Another End Of Year Brewday: Saison With Avec

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wolfenrook
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Another End Of Year Brewday: Saison With Avec

Post by wolfenrook » Mon Jan 01, 2018 2:52 pm

Because everything comes with Avec....

Hopefully a few Pratchett fans on here who get the name I gave the brew.... :lol:

Anyway, a few annoyances and lessons from this brew day.

1) Don't even bother trying to vorlauf when doing a BIAB. My wife will just walk in on me whilst doing it, distracting me horribly, so a long time spent just to destroy the grain bed with a single slip. It just stretches out the brew day, making my wife and kids grumpy.

2) Buy a kettle or something to heat sparge water up in. When you suddenly realise that one of your daughters has used every single saucepan (other than my 33 litre SS pan, which is WAY too big...) and not bothered to put them in the dishwasher, fun times ahead as you try to heat your sparge water by putting 1 litre at a time through a water boiler (one of those you put your mug under and press the button) which only heats to about 96 degrees, during which time the heating boiler seizes up and needs a good hard slap (there's a fan in it that sticks, reported multiple times, the only way to un-stick it is to slap the side of the boiler), the internet plays up so you have to reboot the routers when your wife comes in complaining her internet is down.... You get the idea. :lol:

3) I need to replace my hop bag that I lost (I put it to wash last time I used it, my wife then made it vanish, when it reappeared it had gone mouldy....) so I can finish off the hop pellets I already have in the freezer. Or I need to buy flower hops that complement the pellets we have (I didn't fancy using Saaz, Hallertauer Mittelfruh or Fuggles overly)... Sick to death of the bazooka blocking up on me! I even replaced it with a larger one, with bigger holes, still blocked up after about 5 litres into the FV.... As in zero flow through the tap. The insane amount of flour that came out of the IREKS malts I was using up didn't help matters... Ended up with about 3 litres of trub in my FV, hoping it compacts down more eventually (the Witbier one certainly did!). Rushing to get it into the FV and my stuff cleared out of the way didn't help.

4) I need something like a 10 litre bucket to put my weighed grain into. A 25 litre one is a bit on the side of overkill.... :lol:

Anyway, onto the recipe. Kind of a "beer stew" really. The hops, honey and yeast were planned properly (just quantities tweaked). The grain was sort of planned, but with the purpose of using up grain I had opened for the last Saison. Unfortunately I still have IREKS Light Munich and IREKS Pale Ale malt left... Hop quantities were a bit higher than planned, as when I put a bit too much onto the scales (as you do) my wife egged me onto to just use it all anyway. :lol: She does love her hops. Mosaic was chosen because we recently tried the Mosaic SMASH I made, and it became our fave hop, Amarillo because reading around lots of folks saying it complements Mosaic nicely. Honey because my wife wanted a beer with lots of honey in it, heather honey because I got her to compare the flavour of the Mexican orange blossom (bought for making beer) with her heather honey (bought for her to eat) and she preferred the orange blossom. :lol: 340g as that's roughly what was left in the jar.

Mash

90 minute mash at 65 degrees (I was originally going to do it at 64 degrees, but after turning up the temp control to offset the cooling of the room when the heating went south briefly I couldn't get it down that far again... :lol: ). Mashed out for 10 minutes at 76 degrees C, as thought I was going to have to do a cold dunk sparge. Managed to get the sparge water to 70 degrees though, so went a bit better. Discovered how poor the accuracy is on my refractometer, but heh:-

@ 60 minutes SG of the liquor was 1.044
@ 75 minutes SG of the liquor was 1.046
@ 90 minutes SG of the liquor was 1.049

So yeah, you can see the diminishing returns after 60 minutes. I might just leave it at 60 minutes in future, take the hit to my efficiency in exchange for cutting 30 minutes off the brew day.

SG of the sparge liquor (rinse then dunk method) was 1.030 so got a fair bit of sugar out of the grain with this.

Grain bill

Dingemans Pilsen Malt 2290g
IREKS Pale Ale Malt 1468g
IREKS Light Wheat Malt 256g
IREKS Light Munich Malt 105g

Boil

SG going into the boil was 1.046, after adding the sparge liquor and also 2.34 litres of water to increase boil volume. I can't give you an accurate volume into the boil, as either the full line is way more than the 25L the instructions say, or volume estimates were way out. I need to get an ullage stick made so I can check properly. Given that I get a boil off of roughly 3 litres in an hour, and had 23 litres left after the boil, I would estimate I had 26 litres, but given the liquid level was a fair bit under the supposedly 25L full line.....

Anyway...

Hops & Other Boil Additions

60 Minutes (start) 5.1g Mosaic pellets

30 Minutes (middle) 6g Amarillo pellets
8.6g Mosaic pellets
2.5g coarsely crushed peppercorns
8.5g lightly crushed coriander seeds

10 Minutes 1/4 Protofloc tablet, and my worth cooler

0 Minutes (flame out) 24g Mosaic Pellets
15.2g Amarillo Pellets
340g Heather Honey

I let this sit for about 10 minutes, then turned on the water to my cooler. OG came out at 1.054, 22 litres into FV but a fair bit of trub amongst that thanks to un-contained pellet hops, and a LOT of flour from the BIAB bag.

