Peachy Saison?

Head First

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Dec 22, 2012
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I have 6#s of peaches from the garden left after canning and was going to make a fruit beer with them. I brew in 10 gal batches so will split the batch and only use peaches in 5gal. They are in freezer so will keep proper until I come up with the right recipe. I'm looking for an almost wine like peach flavor with the beer/hops pairing up evenly. Hopefully the honey malt will hold enough sweetness to enhance the peach flavor without burning down the crispness of the saison yeast. Was thinking of adding some hops to secondary of other 5gal.
Comments? Suggestions?
Here are my thoughts:

Nelson Sauvin hops impart white wine notes, could be a nice pairing. Citra is another option, it adds a more pungent mango tropical smell/flavor. Or you could just go with 10-15 IBU of a noble hop like Hallertau or Saaz the the recipe already has. I don't think the Magnum is really needed, I'd just double up the noble hops.

As for grains, I'd do Pilsner as the base to lighten it - you already have a 90 minute boil. Maybe do Vienna malt instead of the munich. I'd skip the corn sugar, or reduce it to 5% of the grain bill max.
Good ideas for hops. The magnum will be omitted. I don't have any pils on hand so was using the 2 row with sugar to thin it out a bit. Jamil Z recommends simple sugar to dry out a Saison. With the lower mash temp maybe it's not needed. I have had pale ale's finish out as low as 1.005 with 152 and cal ale yeast so maybe I am over doing.
Looks like a good recipe to me. You'll likely get much higher attenuation - a finishing gravity in single digits - with saison yeast. I don't understand the corn sugar - at 1# over a 10# batch it won't do much and if you're looking to lighten the body, pure cane sugar is a lot cheaper and will work just as well. Another concern is the 6# of peaches will likely get lost - peach is a very mild flavor and general guidelines are 10# for five gallons to get a good peach flavor - you'd need 20#. Another observation - don't boil the Hallertau for 30 minutes! Use something like your original idea, Magnum, Perle, Northern Brewer, something with higher alpha acids and save those lovely Hallertaus for later, when their nice spicy floral notes come through. I like neutral bitterness with the more flavorful, aromatic hops coming in later. Yeast nutrient likely won't hurt, although with this much malt I doubt it will help. Use at least two packets of yeast, rehydrate it carefully but don't make a starter (waiting for the pillory on that one!), what I've read it hurts dry yeast to make a starter more than it helps. I think you'll get a nice beer out of this but I also think you'll lose the peach flavor. Also, don't know about the Danstar but the liquid Saison yeast I've used likes to be fermented hot - 90°F or better! In the end, it's your beer and my observations apply to my brewing, my palate and my results - let your brewing be yours and by all means, let us know how it turns out.
Nelson Sauvin hops impart white wine notes, could be a nice pairing.

Haven't worked with that one but test batch is coming up soon, a blonde ale finished with Nelson Sauvin. First I have to get my Christmas and Thanksgiving brewing out of the way. So many beers, so little time.... ;)
Nosybear said:
Looks like a good recipe to me. You'll likely get much higher attenuation - a finishing gravity in single digits - with saison yeast. I don't understand the corn sugar - at 1# over a 10# batch it won't do much and if you're looking to lighten the body, pure cane sugar is a lot cheaper and will work just as well.
Really appreciate the input! I was thinking the yeast would perform closer to 85% myself. The reason for corn sugar is because I have it on hand. I purchased a 50# sack from A local (100 miles away)Good Food Store for like $35 so its there to use. Also 6#'s of peaches is what is on hand. This is of concern to me also I could pull a few jars off the shelf to add in I guess. We dont't put much sugar in our canned fruit, I think only a tbls per pint.
When it comes to dry yeast I get very lazy. I just let it warm to room temp. and sprinkle it on the wort, wait 10 or 15 min. and give it a little stir. Seams to work better than rehydration for me. First time with this saison yeast so guess will find out.
That's a good reason to use the corn sugar. Try rehydration very carefully, control your temperatures - the "sprinkle on top" method supposedly kills about half the yeast cells (according to the guy who established White Labs). If I were trying this brew, I'd look for more peaches, even frozen ones or puree. Too little won't hurt at all, it'll just lighten the body and you won't get peach flavor.

