Thursday, July 7, 2016

Recipe: Blank Space (First Edition) [Batch #105]

Back in May, I had some friends over for a brew day, and we decided to do a saison with key lime juice and zest.  We wanted hops to complement that citrus character, and decided to use newer hops that would give additional "green fruit" character.  Namely, Hallertau Blanc, Nelson Sauvin, and Sorachi Ace.  Together, these hops should impart some gooseberry, lime, white grape, and lemon/lime character.  (I know that some people get unusual flavors like dill from Sorachi Ace, but I've always ended up with a nice citrus character, though I've never used them in a beer that didn't also feature citrus zest, so who knows what they're like all by themselves.)

Not only am I a big fan of all these flavors, but I knew that by the time this beer was done with primary fermentation, my oak barrel would be empty and I thought this would all work well with a bit of oak and its accompanying characteristics.  

I ultimately decided that I wanted to have a non-barrel-aged portion of the beer that I could also dry hop to have an ultra-refreshing (and low ABV!) beer for the summer.  Because of that, a portion of the barrel will end up with some other blonde saison as a component of the fill.  I nearly always have some sort of blonde saison around, so that shouldn't be a problem, especially since I use the same Ambrosia 005 blend as part of nearly all of my fermentations.  This is particularly true given the fact that all of my carboys and buckets are scratched and certainly house plenty of that culture, although I recently purchased a conical that I'll use for "clean" saisons going forward that I can either bottle/keg that way, or introduce specific Brett strains and/or other bugs at packaging to see how they work in secondary.

I mentioned above that a plus to this beer is its low alcohol content, but that doesn't really make this beer any sort of outlier.  As those who read this blog frequently have likely noticed, it's extremely rare for me to brew a beer that ends up over 6% ABV, as I like my saisons light, refreshing, and consumable in (relatively) large quantities.

The recipe for the full batch is as follows:

Batch Number: 105
Brew Date: May 14, 2016
Bottle/Keg Date: See notes below.
Batch Size: 20 Gallon
OG: 1.042 (est.)
FG: 1.004 (measured)
Fermentation Temperature: Room temperature, fluctuating around 65*-70*F.
IBU: 67.0 (modified Tinseth)
ABV: 5.0% (est.)
SRM: 3.0

Mash: Single infusion for 60 minutes at 154*F.
Boil: 60 minute


20.00 lb French Pilsner (57%)
9.00 lb Wheat, Flaked (26%)
3.25 lb Acid Malt (9%)
3.00 lb Oats, Flaked (9%)

Salts & Water

All salts added directly to the mash along with the strike water.  I'm now using a Blichmann BrewEasy system, so everything is recirculating between two pots.  All the liquid is then drained into the boil kettle at the end of the mash.

5.0g Calcium Chloride
8.0g Calcium Sulfate
12.0g Sodium Chloride

Resulting water profile is as follows:

Mash pH (est.): 5.30
Calcium: 64
Magnesium: 12
Sodium: 51
Chloride: 104
Sulfate: 69


2.0 oz Sorachi Ace (10.4 AAU), pellet, at 60 minutes
5.0 oz Nelson Sauvin (13.2 AAU), pellet, at flameout
4.0 oz Hallertau Blanc (16.8 AAU), pellet, at flameout
2.0 oz Sorachi Ace (10.4 AAU), pellet, at flameout

Dry hop forthcoming to the non-barrel-aged portion.


4 tsp. Wyeast Yeast Nutrient at 10 minutes
2 Tbsp. Key lime zest (5-gallon portion only)
100 mL Key lime juice (5-gallon portion only)


Ambrosia Blend 005


05.31.2016: Added key lime juice  (100mL) and zest (2 Tbsp.) to a 5-gallon portion of the batch being fermented in a bucket.

