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Thread: Saisons coming out too "Clean"

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
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    Kettering, Ohio, USA
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    Saisons coming out too "Clean"

    I've been battling a strange issue with just about every Saison that I've brewed. They're coming out too clean... not much yeast character at all. They don't have that Saison yeast profile that I'm looking for. I've tried a couple of different strains (565, 566) at various fermentation temperatures, ranging from 70 degrees to around 80 degrees, and it doesn't seem to make much of a difference. I get a slight ester nose and a little bit of fruity esters in the flavor, but not much. Very minimal compared to other Saisons that I've tried. Here are some potential causes that I've thought of:

    - I've used fresh pitches every time. Maybe yeast character would be better with a later generation?

    - Am I letting these beers ferment too long?

    - Oxygenating the wort allows for less ester/phenol production?

    - Maybe I need to ramp-up fermentation temperature even higher?


    Has anyone every heard of this problem? Any idea why it would be happening and how I can fix it?
    Neil Chabut
    Eudora Brewing Co.
    Brewery and BOP
    Kettering, OH

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
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    Louisville, KY
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    I set my temp controler at 88f when making Saison with either of those strains, I do not repitch either strain, it also helps them finish better, neither one of those strains have a history of finishing great. What Saison brands are you comparing your flavor profile to? Saison is such a wide open recipe in my opinion. Many commercial examples have Lacto or Brett in them. Are you adding any spices? Cheers.
    Last edited by BrewinLou; 12-13-2017 at 12:16 PM.
    Joel Halbleib
    Partner / Zymurgist
    Hive and Barrel Meadery
    6302 Old La Grange Rd
    Crestwood, KY
    www.hiveandbarrel.com

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrewinLou View Post
    I set my temp controler at 88f when making Saison with either of those strains, I do not repitch either strain, it also helps them finish better, neither one of those strains have a history of finishing great. What Saison brands are you comparing your flavor profile to? Saison is such a wide open recipe in my opinion. Many commercial examples have Brett in them. Are you adding any spices? Cheers.
    Maybe I'm just not fermenting warm enough. I'm not adding any spices (or Brett). I've had dozens of saisons over the years, and mine don't taste like any of the ones I've had before. Very "lackluster" and clean. No pepper at all... just a very slight hint of fruity ester, which is almost unnoticeable.
    Neil Chabut
    Eudora Brewing Co.
    Brewery and BOP
    Kettering, OH

  4. #4
    Join Date
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    North Carolina
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    I have good luck with a lower pitch count and using it a few generations. I dont control temp at all and have seen it as high as 90.

  5. #5
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    Time to cut loose Neil. This is a beer that really allows for a wide birth of flavors. Look at using some peels and spices. Orange and Corriander are a good place to start. There are many spices that can be used, I suggest some oats and acidulated malt as well. Below is from BJCP.

    Edited for correct Saison Description from BJCP.

    ""Pilsner malt dominates the grist though a portion of Vienna and/or Munich malt contributes color and complexity. Sometimes contains other grains such as wheat and spelt. Adjuncts such as sugar and honey can also serve to add complexity and thin the body. Hop bitterness and flavor may be more noticeable than in many other Belgian styles. A saison is sometimes dry-hopped. Noble hops, Styrian or East Kent Goldings are commonly used. A wide variety of herbs and spices are often used to add complexity and uniqueness in the stronger versions, but should always meld well with the yeast and hop character. Varying degrees of acidity and/or sourness can be created by the use of gypsum, acidulated malt, a sour mash or Lactobacillus. Hard water, common to most of Wallonia, can accentuate the bitterness and dry finish.""
    Last edited by BrewinLou; 06-05-2018 at 11:59 AM.
    Joel Halbleib
    Partner / Zymurgist
    Hive and Barrel Meadery
    6302 Old La Grange Rd
    Crestwood, KY
    www.hiveandbarrel.com

  6. #6
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    Carmel, IN
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    54
    The Safale BE-134 dry yeast should produce a notable black pepper note and has proven to produce some saison yeast character.
    WaterEng
    Engineering Consultant

  7. #7
    Join Date
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    Nicaragua
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    Those strains should work well.
    Give wyeast 3711 a try. Saisonstein's Monster by Omega is nice too.
    Low IBUs and maybe some acid malt or something to drop the pH to make things pop and bit more.
    Otherwise get funky and throw in some brett or bacteria, that will definately do the trick for you.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by tjc27 View Post
    I have good luck with a lower pitch count and using it a few generations. I dont control temp at all and have seen it as high as 90.
    I agree with this. If you want more "yeast" flavors such as phenols and esters, you are probably better off pitching at lower rates. Less oxygen can help induce esters as well. Ferulic acid has a lot to do with phenol production. Wheat can help with that to a degree. In my experience lower pitch rates can also help with late stalling (common is some saison strains). Probably because cell replication takes place over a longer period, and therefore brings up younger cells to "finish the job". If you use a low enough KO temp and the right level of aeration, you can let free rise without getting as warm as some of the others here, while still developing some great flavor characteristics. Higher temperatures can induce more fusel production.

