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Let’s build on last year’s Saison attempt

Below is the exported recipe and notes from my Beglian Saison attempt, summer 2012. I am posting this in order to ask some folks for their input, as I definitely didn’t get the Saison I had hoped for. It tasted more like a big Belgian blonde. I had gone wiht the Ardennes strain of yeast from Wyeast only because that’s what my LHBS had in stock, and I hadn’t planned ahead well enough.

I was paranoid about the Wyeast Belgian Saison yeast anyways, given it’s tendency to stall out. But I found the Ardennes definitely didn’t give me the beer I had hoped for.

My recipe came about as the result of various emails/tweets with folks like Chris from Notch Brewing, Helder from Backlash, and Dann from Pretty Things Beer and Ale Project. The only thing I think I was missing was the right yeast. Plus, I think I might dial it back to have it under 6% were I to try again. The sugar definitely helped dry it out, so I would probably scale it back evenly across all the grist, rather than just pull the sugar addition.

I see some folks using yeast blends. I would like to get some more info on this practice, as I would tend to think that one yeast would likely be dominant and render the other useless. But given the number of brewers doing this, especially with Belgian beers, something must be working.

This is my take on the results back at the time:

Recipe: Saison w/rye
Style: 16C-Belgian And French Ale-Saison

Recipe Overview

Wort Volume Before Boil: 7.75 US gals
Wort Volume After Boil: 6.00 US gals
Volume Transferred: 5.50 US gals
Water Added: 0.00 US gals
Volume At Pitching: 5.50 US gals
Final Batch Volume: 5.00 US gals
Expected Pre-Boil Gravity: 1.042 SG
Expected OG: 1.062 SG
Expected FG: 1.012 SG
Expected ABV: 6.6 %
Expected ABW: 5.2 %
Expected IBU (using Rager): 31.7
Expected Color: 4.0 SRM
Apparent Attenuation: 80.2 %
Mash Efficiency: 70.0 %
Boil Duration: 90.0 mins
Fermentation Temperature: 72 degF

Fermentables
Belgian Pilsen Malt 9.00 lb (66.7 %) In Mash/Steeped
US Rye Malt 2.00 lb (14.8 %) In Mash/Steeped
US White Wheat Malt 1.00 lb (7.4 %) In Mash/Steeped
US Flaked Soft Red Wheat 0.50 lb (3.7 %) In Mash/Steeped
Sugar – White Sugar/Sucrose 1.00 lb (7.4 %) Start Of Boil

Hops
UK Golding (4.5 % alpha) 28 g Loose Pellet Hops used 60 Min From End
Czech Saaz (4.9 % alpha) 11 g Loose Pellet Hops used 60 Min From End
German Hallertauer Mittlefruh (4.3 % alpha) 28 g Loose Pellet Hops used 15 Min From End

Other Ingredients
Orange Peel, Sweet 14 g used In Boil

Yeast: Wyeast 3522-Belgian Ardennes

Mash Schedule
Mash Type: Full Mash
Schedule Name:Single Step Infusion (64C/147F)
Step: Rest at 147 degF for 60 mins

Recipe Notes
• lost thermometer, using turkey fryer one&nbsp
• overshot temp on strike water, added cool H20 before pouring into cooler. Hit 149° mash temp with 4 gal. Going for 90 min mash
• pre boil of 1.032 @ 120° (1.042)
• 1 lb of sugar added with 15 to go, along with orange peel (sweet) and last hop addition

OG was 1.061, FG 1.010; 6.7% abv

Pitched entire 1.5L starter. Krausen filling carboy after 18hrs.

Bottled 8/18 after 2 weeks in secondary. 10 days in primary

5 oz of cane sugar to carb to 2.75 volumes

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