7.06.2016:  I rinsed the barrel with several rounds of hot water followed by a spray-out with the hose, then several rounds of cool water.  I then purged the barrel with CO2 and started adding beer:
  • 4.5 gallons of Blank Space (carboy-fermented). SG of 1.006.  Light lemon and green grape with definite backing flaked grain body and feel.
  • 5.5 gallons of Blank Space (bucket-fermented). SG of 1.004.  Flavor is similar to the carboy version but with a little bit of sulfur in the nose at first, though that quickly dissipated. 
  • 3 gallons of Wallonian-fermented wort from the 04.29.2016 WPA batch (Batch 104). SG is 1.004.
Ia dded the rest of the Wallonian Farmhouse portion of Batch #104 to the carboy fermented with Ambrosia 005 from that batch.  That carboy is now at max capacity, and I plan to transfer that beer onto some watermelon juice soon.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Recipe: Demeter Auran (Batch 5; Barrel Fermentation Batch 1) [Batch #103]

This post relates to my fifth edition of Demeter Auran, a blonde saison brewed with citrus zest, rose hips, and citrusy American hops.  This batch features blood oranges along with Citra, Mosaic, and Amarillo hops. For the malt bill, I added a little bit of honey malt, as I really enjoy the character that brings out in a blonde saison assuming I'm not going for something that's more floral and grassy, leaning toward a more-traditional phenolic base.  More importantly, this was my first time doing barrel fermentation. This beer went into the barrel for primary fermentation right after I cleared the barrel of Dionysus #3.  See this post for background on the barrel and the beer that was in the barrel prior to this batch of Demeter Auran.  

With the barrel fermentation, I'm really hoping to pull out a bit of oak over the three to four week fermentation period.  Furthermore, I want to gain additional experience working with barrels, as when I eventually open up a commercial brewery, I plan to start with everything being fermented in oak.  From there, perhaps I'll eventually get some stainless fermentors for saisons without any sort of Brett or lactic acid bacteria, but from the start I think barrels will be the best way to showcase the kind of beers that I want to make, and there's the added bonus of barrels being significantly cheaper to work with compared to stainless fermentors.

Blood oranges ready to be zested.

The recipe for the full batch is as follows:

Batch Number: 103
Brew Date: February 6, 2016
Bottle/Keg Date: See notes below.
Batch Size: 20 Gallon
OG: 1.032 (est.)
FG: 1.002 (measured)
Fermentation Temperature: Fluctuating around 65*-70*F.
IBU: 43.0 (modified Tinseth)
ABV: 4.0% (est.)
SRM: 4.0

Mash: Single infusion for 60 minutes at 150*F.
Boil: 60 minute


16.00 lb French Pilsner (46%)
6.00 lb Wheat, Flaked (17%)
5.00 lb Oats, Flaked (14%)
3.00 lb Munich (9%)
2.81 lb Acid Malt (8%)
2.00 lb Honey Malt (6%)

Salts & Water

10.0g Calcium Chloride (all added directly to the kettle)
8.0g Calcium Sulfate (all added directly to the kettle)
11.0g Sodium Chloride (all added directly to the kettle)

Resulting water profile is as follows:

Mash pH (est.): 5.33
Calcium: 69
Magnesium: 12
Sodium: 40
Chloride: 102
Sulfate: 61


3.0 oz Mosaic (11.6 AAU), leaf, at 60 minutes
3.5 oz Citra (13.0 AAU), leaf, at flameout
3.5 oz Amarillo (8.8 AAU), leaf, at flameout
3.0 oz Mosaic (11.6 AAU), leaf, at flameout


4 tsp. Wyeast Yeast Nutrient at 10 minutes
56g blood orange zest at flameout
21g dried rose hips at flameout
400mL blood orange juice at flameout


See notes below.

Transferring the wort into the barrel.


02.03.2016: Created a starter with 7.75oz DME into 4L of water with 2 tsp of yeast nutrient.  


