Friday, September 26, 2014

Science & Art Series

This post will serve as a repository for recipes and tastings notes of the beers in my Science & Art series.  The series is a line of blended saisons, often also incorporating portions of wild ales that I have brewed.  It's amazing what just 10% blonde sour will do to a beer that was otherwise only saison yeast and Brettanomyces.  With the name, I wanted something that I could keep around for awhile, as with these blends, I thought it would be easier to go with a standard name followed by numbers or years, such as Lost Abbey Veritas, Hill Farmstead Civil Disobedience, and Cantillon Zwanze. Given that these beers will be blends of wilds and saisons, I thought "Science & Art" would be appropriate. One of the things I love about brewing, and particularly about saisons, is that there is so much room for creativity. However, at the same time, there's still the base science behind beer making and, most importantly for my purposes, fermentation.

Each beer in the Science & Art series is meant to be a concept, such that I will attempt to blend beers to achieve the same results on multiple occasions.  For example, I have already blended two separate iterations of Science & Art #1 and Science & Art #3.  

Photo of Science & Art #2

Science & Art #1
  • A blend of Farmhouse Mild and Citrine at a ratio of 85-90% to 10-15%.  The resulting blend is extremely fruity, lightly acidic, and finishes very dry and clean.  
  • Batches:
    • 01: Tasting and blending notes can be found here.  Original blend was on October 6, 2013.
    • 02: The second blend was done in mid-March 2014, with the entire batch being legged.
Science & Art #2
  • A blend of Dionysus #2, a blonde saison with white wine-soaked oak cubes, and Citrine.  Mildly fruit with some tropical and stone fruit notes, with underlying citrus and faint acidity.
  • Batches:
Science & Art #3
  • A blend of Farmhouse Mild, Citrine, Dionysus #2, and Demeter Passion.  Pungent and fruity with passion fruit along with peach, orange, light oak, and hints of white wine.  Very dry with a nice tartness through the finish.
  • Batches:
    • 01: Tasting and blending notes can be found here.  The original blend was on June 4, 2014, and the entire batch was kegged.  However, I did bottle some for the TalkBeer Saison Homebrew Competition.  The beer won the competition with an average score of 39.36. The competition judges were pretty harsh (I know I was), as second place came in at 34.54, with third averaging 33.00.
    • 02: This was blended and bottled on July 28, 2014.  This blend left out Dionysus #2, as I only had one bottle left.  Based on initial tastes, blend 01 was much better, with the oak from Dionysus #2 really upping the complexity.
Science & Art #4
  • A blend of Demeter Vert, Namur (Meyer Lemon), and Flowerfield.  The beer is delicate with a bit more body than previous blends.  The Nelson from Flowerfield comes through well underneath the citrus coming out of the Demeter Vert and Namur (Meyer Lemon).  The lemon has a stronger presence, but is nowhere near dominating like in that version of Namur.  I've had a few people taste the blend without telling them what's in it, and most have just said "citrus" without specifically identifying lemon or lime.
  • Batches:
    • 01: Blended and bottled on July 28, 2014.  Full blending and tasting notes can be found here.
Science & Art #5
  • The first dark beer in the series.  A blend of Demeter Rouge (cherries and passion fruit), Demeter Sinis (Cranberry), and two different batches of Ruby.  The beer is dark and fruity with cherry, red wine, and dark fruits.  Moderately acidic, though still not entirely "sour."
  • Batches:
    • 01: Blended and bottled on July 28, 2014.  Full blend and tasting notes can be found here.
Science & Art #6
  • An idea that came from the fact that I brewed 10 gallons of Demeter Automne for fall 2014.  Instead of bottling all of that, I decided to also go with a new addition to the Science & Art series.  For this, I took about 90% Demeter Automne and blended in 10% Citrine, and then bottle conditioned the blend with Montmorency tart cherry juice.  The resulting beer has cherry in the nose, with the flavor being more earthy and lightly spicy, with some background notes of biscuit.  A bit leafy.  Cherry comes through in the finish with a light acidity.  Very reminiscent of fall, at least in my opinion.  A great bonfire beer.
  • Batches:
    • 01: Blended and bottled on September 1, 2014.  Full blend and tasting notes can be found here.
Science & Art &7

  • This is a blend of Demeter Facile, a blonde Brett saison, and Citrine.  I had originally planned to use the second half of the 10-gallon batch of Demeter Facile to add to the "spent" fruit from batches of cherry and black-raspberry wild ales, but had some issues on bottling day, so decided to go with this blend instead.  The blend was 5 gallons of Demeter Facile and 1 gallon of Citrine.
    • 01: Blended and bottled on November 1, 2014.  Full blend and tasting notes can be found here.


  1. Great write up. How much experimenting do you do with proportions for the versions that have 3 or more beers in them?

  2. I do quite a bit of experimenting with the different ratios. I use a pipette to measure out different portions and test those out with around an ounce of total blend each time, just blending into a mini snifter. I'll mess around with the ratio until I have it where I want it. If I'm using a bottling bucket for the blend, then I use the markings there to scale up. I've been meaning to use a scale for increased accuracy, especially when using a keg and Beer Gun to blend and bottle.

  3. Hi Michael, I'd like to get in touch with you about sending you a review copy of my book, Brewing Engineering. Would you mind emailing me at: ?
    Steven Deeds