homegrown saison

with local temps hitting the low 90s, I knew there was only one style I could safely ferment without using a fermentation fridge – saison.

  • although I currently brew a house saison twice a year, that project turned sour quite some time ago, and I was in the mood for a relatively lower gravity beer that showcased local produce from my own backyard (and that I could server to friends who had not yet become accustomed to wild/sour beers).  as a result, I threw together a variation of a classic saison with some sweet orange zest from my backyard valencia orange tree and a homegrown vojvodina hop addition:
    • 18 lbs Pale Malt (2 Row) Bel (3.0 SRM) Grain 1 81.8 %
      1 lbs 8.0 oz Wheat Malt, Bel (2.0 SRM) Grain 2 6.8 %
      1 lbs Munich Malt – 10L (10.0 SRM) Grain 3 4.5 %
      8.0 oz Caramunich Malt (56.0 SRM) Grain 4 2.3 %
      1 lbs Candi Sugar, Clear (0.5 SRM) Sugar 5 4.5 %
      4.00 oz Goldings, East Kent [5.00 %] – Boil 75.0 min Hop 6 29.8 IBUs
      1.80 oz Orange Peel, Sweet (Boil 5.0 mins) Spice 7
      2.00 oz Saaz [4.00 %] – Boil 0.0 min Hop 8 0.0 IBUs
  • I mashed at 147F and added a small orange’s worth of zest at flame out.  I guess the use of valencia oranges is apropos in a summer saison, since as it turns out valencias are the only orange variety in season during the summer.  I should note that a little zest goes a long way here – less than a tablespoon’s worth of zest was enough to create a pleasing but subtle orange aroma in 12 gallons of wort.
  • I also added to the wort 2.75 oz of last year’s homegrown vojvodinas, which are a hybrid of northern brewer, golding, and a wild yugoslavian hop.  the vojvodinas added some depth and variety to the herbal/spicy saaz hops I also added after the boil.  I also added a pinch of fresh ground pepper to the boil after reading about it a while back over at the mad fermentationist.
  • I hit a starting gravity of 1.058 and added a starter of wyeast 3726 pc farmhouse when the wort cooled to 89F.  you read that right – after reading some illuminating articles and forum posts, I decided to pitch at just under 90F to get the most out of this strain.  fermentation was visible overnight and is still chugging along (despite a surprising lack of krausen/blowoff).  after a month I’m planning on kegging and bottling seven gallons and racking the other five into secondary with some brett b for the long haul.

              

              

 

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