Posts Tagged ‘saison’

Brewed: Leaner Saison (E)

Saturday, July 7th, 2018

beautiful day to home brew leaner saison

This is the fifth recipe version that I home brewed of Leaner Saison. It is the second time I have brewed Leaner Saison this year and the second recipe version. Not much difference but I keep tweaking.

There is only a few unbelievable days each summer in Chicagoland. Today was going to be the second in a row: 75*F – 80*F with <40% humidity. Starting the home brewing process at 0600 with high skies is the perfect scenario for me. The sun hits the yard with those long angles, similar to the evening but riding on the hope of the days beginning rather then the solemn end.

Formulating the recipe for Leaner Saison (E)

The reason for brewing this batch of Leaner Saison are quite similar to the earlier brew session this year:

  1. Lallemand Belle Saison yeast had been purchased a couple of weeks prior in anticipation of home brewing a saison.
  2. The taste for rye was in my mouth. I think it may be time for hoppy rye amber as well!
  3. I purchased Azacca purposely for Leaner Saison after the success of the brew day earlier this year.
  4. Simplifying the last recipe version.
  5. It summer and a hoppy saison sounds darn delicious.

Anticipation is high from end for this beer. The upped level of hop usage along with how well it plays with the rye… Enjoy!

Recipe for Leaner Saison (E)

General Information:
Brew Date: Saturday, July 07, 2018
Day: low humidity, high sky, started @65*F, rising to 80*F
Recipe Type: All Grain
Yeast: Lallemand Belle Saison
Yeast Starter: none
Batch Size (Gallons): 5.5
Original Gravity: 1.061
Finishing Gravity: N/A
IBU: 30.8
Color: 5.0 SRM
Boiling Time (Minutes): 60
Conversion Efficiency: 67.75%
Alcohol by Volume: N/A
Apparent Attenuation: N/A
Calories per ounce: N/A
Primary Fermentation: 2 days @68*F, rise to 90*F

Grain Bill:
9.00 pounds Pilsner
3.00 pounds Rye
2.00 pounds Red Wheat

Saccharification @149.9*F

Hop Bill:
1.00 ounces 2016 Azacca @10 minutes
2.00 ounces 2016 Azacca @5 minutes
2.00 ounces 2016 Azacca whirlpool, 20 minutes

1.0 tsp Irish Moss @15 minutes
1.0 tsp Yeast Nutrient @15 minutes
4.0 quarts of rice hulls


  • 2018-07-07 evening: @66.7*F, added yeast.
  • 2018-07-08 morning: @66.0*F, no visible fermentation.

Useless Fact: Anatidaephobia is the fear that somewhere, somehow, a duck is watching you.

Tasted: Mais Epice

Saturday, November 9th, 2013

mais epice

The reason I brewed Mais Epice has a story behind it that I documented already. An official tasting has come after multiple tastes of the beer (typical of my write ups). If it wasn’t for my methodical ways, this beer probably would have received poor reviews, if I was in a good mood.

The first time I tasted the beer was only a week after bottling. Star anise. Star anise. Star anise. Yes, that’s what the beer became. The aroma and the flavor was dominated by star anise. I only used one whole star anise in the batch but it had kick. I dismissed that first tasting, thinking to myself that hopefully time will allow for the anise to drop out.

Fast forward almost two months. I tried the beer about a week ago, noticing how the anise had mellowed and the beer rounded out, balanced. I was much happier with the beer and it was time to share with friends.

Look: The beer has a pour perfectly clear,with a nice orange/gold color. The foam is a half-inch thick. The retention is about normal for a saison while there is barely any lacing.

Aroma: Saison phenols are nicely supported by the spice. Star anise, black pepper, slight bitter and clean, sweet orange layer.

Taste: Similar to the aroma, the base Saison comes through with a supporting cast that adds complexity. Star anise, pepper and bitterness all come in mid-to-late, lingering gently but not overwhelming.

Drinkability: Medium body. Medium carbonation at best. Tiny bubbles fill the mouth to aid in the body. Maybe not enough but the combination is fine for the beer.

Overall: A month has mellowed the star anise, creating a much more balanced and therefore complex beer. I can have one or two of these a week before it becomes to much for me.

I will be this again but not something that will ever make my “normal” rotation. Thanksgiving time might be the best time for this beer; brewing it 10 weeks or more before the date. Enjoy!

