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Saison fermentation question

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Coalface

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Good afternoon all,
New to AG brewing, currently in the process of fermenting my 3rd batch from the Guten40L.
I brewed the following recipe up on thursday night then pitched on the friday morning (22/11/19) with WLP568, first few days were at around 23 C and I set the thermostat for 26 C this morning.


Screenshot_20191126-132854.png


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My OG was 1054 and I took a sample Monday afternoon (3.5 days fermentation) and got an SG reading of 1014. Beer smith predicted a final OG of 1010 but from reading some forums on saison I'm thinking that the final gravity could be much lower. My fermentation is flying along, and the forum posts seem to suggest 3-4 weeks fermentation for a saison.

Question is, if I get it below 1010 in the next few days would it be unwise to keg and carb for drinking this weekend, or would there be a benefit of additional fermentation and to let the yeast do some clean up (though from my limited knowledge the POF+ flavours are intentional for this style)?

thoughts and advice appreciated.

Cheers

EDIT: Sorry for the giant screenshots....
 

razz

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It doesn't matter which yeast it is Coalface the rule is simple. You need a constant gravity reading over 2-3 days to ensure the beer has finished. Letting the temp rise to 26 degrees today is a good idea and should get it finished, although at 1.010 I think it is done. I'm not sure on the 3-4 weeks as I don't ferment saisons. Why don't you put a litre in a pet bottle and seal it up and see how it is in a few days and keep the rest in the fv a bit longer.
 

mongey

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I haven’t used that saison yeast but have tried a fair few. I’ve never had one take longer than 2 weeks,usually done on lesss than 7 . and they always finish way lower than predicted n

but that’s also an odd recipe. No idea why you would want 8% carapils and 8% Crystal in a saison.
 

Coalface

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It doesn't matter which yeast it is Coalface the rule is simple. You need a constant gravity reading over 2-3 days to ensure the beer has finished. Letting the temp rise to 26 degrees today is a good idea and should get it finished, although at 1.010 I think it is done. I'm not sure on the 3-4 weeks as I don't ferment saisons. Why don't you put a litre in a pet bottle and seal it up and see how it is in a few days and keep the rest in the fv a bit longer.
Cheers, that's not a bad idea.
 

Coalface

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I haven’t used that saison yeast but have tried a fair few. I’ve never had one take longer than 2 weeks,usually done on lesss than 7 . and they always finish way lower than predicted n

but that’s also an odd recipe. No idea why you would want 8% carapils and 8% Crystal in a saison.
Yeah... i did throw it together based on a mix of other beersmith recipes but admittedly there could have been more research put into it. The crystal I had on hand and it was a last minute decision to just chuck that in as well.... fingers crossed it's not too unbalanced.
 

DJR

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wlp565/ dupont / 3724 takes ages to get through the last part of fermenting. Raising the temperature helps, but probably best to just leave it for a week or two at least until you have a stable gravity.

Edit: you're using wlp568 not 565, but that blend probably has it in there anyway. Hopefully the other ale yeast they put in there helps it finish off
 
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Coalface

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It doesn't matter which yeast it is Coalface the rule is simple. You need a constant gravity reading over 2-3 days to ensure the beer has finished. Letting the temp rise to 26 degrees today is a good idea and should get it finished, although at 1.010 I think it is done. I'm not sure on the 3-4 weeks as I don't ferment saisons. Why don't you put a litre in a pet bottle and seal it up and see how it is in a few days and keep the rest in the fv a bit longer.
So it took a couple of days to get up to 26 degrees, but I took an SG reading last night and it was 1009, carbed it up in a 750ml PET and served.
For me there was probably too much of a soapy taste from the coriander seeds, will go lighter on those next time, though my partner said that was the aspect of it she liked the most.... each to their own.
Plenty of clove notes in there from the yeast but not as dry or anywhere near tart as I'd hoped - i'm guessing this would be due in part to the unfermentables in the half a kg of crystal I foolishly threw in the mix....
will give it another week and try again. If it's still a disappointment I might keg it and later on mix it with a bit the next batch I brew, a fruity IPA pitched with reused yeast cake from this batch.
 

mongey

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Keep it going

it’s all an opinion but I think they are the best when simple. Pilsner /wheat /Vienna. Ina 70/20/10 , though I do use 5% flaked oats sometimes in my saison.

things like like ginger orange peel and coriander just arnt needed. Those notes can be gotten from the yeast.

what temp did you mash at ? 62 or 63 tops is where I like em n
 

Coalface

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Keep it going

it’s all an opinion but I think they are the best when simple. Pilsner /wheat /Vienna. Ina 70/20/10 , though I do use 5% flaked oats sometimes in my saison.

things like like ginger orange peel and coriander just arnt needed. Those notes can be gotten from the yeast.

