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Saison, 5 weeks in the fermenter

Saison Update after 5 weeks.

Despite pitching the French Saison 3711 in the 2nd week after the Belgian strain krausened and crashed, this ferment was very slow. I lowered the carboy temp for the French yeast, which works better at lower 70s vs the Belgian which likes high temps. After realizing the French yeast wasn’t going to eat through the sugars with the vigor many have said it would, I ramped up the carboy temp gradually up to 81° over the 5 weeks, swirling the carboy once a week to make sure the yeast was up in suspension. The airlock continued to bubble once every 10 seconds or so for this whole time. In the last week it slowed though, so I took a gravity sample yesterday (5 weeks to the day). I had to adjust the gravity reading to account for the hydrometer being off by .004 points, as well as the high temp of the beer (81°). It was finally down to 1.010.

The airlock continues to bubble about every 20 seconds but I think it’s basically done. Unfortunately, I don’t have an empty keg to rack to. Since I added the second tap to my kegerator, and had a robust porter and rye pale ale on tap, I’ve not emptied a keg as quickly. If I don’t free up a keg soon, I will rack to a 5 gallon Better Bottle to get it off the yeast cake and let it sit in the basement without the fermwrap/temp control on it. Basement temp in the winter is in the mid 50s.

The long wait on this brew didn’t bug me as much as it would have in the past, due to having two kegs of good homebrew on tap the whole time, thankfully.

If it finishes at the 1.010 gravity it’s at now, I’m looking at a 7% ABV Saison which is pretty much on target. Seems the 1lb of sugar in the boil and the low mash temp have helped dry this beer out. Might even get below the 1.010. Will take a final reading when I rack.


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