Saturday, July 17, 2010

Seconds, Please Saison July 17 2010

After a successful release of my first Belgian Saison last weekend, I had to have another go.  The recipe formulation is different this time.  I'm out of pilsener malt, added Vienna malt to the grain bill,  added honey to the sugar adjuncts, and finished the hopping schedule with an addition of Saaz.  Ah, Saaz!  The last change will be fermentation temperature.  The previous Saison fermented around 70°F and this one will experience temps around 80°F.  Kara was here to help today :-)  Its always nice to have my apprentice here!
A pour of Saison Dupont (source below)
My experience with drinking Saison is still fairly limited.  I've had Saison Dupont on one occasion and have had a few homebrewed by QUAFFers and other brew buddies.  Probably the most notable of all Saisons in San Diego is Brother Levonian, a Saison brewed in honor of Dave Levonian, a great homebrewer and friend to all in our homebrew club, QUAFF.

Seconds, Please Saison July 17 2010
BJCP Category 16C. Saison
5 Gallons, All Grain, Single Infusion Mash, 75 Minute Boil

8.5 lbs. Domestic 2-Row
1 lb. Red Wheat
1 lb. Vienna
0.5 lb. Munich
Single Infusion Mash 148°F

0.5 lb. Cane Sugar (Trader Joe's Organic)
1/2 Cup of Sage Blossom Honey added at KO

1.5 oz. Hallertauer 60 min.
0.25 oz. Hallertauer 15 min.
0.25 oz. Hallertauer 5 min.
0.25 oz. Saaz 1 min.
1 Whirlfloc tab 20 min.

White Labs WLP566 Belgian Saison II (2 Vials), thanks Kara!
Fermented at 70°F

OG: 1.065 @ 76°F
FG: 1.0045 @ 68°F
ABV: 8.2% (temp corrected)

Image Source: User: Jmcstrav. Saison Dupont. Image. Dupont Brewery. Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia, 1 Oct. 2007. Web. 17 July 2010.

Update 8/6: Racked to secondary, current gravity is 1.006 and its tasting mighty fine!
Update 8/16: Kegged!  Michelle commented that it tastes very Belgian-y.  Excellent!  A week ago, I had Avec les bons Vœux de la brasserie Dupont. Damn it was good!  So much better than their standard Saison Dupont.

Avec les bons Vœux de la brasserie Dupont
Update 8/25: Now on tap!  This is a great beer.  I took this to our club's beer evaluation committee last week headed up by Harold Gulbransen.  While all seemed to feel this beer would do very well (Harold said he could drink this all day), they suggested to dry it up a bit more.  I explained that by measurements of final gravity at 1.0045, its very dry.  There's certainly a perceived sweetness that makes the value of the final gravity hard to believe.  Harold suggested to check my hydrometers for accuracy.
So I tested my hydrometers when I got home.  Turns out I had four hydrometers at home, two triple scales and two Brewer's Edge (one standard, one bottling).  The triple scales both read 1.000 and the Brewer's Edge hydrometers both at 0.999.  They checked out for acceptable accuracy.
Kara decided to take this beer and two others in to White Labs for analysis.  The results: 8.21% with a Specific Gravity 1.00624.  I think that's pretty damn close to my measurements. 
Harold suggested to change out the honey and use sugar such as turbinado to really dry it out.  I'm thinking the honey really left behind the sweetness.  When it comes to using honey, it really doesn't take much to sweeten up a beer.  I think I learned my lesson when it comes to using honey in beer.  From now on, I'll stick with saving the honey for meads.


  1. Looks nice! Good to see you are taking advantage of that summer vacation and brewing your butt off. Cheers man!

  2. I just picked a load of grain and hops for a number of brews while on vacation. Its not like I get to brew beer at work!


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