  9. #9
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    Nevada City, CA
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrewinLou View Post
    Time to cut loose Neil. This is a beer that really allows for a wide birth of flavors. Look at using some peels and spices. Orange and Corriander are a good place to start. There are many spices that can be used, I suggest some oats and acidulated malt as well. Below is from BJCP.

    Ingredients: About 50% unmalted wheat (traditionally soft white winter wheat) and 50% pale barley malt (usually Pils malt) constitute the grist. In some versions, up to 5-10% raw oats may be used. Spices of freshly-ground coriander and Curaçao or sometimes sweet orange peel complement the sweet aroma and are quite characteristic. Other spices (e.g., chamomile, cumin, cinnamon, Grains of Paradise) may be used for complexity but are much less prominent. Ale yeast prone to the production of mild, spicy flavors is very characteristic. In some instances a very limited lactic fermentation, or the actual addition of lactic acid, is done.
    Just stumbled on this while doing research for brewing a saison. The above quote from the BJCP (2008) is NOT for a saison, it is actually for a witbier.

    https://www.bjcp.org/2008styles/style16.php
    Dave Cowie
    Three Forks Bakery & Brewing Company
    Nevada City, CA

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by barleyfreak View Post
    Just stumbled on this while doing research for brewing a saison. The above quote from the BJCP (2008) is NOT for a saison, it is actually for a witbier.

    https://www.bjcp.org/2008styles/style16.php
    Ooops, Great catch BF. Here is the correct one for Saison.

    ""Pilsner malt dominates the grist though a portion of Vienna and/or Munich malt contributes color and complexity. Sometimes contains other grains such as wheat and spelt. Adjuncts such as sugar and honey can also serve to add complexity and thin the body. Hop bitterness and flavor may be more noticeable than in many other Belgian styles. A saison is sometimes dry-hopped. Noble hops, Styrian or East Kent Goldings are commonly used. A wide variety of herbs and spices are often used to add complexity and uniqueness in the stronger versions, but should always meld well with the yeast and hop character. Varying degrees of acidity and/or sourness can be created by the use of gypsum, acidulated malt, a sour mash or Lactobacillus. Hard water, common to most of Wallonia, can accentuate the bitterness and dry finish.""
    Joel Halbleib
    Partner / Zymurgist
    Hive and Barrel Meadery
    6302 Old La Grange Rd
    Crestwood, KY
    www.hiveandbarrel.com

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Location
    Johnson City, TX
    Posts
    1
    Some interesting info here regarding Saison, and achieving desired profile. What commercial examples of Saison are you inspired by and aiming to achieve similar character of?

  12. #12
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    Strongsville, Ohio
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    Quote Originally Posted by UnFermentable View Post
    I agree with this. If you want more "yeast" flavors such as phenols and esters, you are probably better off pitching at lower rates. Less oxygen can help induce esters as well. Ferulic acid has a lot to do with phenol production. Wheat can help with that to a degree. In my experience lower pitch rates can also help with late stalling (common is some saison strains). Probably because cell replication takes place over a longer period, and therefore brings up younger cells to "finish the job". If you use a low enough KO temp and the right level of aeration, you can let free rise without getting as warm as some of the others here, while still developing some great flavor characteristics. Higher temperatures can induce more fusel production.

    FWIW....for all you heffe brewers wanting more phenolics, I've learned through research and trial and error that wheat malt actually has less ferulic acid than barley malt. Kinda counter intuitive from my perspective as I always wanted to push the wheat malt as high as I could go (60-75%) thinking that would help with the clove (as well as the creamy character you get from wheat). I even did the ferulic acid rest with just the wheat malt and rice hulls (PIA in a combi tunn). Didn't do that with our last wheat beer but next time it will be just barely malt going in the mash for this initial rest..... Food for thought.


    Tried to find another reference to this, but this will do. All About Beer article form 2015 including a interview with Master Brewer Hans-Peter Drexler of Schneider & Sohn.

    http://allaboutbeer.com/quirks-of-br...lic-acid-rest/

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2018
    Location
    France
    Posts
    22
    What is your boil powered by?

    A bit of the old scorching from a direct fire can help with body and flavour.
    Brasserie Dupont claims to achieve 110C at the bottom of their kettle.

    I'm considering pulling some of my kettle wort and boiling over flame to just this end.

    Open fermentation also helps Saison strains.

    Cheers.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2019
    Location
    Montreal, Quebec, Canada
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    21
    Wheat and wheat malt contain more ferulic acid than barley malt, but ferulic acid is extracted better from barley malt than from wheat. You will get better conversion of ferulic acid into 4VG using more barley malt. Coghe et al. showed the highest levels of 4VG produced from 70% barley malt with 30% wheat or wheat malt.

    Coghe et al. Ferulic Acid Release and 4-Vinylguaiacol Formation during Brewing and Fermentation: Indications for Feruloyl Esterase Activity in Saccharomyces cerevisiae, J. Agric. Food Chem. 2004

    You could try the Lallemand Belle Saison, we see nice spicy character on first generation from dry yeast even when fermented as low as 20'C (low for a saison, but this out standard fermentation temp for comparison in the lab)
    Lallemand is a global leader in the development, production and marketing of yeast, bacteria and specialty ingredients.

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