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Saison Yeast

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Quintrex

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Hi.

Going to brew my first saison and was wondering how useful/necessary a good saison yeast is. Does it really "make" this style or would my wyeast 3944(wit) or 3787(trappist high grav) be better.
:huh:
I'm thinking of pitching initially with a 3787 starter and then following this with a 3944 12 hours later. To give a dose of spiciness. Or would I be better off begging/borrowing/culturing/ordering a proper saison yeast
Thoughts anyone.

Q

Sant
 

sstacey

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3787 will give a more trappist tripel style if you know what that is. It is a really fruity yeast.
The 3944 gives a very much more mellow flavour. Slightly sour (very slightly), a little spicy but not too much. It is the yeast that gives the wit beer flavour, less so than the malt.

I have used both of these yeasts by splitting the wort in two, fermenting with both yeasts (one in each) and then blending together, The flavour was excellent. I'm not sure that it will give you a saison flavour but it will certainly make an excellent beer!!! :super:

I prefer splitting the wort rather than pitching the two yeasts into the same fermenter. If you use one fermenter then one yeast might outcompete the other to an extent (hard to control the flavour profile) and your beer might be difficult to replicate. By using two separate fermenters, one for each yeast, you can better obtain a consistent product and be sure that you get x% of the flavour/character from one yeast and y% from the other, depending on how evenly you split the wort between the yeasts.

Don't know how well this will work for your Saison but using these two yeasts together should taste bloody awesome regardless, so who really cares if it is a proper Saison or not. :beer:
 

Stuster

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I'd think you'd be best off going with just the 3944. Brew Like a Monk suggests this as one of the possible yeasts to use for a Saison. Keep it warm though, over 24C should do it. If you can, why not try the WLP565/3724 yeast and see how that comes out. If you post your location, there may be somebody local who could help you out with it. :D
 

Quintrex

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3787 will give a more trappist tripel style if you know what that is. It is a really fruity yeast.
The 3944 gives a very much more mellow flavour. Slightly sour (very slightly), a little spicy but not too much. It is the yeast that gives the wit beer flavour, less so than the malt.

I have used both of these yeasts by splitting the wort in two, fermenting with both yeasts (one in each) and then blending together, The flavour was excellent. I'm not sure that it will give you a saison flavour but it will certainly make an excellent beer!!! :super:

I prefer splitting the wort rather than pitching the two yeasts into the same fermenter. If you use one fermenter then one yeast might outcompete the other to an extent (hard to control the flavour profile) and your beer might be difficult to replicate. By using two separate fermenters, one for each yeast, you can better obtain a consistent product and be sure that you get x% of the flavour/character from one yeast and y% from the other, depending on how evenly you split the wort between the yeasts.

Don't know how well this will work for your Saison but using these two yeasts together should taste bloody awesome regardless, so who really cares if it is a proper Saison or not. :beer:
Yeah, splitting the wort into two sounds like a good idea, be interesting to see what difference it would yield, but sounds like it would give more reproduceable results.
I fell in love with belgian beers, when i was visiting my sister over there.... mhhhhh heaven in a glass.
I agree, it may not end up traditional 'saison' but should taste appropriately belgisch :D .
Thanks
Q
 

sstacey

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If you use the 3787 dont go quite that hot. Start at around 18degC and then think about increasing it after a few days fermenting, but only up to about 23. If you go too high with this yeast you will get solvent flavours which will really take away from the beer (IMHO).

I'm not experienced enough with 3944, go with Stuster's advice.
 

Kai

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If you're after a saison then I'd use 3724 or equivalent. It really makes the beer.
 

Ross

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Hey Bindi,

Just noticed there's a beer in your profile under 6%, you going soft mate :p

Apologies for the hijack :ph34r:

cheers Ross
 

warrenlw63

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Quintrex

Personally I think if you use anything other than Wyeast 3724 or Whitelabs WLP565 you'll only be lamenting the decision in the end.

To get the right flavour profile you've to go seriously contemplate the right strain... I've had some pretty good results pitching at normal temps (say 20 degrees) and letting the temps creep up to 30-35 degrees within 24-48 hours. May seem like beer suicide but it works well. :)

Most, if not all other Belgian strains (save for 3522 Ardennes) will give you a headache at those temps.

If you're really keen to explore the style further I can "highly" recommend reading Farmhouse Ales. Have to say it's $30 well spent. ;)

Warren -
 

newguy

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If Saison Dupont is available, buy it. It is the classic example. If you like that flavour, then Wyeast 3724 Belgian Saison is the yeast for you. If you don't like that flavour, then DON'T use this yeast.

I've used this yeast twice, and I ended up dumping both batches. They were 10 gallon batches too. It was like drinking turpentine. Take that solvent character of Saison Dupont and distill it - that's what I ended up with. I know 3 other people who have had identical experiences with this yeast. For all of us, fermentation was at about 20-22C.