3724 manufactured 12.06.2015 (x2)
OYL Saisonstein's Monster manufactured 12.15.2015

3724 manufactured 08.26.2015
3726 manufactured 07.22.2015
WLP645 expired 06.19.2015
WLP644 expired 07.19.2015
1 cup Farmhouse Mild thick slurry (at least 50% yeast) from 03.16.2014 (kept in fridge since then)

Added all the old stuff to 1 L of the starter wort.  It was about 500ml of yeast in total.  I then added the two new packets of 3724 and Omega Saisonstein's Monster to 3L of starter wort.

02.07.2016: Heavy fermentation 24 hours after pitching.  At 48 hours, bumped the temperature to 70*F for the carboy version.  Sitting previous to this at ambient at 65*F.  Barrel remains at 65*F.


02.10.2016: At 60 hours, the carboy is at 69*F.  Raised to 72*F with a differential of 2*F.  At 72 hours, raised to 76*F with differential of 2*.

02.11.2016: At 84 hours, I raised the carboy temperature to 78*F with differential of 2*F.

02.14.2016: Added dregs of 2012 3F Golden Blend to the barrel

02.16.2016: Barrel sitting at 66*F.

03.23.2016: Carboy finished at 1.002.  Transferred 5 gallons from the carboy to a  keg with 2.0 oz of Hallertau Blanc.  Transferred 3 gallons of the barrel to a carboy with 14oz of passion fruit pulp.  Transferred 5 gallons to a keg without any dry hops.  Finally, I bottled 5 gallons with 7oz raw sugar aiming for 3.5 volumes (probably under as CO2 escaped from the barrel during the fermentation process).  Yield of 23 750ml bottles.

Transferring from the barrel into the bottling bucket.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Barrel Number 01: Process & Timeline

In January 2015, I ordered a 13.2-gallon barrel made of a new Hungarian Oak from MoreBeer. Barrel aging was something I had done a bit in the past with a 3-gallon whiskey barrel. That experience was fairly limited, however. I first filled the barrel with a stout to scrub a lot of the oak and whiskey character, and then subsequently added my first batch of Ruby (a Flanders Red-inspired beer). However, while the next beer was in the barrel (another batch of Ruby, I believe), I unfrotuantely discovered some mold growing on the bottom of the barrel due to excess moisture in the basement of the house we were living in at that time, and I ended up ditching the barrel as I didn't want to ruin another batch. (That barrel still serves as a nice decoration in our basement pub, however.)

For this barrel, I made sure to read all that I could about cleaning and maintenance. The post I leaned most-heavily on was Embrace the Funk's Barrel Cleaning and Storage post. I also followed the instructions from the barrel maker (Vadai), which indicated that a thorough rinse with hot water would be necessary to pull some of the "new oak" character out of the barrel. The instructions also call for swelling the heads of the barrel by putting boiling water on top of them, as well as a few other steps, so make sure to read the full instructions if you plan to use the methods discussed here and you're not relying on instructions from your barrel supplier or elsewhere on the web. I'm sure there are plenty of ways to properly hydrate a barrel and prep it for storage, but these methods worked for me so I'll be following them in the future.

With those thoughts in mind, I spent a few nights filling the barrel with boiling water, bunging it up, and rolling it around. Then I would rinse and repeat. I initially used the wooden bung/peg that came with the barrel as that swelled as water soaked into it, allowing it to form a better seal and stick inside the barrel as I rolled it back and forth. Then, in ordered to remove it, I gently tapped it back and forth with a rubber mallet. (Safety note: Make sure to very slowly pull the bung out and have it pointed away from you the whole time as the steam from the boiling water will create quite a bit of pressure.)

After the barrel was prepped using Vadai's methods, I added a "holding solution of citric acid and potassium metabisulfite (KMS) at a rate of 4g citric acid 8g KMS per gallon of barrel volume" based on instructions from Midwest Supplies since, at that point, I didn't have enough beer ready for the barrel. When using the KMS, but sure to be in a well-ventilated area and follow proper safety precautions, as the KMS has an extremely-strong odor that will certainly sting your lungs and make you cough quite a bit if you're not careful.

