Thumbspike Saison 2.1

The Lake Arrowhead Brewfest is coming up in August, and I’ll be there with the Horse Thief Brewing Association to serve up some tasty homebrews! I’ve promised two beers–one is the second iteration of my raspberry Belgian, and the other is my wild hop saison! I recently kicked the keg on this one, and I was overall pretty pleased with it.

The latest version of Thumbspike Saison is virtually identical to the last, with only a few very minor changes. First, I did a mix of Bohemian and Belgian pilsner malt for the grist, because my floor-malted Bohemian pilsner malt was nearly gone. Second, I ditched the rice hulls from the grist, because the percentage of wheat was so low as to be a non-issue for sparging (and this was proven in the easy collection of the first and second runnings). Finally, I modified the hop schedule very slightly to try and increase the hop character in the brew.


Thumbspike Saison 2.1

  • 5.25 lbs. Château Pilsen malt (Castle Malting)
  • 4 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
  • 0.5 oz. whole wild hops (5.8% alpha), 10 minute boil
  • 1 oz. whole wild hops (5.8% alpha), 2 minute boil
  • 1 Whirlfloc tablet, 10 minute boil
  • 2 pkg. French Saison Ale dry yeast (Mangrove Jack’s M29)

Target Parameters

  • 1.056 o.g., 1.003 f.g., 7.0% abv, 26 IBU, 7 SRM, 5.5 gallons into the fermenter
  • 90 minute mash at 148°, batch sparge, 60 minute boil


  • To use up my RO water and thin out the Claremont waters a bit, I added 1.5 gallons with 2.2 gallons of tap water for my mash water. I heated it up to 160°, added the water to the mash tun, and let it slide to 157°, before adding the grains. This hit a mash temperature of 148.3°, which was down to 144° after 90 minutes.
  • After 90 minutes, I added 1.2 gallons of water at 170°, let it rest for 10 minutes, vorlaufed, and collected the first runnings. I then added 3.5 gallons of water at 170°, 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 1.048, for 80% 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° (which is pretty close to the limit of what I can chill with our water during the summertime!), I transferred to the primary fermenter and pitched the yeast.
  • I brewed this beer on June 25, 2017. Starting gravity was 1.055, nearly exactly hitting my target gravity.
  • I plan to ferment at ambient temperature, which is around 75°. It will probably sit for a few weeks, because I am in no particular rush to get this batch on tap.

1 thought on “Thumbspike Saison 2.1

  1. Pingback: Kegging Updates: Raspberry Belgian, Thumbspike Saison 2.1 | Andy's Brewing Blog

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