I have a strong suspicion that if a much stronger starter (more yeast) was pitched, then the solvent character would be less intense. The yeast is deceptive too, starting off with a very appealing "Belgian" aroma, then turning almost overnight.

Step up the starter so that you're pitching at least 300 ml of yeast slurry, preferably 500. Also oxygenate the wort if you have an oxygen setup. Good luck.
 

Screwtop

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Hey Bindi,

Just noticed there's a beer in your profile under 6%, you going soft mate :p

Apologies for the hijack :ph34r:

cheers Ross
ROTFLMGO


Seriously though Rossco, that bloody Saison he has on tap at present is the ducks doo doo's. Has a very slight citrus flavour, don't believe it's only 6% though, it has a pretty solid effect.
 

warrenlw63

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I've used this yeast twice, and I ended up dumping both batches. They were 10 gallon batches too. It was like drinking turpentine. Take that solvent character of Saison Dupont and distill it - that's what I ended up with. I know 3 other people who have had identical experiences with this yeast. For all of us, fermentation was at about 20-22C.
Sorry to hear that Newguy. I'm actually surprised it finished the job for you at 20-22. I've had great results with it fermenting between 30-35 degrees. Anywhere below and it slows right down or almost stops for that matter and you wind up with a grossly underattenuated beer.

As for the solvent character? Can't say I've ever noticed it. Some mild fruit salad notes yes, but they will age out at around 8 weeks. That's what I find the miracle about this yeast to be able to ferment at high temperatures without the usual pitfalls.

Got a batch conditioning ATM that has the dregs of 2 bottles or Orval in it. Been conditioning for around 8 weeks now and is smelling and tasting superb. I plan to bottle it in the next fornight or so. :)

As for starter sizes? I use the normal. Which is around 2 litres for a 42 litre batch.

How old was yours newguy before you ditched it?

Warren -
 
B

bindi

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ROTFLMGO


Seriously though Rossco, that bloody Saison he has on tap at present is the ducks doo doo's. Has a very slight citrus flavour, don't believe it's only 6% though, it has a pretty solid effect.
Oh yes Saison :) Mashing in one hour a repeat of the one on tap, with Saisons it never a repeat <_< they are never the same even with the same grain bill, hops and yeast.

And Ross the 5.9% was a mistake , left out part of the grain bill.
And Screwtop the one on tap is 7.1% not 6% and I can't leave this one alone. ;)
 

newguy

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Sorry to hear that Newguy. I'm actually surprised it finished the job for you at 20-22. I've had great results with it fermenting between 30-35 degrees. Anywhere below and it slows right down or almost stops for that matter and you wind up with a grossly underattenuated beer.

As for the solvent character? Can't say I've ever noticed it. Some mild fruit salad notes yes, but they will age out at around 8 weeks. That's what I find the miracle about this yeast to be able to ferment at high temperatures without the usual pitfalls.

Got a batch conditioning ATM that has the dregs of 2 bottles or Orval in it. Been conditioning for around 8 weeks now and is smelling and tasting superb. I plan to bottle it in the next fornight or so. :)

As for starter sizes? I use the normal. Which is around 2 litres for a 42 litre batch.

How old was yours newguy before you ditched it?

Warren -
No problems with it attenuating sufficiently at approx 20C. Maybe our problem was fermenting at that temperature and not much higher, 30-35C as you suggest. The only problem is getting temperatures that high without using a heater, and no one I know uses them around here. The summer temperature only rarely exceeds 30C.....as soon as it gets to around 23C people start running their air conditioners. We're just not used to that kind of oppressive heat. :D

The solvent was so strong as to make it completely undrinkable. I remember judging a saison in a competition and it smelled and tasted exactly like the ones that I poured out. The other judge took one sniff and refused to taste it, it was that bad. Reminiscent of solvent or of chemicals - kind of like herbicide or insecticide. Anyway, I instantly recognized the character as being from the 3724 yeast.

It's hard to describe that particular solvent character. If you taste Saison Dupont, it's the bitter, hot solvent, cloying chemical-like character that it has, only much MUCH stronger.

The first one I ever did I ended up keeping it for several months in the vain hope that it would eventually become drinkable. I think it was around 6 months old when I eventually dumped it. I thought that I must have had a wild yeast infection or something else, so I did an identical batch using a new pack of the same yeast strain and it turned out exactly like the first. I poured it out immediately - didn't even bother kegging it.

I ended up dumping it on my front lawn (figured it was mostly water, what harm could it do), and it turned the grass brown. I had problems with some jerks in my neighbourhood letting their dogs run loose, and they'd crap all over my lawn. I guess the dogs didn't like the smell of it either because the crapping stopped for a while after that. :lol:
 

Weizguy

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Just quickly, I've made a Wit with Whitelabs Wit II yeast at higher temps (over 22C) and the result is very (did I say "very"?) phenolic and plummy.

I'd not recommend a Wit yeast for a Saison, if this is anything to go by!

My 2 cents
Seth :p
 

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