what temp did you mash at ? 62 or 63 tops is where I like em n
Still very new to all grain, haven't played around with mash temps yet, just been doing it all at 65. Though I just cracked open How To Brew by John Palmer this weekend so keen to get a lot more insight from reading that.
 

chthon

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A style note on saisons (and bière de garde, which served the same purpose), they were brewed in winter and kept until harvest. For that, much hops were used, but not all bittering hops: flavor and taste hops, because it used to be a light beer to quench thirst. The beer in itself also probably helped against mineral loss through sweating. Even carbonates are part of the water (stop me if I get too technical :))
 

eastgummy

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This guy knows:

I've only brewed 2 non-brett-saisons and in both cases it took more than 2 weeks to complete fermentation even raising to 28ºC.
This yeast stops 2/3 of the way, then it takes some days off and it continues afterwards.
I wouldn't bottle a saison too soon, depending on the mash temp and OG, of course, I'd wait at least until FG <1008.
Note saison yeast has glucoamylase (saccharomyces cerevisiae var. diastaticus, "built-in-dry-enzyme") and can convert normally-unfermentable-sugars.

You can mash as low as 62ºC and no higher than 64ºC. Being so dry, wheat/rye/oats/flaked barley help with the body and mouthfeel. But be careful with oats, they decrease head retention, up to 5% is ok.
If you want some colour I recommend some Belgian Aromatic malt, in my last ""saison"" (with lacto and brett) I used ~4% and it was perfect. Belgian Aromatic malt is basically "belgian-light-munich-malt", it adds colour and flavour without the sweet aftertaste of crystal/caramel malt. If you want higher ABV, go with 5-15% candy/sugar/dextrose.

As per drinkability, a "biere de garde" is usually higher ABV, a saison must be very drinkable, very dry, light in colour, a lot of very low AA% hops (don't go crazy on the IBUs).. or even dry hopped! Saison Dupont makes a dry hopped version, not like an IPA, but quite hoppy.

I don't like spiced saisons, they feel cheap. I leave my peels and coriander seeds for my witbiers and always very very very subtle additions, it has to be barely noticeable. For saisons I like to get the full yeast experience, if only, some herbal/earthy hops.
 

Coalface

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This guy knows:

I've only brewed 2 non-brett-saisons and in both cases it took more than 2 weeks to complete fermentation even raising to 28ºC.
This yeast stops 2/3 of the way, then it takes some days off and it continues afterwards.
I wouldn't bottle a saison too soon, depending on the mash temp and OG, of course, I'd wait at least until FG <1008.
Note saison yeast has glucoamylase (saccharomyces cerevisiae var. diastaticus, "built-in-dry-enzyme") and can convert normally-unfermentable-sugars.

You can mash as low as 62ºC and no higher than 64ºC. Being so dry, wheat/rye/oats/flaked barley help with the body and mouthfeel. But be careful with oats, they decrease head retention, up to 5% is ok.
If you want some colour I recommend some Belgian Aromatic malt, in my last ""saison"" (with lacto and brett) I used ~4% and it was perfect. Belgian Aromatic malt is basically "belgian-light-munich-malt", it adds colour and flavour without the sweet aftertaste of crystal/caramel malt. If you want higher ABV, go with 5-15% candy/sugar/dextrose.

As per drinkability, a "biere de garde" is usually higher ABV, a saison must be very drinkable, very dry, light in colour, a lot of very low AA% hops (don't go crazy on the IBUs).. or even dry hopped! Saison Dupont makes a dry hopped version, not like an IPA, but quite hoppy.

I don't like spiced saisons, they feel cheap. I leave my peels and coriander seeds for my witbiers and always very very very subtle additions, it has to be barely noticeable. For saisons I like to get the full yeast experience, if only, some herbal/earthy hops.
Cheers Eastgummy, thanks for the response.

I am now brewing my third saison at the moment, first two were with the belgian saison blend yeast, this one with WLP590 - French Saison. I added a small amount of coriander seeds and the zest and juice of two limes and some kaffir lime leaves at 5min boil. I pitched the yeast morning of the 13th, started it at 21C and slowly raised it to 26C over a week. took a sample last night after 7.5 days in the fermenter and it was 1.004 tasting very dry and spicy with a slight lime aroma. Thinking to dry hop it with 20g Lemondrop and 10g Simcoe to give it more of the citrus flavour I was looking for.

I've realised I'm not getting the tartness I'm chasing just from a regular ferment and will need to look into kettle souring or brett / lacto which I have no experience with at all but very keen to start experimenting with.

Do you have a recipe / tips for getting a good tart saison?
 

eastgummy

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bufff! that's opening the door to a new dimension! hehehe
Some yeasts produce a little tartness, but barely noticeable.