On May 30, 2015, I was finally ready to fill the barrel. At that point, the holding solution had been in the barrel for around four months. I drained out the holding solution, and then gave the barrel several rinses with hot water, followed by several rinses with cold water. I wanted to make sure I had rinsed all of the holding solution so as not to adversely affect the beer going into the barrel. 

The initial barrel fill was a mix of Citrine (spontaneous) and Farmhouse Mild (Batch 06). The ratio was approximately 10 gallons of Farmhouse Mild to a little over three gallons of Citrine. This was based mostly what I had on hand (as I was quite anxious to get the barrel filled at that point!), though of course I did a test blend in a small glass to confirm that I liked the ratio before filling the barrel. The combination of tropical fruit and light funk from the Farmhouse Mild paired really well with the earthy funk, lemon, and pineapple notes from the Citrine. Blending these two beers was nothing new to me, as earlier iterations of these beers had been used to blend the first beer in my Science & Art series. The tasting notes for Science & Art #1 can be found here. At this point I was just using a standard auto-siphon to get the beers into the barrel, though I've since moved on to a barrel-transfer tool that is quite useful (more on that below).

Original barrel fill (May 30, 2015)

Of course, I checked on the barrel the night after filling and there was either some residual fermentation going on or some trapped CO2 from the beers was released, as the bung popped out a bit (photo below).

Following other oak-aged beers that I had done in the past, the name for pulls of blonde saison from the barrel have been known as Dionysus #3.

Additional fermentation (or release of trapped CO2) (May 31, 2015)
The remainder of this post is a timeline devoted to the barrel.  I had incorporated notes on the barrel's path to date, and will continue to update the post as beers move into and out of the barrel, posting links to recipes for the beers that spend time in the barrel, as well as tasting notes for each beer that comes out of the barrel.  


07.05.2015:  I pulled my first "true" barrel sample.  (I had previously used a small pipette to take tiny tastes to check on progress, as I really wasn't sure how long it would take to get the character I was looking for.)  The beer smelled and tasted of pineapple and lemon with a light acidity.  There was a bit of background funk and citrus pith.  Delicate, with some oak notes emerging. Aside from the oak, the beer has a delicate white-wine character.  Hint of white grape and green gooseberry underneath the more-prominent pineapple and lemon.

09.07.2015: I transferred 5 gallons from the barrel to a keg and then topped off the barrel with Demeter Auran (Batch 101) and a little bit of the Yeast Bay Wallonian portion from Batch 100.   

Transferring from the barrel (09.07.2015)

09.12.2015: After the initial pull was carbonated, I was eager to start drinking it.  Unfortunately, I thought that the beer was a bit too oaky, especially when poured from the tap at a cooler temperature, so I mostly used this first batch as a blending component, filling glasses with a few ounces of this before filling the rest with other saisons that I had on tap at the time.

11.10.2015: Barrel gravity of 1.002 and pH of 3.59.  Still a bit too oaky for my tastes.  Transferred  three gallons to 14oz passion fruit pulp and three gallons to 2 lb of mango chunks.

Topped off the barrel with Namur 3724 (+dregs) (Batch #102) at 1.004 and pH 4.41. All of one carboy and a bit of another.

02.06.2016: Pulled the entirety of the barrel and then filled with a batch of Demeter Auran   This pull had less oak, mild acidity, lemon, hay, touch of vanilla, and tropical fruit.    Really, really pleased with it all around.  It might be the best beer I've brewed to date.

03.23.2016: Emptied the barrel of the Demeter Auran.  I didn't have anything at the time to re-fill the barrel and I wasn't brewing again for a bit after that, so I rinsed the barrel with warm water and filled it with the same holding solution I used after first cleaning it after the original acquisition, as described above.

