HomeBrew ... Belgian Style
Saison is the classic Belgian ale created in farm houses in the Wallonia region of Belgium. Saison was traditionally brewed to nourish the farm workers
throughout the summery. Because it was a working-man's beer orignally, Saison is traditionally dry and quite drinkable. Color is a just-past-gold or not-quite-orange
sort of hue. Saison was originally brewed at lower alcohol levels, but has crept up over to years to as much as 7 or 8%.
As with most Belgian beers, the main qualities of this style come from the yeast. In this case, Saison is spicy, slightly estery and fruity (even without the addition of things like orange peel - which brewers sometimes add.)
Pilsner malt makes the base of Saison. Wheat is often used as well to add a spiciness. A small bit of an adjunct malt (I use Munich & CaraMunich) gives Saison a bit
of color and slight depth.
Hopping can be generous (dry hopping is even not out of style) and is traditionally either British or German hops.
One of the most important keys to success is to be sure to get your final gravity down and finish with a well-attenuated, easy-to-drink beer. Adding some plain table sugar (instead of equivalent grain) will allow a good attenuation as long as you don't go crazy with the sugar (up to 15 percent seems right.) Another key to success is to have a nice healthy pitch of yeast that has undergone a good starter process. Ideally, you would start your yeast at the lower end of the yeast manufacturer's recommended temperature and end your apparent active fermentation at the upper end of this range with a nice, steady increase in the time between. This will ensure the yeast is encouraged to continue due to the increasing temperatures as well as providing your beer with some of the estery or phenolic characters that make this beer so tasty.
|OG: 1.048 - 1.065||FG: 1.002 - 1.012||IBU: 20 - 35||ABV: 5 - 7%|
Eight One Deuce - Saison ::: 1.060/1.008 (10.75 Gal @ 70% eff.)
16 lbs. - Pilsner Malt
2 lb. - Wheat Malt
1 lb. - Munich Malt
3/4 lb. - CaraMunich Malt
2.5 lb. - Table Sugar (Added at the End of Boil)
Hop Schedule (26 IBU)
2 oz - Liberty [4.1%] (60 Min.)
1 oz - Sterling [5.1%] (30 Min.)
2 oz - Hersbrucker [2.6%] (20 Min.)
Wyeast French Saison (3711 Seasonal) - 900 ml starter (stirplate)
Mash at 149° for 60 min.
Sparge as usual
Boil for 90 min. Cool and start ferment at about 65 degrees ramping up to 75