Tag Archives: saison

Munich-Citra Petite Saison Smash

Decided to try a new twist on an old recipe, new in a couple of ways.  Petite saison smash – but with 100% Munich malt.  Also in some ways similar to Citra-Bomb-From-Hell, but with less of a citra blast, and lower bitterness.

I added 10 grams of citra as the bittering addition.  Please, no whinin’ over using citra for bittering, that’s a debate I don’t particularly care when you’re talking ten friggin’ grams.  Then I dumped in the remainder of the pound of citra I bought a while ago, 72 grams, at flameout.  Should leave plenty of citra flavor, but not quite be so over the top as the citra bomb.

The wild card is my choice of Danstar Belle Saison yeast.  Haven’t tried this one yet, but chatter online seems positive.  Actually, I picked this one on a whim, asking the guy in my LHBS “got any good saison yeast?” at which point he pulled out a box from the fridge, started digging, and came up with this. Screw it, I’ll try anything once!

In addition, I’m using 62F as the fermentation temperature, same as with my first petite saison yeast.

So we’ll see how it comes out.  I suspect it will come out really good!

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Extract Brewing Revisited, Batch Two: Dark-Saison

Well I’m going through my drafts folder and publishing everything that I had forgotten about.  So this one is a bit out-dated but what the hey, let’s post it!

Results:

I just popped a test bottle of this one. it’s a bit odd, but it’s plenty drinkable and even qualifies as tasty beer.

I wanted to prove to myself that there’s nothing wrong with amber or dark or extra dark extracts, so I simply tried making beers using those extracts. I can’t see any reason NOT to use them (not that you’d need them all the time, of course). But if you just want some color and body, the amber and extra dark extracts (munton’s, FWIW) have not imparted excess sweetness, maltiness, or roasty/whatever flavors to these two beers, they seem to have provided more color than anything. So now that I’m not just regurgitating the old standard “use extra light extract, and add specialty grains for color and body” advice, well, what does that mean? Nothing, I suppose. There’s nothing wrong with the old standard advice, but it’s not the only way to make tasty beer. You can also use amber, dark, and even extra-dark extracts and still make fine beer. My new advice would be to consider what your goals are, and how to best accomplish those goals, and use the ingredients that best accomplish those goals.

The T-58 comes out quite a bit like 3711, but my impression is that 3711 comes out dryer. It’s hard to say exactly how much that’s true, because I haven’t brewed the same beer twice and varied only the yeast, but it’s fairly similar at least. Preliminary assessment of T-58 is that I’ll keep using it for these little two gallon extract batches that are brewed without temperature controls*.

*brewed in my room, temperature usually a bit higher than optimal for most yeasts, and fluctuations are higher than optimal for most yeasts too. The T-58 has handled these fluctutations well (admittedly they are fairly MILD fluctions, lol).

Mini-Batch of Weird Saison-ish extract/mini-mash Beer Strangeness

Decided to try a mini-batch of weird beer today in my old Mr Beer keg, approximately 2.4 gallons.  Used the following ingredients:

  • 1 lb 6-row
  • 8 oz maris otter
  • 4 oz caramel 20
  • 4 oz caramel 60
  • 4 oz flaked corn
  • 0.9 oz honey malt
  • 2 lbs Amber Dry Extract (Munton’s)

Hops:

  • 1 oz willamette mash hop
  • 0.5 oz tettnanger 60 minutes
  • 1.5 oz tettnanger 1 minute

Misc:

  • campden (to guard against chloramines in water)

Yeast:

  • T-58 saison yeast

I honestly have no idea what the heck I’ve made here.  It did taste, smell, and look like it’ll probably become beer after it’s done fermenting!  But we’ll find out in about a month!

UPDATE: it’s ready, and it’s delicious!!  Very saison-y but not at all dry (which is a little odd, but hey, it works).  Next up for the mini-batches will be something along these lines, but with extra-dark Munton’s extract!

SMaSH weekend!

Well I’m ready to brew again, two batches in fact.  Both Blonde Ale III and Elderberry Wheat II have fermented long enough (by the time this big brew day goes down) and we’re ready to bottle them.

I’ve also been wanting to try some more SMaSH beers.  Why?  Because SMaSH beers are simple, and they help develop your processes.  Also, I’ve been liking these simple pale ales a lot, tending towards slightly on the hoppy side.  So we’re going to brew two SMaSH beers in one big brew day!