I emptied the barrel with a very handy stainless transfer tool, pictured below.  Here are the plans I used to build it.

07.06.2016: I rinsed the barrel with several rounds of hot water followed by a spray-out with the hose, then several rounds of cool water. I then purged the barrel with CO2 and started adding beer:

  • 4.5 gallons of Blank Space (carboy-fermented). SG of 1.006. Light lemon and green grape with definite backing flaked grain body and feel.
  • 5.5 gallons of Blank Space (bucket-fermented). SG of 1.004. Flavor is similar to the carboy version but with a little bit of sulfur in the nose at first, though that quickly dissipated. 
  • 3 gallons of Wallonian-fermented wort from the 04.29.2016 WPA batch (Batch #104).  SG is 1.004.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Recipe: Noble Namur [Batch #102]

This was a batch of Namur, which is my "plain" saison that's generally fermented clean.  I ended up pitching some bugs into the 3724 portion when it stalled at 1.024.  However, a separate 5-gallon portion was fermented with Omega's Saisonstein's Monster and got down quite low.  That portion I dubbed "Noble Namur" given the use of classic hops in combination with the clean saison yeast profile.

In the end, I really, really enjoyed the Saisonstein's Monster portion and will definitely be making a full batch of this again in the future, simplifying the malt bill quite a bit  (this one was more of a "get rid of some stuff" profile) so that it's essentially a pilsner fermented with a saison yeast that's more peppery and earthy rather than fruity, even though I generally prefer saisons that fit into the latter category.

Finally, the water profile on this one was a bit more sulfate-heavy than my typical saison, as I wanted the bitterness to stand out a bit more.  Although, in the end, this one ended up just a bit too bitter, so I'd probably pull back the IBUs to 25-30 the next time around.

The recipe for the full batch is as follows:

Batch Number: 102
Brew Date: October 2, 2015
Bottle/Keg Date: See notes below.
Batch Size: 20 Gallon
OG: 1.033 (est.)
FG: See below.
Fermentation Temperature: Started at 72*F and ramped up to 82*F.
IBU: 36.0 (modified Tinseth)
ABV: 4.1% (est.)
SRM: 3.0

Mash: Single infusion for 60 minutes at 154*F.
Boil: 60 minute


12.00 lb French Pilsner (46%)
7.00 lb Wheat, Flaked (27%)
2.00 lb Munich (8%)
1.81 lb Acid Malt (7%)
1.50 lb Oats, Flaked (6%)
1.50 lb Rye, Flaked (6%)

Salts & Water

1.1g Calcium Chloride (all added directly to the kettle)
13.1g Calcium Sulfate (all added directly to the kettle)
17.5 Sodium Chloride (all added directly to the kettle)

Resulting water profile is as follows:

Mash pH (est.): 5.24
Calcium: 68
Magnesium: 12
Sodium: 77
Chloride: 128
Sulfate: 102


9.0 oz Strisselspalt (3.5 AAU), pellet, at 60 minutes
4.0 oz Sterling (8.0 AAU), pellet, 90 minutes after flameout (30-minute hopstand)


4 tsp. Wyeast Yeast Nutrient at 10 minutes


Wyeast 3724 (Dupont)
Omega Saisonstein's Monster


10.02.2015 Mash temp 152*F.  4oz of Sterling added after 1.5 hours natural cooling. Temp was 165*F.  After removing the hops, I let the wort sit for approximately 8 hours before pitching at 68*F with temperature regulator set at 72*F and the differential set at 1*F.

30 seconds of oxygen to each 5-gallon portion.  The 3724 packs were both manufactured on 08.11.15. Omega Saisonstein was packaged on 09.01.15.  Controller probe placed in the carboy with the Omega.

10.03.2015: At 24 hours, moved to 74*.

10.04.2015: At 48 hours, loved to 76*. Moved to 78* and 80* at single-day intervals. Continued to 82* at next day. Leaving at 82*.

