Saturday, January 25, 2014

Saison Faible: Recipe

This is the same base, basically, as Farmhouse Mild, with a different name, Saison Faible, as this time I'll be aiming for a character.  The last few times batches of Farmhouse Mild have started with Wyeast 3725 and mixed-ferment saison dregs.  Eventually, that also got some Crooked Stave dregs.  I like the blend, as it's a bit more rustic and tart, but it's not what it was originally with just the saison dregs.  So, I grew up the dregs from the a few other saisons, and used those for half of this batch.  For the other half, I used a fresh "vial" of East Coast Yeast Saison Brasserie (ECY08).

For this one, I again kept things relatively similar, just changing up the yeast.  This is again a 10-gallon batch.

The recipe for the full batch is as follows:

Batch Number: 77
Brew Date: January 20, 2014
Bottle/Keg Date:
Batch Size: 10 Gallon
OG: 1.045 (measured)
Fermentation Temperature: 67 F (saison dreg portion) / 80 F (ECY08)
IBU: 29.4
ABV: 5.0% (est.)
SRM: 4.1

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


8lb French Pilsner
4lb White Wheat Malt
2lb Wheat, Flaked
1lb 8oz Munich Malt
12oz Acidulated Malt
8oz Oats, Flaked
8oz Rye, Flaked

Salts & Water

1.0g Calcium Chloride (all added directly to the kettle)
2.5g Gypsum (all added directly to the kettle)
5.0g Sodium Chloride (non-iodized) (all added directly to the kettle)

The adjustments were a bit different than the last batch, but should result in a fairly similar profile.

Resulting water profile (based on BrewCipher) is as follows:

Mash pH (est.): 5.49
Calcium: 49
Magnesium: 12
Sodium: 43
Chloride: 78
Sulfate: 53

Chloride / Sulfate Ratio: 1.48


1.0oz Calypso (16.0 AAU), leaf, at 60 minutes
2.0oz Calypso (16.0 AAU), leaf, at flameout
1.0oz Citra (12.9 AAU), leaf, at flameout
1.0oz Simcoe (12.4 AAU), leaf, at flameout


2 tsp. Wyeast Yeast Nutrient at 10 minutes


Saison dregs / Ambrosia Blend 003 (5 gallons)
East Coast Yeast Saison Brasserie (ECY08) (5 gallons)


01.20.2014: On January 5, 2014, I added 100mL of 1.020 wort to the dregs of some saison bottles and shook fairly regularly.  On January 9, 2014 (10:00 am), I added 350mL of 1.020 wort to the mason jar and put it on a stir plate.  Several days later, I added 1L of 1.020 wort to the starter, put in a 2L flask, and put on the stir plate.  Finally, on January 19, 2014, I decanted and added 1.6 L of 1.040 wort to the starter and kept on the stir plate.  

The East Coast Yeast was put together on December 3, 2013, and since those containers contain 300-400 billion cells, I didn't think a starter was absolutely required, but to be safe, I added the contents to 750mL of 1.040 wort in a 1L mason jar to get things going about 24 hours before pitching.

Each initially got 30 seconds of oxygen after pitching.  The saison dreg portion is out at room temperature in the basement somewhat near the boiler, and should sit around 67 F.  The ECY08 is pitched around 68 F and is sitting in a plastic bin with an aquarium heater.  Both have bucket lids on loosely.

01.22.2014: Krausen has fallen on ECY08 at 36 hours.  Was at 80 at 24 hours after turning heater to 74 at 12 hours.  Saison dreg krausen strong at 24 and still going at 36 hours.  A bit worried that the ECY08 shot up too quickly; need to add a separate temperature controller to the aquarium heater.

01.23.2014: At 72 hours, most of the saison dreg krausen had fallen as well, so closed the lid. Will close lid on ECY08 soon.

01.31.2014: Here's a picture of the saison dreg version at nearly two weeks:

02.09.2014: Transferred the ECY08 version to a keg to start carbonating.  FG is 1.005.

02.12.2014: Tapped ECY08 version.  Preliminary thoughts are that it has a nice Juicy Fruit character with some mild citrus and a very mild background "twang," not quite to the level of tartness.

02.16.2014: Bottled the saison dreg version, labeled as "Faible Wild."


  1. i brewed something very similar a few months back and absolutely loved it. used dregs from Anna and CS Surette provisions. also, added a lb. of wildflower honey to bump it up a bit. best beer i made

  2. That's awesome! I'm really enjoying this blend and will keep using it when I'm looking for something fruitier. I plan to do another batch this upcoming weekend, adding some spelt to the grain bill, and probably playing with the hops a little bit. I have some Belma that I haven't used yet, so I think I may go with at least some of that.

  3. how does the color of your beer compared to HF? HF has an amazing glow to their beers. im thinking its the pilsner and wheat.

  4. It's not really a great comparison, as I generally have used this blend in the Farmhouse Mild recipe, which uses more than pilsner and wheat to fill things out a bit and provide some slight maltiness given that it's only around 4%. I do love the HF glow, though, and want to make a straight pilsner, wheat, and honey saison soon enough. Always too many ideas and too little brewing time!

  5. Do you have a good resource (maybe something you have wrote up) for learning about building up dregs. I know you need to start with a low gravity starter but I am unsure of how long until scaling up and how exactly to scale it up. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Love your blog so much. It is a great resource.

  6. If you're doing dregs from a single bottle, I normally start with 50mL to 100mL of 1.020 wort. If the beer is really old, I'll do it on the lower end of the spectrum. I normally do that in the bottle or a small mason jar and swirl as often as I can. After a day or two I normally then step it up to 500mL of 1.020 wort for another day or two. From there, I'll step it up to 1L of 1.020 wort for two days. Then I treat it just like a regular starter and go to 2L of 1.040. All of this changes based on the age of the yeast and how big the slurry in the bottle was.

    If you try to roughly approximate the cell count by pouring the dregs into a White Labs vial and then waiting for them to settle, compare that against a fresh vial's fill level of about 100 billion cells, and then guess whether you have 5 billion, 10 billion, etc. Based on that, the YeastCalc website ( is then extremely helpful in calculating cell volumes, based on the size of your starter, initial volume, age of the dregs, etc.

    Thanks for the support!