Dark Saison - Need Advice

Discussion in 'Recipes for Feedback' started by Matic, Sep 29, 2016.

  1. Matic

    Matic New Member

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    Hey Folks:

    Never brewed a dark Saison. I want to do a different Holiday beer, so I thought this a good idea. I added some spices, including black pepper, to give it a little pop for the holidays. Never spiced a saison before and never used this combo of spices. I want the spice to be noticeable but not in the way. Please let me know your thoughts.

    Title: Tis the Saison to be Jolly
    Author: Shane

    Brew Method: All Grain
    Style Name: Saison
    Boil Time: 60 min
    Batch Size: 5.5 gallons (fermentor volume)
    Boil Size: 7.5 gallons
    Boil Gravity: 1.059
    Efficiency: 75% (brew house)


    STATS:
    Original Gravity: 1.081
    Final Gravity: 1.019
    ABV (standard): 8.08%
    IBU (tinseth): 20.4
    SRM (morey): 29.67

    FERMENTABLES:
    14 lb - Canadian - Pale 2-Row (83.6%)
    0.75 lb - American - Black Barley (4.5%)
    2 lb - American - Vienna (11.9%)

    HOPS:
    0.5 oz - Nugget, Type: Pellet, AA: 14, Use: Boil for 45 min, IBU: 20.4

    OTHER INGREDIENTS:
    7 each - Cardamom, Time: 5 min, Type: Spice, Use: Boil
    2 tsp - Black Pepper, Time: 5 min, Type: Spice, Use: Boil
    2 tsp - Star Anise, Time: 5 min, Type: Spice, Use: Boil
    1 each - Orange Peel, Time: 5 min, Type: Flavor, Use: Boil

    YEAST:
    Wyeast - Farmhouse Ale 3726
    Starter: No
    Form: Liquid
    Attenuation (avg): 76%
    Flocculation: Variable
    Optimum Temp: 70 - 95 F
    Fermentation Temp: 70 F

    NOTES:
    Dark, spiced Saison
     
  2. jmcnamara

    jmcnamara Well-Known Member

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    I've only recently done a saison, and not a dark one. But I think you could play around with the ferm temp to get some of the spicy peppery notes. I think mine got up to upper 80s or so

    I do dig the orange peel though, that'll be interesting
     
  3. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    I'd sub Grains of Paradise for the black pepper. Smilar bite, but much more aromatic. I used some in a late-summer "Saison" (not a Belgian yeast) with some Ginger and Lemon. It's pretty fantastic.
    Not sure about the grain bill...seems like a lot of Black Barley. Maybe sub some C-120 and get some dark fruit/cooked caramel to hold up your spices.
    I like the Nugget.
     
  4. Matic

    Matic New Member

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    Thanks for the tips. I like the two sub suggestions - C-120 and Grains of Paradise. I think if I sub the C-120, I'll double the amount to 1.5 lbs to get the color dark? What do you think about the amounts of the spices? I'm not familiar with Grains of Paradise... does it come ground or in peppercorns? When I add spices, I always get super concerned I am going to do too much. Sometimes, then, I don't do enough and I loose the effect altogether.
     
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  5. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    Look up Grains of Paradise and get familiar with it. I used 2 grams for a 3 gallon batch in teh last 10 minutes of boil and it seems fine. Buy it whole and crush it or grind it.
    As for Crystal vs Roasted...there are others who can speak from much more experience than me, but I think that using Crystal for flavor and Roasted grains for color is a good way to go. Don't overdo the percentage of Crystal grains. Keep some Roasted grains for color and deeper flavor notes like chocolate and coffee. See what a half pound of 120 plus 2 0z of Pale chocolate plus 2 0z of Black Barley does to your color. A lot of burnt flavors with the spices is going to be harsh. Sweet , dark caramel plus a little roast in the background probably supports your spices a little better.
    Also, be aware when putting together recipes that you should find out what your local supplier actually has. That will determine what you're actually going to use. I've formulated recipes very carefully only to realize that the Carafa or Dark Munich I thought I'd use has to be switched for Special Roast or a smaller amount of Cara Munich, for instance.
     
  6. Matic

    Matic New Member

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    Thanks for the feedback, all. JA, based on your suggestions, I made a few tweaks....what do you all think? Also, I order most everything online (except yeast and spices etc.) so it is usually easy enough for me to find what I need - supplier is currently out of Crystal 120 so I subbed 80.

