Saison Des Pluies 04.05.14

This is Saison De La Mer 2.0, but it should be lighter (around 5% ABV), and even drier. No crystal malts of any kind in the grist, just Belgian pilsner malt, some wheat for body, a little bit of aromatic malt, and some table sugar to dry it out. The yeast strain I used last year, WLP566, wasn’t available at the LHBS, so I went with the Dupont strain, WLP565. This strange yeast is famous for loving heat, and producing pear and pepper aromas that are associated with the much revered Vielle Provision Saison Dupont. It’s also known for finicky behaviour, sometimes stalling mid-fermentation and taking an extremely long time to finish.

The goal here is to produce an extremely dry beer, so the mash temperature was held between 64C and 65C for 70 minutes, and I ended the mash with a 15 minute dextrinization rest at 70C to convert any remaining starch. This is apparently a common practice when very high attenuation is desired. Brasserie Dupont itself ramps up the temperature slowly during the mash, starting around 45C and ending around 72C [Markowski, Farmhouse Ales].

 IMG_2764

The wort was boiled for 80 minutes, and hopped with Wakatu, a Halltertau derivative from New Zealand, to 32 IBU. There was some emphasis on late additions, but nothing crazy, the finished product shouldn’t be dominated by hop aromas. The water bath will start at 20C, I’ll ramp it up to 26C over a few days, trying to hit peak temperature right as the yeast is starting to slow down, then go slowly back down to 22C once the yeast activity has really died off and stay there for a few weeks before bottling.

IMG_2773

Saison des Pluies

Recipe Specifics
Batch Size: 9L
Boil Time: 80 min
Estimated OG (brewtoad): 1.046
Measured OG: 1.046
Estimated FG (brewtoad): 1.014 (nope)
Measured FG: 1.003
Estimated IBU (brewtoad): 30
Estimated SRM (brewtoad): 4
Estimated Extract Efficiency: 75%
Measured Extract Efficiency: 77%

Grain Bill
1500g Belgian Pilsner Malt
200g Wheat Malt
100g Belgian Aromatic Malt
100g Table Sugar

Mash Schedule
Rest for 70 min at 64.5C, 3L/kg, raise to 70C for 15min, sparge to 9.5L, top up to 13.3L.

Hops
12g Wakatu 7.1% AA @ 60 min
10g Wakatu 7.1% AA @ 15 min
12g Wakatu 7.1% AA @ 0 min

Yeast
WLP565 Saison I @ ~7.7 Million Cells/mL

Fermentation Notes:
04.05.14: Yeast pitched, temperature at 20C.
05.05.14: Airlock active, temperature to 23C.
06.05.14: Temperature to 25C.
08.05.14: Activity slowing down, temperature to 27C.
10.05.14: Activity very slow, temperature to 25C.
13.05.14: Temperature to 22C.
21.05.14: Airlock still occasionally active. It seems like this yeast is happy to sit on the bottom and eat through whatever fermentables are left in the wort long after the krausen drops. I’ll wait at least another week before bottling.
28.05.14: Still waiting to bottle, airlock still bubbles once in a while.
04.06.14: Bottled 7.5L with 68g of table sugar (3.1 Volumes).

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