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64. French- and Belgian-Style Saison Beers in this category are golden to deep amber in color. There may be quite a variety of characters within this style. Generally: They are light to medium in body. Malt aroma is low to medium-low. Fruity esters dominate the aroma, while hop character, complex alcohols, herbs, spices, low Brettanomyces character and even clove and smoke- like phenolics may or may not be evident in the overall balanced beer. Malt flavor is low but provides foundation for the overall balance. Hop bitterness is moderate to moderately assertive. Herb and/or spice flavors, including black pepper-like notes, may or may not be evident. Fruitiness from fermentation is generally in character. A balanced small amount of sour or acidic flavors is acceptable when in balance with other components. Earthy, cellar-like, musty aromas are okay. Diacetyl should not be perceived. Chill or slight yeast haze is okay. Often bottle conditioned with some yeast character and high carbonation. Brewer may indicate on the bottle whether the yeast should be intentionally roused or if they prefer that the entry is poured as quietly as possible. Original Gravity (°Plato): 1.055-1.080 (14-19.5 °Plato) Apparent Extract/Final Gravity (°Plato): 1.004-1.016 (1-4 °Plato) Alcohol by Weight (Volume): 3.5-6.6% (4.5-8.5%) Bitterness (IBU): 20-40 Color SRM (EBC): 4-14 (8-28 EBC) http://www.greatamericanbeerfestival.com/brewers-site/2010-beer-styles/ *Not Classified as a style until 2003
“ Good beer should be a blend of tastes where no single component overwhelms the others.” -Pierre Gobron, Brasserie d'Achouffe
Saison Not a beer style, but rather a beer family (Trinity Brewing Co. has brewed over 50 different Saison recipes in 5 years). Regional, Artisanal, Romantic Saison is “Terrior” Saison must be dry, light in body, and Spicy/Peppery. Saison can either be brewed as an authentic Belgian style or the newly evolving American Brewed Saison Savant.
Origen - Wallonia Wallonia – Southern region of Belgium, bordering northern France.
History 1) Originally brewed on Chateau Farms of Belgium to refresh migrant workers “Saisonniers,” 2-4% ABV, safer than water.
2) Aged on barrels or completely fermented in ‘old’ barrels.
3) Brewed during slower winter months to drink during summer. 4) Original recipes were rustic and crude much like a Gueuze. 5) Sometimes brewed in a communal brewery. Only distributed within that town or farm. 6) As industry arrived, local farmhouse breweries declined in number. Larger Saison brewers emerged. “Dupont Era” 7) American made Saison Saison Savants are now being brewed with a heavier use of spices, new regional ingredients, but still focusing on balance of flavors.
Types of Saison The Brewer’s Association of America did not recognize Saison as an individual style until 2003! 1)Saisons D’ Ete- Brewed In the winter to drink during summer. 2) Provisional-Beers to be kept, first recipes when alcohol increased (5-7%ABV). This style was first recognized during the 1920’s. 3) Regal/Super- Saison 8% ABV and up, began appearing after 1954 when Dupont first brewed Moinette to 8.5% ABV. 4) Saison Savant-Only inspired by it’s Belgian counterpart. American Saisons are more bold in use of hops/spices/adjuncts/ABV than European versions. These Saisons still employ traditional Saison yeast, exemplary balance, and an extremely dry finish. 3-14% ABV.
Essentials of Brewing Saisons. Make a “Spicy/Peppery Pale Ale” Water chemistry – adjust your water Fresh/Regional Ingredients. Step Mash and convert at low temp, or ferment with wild microbes for high attenuation. Hop varieties – do they matter? Blended Fermentations with multiple Yeasts varieties – which to use?
MINERAL IONS (ppm) CaMgNaSO4ClCO3 Antwerp / De Konnick 901137845776 Poperinge/ St. Sixtus 82380124206528 Bios/Piraat13828115865255 Westvleteren1410125145139370 Brugge/Steen brugge Trappist 13213209938326 Ghent/Huygh e 11417188438301 Willebroek- Rumst/Duvel 688337060143 Mechelen/Go uden Carolus 11614166236330 Beersel/West malle 41816622691 Brussels/Cant illon 10011187041250 Gaume/Orval96452513287 Rochefort821063217240 Chimay707721 216 Achel647122824157 * Research provided by Mr. Alan Stiles of Phantom Canyon.
Raw Materials/Ingredients 1) Grains: Saison Savant, sachrification @ low temps, 62-64 o C (143-147 o F). Ancient Saisons (fermented with wild yeast/microbes) mash high for dextrins, 66-69 o C (150-156 o F). a. Pilsen or Pale – Base malt. b.Vienna- up to 100%. c.Spelt- Up to 40% ! – Adds to the “vinousity.” d.Flaked Oats, Flaked or Raw Wheat, Rye – Combined, up to 50% e.Special B or Caramel f. Chocolate or De-Bittered black, but not roast g. Acidulated- 1-2% for a light and balanced tartness h. Chit- up to 10% to dramatically drive up proteins, froth, and souring potential
Increased Protein Levels!! (mash viscosity) Non-traditional Brewing Grains: raw,unmodified, undermodified, and ancient grains. Non-traditional Ingredients in mash: veggies, roots, seeds, nuts, etc.