The first SMaSH beer will be a Munich malt and Bravo hops special.

  • 12 lbs Munich
  • 14 grams Bravo at 60
  • 2 oz Bravo at 5 minutes
  • 2 oz Bravo at flameout
  • 2 oz Bravo dry hop

Targets:

  • OG 1.064
  • IBU 45
  • SRM 12.3
  • ABV 6.6

The second SMaSH beer will be a pilsner malt and fuggles hops with saison yeast smash, with 3711 yeast.  Thanks to scurvy311 on beer advocate for the idea!

  • 12 lbs pilsner malt
  • 1 oz fuggles at 60
  • 1 oz fuggles at 15
  • 1 oz fuggles at 5
  • 1 oz fuggles at 0
  • 2 oz fuggles dry hop

Targets:

  • OG 1.062
  • IBU 27.8
  • SRM 2.7
  • ABV 6.9

It’s really going to be a big day!  We’ve got multiple brews going, a couple beershed projects working, and I gotta fix my brakes too!  We have an entire “crew” to get things done, and plenty of homebrew to boot!  I’ll be “orchestrating” the brewing side of it, my bro the “building” side of it, and the scallywags will be fixin’ my brakes if they want any beer!

Should be a smashing day!

Saison Dupont

Well I wanted to do a review on Saison Dupont, a delicious saison from Brasserie Dupont.   Rating a 93 on beeradvocate.com and a 99 on ratebeer.com, it’s one popular saison, and for good reason.  It’s definitely one of the best in style, and overall just one of my favorite beers in any category.  So without further delay, let’s open this bad-boy!
Monstrous appearance, the first thing that happens upon pouring is that a giant white head tries to take over the glass.  You’ve gotta wait a bit before you can even fill the glass.  Although I have come to expect this from the heavily carbonated saison style, this one is even more pronounced than most others in the style.  Tons of bubbles rise in a torrent through a somewhat hazy, tan colored brew.  Looks good!

Belgian yeast, fruit, spices, and a lovely funkiness provide this brew with a lovely and typical saison aroma.

Taste wise this beer is very complex.  The flavors range from peppery spices to Belgian yeast to light and mid colored fruits (pears, apples, peaches, plums) to citrus (oranges, grapefruit, lemon peel) to barnyard funk to grasses and floral flavors.  Your taste buds hardly know what to do with all the amazing flavors being thrown at them!

Body wise this brew is light, well carbonated, yet still a bit chewy, with a funky aftertaste that kind of rides with you after the fact.

Overall I’d say this beer is a MUST TRY.  If you like saisons, I cannot imagine that you wouldn’t like this beer.  It’s not terribly expensive for a corked and caged Belgian import either, and I’ve had perhaps ten of these and never had an issue with freshness.  I believe I’ve had it in 12 oz bottles also, and the quality was equally good.  They obviously put a lot of time and effort into this brew, and it shows.

Cheers!

Black Cherry Saison – Schlafly Taproom

Definitely AMAZING beer here, black cherry saison!  They say it just became available yesterday.  I put in on ratebeer.com and beeradvocate.com just now.

Here are my thoughts on this beer…

look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Almost black, in the dim light of the Taproom it appeared very dark purple, but that might have been my imagination. It had a one finger head with some staying power and sparse but ample lacing.

The smell and taste were more of a saison than a fruit beer. Great Belgian yeast flavors, a bit spicy, with plenty of black cherry, although not overpoweringly so. The cherries appear more in the taste than they do in the smell, at least to my pallet. There’s just a touch of funk in there too, which I love in a saison. If you gave me this beer on a blind taste test, I would be hard pressed to call it anything other than a saison.

Body is light and pretty well carbonated, pretty easy to drink. Lighter than many saisons, my 20oz glass went down pretty easy.

Absolute must try when you’re at the Taproom in St Louis. This place remains one of the city’s gems.

In addition, I’m having an American IPA on cask, and some of their excellent Barleywine on cask too!

Great job Schlafly!

EDIT: they also had Organic Pale Ale on tap, for the first time since 2005.  The bartender tells  me this version is much better than the past version and contains Galaxy hops from New Zealand and Tasmania.  I’m having one now and it’s pretty tasty stuff!  At 4.8% and 25 IBUs, it’s really easy to drink.  However, you smell and taste lots of nice hops when you drink it!  Must be late additions.  Very tasty stuff, another must try!

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