Useless Fact: Drinking a banana milkshake is a perfect cure for a hangover.

Saison De Pipaix – Brasserie à Vapeur

Sunday, July 7th, 2013

Saison De Pipaix - Brasserie à Vapeur

I had been rereading a recent copy of BYO magazine. There is an article about saisons, one of my favorite styles of beer. The article centers on how large the style is and all the different saisons that can be brewed while fitting within. There is a picture of a bottle of Saison De Pipaix, by Brasserie à Vapeur, in the article.

This sparked flashes of seeing that same picture in another BYO article. In this earlier article the focus is on the brewery and Saison De Pipaix. The clone recipe is given. I have never brewed the clone but I have always wanted to taste the beer. I had interest because of the different spices that are used: black pepper, ginger, sweet orange peel, curaçao, star anise. I never had a saison with such a bold spice character (at least knowingly).

Lady luck was with me when I scored a bottle on a recent family trip down to Florida. The bottle had a date of April, 2013. Somewhat fresh for a saison. Obviously I drank the beer instead of cellaring (have read that people have had five year or older bottles).

Saison De Pipaix poured beautifully into a tulip, topped by at least two inches of virgin white foam. Lacing complemented the drink throughout. Pepper and ginger can be had on the nose. Orange, which is subtlety tart, joins earth, lime and pear. The taste is similar. The citrus, spice and yeast create a tart, difficult to describe (at least for me) center of flavor. A delicately complex beer that has a medium body and, surprisingly, a light end of carbonation. Interesting but not my favorite saison but definitely worth a try if you want a saison that is a bit left of center. Enjoy!

Useless Fact: A Czech man, Jan Honza Zampa, holds the record for drinking one liter of beer in 4.11 seconds.

Thursday Night Belgian Theme

Friday, February 10th, 2012
stillwater artisanal ales cellar door

Stillwater Cellar Door

I recently brewed my first Belgian styled beer. Powered by that fact, I decided to tell the guys that the Thursday night get together would be fueled by Belgian beers. They all obliged. Unfortunately the evening got off to a late start and ended early; the long week took its toll on me. I was tired. We only made it through three beers (in the order we reviewed):

All three beers were good. Both Captain Fantasy and Cellar Door were first timers for the group as a whole. Both were easy to drink, dry, and effervescent. Captain Fantasy didn’t seem to pull it together 100% while Cellar Door had a bit more sweetness than I expected. I like a very dry, phenolic, and peppery Saison. Captain Fantasy was a bit more fruity with the green grape (almost similar to a white wine flavor in the middle) and pear highlighting the beer. Cellar Door was a bit more straight forward: phenols, pepper, and dry with only the sweetness pulling it down.

Red Poppy was the finisher: tart, vinegar, oak, and cherries give complexity to this beer. I have had it before and, if it wasn’t the for the price, I would have it much more often. Rich and Chuck took pours of this beer like it was coming out of a gallon jug. Alas, I was only afforded the last ounce, if I was lucky. Yeah, dregs for me. Enjoy!

Useless Fact: The honeybee kill more people each year world-wide than poisonous snakes.

Pretty Things Beer and Ale Project Jack D’Or (365 Day 352)

Saturday, November 19th, 2011

pretty things beer and ale project

Another week has come to an end, seemingly quicker each time, so it is time to celebrate with an American craft beer.

I had heard good things about Pretty Things Beer and Ale Project back a couple of years ago. Of course, back then when I was chasing everything, I had to bite and find a few bottles. American craft beer number 352 is Jack D’Or by the aforementioned Pretty Things.

Jack is a Saison which just so happens to be one of my favorite styles of beer. Of course I hold beers of this style to a bit of a higher measurement that the rest and Jack disappoint, coming out better than the average beer. I would call it a clean Saison in that there wasn’t any sour or tart notes to go along with the sweet caramel and phenolic Belgian yeast. A good dose of carbonation, as expected, mixes with the light body to make for a refreshing mix. Enjoy!

Aroma: 6 (25%), Taste: 6 (25%), Look: 9 (15%), Drinkability: 9 (35%), Overall: 7.5

Useless Fact: Drinking lowers rather than raises the body temperature. There is an illusion of heat because alcohol causes the capillaries to dilate and fill with blood. In very cold weather drinking alcoholic beverages can lead to frostbite.