Mash Temperature Rests 1. Ferulic Acid Rest: 35 o C (95 o F) for 60 minutes. Imparts a delicate and soft citric acidity. Drives up phenolics during fermentation (clove). 2.Beta-glucanse Rest: 48 o C (118 o F) for 60 minutes. Breaks down plant cell walls(cellulose) thus making starches more available, and increases extraction efficiency. 3.Protease Rest: 55 o C (131 o F) for 40 minutes. Produces free amino acids (FAN) which assist in yeast nutrition. Frees Small proteins and increases head retention. Reduces haze in final product. 4. Saccrification Rest: beta and alpha amylase enzymes convert the malt starches into maltose, dextrins, and maltodextrins (wort sugars). A. Saison Savants: 62-64 o C (144-147 o F) for 60 minutes. B. Ancient/Wild Microbes: 66-69 o C (150-156 o F ) for 60 minutes.
2) Hops: Belgian Saisons 15-35IBU’s, Saison Savants up to 70 IBU’s. Dry hopping is common in both.
Do the variety of hops matter ? Belgian Saisons (15-35 IBU’s) Challenger, Kent Goldings, Hallertau, Hersbrucker, Northern Brewer, Perle, Saaz, Spalt, Styrian Goldings,Target,Tettnanger Saison Savants (Up to 70 IBU’s) Any of the above mentioned hops, Cascade, Chinook, Fuggle, Galena, Horizon, Mt. Hood, Santiam, Sterling, Vanguard, Sorachi Ace, Nelson Sauvin.
3) Yeasts/Microbes: These Saison strains are all low to moderate flocculation, and low to moderate attenuation. It’s always necessary to add additional strains for full attenuation. Experiment with mixtures, temperatures, and wort oxygenation until you reach the results you want. I recommend blending Chico yeast, 3711,or Bretta into a pitch to complete attenuation, and create the dry body Saison is famous for. a. 3711 French Saison - Very aromatically citrus, Spicy no earthiness, low phenolics, Attenuation (77-83%). Ferm Temp 65-77F (18- 25 C). b. 3726 Farmhouse Saison- Very Earthy and Spicy/Peppery, Attenuation (74-79%). Ferm Temp 70-100F(21-38 C). c.WL 565 - Classic Dupont Strain. Earthy with slightly sweet esters. Attenuation (65%-75%). Ferm Temp 68-75F (20-24C). d.WL 566- Produces fruity esters, and is moderately phenolic. Clove like and plum sweetness. Attenuation (78-85%). Ferm Temp 68-78F (20-26 C). e. Helper yeast: 3711, Chico, Thames Valley, Nottingham 1-5% of iniatial slurry mix to ‘help’ achieve complete attenuation.
f.Wild and Experimental Yeasts, 10- 25% of primary pitch slurry (for increased/guaranteed attenuation and cellaring potential ) 1. Brettanomyces claussenii - Low intensity Brett character. Originally isolated from strong English stock beer, in the early 20th century. More aroma than flavor contribution. Fruity, pineapple to light ‘graphite’ flavor. 2. Brettanomyces bruxellensis- Medium intensity Brett character. Classic strain used in secondary fermentation for Belgian style beers and Lambics. Develops noteable bitter leather with age. 3. Brettanomyces lambicus- High intensity Brett character. Defines the "Brett character": Horsey, smoky and spicy flavors. As the name suggests, this strain is found most often in Lambic style beers, which are spontaneously fermented beers. Also found in Flanders and sour brown style beers. 4. Brettanomyces bruxellensis Var Drei- produces a slightly tart beer with delicate fruit characteristics of mango and peach, high straw, wet wool, and some leather. Certainly the most aromatic Bretta! 5. Brettanomyces bouckeartii- Very low intensity Bretta that becomes with spicy with age. A personal favorite of mine for Saison brewing. This variety of bretta was first isolated from a German Berliner Weisse slurry. Woody to musty notes. * Add O2 during first 24 hours of fermentation increase fruit characters.
