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Saison, Saison, Saison, and Saison

My mother, for my birthday in January, bought me a buncha e-books.  Well, I kinda forgot that I had a Kindle and what was on it. It's a pretty neat little deal.  Well I found the e-book Farmhouse Ales by Phil Markowski.  Now I hate to say I've joined the band wagon because I'm a bit of a rebel, but Saisons are really good. You gotta love the Belgians... And to a much lesser extent, the French.  The only part I read of this book was the Saison section, I'll get back to the Biere De Garde later.  I enjoyed the book quite a bit, even though I have about a 3rd grade reading level.  I was already inspired to make a Saison, the book inspired me to make 4.

Now to be completely honest, I made 2 batches and split them both up and pitched 2 different yeast strains.  The book suggests to use, the Belgian Brasserie Dupont yeast strain. I used Wyeast's version of that and I used their French Saison strain.  Both preformed magnificently. The book also suggests, and almost dares, a higher than average fermentation temperature.  Now this summer has been balls hot (hot as balls?) in North Texas.  When it was about 100-110 outside, it got about 85-90 in my bathroom during the day. Perfect place to ferment.  The air temperature ranged from about 80-90.  I didn't have a temperature probe to monitor the beer temperature.  I like to fly by the seat of my pants while I make great beer.

Well, with help of Farmhouse Ales, I formulated 2 recipes which are attached below.  I've also been on a rye kick by the way.  I know, bandwagon.  I brewed one on a Saturday, and brewed the other exactly 2 weeks later.

The first beer I named Frank Sinatra.  I dont know why,The first brew day went quite well, it was calm collected, Steve came by to help.  It was also the second time I used my new grain mill. It works great.  The gap is set on the factory setting, which is a bit of a finer grind that I was used to, but once I hit a good hot sparge temp, laturing went just fine.  I was worried when I opened the ball valve and almost nothing came out.  The rye also probably had something to do with that.  I also used 5.2 pH stabilizer.  I think that helped quite a bit, but I can't find my notes from that day (I don't think I took any), so I don't know.  I split that beer into 2 five gallon batches and pitched the Wyeast Belgian Saison in one and Wyeast French Saison in the other.  They both took off in literally a matter of hours.  When I racked into secondary 2 weeks later, the Belgian was at 1.022 and the French was at 1.007.  That was starting at 1.071.

The second brew I called Frank Sinatra Jr. The second brew day 2 weeks later did not go nearly as well.  My mash stuck, (didn't drain for the lay person) which took forever, I burned myself...again... And I killed a hooker.  Ok, so I didn't kill a hooker, but I would have, given the chance.  My efficiency dramatically suffered.  It was 54% and I usually get about 65-75%.  Anyway, after I collected the wort, I put the beer directly on top of the yeast cake left over by the first beer.

I bottled them both last the weekend before Labor Day, 20 gallons in one day was a bit of a challenge. I also bottled my deplorable End of the World Zombie Apocalypse beer that weekend.  All told, about 200 bottle by myself.  I wonder if my soon to be wife will let me buy a kegerator...

I debuted the 4 Saisons at the Labor Day Party I threw, hosted and paid for my Rosene. All 4 were incredibly well received.  I really enjoyed that, even though the French yeast strain fermented so well (down to 1.003),  there were no detectable hot or solvent like flavors I get from beers like Sam Adams Imperial Series.  I have a feeling that these beers won't last long.

Belgian Frank Sinatra Saison:


Amazing.  My favorite of all 4. There are the beautiful notes of the Belgian yeast, bananas, cloves, and bubblegum.  It's a bit sweeter and has a bit more mouthfeel than the others.  Great beer.

French Frank Sinatra Saison:


Tremendous. My other favorite of all 4. The driest and most alcoholic of them all.  Be careful, this beer will knock you on your ass.  Has a more spicy flavor than the Belgian Frank

French Frank Sinatra Jr. Saison:


Beautiful beer.  My least favorite of the 4.  It's my least favorite, I think, because it was the last one I tried and it's the least like the others and not what I was expecting.  It is extremely complex. Because Jr. was not as big of a beer, the spicy, almost peppery, flavors shine through.  Still very dry.  I think that this will soon be my most favorite of all 4.

Belgian Frank Sinatra Jr. Saison:


Wonderful. Not as sweet as Belgian Frank, but every bit as good.  Great yeast flavors along with spicy peppery notes.

Frank Sinatra Saison:

Batch Size: 10 gallons
Type: All Grain infusion step mash
Boil:  90min
OG:  1.071
FG:  1.003 (French Saison yeast)
FG:  1.020 (Belgian Saison yeast)

Grain Bill:
Pilsen    36ppg, 1°L:  22 pounds 64.7%
Rye 30ppg, 4°L:  1.5 pounds 4.4%
Aromatic 36ppg, 2°L:  0.75 pounds 2.2%
Biscuit 35ppg, 25°L:  0.75 pounds 2.2%

Sugars:
Cane sugar 42ppg °L:  4 pounds 11.8%

Hops:
Goldings (Styrian) 4.6%, Pellet:  3 oz 60 min
Goldings (Kent) 5%, Pellet:  0.25 oz 60 min
Saaz 3.9%, Pellet: 2 oz 2 min

Spices:
Orange peel (Bitter): 2 oz 15 min
Grains of Paridise: .5 oz 15 min

Yeast
Wyeast 3724 Belgian Saison
Wyeast French Saison

 

Frank Sinatra Jr. Saison:

Batch Size: 10 gallons
Type: All Grain infusion step mash
Boil:  90min
OG:  1.061
FG:  1.002 (French Saison yeast)
FG:  1.016 (Belgian Saison yeast)

Grain Bill:
Pilsen    36ppg, 1°L:  18 pounds 56.2%
Rye 30ppg, 4°L:  5 pounds 15.6%
Wheat 38ppg 2°L:  2.5 pounds 7.8%
CaraMunich 34ppg 50°L:  1.5 pounds 4.7%

Sugars:
Cane sugar 42ppg °L:  4 pounds 11.8%

Hops:
Cascade 6%, Pellet:  2.5 oz 60 min
Goldings (Kent) 5%, Pellet:  1 oz 60 min
Saaz 3.9%, Pellet: 2 oz 2 min

Spices:
Orange peel (Bitter): 2 oz 15 min
Grains of Paridise: .5 oz 15 min

Yeast
Wyeast 3724 Belgian Saison
Wyeast French Saison

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