Saison: Rye’d, GMO’d, and low ABV!

Back in June I brewed a tart petite saison using a mixture of sourvisiae and saison yeast to – at least in theory – create a saison with the sourness associated with barrel-aged saisons, but in a manner which was ready quick, and lower in alcohol. While that beer was pretty good, it wasn’t quite what I was hoping for. This is the rebrewing of this recipe in a manner which I hope will improve the recipe. I’m upping the ration of sourvisiae:saison to make it more tart, and adding rye in place of wheat to build out the flavours in the foundation of the beer.

Petite Seigle Saison – Recipe


  • Volume: 20 L
  • IBU: 26
  • SRM: 5
  • OG: 1.037
  • FG: 1.010
  • ABV: 3.5%


2.00 kgPilsner Malt57%
1.36 kgRye Malt38.5%
0.15 kgCaramunich I4.5%
12 gWarrior, 14.2% (60 min)23 IBU
15 gHallertauer Mittelfrueh, 4.4% (10 min)3 IBU
1.0 L starterLa Moneuse Saison (Sui Generis Brewing #LYB 240)
1.0 L starterLallemand Sourvisiae


  1. Beer was mashed for 90 min at 64.0 C, and sparged to collect 29 L of pre-boil wort.
  2. Wort was boiled for 60 min, with Warrior hops added at 60 min, and Hallertauer Mittelfrueh and Whirflock at 10 min.
  3. After the boil the wort was chilled to 20 C and the yeast pitched.
  4. The beer was fermented for 2 weeks at 20 C, swapping the blow-off tube for an airlock after ~1 week of fermentation.
  5. The beer was kegged and carbonated at 30 PSI for 24 hours, for ~2.4 volumes of CO2.

saison in a glass.
Rye Saison

Petite Seigle Saison – Tasting Notes

Appearance: Copper with a thick off-white head. Highly carbonated, with a slight haze.

Aroma: Strong saison-yeast note; spice and pear fruit mostly. Some malt notes in the background.

Flavour: Closer to what I was looking for than the first attempt, but it is a great beer. Upfront is the traditional spicy/earthy phenolics and apple/pear esters of a classic saison. As hoped for, this is alongside a modest acidity similar to that of a barrel-aged saison. The rye helps to emphasize the earthiness of the saison yeast, without being a dominant note. That’s the good side. The downside is that one of the yeasts appears to have produced a lot of glycerol, giving a heavier, oily mouthfeel to the beer. This also seems to give some sweetness, depriving the beer of the hoped-for dryness. The after-taste is typical of a siason – a lingering earthy and malt tone that fades fairly quickly.

Mouthfeel: As mentioned above, thicker and slightly “oily”.

Overall: Not bad, but not great. Despite the simplified brewing process offered by sourvisiae, a quicker turn-around saison with better character could be had using kettle souring – though-be-it with a tad more work. I doubt I’ll attempt a third go at this beer, as the glycerol issue is not one which is easy to address.

4 thoughts on “Saison: Rye’d, GMO’d, and low ABV!

  • October 7, 2021 at 5:35 PM

    Also the rye is probably contributing to that oily mouthfeel, rye does that quite well.

    • October 8, 2021 at 8:26 AM

      I didn’t think of the rye, but that could very well be the case. As for philly sour, if the oiliness if from the rye it wouldn’t help – a brettanomyces or something else that expresses a beta-glucosidase would potentially help though. That said, I’m not a fan of the flavour philly sour imparts on beers, so I wouldn’t use it even if it resolved the mouthfeel issue.

    • November 1, 2021 at 6:26 AM

      Brewed a roggenbier with 50% rye (wyerman pale rye), it tasted like liquid starch, heh

  • October 7, 2021 at 5:27 PM

    Do you think switching to Philly sour might address the oilyness?


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