Good luck with the brew!
OK here goes. Will brew it this way this week. ... ch-session
3 way split will be diff but have done it before when didn't boil hard enough. Will step up temp in fermentation chamber during first 2 weeks of primary. Will taste the peach as it progresses in secondary to monitor flavor. This gives a 20% higher fruit ratio so should help there and the wife gets a little belgian for helping!
I am very aware of the diff between dry and liquid yeast but LHBS is 100 miles away and to use a variety of yeasts I thought maybe I would give the newer dry yeasts a try.
Will post back here after it's brewed. Thanks again guys :D CHEERS
Looks like an excellent plan! I'm interested in how the peaches work in a Saison. I think you'll be a lot happier with the results of the "split." Please keep us posted!
Brewed last night. Put in primary at 10:30 and already good airlock activity in all three vessels at 5 AM. (makes for a short night but we're over the hump anyway so all is good) Nice light wort.I am curious how saison yeast will finish and taste. Should leave room for the peaches to come through.
Remember some Saison yeasts like it hot. As in 90° hot. I'm not familiar with the dry variety but the liquid I recently used (White Labs Belgian Saison) did the following: Ate about 30 gravity points, then stalled. Woke up a few weeks later, ate a few more points, then stalled. It finally woke up and, about four months after brewing, ended up at 1.005. Most of that time I kept the fermentor wrapped in a heating blanket. Google your dry yeast, check its optimum temperature and if it states the optimum goes up to warm, keep it there. It'll reward you with a great, peppery Saison.
Yeast can finish as quickly as 72 hrs with 2 packs in 5 gal. Temp is 63 to 77 but it is stated there is no confirmation of upper temp. I pitched 1 pack in 4 gal and it took off like a rocket in 24 hrs and now has slowed down just a little. As long as there is airlock activity I won't mess with it. I noticed the slow down last night after work so kicked temp up to 75 after being started at 70. The S-33 activity is same as Belle Saison. Curious what the higher temp will do with it.
There's not enough info on Danstar's site to make a good judgement about what temp to ferment at, although it does say after the yeast starts it's a good idea to let the beer warm. Using Wyeast's 3724 "Belgian Saison" yeast, I fermented at 90° - great esters and phenols, a very complex beer. Cool, though, is in the absence of information a safe bet. Complexity will be lower but you won't wind up with five gallons of swamp water.
Progress report:
Safbrew S-33 was finished in 10 days cold crashed 10/26, then kegged 10/28 (FG 1.011)
Saison was at 1.005 on 10/28 racked 4gal to 75deg. secondary and 4gal onto peaches
Safbrew S 33 was almost too clean but boss said no secondary hops so kegged (nice sweetness to go with simple hopping).
Saison had a sharp note with the slight grain sweetness I was looking for. Should make peaches shine.Will be a
tasty beer w/o peaches, alcohol comes through strong but not hot. :D 90% atten. 6.3abv so far. prob won't change too much in secondary.

Nov. 8th racked beer off of peaches and flavor was very good. Nice complexity with saison yeast, malt sweetness,tart fruit all blending together well. Looks like it will need to be cold crashed and filtered before bottling.
Bottled saison and peach beer today. No gravity change with either. Wish I would have tried the saison yeast sooner. Peach flavor stands out yet still blends as I hoped. Had left the beer on peaches for 12 days. How long is the normal time for fruit beer? The washed saison yeast is now in a seasonal ale. Curious how it will come out. Working at a good pace for several days now. Has been a fun experiment! Can't wait for the holidays now.
12/2 seasonal ale finished out at 1.005. Not exactly proper for style. :roll: oops
Was thinking about this beer the other day with a huckleberry beer in my hand. I used 1# of huckleberries in 5gal and they stood out in nose, color and flavor. Any more and they would have been too tart. On the other hand this recipe with 6#'s peaches in 4gal had good nose, slight cloudiness and just a hint of peach flavor. Obviously different fruits but still interesting. Pulled a bottle of the peach from the cellar recently and hasn't changed much, the peach aroma jumps right out of the bottle when opened. The huckleberry was packaged mid Oct.(some still in a keg) and the bright pink color is going slightly darker already with the tartness smoothing out and less nose. Both were brewed using same methods and same recipe of grains.