Smelled delicious. I didn't taste it, as the only wort I ever tasted that was actually nice was the one for the Greg Hughes Witbier I made. :lol: I only taste now once checking fermentation has finished, from the trial jar. :wink:

Calcs tell me I had over 80% efficiency, but to be honest I've stopped caring, so long as I get close to targets, preferably 4% ABV at the end or higher (lower seems to taste watery). Hence I am probably going to drop down to 60 minute mashes.

Brew day was longer than it needed to be, as I ended up weight hops ahead of time as my wife was putting frozen stuff from the shopping away and I knew she'd bury the hops in the process. I then decided to weigh my grain ready too. Then took a break to give everybody chance to have lunch. Was 2pm when I finally put the boiler on to heat the water up to strike temps, so was about 11:45 by the time I'd shifted everything again so we could all have some dinner. Kids were happy once fed though, as meant they were up when 2017 passed into 2018. :wink:

Yeast I went for Mangrove Jacks M29 French Saison, it came down to a choice between this and CML Saison De Lille, which gave me disappointing attenuation the last time I used it (my beer finished at 1.013 and refused to go any lower). So I wanted to see if this did a better job, hoping for more esters too, although I tend to ferment a bit cooler at around 23-24 degrees C. I want to try the Belle Saison yeast too. My aim is to use the hotter summer weeks to brew Saison and maybe Witbier.

So to you all, a Happy New Year, and to those who brewed yesterday, a happy new beer. :twisted:

wolfenrook
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Re: Another End Of Year Brewday: Saison With Avec

Post by wolfenrook » Tue Jan 02, 2018 12:57 pm

Lag phase lasted about 16 hours, before starting a nice, apparently vigorous, fermentation.

Smaller krausen than you'd expect, probably because I use Brupaks Anti-Foam during the boil again.
IMG_20180102_111423.jpg
Blow off tube is bubbling away nicely.



So fingers crossed, so far so good.

chefgage
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Re: Another End Of Year Brewday: Saison With Avec

Post by chefgage » Tue Jan 02, 2018 1:33 pm

Nice detailed brewday write up. Sounds like you had lots of fun :D

wolfenrook
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Re: Another End Of Year Brewday: Saison With Avec

Post by wolfenrook » Tue Jan 02, 2018 2:07 pm

Thanks bud. Yeah, once I stopped stressing so much after my first AG they've been far more enjoyable, even if/when things go a bit wrong. End of the day I try to remember that it's my hobby, not a job, so if it's not perfect then oh well. lol

My first AG I found incredibly stressful as I worried too much, and it nearly put me off AG brewing. It still tasted good though, even my father in law liked it. lol

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Re: Another End Of Year Brewday: Saison With Avec

Post by chefgage » Tue Jan 02, 2018 4:12 pm

wolfenrook wrote:
Tue Jan 02, 2018 2:07 pm
End of the day I try to remember that it's my hobby, not a job, so if it's not perfect then oh well. lol
Thats what i kept having to remind myself when i started AG brewing. I used to get hung up on numbers, that was a couple of points out this time etc...
I could never get my OG to be what i wanted, it was always quite a bit low. But overtime things started to work out. :)

wolfenrook
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Re: Another End Of Year Brewday: Saison With Avec

Post by wolfenrook » Tue Jan 02, 2018 6:57 pm

Same. In fact the last brew my OG was a bit high, so I used Beersmith 2 to calculate dilution, only to end up a bit low... It produced a delicious, 4.4% ABV, Witbier fermented with CML Kirstallweizen yeast (so a beer brewed in Wolverhampton, to a belgian style recipe, using Belgian malts and German style yeast....). This time I just left it at the OG it came out of the boiler at. :wink: I didn't really have a solid target anyway though, been a recipe I just kinda made myself. :lol: I got totally different estimates from BIABacus and Beersmith 2 anyway, so really wasn't worried. If software can't agree on an estimate for the target, what hope do I have? :D

wolfenrook
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Re: Another End Of Year Brewday: Saison With Avec

Post by wolfenrook » Fri Jan 05, 2018 8:41 am

A few days later and activity has begun to slow down. Getting about 1 bubble every 7 seconds from the blow off tube. I reduced the level of the sanitiser in the blow off bottle to just above the end of the blow off tube yesterday, in order to reduce back pressure a little.

If I used a torch I can just about see the yeast swirling around in the beer though.

Here's hoping for a nice, dry, result.

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Jocky
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Re: Another End Of Year Brewday: Saison With Avec

Post by Jocky » Fri Jan 05, 2018 9:07 am

Looks good!

