All Pilsener in a saison; too plain?

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MTW
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All Pilsener in a saison; too plain?

Post by MTW » Sat Aug 12, 2017 6:34 pm

I'm in a mood to keep things simple at the moment, but I'm not sure whether an all-pilsener saison will be just a bit too thin or one dimensional without something else in.

Belle Saison yeast ready to go. All EKG hops. I see some recipes add a bit of sugar/candi, though I've had very few saisons that didn't seem dry enough already...

Any recommendations please, grain bill/sugar wise?
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Re: All Pilsener in a saison; too plain?

Post by Sadfield » Sat Aug 12, 2017 6:45 pm

That is all they use in Saison dupont.

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Re: All Pilsener in a saison; too plain?

Post by MTW » Sat Aug 12, 2017 7:18 pm

Cool, thanks. Any sugar/mash info?

I know Dupont is pretty much the benchmark, but it seems to be a style that homebrewers chuck all sorts in - a bit like porters. I'm not mad on super-super-dry examples, but it's my first saison (in 50-60 brews), and I'd still like it to taste like one. Would 5-10% munich sound way off? I'm not thinking of any cara/crystal, but open to suggestions.
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Re: All Pilsener in a saison; too plain?

Post by Sadfield » Sat Aug 12, 2017 7:41 pm

Brewing Farmhouse Ales by Phil Markowski claims 100% Pilsner Malt getting 93% attenuation (6.5% from OG of 1.054), but the ingredients list on the bottle also lists sugar. As you don't want it too dry and thin, I'd forego the sugar.

DuPont heat the mash from 45c to 72c over 108 minutes.

Some Saison brewers use Munich, but mainly for slight colour adjustment.


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Re: All Pilsener in a saison; too plain?

Post by McMullan » Sat Aug 12, 2017 7:46 pm

All pilsner malt is fine. A good Saison yeast strain does all the work. The brewer is just an add on here.

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Re: All Pilsener in a saison; too plain?

Post by MTW » Sat Aug 12, 2017 8:08 pm

Right. I'm thinking all pilsener and no sugar then, sticking to my current simplicity-plan. Also, a pretty medium OG. I don't want burning alcohol along with excessive dryness.

I can't step mash (other than by infusion additions, which has proven to be too much of a faff, and hit/miss), so I may just do a middle of the road 67C.
With a fairly slow sparge and an open-top coolbox system, I tend not to go lower than that on the mash now anyway. My current tripel has dropped 91% from 1.078 to 1.007 (13% sugar content in candisyrup/87% pilsener) and I'm glad I didn't mash any lower, or go as high with the sugar as some abbeys do.
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Re: All Pilsener in a saison; too plain?

Post by McMullan » Sat Aug 12, 2017 8:22 pm

I don't add sugar, candi or not, to my Saisons. I'd recommend a lower mash temperature too. A fermentable wort should be the brewer's goal with a Saison. That doesn't necessarily mean a higher gravity. The thinner body allows the yeast character to shine through. Avoid an 'heavy' Saison. Keep the temperature below 20°C for 2 days in active primary (to capture the spicy phenols) then gradually raise to about 28°C to finish it off.

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Re: All Pilsener in a saison; too plain?

Post by MTW » Sat Aug 12, 2017 8:34 pm

Cheers. Regarding the fermentation (and I have a fridge/STC etc). In a continuation of my simple-is-best sort of phase, I had wondered about pitching around 20 and letting this one free-rise, maybe just tracking it a bit later on with heat only. Sounds like a good point about getting the spice out first though.
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Re: All Pilsener in a saison; too plain?

Post by TheSumOfAllBeers » Mon Aug 14, 2017 12:54 am

If you want some malt complexity, 20% Munich or Vienna can add a bit. Skip the sugar if you are using Belle Saison - it will eat the fingernails off your hand - you don't need to worry about making the wort more digestible for it

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Re: All Pilsener in a saison; too plain?

Post by MTW » Mon Aug 14, 2017 6:59 am

Sugar will definitely be skipped.

Brewmate is predicting my all pilsener 1.045 at barely 3 SRM. The prediction tends to be fairly good for my system. That's really pale...
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Re: All Pilsener in a saison; too plain?

