Saison 4/2013

>> Sunday, April 14, 2013

First runnings
Today I'm brewing another Saison. I'm excited about this one because it uses a few ingredients I haven't used. First up is Golden Naked Oats which are described as follows:
This unique product is a huskless oat crystal malt. It has a special sweet berry-nut flavor and will add a deep golden color with light caramel flavors to the finished beer. The usage rate is 4-15% of the grain bill.
I'm also using Grains of Paradise or Paradise Seeds in this brew. They are described as:
These small seeds look like cardamom, but have their own unique character. The spice is native to West Africa and during medieval times it was used to flavor food. It has also been used as a pepper substitute. While it does have a peppery zing, paradise seeds also have notes of citrus and an earthy pine aroma.
Lastly, I'll be using Wyeast 3724 Belgian Saison yeast. This yeast has a reputation for stalling out a little early, but with proper temperature control it will usually start back up after a short pause. It is described as:
Classic farmhouse ale yeast.  Spicy, complex aromatics including bubble gum.  Tart and dry on the palate with mild fruitiness.  Finishes crisp and mildly acidic.  Ferment at warm temperature.  May have vigorous fermentation start.
My last three Saisons were pushing the ABV limits for the style (9+%), so the goal with this one is to come in closer to 6.5%. The grain bill and procedure are as follows:

8.25 # Dingemans Belgian Pilsner Malt
10 oz Weyermann Acid Malt
10 oz Castle Aromatic Malt
10 oz Simpson Golden Naked Oats
0.46 oz (13g) CTZ Hops (FWH)
12 oz Amber Candi Sugar (15 min)
2 g Grains of Paradise (5 min)
1.75 oz (49.6g) Styrian Goldings (0 min)
Wyeast 3724 Belgian Saison in 1L starter
Wyeast Yeast Nutrient

Mash at 148F for 75 minutes. Mash out at 168F. 90 minute boil. Start Fermentation at 70F then ramp up to 92F over a few days. If fermentation stalls, maintain temp around 92F.

Brewing Notes
Everything went well. The only problem was I was shooting for an OG of 1.056 but ended up with 1.067. The color on this brew was awesome going into the boil kettle.

Update 4/24/2013
Sure enough, the 3724 yeast seems to have stalled out at 1.034. I gently roused the yeast today and I'm continuing to hold it at 92F. I'll probably check the gravity again over the weekend to see where it's at.

Update 5/6/2013
I had to move this out of the ferm chamber to make room for the Hop Stoopid IPA. The Saison definitely wasn't finished, but sometimes you gots to make room. I'll probably let this go another week or so and check the gravity again. If it's still not done, I'll probably add some WLP001 or maybe Wyeast 3711.

Update 5/18/2013
As I mentioned in the previous update, this one has been chilling in my basement. There's still a ton of yeast in suspension and it looks like fermentation has restarted. I think I'll move this back into the fermenter (and bump the temp back up) in about a week to try to get this to finish.

Update 5/29/2013
The freezer I use for my ferm chamber appears to have died. The good news is it still works for heating, so this Saison is back in the ferm chamber at 92F.

Update 6/3/2013
I checked the gravity today and it's down to 7.6P (1.008).

Update 6/9/2013
This got kegged today. It finished out at 7.4P (1.007). I'm glad that fermentation picked back up and I didn't have to add a different strain. This one will be conditioning in the house for a few weeks until I get a chance to finish the new keezer.