A couple of minor things:

1. Airlock/blowoff activity is not a reliable sign of fermentation activity. Sometimes you'll get nothing appearing to happen because there's a leak in the system. You can also get bubbles at the end of fermentation, but that's just CO2 coming out of suspension. Check a gravity sample when you think it's done - it's way more reliable.

2. I brew saisons quite a lot, and I really recommend an open ferment for the first 3-5 days. If you're using a bucket just crack the lid open until the fermentation begins to slow. For other kinds of fermenters just stick a bit of kitchen foil over the airlock port. Certain saison yeasts really don't like the extra CO2 concentration in the headspace caused by the airlock, and it really seems to add to the ester profile too. Actually I recommend open fermentation for any flavourful yeast for this reason.
Just remember - when that fermentation is slowing down DO get the airlock on. Otherwise when the krausen begins to drop your beer will start to oxidise.
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.

wolfenrook
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Re: Another End Of Year Brewday: Saison With Avec

Post by wolfenrook » Fri Jan 05, 2018 1:28 pm

Jocky wrote:Looks good!

A couple of minor things:

1. Airlock/blowoff activity is not a reliable sign of fermentation activity. Sometimes you'll get nothing appearing to happen because there's a leak in the system. You can also get bubbles at the end of fermentation, but that's just CO2 coming out of suspension. Check a gravity sample when you think it's done - it's way more reliable.

2. I brew saisons quite a lot, and I really recommend an open ferment for the first 3-5 days. If you're using a bucket just crack the lid open until the fermentation begins to slow. For other kinds of fermenters just stick a bit of kitchen foil over the airlock port. Certain saison yeasts really don't like the extra CO2 concentration in the headspace caused by the airlock, and it really seems to add to the ester profile too. Actually I recommend open fermentation for any flavourful yeast for this reason.
Just remember - when that fermentation is slowing down DO get the airlock on. Otherwise when the krausen begins to drop your beer will start to oxidise.
Thanks, but for the record:-

1: Aware of this. I use the SG method to check when ferment has finished. Image. I NEVER bottle until SG has stayed put for about 5 days, and do a diacetyl rest for 7 days also.

2:. My last Saison I open fermented, it made no difference and finished high (1.013). M29 isn't really among the yeasts with a bad rep for stalling high if closed anyway, seems that's some of the liquid yeasts (mainly the Dupont strain), even in attempts to test it results have been a case of YMMV. So this time I decided to use a blow off and see what happened. We need to take care not to allow "Saisons stall if fermented closed" from joining the plethora of brewing myths, until such time this has more evidence than the current internet anecdotes. Image

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Re: Another End Of Year Brewday: Saison With Avec

Post by Dene » Sat Jan 06, 2018 3:45 am

I love a saison. Brew them regularly also - tends to be my table beer. I start ferment at 17C for 12-24hrs and then ramp it up a few degrees for the next 24 hrs. Then let it free rise in the warmer months by simply pulling it out the fermenting fridge. Letting them hit 30+C is great for the esters and, clean up as we all know.

I've never had a problem with yeast getting to 0.00
I have to stop it for lower ABV saisons.

I regularly use Belle Saison - love it. Very aggressive and quick though. I tend to blend it with other yeasts though. I find it's flavour one dimensional on its own.


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wolfenrook
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Re: Another End Of Year Brewday: Saison With Avec

Post by wolfenrook » Thu Jan 18, 2018 10:53 am

We're fans too Dene, it's such a versatile style. Especially good as we have no temperature control as yet, but can still do them even when it's warm (we can always ferment 18 degrees or higher, even in cold weather).

This one finished at 1.004, so a nice low FG. I dry hopped on the 10th with 33g of Mosaic, bottled on the 17th. Unfortunately thanks to all of the trub in the FV I was only able to get 27 bottles out of it (500mls per bottle) as trying to get any more out just stirred the trub up something nasty. The dry hop probably didn't help either. I have some new hop bags on order so will be going back to dry hopping in a bag for the future. I'd rather take the hit to hop utilisation than the pita trying to filter the beer when it comes to bottling time. ;)

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Re: Another End Of Year Brewday: Saison With Avec

Post by wolfenrook » Sun Jan 21, 2018 7:43 pm

We've just been naughty and shared a bottle of this, and already it's absolutely delicious!

Head retention isn't wonderful, but this might improve with conditioning. Pours with a lovely, foamy, white head though. Quite lively carbonation too.

Colour is a lovely straw/golden shade. Not the best glass to use for a photograph, as it has a blue tint to it, but you can still get a good idea.
SaisonWithAvec.jpg
Flavour is delicious! Chilled: A slight sour flavour, a little dry. Lovely big hit of tropical fruit (I do love Mosaic hops!) followed by honey & lemon. I can't really taste any pepper/spice just yet, but the last Saison I made the spice came to it's strongest after about a month in the bottle. So yeah, probably be more honest to calling it an American Saison. :lol: Room temperature: More spice/pepper, honey & lemon flavour is much stronger. Absolutely delicious.

Definitely on my list to be made again for certain. Beats the pants of the Electric India clone that I made.

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