>> Sunday, August 02, 2015
I wanted to try out the Wyeast 3031-PC Saison-Brett Blend, so today I'm brewing a Petite Saison that will get around 7 pounds of my homegrown tart cherries in the secondary. I really enjoy Saisons and other Farmhouse Ales. Usually I make my Saisons fairly high gravity, but the goal with this one is to come in a bit more session-able. The addition of the tart cherries will probably also make it somewhat kriek-like. This beer won't get any lactobacillus or pediococcus, so the only souring will come from the tart cherries.
Beer Styles: Saison, Belgian Specialty Ales, American-style Sour & Wild Beer, Strong Golden Ale
Profile: A blend of Saison yeast and Brettanomyces creates a dry and complex ale. Classic earthy and spicy farmhouse character meets tropical and stone fruit esters; aging brings elevated Brett flavor. Expect high attenuation with this blend.
Alc. Tolerance 12% ABV
Temp. Range 65-80°F (18-27°C)
No real issues, But I did forget to take my OG before pitching yeast. I was trying to hurry and wrap things up so I could go drop off my entries for the Beehive Brew-off and totally forgot. I also decided to skip O2...just an experiment to see what happens with the brett character (some have reported more funk when the yeast are stressed).
Primary fermentation seemed to have finished up, so I racked onto 7# of homegrown tart cherries yesterday. Cherries had been stored in the freezer then thawed and sanitized with 1/8 teaspoon of potassium metabisulfite dissolved in 1/4 cup RO water. This sat overnight then beer was racked onto the cherries in the morning. I mashed the cherries as much as I could, but there were still some whole ones.
Pulled a sample today and I'm really liking this beer. The "Saison" character is really nice. Esters are there and blend very well with the tart cherry character. There's a light spiciness that's noticeable, but subtle and very complimentary. Brett character is also there but very balanced. I'm interested to see how this changes over time. The tart cherries dropped the pH to 3.68 so it's a nice level of acidity especially since it doesn't have any lactic acid producing bacteria. I can't wait to get this in the bottle and carb'd up. This beer will definitely be in my regular rotation when I have tart cherries on hand.