Brettanomyces Flavor & Aromatic Profiles *wheel created by Dr. Linda Bisson and Lucy Joseph at UC Davis
Fermentation Tracks Original Gravity 9 - 13.0 Plato 66F (19C) climbs to 73F (23C), 3-4 days. 13-16.5 Plato 66F (19C) climbs to 79F (26C), 3-5 days. 16.5-23.0 Plato66F (19C) climbs to 100F (38C), 4-6 days. * I Recommend Sake Fermentation Procedures at this high of gravities. ** All Finishing Gravities fall to 1.0-1.5 Plato
G.Lactobacillus delbrueckii, 1-5% of primary pitch slurry (for cellaring purposes) and/or used at the kettle in a warm fermentation procedure. Adds light to intense sour character. Warm Kettle Fermentation Procedures: Lactobacillus should always be shipped at room temperature (request this from your microbe bank). This will reduce the thermal stress of a culture that was propagated warm, harvested in our lab and pitched back into the wort at an elevated temperature(105-110F or 40-44C). Lactobacillus culture may grow at slightly higher temperatures(up to 120F or 49C) but needs time to adapt to these temperatures after shipment. After mashing and lautering the wort, raise temperature to 180F for 30 minutes to inhibit other organisms indigenous to malt such as wild yeast, bacillus and enterics which can contribute other flavors than the desired sourness of lactic acid. This lactobacillus culture grows best if inoculated into a low gravity(8-9 plato) unhopped wort. Worts of this gravity will typically sour within 12-48 hours. The soured wort may taste both sweet and sour due to the residual fermentables remaining in the wort. Many brewers will add more extract with an additional mash or by adding extract and then boiling with hops at this point. DO NOT Aerate/Oxygenate or add any salts in mash or wort before pitching Lacto. Only add pitch post wort cooling to proper temperatures, and in a still kettle. NEVER whirlpool after pitching.
Warm Kettle Lactobacillus delbrueckii Fermentations Observations: From T(o) to T(10) Data shows a consistent pH drop of ~0.2/hr. pH still moves slowwwwy down for the next 35 hours (T45), and stops just above a pH of 3 at that point. Palate Notes pH of ~3.6-4.2 gives a thicker heavy and sweeter citrus (Blood orange to Tangerine fruit) pH less than 3.4 gives a thin but sharp lemon flavor.
4) Spices Must be used in ‘balance’, and never overpower. Commonly added as a ‘Dry Spice’ to avoid creating extreme astringency and retain aromatics.
checklist for sours/wilds : 1. For new barrels, seal them by filling with hot liquor continuously until all leaks stop. 2. Sulfur burn and pack each barrel for at least one hour, rinse thoroughly one last time before filling. 3. Never use a wine thief or draw beer out of the top bung (allow the pellicle to develop and create a natural seal to prevent against o2 and acetic acid development). 4. do not move a barrel once full... again this will break the natural pellicle and promote acetic acid development.
THE “VINNY” NAIL 4. drill a 'Vinny nail' at the base of each barrel and use it as your valve, and we seal ours with bees wax. We drill a hole using a 7/64 drill bit on the barrel head of each barrel. The hole can be drilled while the barrel is empty or even with beer in it. You just have to be ready with the nail if you are doing it with the barrel full. The hole is so small that there is no problem with losing to much beer at this point. I have two sizes of stainless steel nails that I purchase from McMaster Carr. 1–½” 4d smooth common nail – 316 stainless steel 2” 6d smooth common nail - 316 stainless steel
5. do not use a 'Seal Bung' as gases and pressures will build up during aging... use a 'Silicon Breather Bung' 6. Pricing is $150 - $250 per barrel... racks ~$40-60..... 7. Fill a barrel immediately after packaging it. You only have ~ 30 min before acetobacter begins to develop!!
Bottle Conditioning At Trinity we bottle 100% of our beer “still,” and all carbonation is created from a live refermentation in every individual bottle. Add dry yeast (25g/BBL) directly into the Packaging/Brite tank for the most consistently vital/viable cells insuring full carbonation. Common Yeast choices are Champagne/Wine Strains: EC1118, DV10. Priming: make a 50/50 dex/cane mixture @ 1.8-2.2lbs/BBL then dissolve it in 180F (83C) water. Pump into Brite Tank and circulate through carbonation stone inlet for ten minutes for thorough mixing. 3.5-4.0v disolved CO2. Store Bottles at room temp for 2-3 weeks to reach full carbonation.
Bottles: We must remember the influences that formed Saison, most are regional. Just to the south of Wallonia lies the Champagne region of France, and the packaging and presentation of Champagne undoubtedly had large influences on Saison. Therefore, 375 ml and 750ml bottles are the most suitable. These bottles are rated for higher pressures, also suitable for the naturally conditioned product. Glassware, must be stemmed! White wine, Tulip, Belgian Globe (preferred) Pouring: Steady stream from the bottle a decent height above glass. Pour directly into the center of the glass as to disrupt disolved CO2. Serve immediately after pouring for full aromatic experience.
Why SAiSON ?? Momentum of Harvest: Seasonals are now the #1 selling style in America, Pale ales are the #2 selling style. Supporting Local Growers: Foster local relationships and partnerships while showcasing ecoregional specific terrior. Challenge and Creativity: An inspired brewer consistently working in personal creation is a happy brewer and makes ‘Happy Beer.’ Cheap Start Up Costs: literally no glycol system needed, single walled FVs and BBTs, unpressurized bottler (wine bottle filler)… Total equipment investment less than $50k Food Pairing : No other style of beer exists that is as culinary driven or as versatile to pair with food. Dynamic in flavor ; hops/acidity will also cut through: oils, fats, creams. Punctual Style Growth: In the past 5 years GABF entries grew from 37 to 68 entries. In 2012 (8) Saisons total were awarded medals, (3) in French and Belgian Style and (5) more in multiple categories (Saison Savants).