    Title: Tis the Saison to be Jolly
    Author: Shane

    Brew Method: All Grain
    Style Name: Saison
    Boil Time: 60 min
    Batch Size: 5.5 gallons (fermentor volume)
    Boil Size: 7.5 gallons
    Boil Gravity: 1.063
    Efficiency: 75% (brew house)


    STATS:
    Original Gravity: 1.086
    Final Gravity: 1.021
    ABV (standard): 8.61%
    IBU (tinseth): 19.71
    SRM (morey): 20.37

    FERMENTABLES:
    13 lb - Canadian - Pale 2-Row (73%)
    1.5 lb - American - Caramel / Crystal 80L (8.4%)
    3 lb - American - Vienna (16.8%)
    5 oz - American - Roasted Barley (1.8%)

    HOPS:
    0.5 oz - Nugget, Type: Pellet, AA: 14, Use: Boil for 45 min, IBU: 19.71

    OTHER INGREDIENTS:
    7 each - Cardamom, Time: 5 min, Type: Spice, Use: Boil
    2 tsp - Grains of Paradise, Time: 5 min, Type: Spice, Use: Boil
    8 each - Star Anise, Time: 5 min, Type: Spice, Use: Boil
    1 each - Orange Peel, Time: 5 min, Type: Flavor, Use: Boil

    YEAST:
    Wyeast - Farmhouse Ale 3726
    Starter: No
    Form: Liquid
    Attenuation (avg): 76%
    Flocculation: Variable
    Optimum Temp: 70 - 95 F
    Fermentation Temp: 70 F
    Additional Yeast: Wyeast 3726

    NOTES:
    Dark, spiced Saison
     
  7. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    I'm extrapolating a bit rather than judging from specific experience, but it looks good to me.
    I'd be inclined to gather as much information as possible about the dosage of all the spices so nothing is overdone, but the flavors all together and in balance should make for a pretty fantastic beer.
    I'd brew it. :)
     
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  8. jmcnamara

    jmcnamara Well-Known Member

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    that can be read a few different ways my friend
     
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  9. Matic

    Matic New Member

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    Okay, so I ordered my stuff. Ordered 4 grams of Grains of Paradise. I'm reading that people use about two grams at five minutes for a subtle touch in a wit. This beer should be a bold saison and I want some real zing so I was thinking 3, maybe all 4 grams? Anyone have thoughts?
     
  10. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    Based on my one-time experience, 2 grams was enough to give a definite presence in my .063 OG beer. You have a lot of big spices in this recipe and it's a big, bold beer. I'd say 3 for sure and if you're worried about it getting lost in all the other stuff, go all in. ;)
    It's not going to be a beer for the feint of heart. :D
     
  11. Matic

    Matic New Member

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    Perfect, thanks. Going with the following, all at 5 minutes left in boil:
    - 7 Cardamom pods (crushed)
    - 5 Star Anise (whole stars/crushed)
    - 3 grams Grains of Paradise (crushed)
    - 1 oz dried orange peel

    Hopefully this has a nice pop, all in balance. I'll update this when I drink it in case anyone is interested how it turns out. I'm excited for this one!
     
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  12. Matic

    Matic New Member

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    I took a hydro sample yesterday for curiosity's sake. Dropped down to 020 already and still bubbling away in the blow-off. This yeast should get down below 005 from 1.071. This is going to be incredible - the smell already is amazing and I drank the hydro sample which seems as though the spices are going to balance out exactly how I hoped. Once the gravity drops and this dries out more, with some heavy carbonation under it, this is going to be a stunner. I was going to bottle this to bring to Christmas parties/meals, but if it's as good as it seams so far, I'm going to keg this batch to drink now and brew another in a few weeks for the holidays.
     
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  13. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    Awesome stuff Matic your having a win mate.
    I've been a little worried about a batch of vanilla cream ale that I'm brewing ATM I pitched in my vanilla vodka concoction and the sample was real vodkary but now couple of days latter it has mellowed in a bit.
    Yea it's always a nervy gig adding flavourings to a brew first time
     
  14. Matic

    Matic New Member

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    Indeed it is, glad your Vanilla Cream Ale is shaping up. Sounds like an interesting brew. Cheers
     
  15. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    How'd you go with this saison there Matic it should be nice and primed ready to drink by now?
     
  16. Matic

    Matic New Member

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    Actually racked it over to secondary last week (not necessary but I'm a creature of habit) and I plan to bottle this weekend. It kept attenuating more and more so I let it go... plus I didn't want it ready too close to the holidays for fear I'd drink it all before the festivities begin. I'll update in a couple weeks when it's carbed up and I give it a try!
     
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  17. Matic

    Matic New Member

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    Oh, and because it's too funny not to share, here's the label I printed up for this one :D SAISON LABEL.JPG
     
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  18. Matic

    Matic New Member

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    So I ended up kegging this because I realized I didn't have enough bottles on hand. Tried the first one today and wow, is this good! Very dry yet drinkable. It's dark red/brown, highly carbed. Smell is Anise, GOP, and faint orange. Taste...besides being incredibly dry, one would not believe this is a Saison. It has a a nicely balanced malt flavor - almost burnt caramel with the anise and GOP in the background. The spices are really well balanced (I can't believe it), and none really stand out too much above the others. There is a little alcohol heat present, but nothing off-putting. For an almost 8% beer, this is pretty drinkable/almost chuggable. If anyone trys the recipe or a tweaked version, let me know what you think....
     
  19. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    Ah you couldn't ask for more from Santa there matic that your brew would turn out perfect just in time for Christmas :p.
     
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