Thursday, December 22, 2011

Some type of (brett'd) Saison

Now that my 'petite' saison is ready to be bottled, really I need to come up with a recipe for the second part of my saison experiment if I intend to have it brewed by Christmas. However, just coming up with a recipe has been far more difficult than I though. At first, I was set on making a dark saison (something along the lines of Fantome Noel - not that I've ever had it) and souring... bug'ing the heck out of it with pedio, lacto, and a melange of brett strains. However, after putting to some thought into it, I'd probably be better off just doing another pale saison and using one or two types of brett instead. That way I'd get a better sense of individual character of the brett(s) and probably end up with a cleaner, more focused beer than the kitchen sink recipe that I had planned to use. Not to mention that of all the sours I routinely drink, I've always preferred the sour-funk-brett character of the paler beers than those found in the dark versions.

With that said, here are a few random grists I've come up with for a pale-ish saison that will have some type of brett and (possibly) spices added to it. I will only be brewing one batch of brett saison at this point as I only have a one carboy available for long-term aging. Moreover, I will be fermenting this beer with a portion of wlp566 (Saison II) yeast; I still have not decided if I want to try yeast blending with this batch. If any of these grists or combinations look good enough to brew, or you have suggestions on what may work better, please let me know.

Saison I:    85% pilsner malt, 10% wheat or rye malt, 5% munich
Saison II:   80% pilsner malt, 10% wheat, 5% munich, 5% caramunich or caravienna
Saison III:  90% pilsner malt, 10% sugar, or wheat, or rye
Saison IV:  80% pilsner malt, 15% munich or wheat, 5% amber candi syrup or (jaggery) sugar
Saison V:   85% pilsner malt, 10% spelt, 5% munich or crystal malt

Brett strains I have on hand are Whitelabs B*, C*, L*. If I would use spices, I was thinking of some combination of coriander, green cardamom, ginger, or grains of paradise.

If I had to brew on the fly tomorrow, I might go with something like this:

80% pilsner malt, 10% wheat malt, 5% munich, and 5% jaggery sugar for O.G 1.065 with a small amount of green cardamom and coriander added in the boil. Hops would be EKG or Saaz in two additions for 25-30 IBU. Possible mixture of 70% Saison II yeast and 30% Ardennes. Brett C and L added to secondary.


  1. I'm assuming you brewed with the grist in the final paragraph. Which sounds pretty good to me and judging from you petite Saison this should have no problem finishing dry.

    What temperature profile are you using?

    My recommendation for the Brett would to add separately and/or combos of the Brett strains at bottling. I think that would be a great way to get a great feel of the different strains. Especially if you can taste all your different combinations at specific time intervals (3 months, 6 months, a year..)

    I would be very interested in your results and I'm going to try this next year. Thanks for the idea.

  2. Jeff,

    The petite saison was pitched at 65F and I stuck it in a warm place. Warmest it got was 72-75F. However, the flavor is very good. Lots of clean fruit and the hops have a very pleasant peppery thing going on.

    The second saison was pitched closer to 68F and I ramped it up to around 78-80F after a two days. I will definitely be adding brett B, C, L individually to the bottles (for a portion of the batch) and the rest is going to get some brett B and maybe some Russian River dregs. I might just keep this batch all brett though...


Leave a comment. No spam please.