If what you want is a sour beer you have basically three options:
- lactic acid -> inmediate but crappy and artificial way of souring, you won't get any flavour from the lactic acid, just acidity/tartness
- kettle sour -> brewday becomes 2 brewdays and you get a lot of lacto-flavour. for a saison you might want to age it for at least 3 months so the lacto flavour mellows a little -> it "locks" sourness!
- lactobacillus to secondary -> it will take at least 1 year to sour to the same level and it will keep evolving and souring more the longer you keep it

I always make kettle sours, that is:
1- Calculate your recipe for extra 15' of boil.
2- Do the mash and boil for 15' with no hops
3- chill to 35ºC
4- add ~5ml/10L of lactic acid 88% or until you get <4.5PH (wait some minutes to test the ph again and remember PH is logaritmic, be careful with your corrections) -> this prevents infections
5- add lactobacillus: i've used lallemand sour mix (mild flavor) and inner health IBS capsules (strong flavor). Pitch around 10Billion cells per 10L (1g of the sour mix or 1 capsule of the IBS thingy). Don't use dairy stuff, you might get other bacteria you don't want and you will add different flavors to your beer
6- sanitize the kettle lid, put it on, wrap it with cling wrap and keep it around 30-35ºC for 18-24h until you reach your desired PH target (3.4-3.8 depending on the style of beer). I put in my fermenter fridge with a heating mat (specific for homebrewing)
7- once souring is done, do your boil as usual

With this technique you can brew many styles: berliner weisse, gose, flanders red, "farmhouse ales / saisons", etc.
I would start with something simple if I were you. Something fast like a gose (salt and coriander) or beliner weisse, so you understand how it goes.

But only sour doesn't make a "farmhouse ale / saison", you also want brett... which is another universe. Brett can also give certain tartness, but far far away from a sour beer.
Brett takes a long time to develop flavour. The faster I've done it was with WLP670 american farmhouse blend (mix of saison yeast + brett.). Other option is to select a clean saison yeast and then another brett and blend them together, although for the first time I would go easy...
There's a lot to study here. Too much for a simple post. I recommend you google a little, read some and come back with particular questions.

https://www.brewersfriend.com/homebrew/recipe/view/658983/brett-saison
allaboutbeer.com/article/homebrewing-with-brettanomyces/
https://learn.kegerator.com/brewing-with-brettanomyces/
https://beerandbrewing.com/the-many-faces-of-brett-best-homebrew-practices/
https://www.love2brew.com/Articles.asp?ID=637
https://www.love2brew.com/Articles.asp?ID=654
https://www.love2brew.com/Articles.asp?ID=661
https://www.themadfermentationist.com/2008/06/all-about-brettanomyces.html
http://www.wyeastlab.com/wild-beer-brewing
http://draftmag.com/brett-geeks-come-ride-trinitys-magical-brettanomyces-tour/
and... MILKTHEFUNK! http://www.milkthefunk.com/

Recipe suggestion:
70% Pilsner
20% Wheat malt
6% Flaked wheat
4% Aromatic/munich malt

OG 1046
FG 1003
ABV 5.6%
IBU 8 (Styrian Goldings at 60')

Mash/sparge water PH 5.4, low minerals, Cl to SO4 Ratio balanced-to-malty

MASH:
- 40ºC, Mash in
- 45ºC, Time: 15 min, Beta Glucanase Low, avoid grain gumming up
- 55ºC, Time: 15 min, Beta Glucanase High, improve head
- 67ºC, Time: 60 min, Saccharification/Beta-amylase, extract main fermentable sugars
- 72ºC, Time: 20 min, Glyco-protein/Alpha-amylase, stabilize head/foam
- 78ºC, Time: 10 min, Mash out, improve extraction
- 78ºC, Sparge, improve extraction

Kettle sour as described and boil as usual

Pitch White Labs - American Farmhouse Blend WLP670 at 20ºC
Add 30g/10L of light toast oak chips (pre-boiled in express cooker for 20')
After 1 day, raise 1ºC/day to 22ºC
After 1 week, raise 1ºC/day to 24ºC
When you need the fermenter fridge for other beer, just take this one out, cover it well and put it somewhere around 20ºC
Ferment for 8 weeks
Bottle at 3.2CO2 vol.
Condition at least 2 months (better 4 months) with bottles on the side (helps to prevent pellicle)

I've tried but I haven't been able to make a decent brett in less than 4 months.
They say you can doing 100% brett. fermentation, but that's a different story...
 

Coalface

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haha..... that is a lot to digest!!!!

Thank's very much for the detailed response!

