Busey and Wolfman's Saison

Discussion in 'The Brewery' started by Gary Busey, Mar 11, 2017.

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  1. Gary Busey

    Gary Busey Administrator Staff Member

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    Last week, I went to visit Providence and hang out with Wolfman. We had a great time volunteering at a homebrew competition, and sampling various brews. While I was there, we talked about collaborating on a Saison.

    Saison is a style of beer originating in Belgium and France. It was originally brewed for the farmhands in this region as a low alcohol, thirst quenching beverage. The saisonniers- seasonal farmhouse workers- were entitled to some of this beer as part of their compensation. Some sources suggest that they were entitled to up to 3 liters per day of this excellent brew! As a farmhouse beer, meant for working people, saison is traditionally brewed simply with what the farm had lying around. Today, that means that you can make it with pretty much any ingredients as long as it's not too dark or too bitter.

    So here we go. Wolfman and I will be designing and brewing a saison. Here are the parameters we will be brewing to.

    Original Gravity: 1.048- 1.065
    Finishing Gravity: 1.000- 1.008
    IBU: 20-35

    I'd like to use Belgian Pilsner malt for the base malt, as well as around 20% Wheat malt here for body. We should also add some simple sugar or honey here to aid in drying out the beer.

    For hops, I have a bunch in my freezer here. Mt. Hood, Cascade, Nelson Sauvin, Wakatu, Willamette. Any of those sound good?

    Also start thinking about which yeast you'd like to use. I have a house strain which I'd like to use.
     
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  2. Wolfman

    Wolfman Well-Known Forum Member

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    So I haven't bought any beer software and my Beersmith trial has already expired. Here's some input without using any calculators.
    Busey = blue, Wolfman = wred
    Some thoughts:
    -You must have some monster yeast for that FG. Looks like about 90% attenuation. Most of the yeast I would use are 70-80% attenuation.
    -I might ferment at a higher temp (maybe 74-78F) to bring out esters and fruit flavor
    -If you're interested in using more Wakatu for flavor (or any other hop), we could do ~1/3oz added to fermenter as pre-hop addition or during krausen. It's something people do for NEIPAs supposedly to add an almost candied hop characteristic to the beer (i.e. adding hop flavor without any bitterness).
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2017
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  3. trizznut

    trizznut Well-Known Forum Member

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    Love seeing this!!! You guys have totally passed by me on brewing knowledge. Keep up the great work guys.
     
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  4. Donald Draper

    Donald Draper Well-Known Forum Member

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    The FITH HR group is pretty similar to farmhands. I'm looking forward to my free 3 liters per day.
     
  5. Wolfman

    Wolfman Well-Known Forum Member

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    I owe a lot of my brewing knowledge to you, Trizzypoo-sensei.
     
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  6. Gary Busey

    Gary Busey Administrator Staff Member

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    Let's throw in some rye malt as well. It plays nicely off of the spicy phenols from saison yeast. Say 4%?

    Once we get the grain bill figured out, I will calculate it here using the percentages we decide on. I calculate all of my recipes by hand, and I'll show you an idea of how it works. The gravities I put in the first post are the BJCP guidelines for Saison, so we'll want to try to keep it close to that.

    According to the yeastbot database, the WLP566 attenuates to about 85% on the high end. And yes, my house strain is a monster attenuator even when fermenting down in the low 60's.

    With the hops, we should use a high alpha hop for bittering. I have some Horizon at 15% AA. Nelson is about that high also. It should only take 1-1.5 oz to get us up in the 25 IBU range. I agree with using the wakatu late in the boil. I have a whole pound of that.
     
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  7. Wolfman

    Wolfman Well-Known Forum Member

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    How about
    #lb / 70% Belgian pilsner
    #lb / 18% Wheat malt
    #lb / 4% Flaked oats
    #lb / 4% CaraMunich malt
    #lb / 4% Rye

    For hops, the 1oz Horizon should be good for bittering. I wanted to use hops that had some earthy/spicy/herbal flavors in the boil which is why I picked Willamette (has some herbal flavor). Wakatu has more citrus/floral flavor. We could certainly use it as a very late addition. If you want, we could use it instead of Willamette. Either way, we won't be using very much given the style.
     
