Saturday, August 28, 2010

Saison Brewday

This is a second attempt at a Dandelion Saison; this one is intended to be a bit darker, and have a more complex spice profile. Keep those fingers crossed.

75: Dandelion Saison II
1 lb. Belgian Pale Ale malt
1 lb. Thomas Fawcett Crystal Rye
1 lb. Dingeman’s Pale Malt
8 oz. Dingeman’s Biscuit Malt

Mashed w/2 gallons water @ 125° F for 30 minutes;
135° F for 30 minutes; 149° F for 30 minutes; raised to 170° F
Batch sparged with 1 gallon of 170° F water

Added to brew kettle, brought to a boil (60 minute) and added:
6 lbs. Breiss Pilsen Light DME
8 oz. Turbinado Sugar
1.1 oz. Willamette 4.8% AA
.4 oz. dried dandelion leaves
1 g. dried chicory leaf stems
6 oz. frozen dandelion flowers

w/10 minutes to go:
1 tsp. Irish Moss

@ removal from heat
8 g. dried dandelion petals
12 dried costmary leaves

Cooled wort, racked onto Wyeast 3711 French Saison cake

Brewed: 8/28/2010
Secondary: 9/24/2010 @ 1.004
Bottled: 10/14/2010 with 4.5 oz. table suger (2.75 volumes CO2)

OG: 1.064
FG: 1.003

Tasting Notes: 5/9/2011: While I like the idea behind this beer, there is one too many experiments going on at the same time: I should have stuck with either the Thomas Fawcett Crystal Rye or the dandelions, chicory, and costmary. Using both gives me a beer that is all over the map: spicy and caramel from the rye as well as floral, bitter, and herbal components from the flowers and herbs. Throw in the biscuit malt and the 3711 yeast characteristics and busy is an understatement. The initial flavors were very uneven, but they’ve finally started to blend together. Consider this a lesson I’ll probably have to learn at least two of three more times before it really sinks in.

Rye/Dandelion Saison pours a deep caramel copper with an off-white head that has solid retention bolstered by the bright carbonation. The nose is mostly floral yeast esters, but there is a fair amount of spicy herbal character that comes through, as well. Spicy floral caramel in the front gives way to herbal and biscuit flavors in the middle—more herbal than biscuit—while the finish features a return of spiciness and a continuation of the herbal components. The costmary flavor really comes out in the finish, along with a mineral dryness; the rye spiciness and the herbal character lingers, along with some alcohol warmth—the beer is well attenuated, so there isn’t much body to help balance the final spicy warmth of the mouthfeel. It is also something of a difference compared to the initial softer, creamier and floral mouthfeel found in the front of the beer. I do like the spicy and herbal components of the beer, but next time I’ll try them separately. Actually, the Thomas Fawcett Crystal Rye might go well with the Cherry Wood Smoked Malt in the Smoked Saison. Maybe I’ll give that a run.

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