A three-headed Saison: July, August & Red Hot and Hoppy with Mirasol chiles

I love to create side batches of home brew and this summer’s attempt at brewing my first Saison was no exception. Easy to do during secondary fermentation or bottling, it’s a great way to experiment without risking 5 or 10 gallons of beer. I split the batch in half to test out two different approaches to finishing and conditioning the beer. From one of these I also spun off a few bottles for a late chile pepper addition.

Let me give you some background on the beer. I started with a Saison kit with a fairly basic grain bill supplemented with red and white wheat. The hops were added in the standard 90/15/1 schedule and were all strains of the Hallertau family. The target ABV was ~4.5% and the expected bitterness was in the neighborhood of 30 IBUs. I also decided to dry hop fairly aggressively, despite that being out of character for the style. I used Wyeast’s 3724 Saison yeast. Pitched at 72° F, I gradually raised the wort temperature to ~90-92° F and held it there for the duration of primary fermentation. I bolstered the yeast with energizer powder added to the boil.

This beer reached final gravity relatively quickly, drying out to 1.010 in just under 7 days. Typical for an average yeast, this particular strain is known to occasionally stick at around 1.035. After another twelve days passed I decided to bottle half the batch. The beer was very green and I noted this as I scheduled when I would first refrigerate and taste this bottling. To 4 of the bottles I added a third of a large Mirasol chile pepper. I plan to let these sit in warm temps for upwards of six weeks before I try either one.

The second half, still in secondary, I approached a bit differently. To this I added an additional portion of yeast of a different strain. Mother nature had conspired to lower the regional ambient temperatures giving me many options to choose from without requiring externally manipulating the wort temperature. This is now also in bottles and conditioning noticeably faster than either of the previous bottlings. I expect to try this one after only 3 to 4 weeks of conditioning and plan to give it extra time in the fridge before opening due to the larger volume of residual yeast suspended in the beer.

In roughly 90 days I’ll have all three versions to try and report back on…

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About mrhopsbeertalk
Avid homebrewer and craft beer taster. I love all the hops I can get. #hops #ipa #iipa #ipl #porter #dipa #specialtyale #saison #craftbeer western mass · mrhopsbeertalk.wordpress.com

3 Responses to A three-headed Saison: July, August & Red Hot and Hoppy with Mirasol chiles

  1. Pingback: Brewing my first Belgian beers, a White IPA and a Saison | @mrhopsbeertalk

  2. Pingback: 14 batches of home brew later I’m a fiend for fresh beer @Slumbrew @Wyeastlab @Weyerbacher @sixpoint @SierraNevada | Mr Hops Beer Talk

  3. Pingback: A three-headed Saison Part 2: Tasting the beers | Mr Hops Beer Talk

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