Post by super_simian » Tue Aug 15, 2017 2:37 pm

I've used Belle Saison a fair bit, with mostly great results. My tips are:
- No sugar. BS will ferment all the way down. All the way.
- A hit of Vienna or Munich will add malt complexity and colour, but SFA in residual gravity. See above point.
- Don't bother with any crystal malts. See point 1.
- Don't go above 1.050 OG. Unless you really want a super strong finished product.
- Pitch around room temp, and let it rip.
- If you're naturally conditioning, aim under. It's rumoured this is a diastatic yeast, so any residual gravity will eventually become carbonation in bottle/keg/cask.
- Enjoy, it makes a ripper, complex saison from seemingly basic ingredients.

*edit - Who really GAF about colour, unless you're trying to win a comp? It's your least concern, focus on interplay of hop/malt/yeast primarily.

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Re: All Pilsener in a saison; too plain?

Post by Jocky » Wed Aug 16, 2017 8:46 am

It depends what you want your saison to be about. The Dupont strain (WLP565) is a spectacular yeast when treated right, and as such a plain backdrop of sweet pilsner malt is great to show it off. Mash low and long to get the beer dry, maybe use 5% sugar to help with that, and finish with a decent charge of hops at the beginning and end of the boil.

At the end you'll get an initial sweet pils malt aroma mixing with citrus fruit and spice from the yeast. The taste will also be citrus fruit and spice, and the sweetness from the malt will dry out to a super dry and moderately bitter finish - there's nothing boring about it.

Belle Saison and the French Saison is fine for playing around with other flavours if you want to go maltier with using a decent amount of Munich, and you can accentuate their flavour with Rye (crystal or normal).
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Re: All Pilsener in a saison; too plain?

Post by Jocky » Wed Aug 16, 2017 9:09 am

super_simian wrote:
Tue Aug 15, 2017 2:37 pm
I've used Belle Saison a fair bit, with mostly great results. My tips are:
- No sugar. BS will ferment all the way down. All the way.
- A hit of Vienna or Munich will add malt complexity and colour, but SFA in residual gravity. See above point.
- Don't bother with any crystal malts. See point 1.
- Don't go above 1.050 OG. Unless you really want a super strong finished product.
- Pitch around room temp, and let it rip.
- If you're naturally conditioning, aim under. It's rumoured this is a diastatic yeast, so any residual gravity will eventually become carbonation in bottle/keg/cask.
- Enjoy, it makes a ripper, complex saison from seemingly basic ingredients.

*edit - Who really GAF about colour, unless you're trying to win a comp? It's your least concern, focus on interplay of hop/malt/yeast primarily.
Agree on lack of crystal generally - it adds an impression of sweetness that doesn't play well with the dryness the style needs.

All good points around using BS.
Ingredients: Water, Barley, Hops, Yeast, Seaweed, Blood, Sweat, The swim bladder of a sturgeon, My enemies tears, Scenes of mild peril, An otter's handbag and Riboflavin.

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Re: All Pilsener in a saison; too plain?

Post by Digby » Wed Aug 16, 2017 10:13 am

Hi,

My last saison recipe started as 80/20 pilsner / maris otter with EKG for bittering and a little Bobek late on. I couldn't resist lobbing some sugar late in the boil too!

Used Belle Saison and let it go all the way to 28 degrees during fermentation.

Went (if I remember correctly as I am not near my notes) from 1.057 to 1.004 and tastes lovely. In fact my friends think it is the best beer I have brewed to date.

Matt

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Re: All Pilsener in a saison; too plain?

Post by MTW » Mon Sep 18, 2017 10:09 pm

Brewed this yesterday. Put in about 8% Munich 25 that I had left. I tested the Saison DuPont as I hadn't had it in a while, and decided I've had other saisons I prefer. OG just 1.041, bang on predicted, as I don't want paint stripper.

I rehydrated the Belle Saison and pitched at a brewfridge controlled 19C for 30 hours. I've just turned off the cooling side and will be interested to see what this rises to on it's own. (Guesses welcome!) It's very active with a creamy head. I'm hoping for some pepper/spice plus banana and bready yeast characteristics.
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