I’ve only brewed a saison once before, and it turned out pretty decent. Not perfect, but decent. I dry hopped just a touch too much last time, and so the hop aroma overwhelmed the yeast character. Thus, I decided to ditch the dry hops entirely on this batch. My recipe is similar to what I used before, with a few differences on several fronts. First, I added a touch of Carafa II for color, and ditched the honey in favor of a lower mash temperature to dry things out a bit. Also, I had some wild hops left, and a saison seemed like a good place to let those meld with a strong yeast. Finally, I decided to try Mangrove Jack dry yeast, and see what that does for everything.
Thumbspike Saison 2.0
- 9.25 lbs. floor-malted Bohemian pilsner malt (Weyermann)
- 0.75 lbs. Munich I malt (Weyermann)
- 0.75 lbs. white wheat malt (Great Western Malting Co.)
- 1 oz. Carafa Special II (Weyerman)
- 1.1 oz. whole wild hops (5.8% alpha), 60 minute boil
- 1.15 oz. whole wild hops (5.8% alpha), 10 minute boil
- 1 Whirlfloc tablet, 10 minute boil
- 2 pkg. French Saison Ale dry yeast (Mangrove Jack’s M29)
- 1.057 o.g., 1.003 f.g., 7.0% abv, 29 IBU, 7 SRM, 5.5 gallons into the fermenter
- To use up my RO water and thin out the Claremont waters a bit, I added 1.25 gallons with 2.42 gallons of tap water for my mash water. I heated it up to 165°, added the water to the mash tun, and let it slide to 158.3°, before adding the grains. This hit a mash temperature of 148.7°, which was down to 147.1° after 20 minutes. The temperature didn’t drop much beyond this, and was hovering around 147° when I checked 60 minutes later.
- I aimed for a 75 minute mash duration. After 65 minutes, I added 1.3 gallons of water at 180°, to raise the mash temperature to 150.4°. I let it rest for 10 minutes, vorlaufed, and collected the first runnings. I then added 3.3 gallons of water at 165°, let it sit for 10 minutes, vorlaufed, and collected the remainder of the runnings.
- In total, I collected 6.75 gallons with a gravity of 1.047, for 77% efficiency.
- I aimed for a 60 minute boil, adding the various hops and finings per the schedule.
- After 60 minutes, I turned off the flame and started chilling. Once I hit 85°, I transferred to the primary fermenter and pitched the yeast.
- I plan to have 80° as my base temperature, and let it free-rise from there as needed. I’ll probably leave it in the fermenter for at least 10 days.
- I brewed this beer on May 12, 2017. Starting gravity was 1.055, just a hair under my target gravity. A successful brew evening all around!