Brewday: John’s Saison

Citra & Amarillo waiting
to go in the pool…

Saison is one of my favorite summer beers, and it is time to start brewing summer beers.  This beer is a recipe from a fellow London Homebrewer Guild member John, who also happens to be a co-worker.  John brought this beer to a meeting a few months ago – it was, hands down, one of the best Saison’s I’ve ever had.  I’m not sure how on-style this is, but it is damned tasty.

Unfortunately, I had to mess with perfection.  John, like most students, lives in a small cramped apartment that is always hot – i.e. perfect Saison brewing temperatures.  I live in a house with a wife who saves money by not turning on the heat.  So I swapped out John’s recommended Belgian Saison I Ale (WLP565), which is notorious for needed warm temperatures, for Wyeast’s 3711 (French Saison), which is perfectly happy at the 18-20C my basement tends to be at this time of year.

Recipe & brewday below the fold…I hope John doesn’t mind me posting it…


Boil Size: 25.49 l
Post Boil Volume: 21.84 l
Batch Size (fermenter): 20.00 l
Bottling Volume: 19.50 l
Estimated OG: 1.065 SG
Estimated Color: 5.1 SRM
Estimated IBU: 51.9 IBUs
Brewhouse Efficiency: 72.00 %
Est Mash Efficiency: 75.6 %
Boil Time: 60 Minutes

Amt         Name                                    %/IBU         
5.00 kg     Pilsner (2 Row) Bel (2.0 SRM)           83.3 %
0.50 kg     Munich Malt (9.0 SRM)                    8.3 %
0.50 kg     Wheat, Flaked (1.6 SRM)                  8.3 %         
8.25 g      Columbus [15.00 %] – Boil 60.           14.4 IBUs
1.00 tsp    Irish Moss (Boil 15.0 mins)
14.17 g     Amarillo Gold [7.80 %] – Boil 15.0 min   6.4 IBUs
14.17 g     Citra [13.70 %] – Boil 15.0 min         11.2 IBUs
14.17 g     Amarillo Gold [7.80 %] – Boil 10.0 min   4.7 IBUs
14.17 g     Citra [13.70 %] – Boil 10.0 min          8.2 IBUs
14.17 g     Amarillo Gold [7.80 %] – Boil 5.0 min    2.6 IBUs
14.17 g     Citra [13.70 %] – Boil 5.0 min           4.5 IBUs
14.17 g     Amarillo Gold [7.80 %] – Boil 0.0 min    0.0 IBUs
14.17 g     Citra [13.70 %] – Boil 0.0 min           0.0 IBUs
Yeastbank   French Saison (Wyeast Labs #3711)
85.05 g     Nelson Sauvin [12.00 %] – Dry Hop, 2 weeks

Mash Schedule:
Single Infusion, Light Body, Batch Sparge
Total Grain Weight: 6.00 kg
Name      Description                     Temp      Time
Mash In   Add 18.25 l of water at 70.3 C  63.9 C    90 min        

Batch sparge with 2 steps (Drain mash tun, , 13.50l) of 75.6 C water


My setup always looks the same…
wait, what is my MLT wearing?

Nothing special to report here.  For the first time in a long time there was no snow on breweday; none-the-less, the long mash time required some extra insulation, in the form of a hammock wrapped around the MLT.  This kept the temperature dead-on 64C for the full 90 minutes of the mash.

Everything went near-perfectly.  I say near-perfectly, as I’m still collecting slightly less sparge volume than predicted.  The downside to new systems (new-ish, in my case) is it takes a few batches of beer to tune-in all of the boil off values, etc, that you need to accurately produce beers.  Good news is that I’m getting closer, but I still have a ways to go.

Outside of that, it was an average brew-day; luckily for me, the threat of rain meant that I didn’t have to paint SWMBO’s garden fence during the mash/boil.  Instead, I managed to fit in a few episodes of the Game of Thrones

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