10.15.2015: Omega at 1.002. 3724 at 1.024.  Controller turned down to 70*F.  Planning to add bugs to the 3724 carboys.

10.16.2015: Created a blend of Saccharomyces Trois, Brett C, Brett Drei, and ECY 03-B plus dregs from Demeter Automne and Demeter Facile.  250mL and split between each 3724 carboy.  The temperature is sitting at 69*F.  Eventually got down to less than 1.002.

11.10.2015: Kegged Noble Namur. FG is 1.001 and pH is 4.51.

Recipe: Demeter Auran (Fourth Edition) [Batch #101]

Continuing with the recipes, this is a batch of Demeter Auran (the fourth time I've brewed this beer), most of which ended up going into my 13.2-gallon oak barrel.  For the portion that I kegged, I didn't end up taking formal tasting notes on any of the batch, even though I would have liked to as half was dry-hopped with Citra and half was dry-hopped with Galaxy.

The recipe for the full batch is as follows:

Batch Number: 101
Brew Date: August 15, 2015
Bottle/Keg Date: See notes below.
Batch Size: 20 Gallon
OG: 1.037 (measured)
FG: 1.004 (measured)
Fermentation Temperature: 76-78*F.
IBU: 51.0 (modified Tinseth)
ABV: 4.2%
SRM: 3.0

Mash: Single infusion for 60 minutes at 154*F.
Boil: 60 minute


16.00 lb French Pilsner (53%)
9.00 lb Wheat, Flaked (30%)
3.00 lb Oats, Flaked (10%)
2.00 lb Acid Malt (7%)

Salts & Water

10.0g Calcium Chloride (all added directly to the kettle)
8.0g Calcium Sulfate (all added directly to the kettle)
11.0g Sodium Chloride (all added directly to the kettle)

Resulting water profile is as follows:

Mash pH (est.): 5.35
Calcium: 82
Magnesium: 12
Sodium: 50
Chloride: 125
Sulfate: 70


2.0oz Citra (13.0 AAU), leaf, at 60 minutes
8.0oz Citra (13.0 AAU), pellet, at flameout

5 gallons of the batch was dry-hopped with 2oz of Citra leaf, and another 5 gallons was dry-hopped with 2oz of Galaxy pellets.  The remaining 10 gallons went into the barrel after fermentation and did not receive any dry hops.


4 tsp. Wyeast Yeast Nutrient at 10 minutes
56g Orange Zest at flameout
20g Rose Hips at flameout


Fresh pack of Wyeast 3726 (Blaugies), 200ml of Wyeast 3726 slurry, and 200ml of Wyeast 3724 (Dupont) slurry.


08.16.2015: Pitched at 77*F 15 hours after cooling.  I pitched late as chiller only went down to 88*F. Temperature controller off for now.

08.17.2015 (8:00 AM) Temperature has been sitting between 76* and 78*F without any assistance. Water bath container seems to have a small leak.

09.07.2015: Transferred 5gal to keg with 2oz Citra leaf.

11.02.2015: FG is 1.004 and pH is 3.50. Dry hopped with 2oz of Galaxy pellets. Transferred with CO2 using stainless setup.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Recipe: Wallonian Pale Ale (Fifth Edition) [Batch #100]

It has unfortunately been a long, long time since my last post, but I'm hopeful that, starting with this post, I'll be back to posting frequently. I have 4-5 recipe posts (some with accompanying tasting notes) in the backlog.  I need to work through those over the next several weeks so that I can really focus on a post that will combine quite a few of these recipes -- an all-encompassing post on the work that I've started to do with barrel-aging and barrel-fermenting saisons, including plenty of blending.   Once up, I will use that post going forward to track everything that goes into and comes out of the 13.2-gallon oak barrel that I have in our basement.

