to be better. I'm thinking that oats is probably a B grade sub for spelt.
From what I hear, a lot of guys ferment their saisons high, but you don't need to. I tried an experiment a few years back with an alt recipe on a saison yeast fermented at 40 F, and it still tastes like a saison.
I think the hop balance and the yeast are more important than the grain bill. Play around with it a bit.
I forget what yeast I was using for saisons. I wanted to try the White Labs Saison II, because it has really good attenuation; but that batch got an infection. Most of those Belgian yeasts will make a good saison.
Subject: Re: basic saison recipe formulation
Author: EricHa
Jun 19th, 2012
8:33 pm
I would replace the 5% specialty with wheat, mash low, around 148-150F, ferment around 60-65F. Go look at the descriptions of yeast that you have access to and decide what you want to try.
Subject: Re: basic saison recipe formulation
Author: MMMBREW
Jun 19th, 2012
8:35 pm
You could brew a great saison from 100% pilsner malt. You want it to be dry, fruity, and well attenuated. My next saison I am using pils malt with about 5% malted or flaked wheat for a little bit of mouth feel and body. Many saisons are relatively well hopped, and many American versions seem to push that to the extreme. (Like tank 7 from boulevard). My next one will be modeled after that saison, but with NZ hops for flavor and aroma.

Hallertau or styrian goldings always make great additions to a saison. As for yeast, I'd go saison II from white labs. Many people use the french saison strain from wyeast with good results. An interesting one is th new american farmhouse strain from white labs. It has some brett in it. I'd mash low and you could even add up to 10% sugar or flaked corn to dry it out further.
Subject: Re: basic saison recipe formulation
Author: goschman
Jun 19th, 2012
8:44 pm
Thanks everyone. I kind of assumed you were supposed to ferment high but I guess that is not necssary. Anyone know of any dry saison yeasts?
Subject: Re: basic saison recipe formulation
Author: MMMBREW
Jun 19th, 2012
8:54 pm
Safbrew makes a dry belgian yeast, but I've heard really bad things about it. I heard it really isnt' even a belgian yeast. I'd go liquid if you're planning on doing this one. There are many great ones to choose from.

I think one mistake a lot of people make with saison is using way too much specialty malts, or also making a super high gravity saison. You can make a great simple version with tons of complexity from those yeast strains. I've never fermented my saisons higher than the mid 70s or so, but I'm tempted to see what a higher one would be like.
Subject: Re: basic saison recipe formulation
Author: EricHa
Jun 19th, 2012
8:54 pm
Safbrew T58 would prob be your best bet but Safbrew S33 could work, but I personally concider that more of a belgian strain...
Subject: Re: basic saison recipe formulation
Author: MMMBREW
Jun 19th, 2012
9:07 pm
One of those dry strains is a wit strain correct? I think 33 is not even considered a belgian strain and is more like a weird british strain if I remember correctly.
Subject: Re: basic saison recipe formulation
Author: goschman
Jun 19th, 2012
9:56 pm
ok I figured liquid was the way to go but I have a hard time using anything other than US05. I am not sure when I will get around to this one but I would really like to try it soon
Subject: Re: basic saison recipe formulation
Author: Oly
Jun 19th, 2012
9:58 pm
What MMM said. French Saison strain from Wyeast is 3711 and I would recommend that for a first Saison. Easy to work with, has no trouble finishing low, and produces good flavors. Can be fermented upper60s to lower70s with good flavor. My last one got to upper 70s after the initial acitivity subsided and it was really good. Used piloncillo sugar instead of white sugar and I think that helped.

Subject: Re: basic saison recipe formulation
Author: brewboy_BB
Jun 19th, 2012
10:09 pm
"I have a hard time using anything other than US05."

I do, but only when I have to.
Subject: Re: basic saison recipe formulation
Author: goschman
Jun 19th, 2012
11:33 pm
Thanks for all the input. I think I will keep it simple with mostly Pils malt along with some wheat and a bit of sugar. Anyone know what the difference is between Wyeast French and Belgian Saison yeast?

As I have posted on here (too many times), US05 is eating everything I put in front of it. Kegging a Simcoe blonde tonight after only 10 days in the primary so we will see if it continues. Usually primary for three weeks but trying to hurry this one a bit for my friend's wedding. I will be very surprised if I get anything under 86% apparent attenuation. Still leaning toward the change in water or the hydrometer as possible causes. Thermometer has not changed from when I used to average 78%
Subject: Re: basic saison recipe formulation
Author: PaulD70
Jun 20th, 2012
5:32 am
Wyeast's French Saison yeast is easier to work with since it consistently and quickly attenuates to 80+%. The Belgian Saison tends to need higher temps to finish (e.g., 80 F or more), will take longer, and still probably won't finish as low as the French. You can start in the mid to upper 60s, but then ramp up before the yeast stalls. Otherwise, it might take a long time for the Belgian yeast to finish.

If you use the French, I see no reason to add sugar since it will finish dry. You could try a little sugar with the Belgian yeast.
Subject: Re: basic saison recipe formulation
Author: Rex_Irae
Jun 20th, 2012
7:25 am
It was the 3711 that I fermented that alt with at 40 F.
You'll get a good saison flavor from that one with no problem.
Subject: Re: basic saison recipe formulation
Author: MMMBREW
Jun 20th, 2012
1:54 pm
The saison Dupont strain, (I beleive is Saison I) is reportedly hard to finish out. People often say that they have trouble getting it to finish where they want. I've used it once, and had no problem. It fermented out in a week or two in the mid 70's. If you are nervous about that happening, you could finish the beer with a different strain, or use one of the other saison strains. (There are commonly 3 or so at my lhbs, but I don't know how accessible your shop is). Anyway, I think you're on the right track. With a healthy starter and a highly fermentable wort and good oxygenation you'll have a nice dry beer.
Subject: Re: basic saison recipe formulation
Author: EricHa
Jun 20th, 2012
3:57 pm
When using the saison/belgian strains you should start off low, around 65F for the first few days, then start to ramp up the temp sometimes finishing all the way up to the low 90s... usually getting it to 80-85 works though. I'll start mine off in the fermenter then bring into the bedroom to finish.
Subject: Re: basic saison recipe formulation
Author: goschman
Jun 20th, 2012
4:58 pm
Ok thanks. Assuming I can find the time to do a solo batch at my house, I can start in a thermostat controlled fridge then move inside to my house where it is getting warmer day by day.

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