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  8. Xenoman

    Xenoman New Forum Member

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    When the fuck did beer turn into science? Beer used to be just about what got your drunkest the fastest.
     
  9. Wolfman

    Wolfman Well-Known Forum Member

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    People have been studying beer for a very very long time. Making beer is simple (grain + water + hops + yeast = beer) and relatively easy. Making quality beer requires in-depth knowledge of each component and how they interact.

    It's not for everyone. Us nerds like the science and its delicious reward.
     
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  10. Dstraktd

    Dstraktd Admininstigator Staff Member

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    This all reads like Greek to me, but I am still excited. Lemme know if you need a taste-tester.
     
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  11. Gary Busey

    Gary Busey Administrator Staff Member

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    OK, here we go. I've done the maths and come up with what should be our beer here. Recipe is for 11 gallons into the fermenter.

    I get about 80% efficiency with my brewing setup, which gives us the following extraction.

    Code:
    Belgian Pilsner   30 points per pound per gallon
    German Wheat Malt 30 ppppg
    Rye Malt          23 ppppg
    CaraMunich        27 ppppg
    Flaked Oats       25 ppppg
    Honey             35 ppppg
    Applying our percentages to this, and taking into account the 2 pounds of honey going into the beer, gives us the following. It's not really exact, because I took 70 gravity points out of what we were getting from the base malt to compensate for the honey, rather than take it from the total gravity points before calculating. So that'll skew the percentage of base malt. Everything else should work out.

    Code:
    70% Belgian Pilsner    330 gravity points
    18% German Wheat       103 gp
    4% Rye Malt             23 gp
    4% CaraMunich           23 gp
    4% Flaked Oats          23 gp
    2 pounds honey          70 gp
    -------------------------------------------
    Total Gravity Points   572
    Divided by final volume 11 gallons
    --------------------------------------------
                            52
    Gravity of finished wort 1.052
    So how much grain will you need to make up these gravity points? Based on the above, this should be it:
    Code:
    11   lb Belgian Pilsner
     3.4 lb German Wheat
     1   lb Rye Malt
      .8 lb CaraMunich
      .9 lb Flaked Oats
    ----------------------------
    17.1 lb total grains
    plus 2 lb honey
    Hops will be in the next post.
     
  12. Gary Busey

    Gary Busey Administrator Staff Member

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    So for hops, we have Horizon at 15.3% Alpha Acid, Mt. Hood at 5.8% AA, and Willamette at 4.4% AA

    1 oz horizon @ 60 minutes in the boil gives 24 IBU
    1 oz mt hood @ 15 minutes remaining in the boil gives 4.5 IBU
    1 oz willamette @ 15 minutes remaining in the boil gives 3.4 IBU
    1 oz mt hood @ 5 minutes remaining gives 2 IBU
    .5 oz willamette @ 5 minutes gives 1 IBU
    Total IBU 34.9
     
  13. Wolfman

    Wolfman Well-Known Forum Member

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    Grain bill looks great.

    Hops look pretty good too.
    I like the idea of using Mt. Hood. I've heard people will typically only use noble hops for saisons with Fuggles and Willamette being relatively common substitutions. I'm partial to the Mt. Hood flavor profile for this beer though.

    [​IMG]

    I know you wanted to use the Wakatu though. We could still use it as cold-side addition if you want.

    I'll update the recipe I listed above.

    Edit: For the honey, I've heard good things about using orange blossom honey. I'll see if I can find some next time I'm at the store.
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2017
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  14. Gary Busey

    Gary Busey Administrator Staff Member

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    Alright, I will get the grains ordered. Could you pick up the honey?

    I'm cool with leaving out the Wakatu. We can discuss any changes to the hop bill while we're mashing the grains.
     
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  15. M3R71N

    M3R71N Here for the Beer

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    I would like to pre-order 2 bomber's of this saison. Like seriously!
     
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  16. Wolfman

    Wolfman Well-Known Forum Member

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    Sure. Would you like regular (Busey) or premium (Wolfman)?

    Just kidding

    Here's a little preview of the brew process

    [​IMG]
     
  17. Dstraktd

    Dstraktd Admininstigator Staff Member

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    So, you just stick your head in a keg? Shit, I can do that!
     
  18. trizznut

    trizznut Well-Known Forum Member

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    All there is to it.
     
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