For now, below is a recipe for my fifth iteration of Wallonian Pale Ale, which essentially an America IPA malt and hop base then fermented with a blend of saison yeasts, Brettanomyces, and some lactic-acid bacteria. Even though the IBUs are quite high, a bit of acidity still comes through.  The grain bill on this one was a bit of a mess as I tried to get rid of some older adjuncts that were used to lighten up the body a bit in order to let the yeast and hops shine through.  For hops, I used a nice blend of American hops and went with a 90-minute hop stand at the end of the boil, which is a technique I've used in the past with this beer to really lock in the hop character over a relatively-long (at least for hoppy-beer standards) fermentation period.

Here are the full details on this batch:

Batch Number: 100
Brew Date: August 8, 2015
Batch Size: 16 Gallon
OG: 1.049 (est.)
FG: 1.004 (est.)
IBU: 52 (modified Tinsmith)
ABV: 6.0% (est.)
SRM: 6

Mash: Single infusion for 60 minutes at 154* F
Boil: 60 minute


16.00 lb Dingemans Belgian Pilsner (47%)
4.19 lb Wheat Malt (12%)
3.00 lb Munich (9%)
2.00 lb Flaked Oats (6%)
1.88 lb Acid Malt (6%)
1.75 lb Flaked Rice (5%)
1.75 lb Flaked Corn (5%)
1.25 lb Rye Malt (4%)

Salts & Water

12.5 g Calcium Chloride (all in the boil kettle)
13.5 g Gypsum (all in the boil kettle)
4.5 g Sodium Chloride (all in the boil kettle)

Resulting water profile is as follows:

Mash pH (est.): 5.20
Calcium: 110
Magnesium: 12
Sodium: 27
Chloride: 115
Sulfate: 114


3.0 oz Mosaic (pellet, 11.6 AAU), at 60 minutes 
8.0 oz Mosaic (pellet, 11.6 AAU), at flameout (hopstand for 90 minutes)
4.0 oz Galaxy (pellet, 15 AAU), at flameout (hopstand for 90 minutes)
4.0 oz Belma (leaf, 11.6 AAU), at flameout (hopstand for 90 minutes)
8.0 oz Styrian Bobek (pellet, 3.9 AAU, 2.5 years old), at 60 minutes


4.0 tsp. Wyeast Yeast Nutrient at 10 minutes


Ambrosia Blend 05
Yeast Bay Wallonian

Monday, October 19, 2015

Saison Faible (Batch 02): Tasting Notes

It's been a long time coming as this keg has (unfortunately) long since kicked, but below are the tasting notes for the second batch of Saison Faible (recipe here), which is designed to be a light, easy-drinking saison.  This is the portion of the batch that was fermented with Wyeast 3726 Farmhouse Ale.  The beer was carbonated in the keg to approximately 3.0 volumes of CO2.

Appearance:  Heavy, creamy head atop a hazy golden beer. Great retention and heavy lacing on the way down. One of the best-looking beers that I've brewed. As I think I have mentioned in the past, I love the rustic look of a hazy saison as opposed to one that pours crystal clear.

Nose: Strong with notes of mango, orange zest, honey, and a bit of pear. Almost a light, vanilla-like character as it warms.

Taste: Similar to the nose, but actually has a bit of tart cherry in the background. It's not a sour beer by any means, but there is a very faint tartness through the finish. Just a hint of earthy spice.

Mouthfeel: Full and creamy up front, but finishing quite dry. The oats and wheat added plenty of proteins, and it seems like this yeast produces plenty of glycerol, together leading to a lovely feel. At the same time, finishing around 1.002-1.004 doesn't leave much there, and the finish is accordingly quite dry.

Overall: Not much I would change about this one, and I'm looking forward to brewing another batch. This is something I plan to have on tap year round at the future tap room, and is making me think twice about doing all oak fermentation with Brett in everything. While there is undoubtedly a bit of Brett going to work here (given that there was a pellicle at the time of kegging), its character is relatively muted compared to the Saccharomyces and hops.