I will do some research then get back to you on the next attempt...

pH hasn't been something I've bothered considering to date as I've only recently gotten into brewing after returning from living OS. I'm acquiring my equipment piecemeal after having already spent quite a bit of $$ upfront on kegs, kegerator, Guten 40L, a couple of fermenters, test tubes, flasks, stirplate, heatpad and various other bits and pieces. But perhaps next visit to the brewshop I'll grab a pH meter.
 

eastgummy

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bah... you don't need a ph meter. I only have some good ph strips (beer brewing with a PH range between 3.8 and 5.4, from "the brew shop"). Just work hard on your calculations.

yes, it's a lot to digest and that's just 0.0001% there is to know about bugs and brett. People helped me a lot when I was starting, so it's fair to share. having said that, i'm not a pro :p
 

mongey

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Do you want a bit of tartness or full on sour ?

I find belle saison yeast gives me a tarter saison than other saison yeast I’ve treid.
 

Coalface

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Do you want a bit of tartness or full on sour ?

I find belle saison yeast gives me a tarter saison than other saison yeast I’ve treid.
Definitely not a full sour, just some balanced tartness to take away from the dryness. I've seen the dry Belle yeast about, maybe I'll give it a go on the next batch.

With the first batch (the one I opened this thread in regard to) I was unhappy with the flavour, there was an overwhelming soapiness, heaps of clove, dry as a chip and absolutely no tartness.
Fortunately I jumped at the opportunity to experiment with it... (mistakes are a great opportunity for learning ...and I proceeded to make many)

I thought about maybe dryhopping with some citrusy hops, but then I googled fermenting fruits, and got an idea to dump 1kg of raspberry in a mesh bag into the keg for a secondary ferment.... that was overkill and had an overwhelming raspberry flavour, red in colour and thick with absolutely no head even when I upped the carb quite a bit... I then decided to try a lactic acid spike, as it was something I'd never tried and wanted to see how it tasted as a raspberry sour... I started testing small amounts in a pot glass then scaled up and dumped 60ml of 88% lactcic in the keg.... again this didn't help... very one dimensional sour flavour and it was pretty much undrinkable, a really sour dry raspberry mess. I then waited till I brewed a wheat beer and topped it up with the extra few litres of that out of the fermenter to try and dilute it, but it wasn't enough and it was still undrinkable and was thinking I might have to dump it as we had a party coming up and the keg might be better utilised with a drinkable beer in it.

Then I had a thought the dry sourness might actually lend itself well to a shandy, and thankfully it was a hit, all the ladies in attendance loved it and raved about how delicious it was when then next caught up with my girlfriend...
 

mongey

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I just do simple in general. I'd say mash at 62 and use belle and you'll get plenty of tart

I recently finished drinking a batch and my wife ,who enjoys a saison, said it was too tart for her
 

Coalface

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Just did another SG test this morning, after 10 days since pitch, seems to have finished attenuating at 1.004 and there is now a good bit of tartness which I did not detect when I had a taste earlier this week. The sample was 25 degrees and not carbonated but I was still very pleased with the flavours and balance! Not sure I will even bother dryhopping this! very keen to chill and carb this!!!
 

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I know I'm a bit late to this party but I've brewed a lot of saisons / farmhouse / belgians et al

Here are some suggestions

Grist
Simplicity. Keep it simple pale/pils with a bit (20% ish) of beta glucans from wheat / spelt / rye / triticale / oats. Maybe some vienna or munch but not much and entirely optional.

Cane sugar. Add some cane sugar to your boil.

Don't add carapils, crystal malt or anything else that's going to add less fermentible sugars.

Mash

Long and low. 63C for 2 hours.

Hops
Yes. Add hops. Go easy on the bitterness as your beer should dry out quite a bit.

I've had good success with NZ hops - specifically motueka. Also some of the new Slovenian hops have worked for me: Styrian Dragon, Styrian Wolf.

Spices
Not traditional but if you want to, please add in moderation.

Chamomile flowers are a personal favourite of mine. Works well with Saaz or Styrian Goldings.

Fermentation
Hot. 28C is a good start with a ramp up towards the end of fermentation. I won a category once for a high gravity saison that was fermented with 7th generation belle at 34C. Beware of the du pont strain as it tends to stall; to best address this, minimise the quantity of water in your airlock (reduces back pressure) and get that sucker hot.

Belle can go to 1.000 and does so all the time. Some folks have seen it go lower.

Acid Production
I'm not sure you are going to get much tartness from saison strains. I like WY3822 which is a diastatic sacc strain (like most belgian strains) that produces a bit of acid.

Brett also won't get you there (well not unless you introduce oxygen and make vinegar).

Mixed culture fermentation is where it's at. Can help here if you're interested.

Packaging
Bottle condition. Punt style (aka champagne) bottles with 3+ vols of CO2.

If you insist on kegging, perhaps consider adding some priming sugar to the keg and keeping warm to carbonate the beer before putting in the fridge.
 
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