Blue Saison w/ Dragonfruit Tasting

Appearance

Deep blue violet color with light purple head. great clarity, minimal haze.

Aroma

Earthy, woodsy, floral, spicy, mossy. Light saison character.

Taste

It hits with a mouthful of heavy woody, floral notes and washes with light saison character. It leaves an herbal, flowery aftertaste with a little sweetness I think I’m getting from the dragonfruit.

Mouthfeel

High carbonation, prickly. Light to medium viscosity, finishes dry.

Notes

This beer was a bit much. The butterfly pea flower flavor is pungent and overpowering, very little saison character, and muddled flavors. I can see how they can lend some good notes to beer, but I went really heavy and the beer was blue ish, so this was fun.

Check the recipe here.

The Mad Saison

If you’re here, then I’m sure you’ve heard of The Mad Fermentationist, Michael Tonsmeire. He literally wrote the book on sour beers (a very informative and great read) and his blog is full of recipes, tasting notes, and all kinds of goodness. I’m a frequent visitor and really enjoy his work, so when I got the chance to buy his yeast, I jumped on it.He had a house brett-saison culture that he created over the years and Bootleg Biology isolated selected microbes and put together a culture for brewers to use, The Mad Fermentationist Saison Blend. They describe the yeast as “Fine tuned over two years, this blend morphed over time to become an elegant powerhouse of classic saison spice, stone-fruit Brett, lactic tartness and a dry but well-rounded body. The final master blend consists of saison yeast, wild Saccharomyces, rare brettanomyces and an opportunistic lactobacillus culture.” Yes, I can dig that!

They suggest you dry hop during the tail end of fermentation, since it plays well with fruity and tropical hops. I wanted the yeast and bacteria to shine and was looking for some tartness. Michael says the lacto wasn’t very hop tolerant, so I was added some fruity hops at flameout and forewent the dry hop. Check the recipe:

The Mad Saison

Batch Size Boil Time IBU SRM Est. OG Est. FG ABV
3 gal 70 min low IBUs 3.66 SRM 1.054 1.005 6.43 %

Fermentables

Name Amount %
Belgian Pilsner malt 5 lbs 76.9
Red wheat malt 1 lbs 15.4
Rye malt .5 lb 7.7

Hops

Name Amount Time Use Form Alpha %
Rakau 10 g 0 min flameout Pellet 10

Yeast

Name Lab Attenuation Temperature
The Mad Fermentationist Saison Blend Bootleg Biology high 60°F – 80+°F

Mash

Step Temperature Time
Mash 150°F 60 min

Fermentation

Step Time Temperature
Primary 51 days ~80°F

Notes

Brewed: 9/7/18 | OG: 1.050 | FG:1.002 | ABV: 6.3%

Water: Minneapolis tap water, camdpen added.

70% efficiency | Mash ph adjusted to ~5.6 | whirfloc/yeast nutrient @15

21 days @ 80°F  with heating pad, 30 days ambient.

Tasting notes to follow.

Brett Saison Tasting (1 year)

I wanted to make a beer that would become more complex over time, so last summer I brewed a Brett Saison.

Before I get into the tasting I want to briefly discuss the type of Brett I used, brettanomyces bruxellensis. Brett brux is a wild yeast commonly found in lambic style beer and is associated with the Senne valley, near Brussels. It’s able to eat the long chain, more complex sugars (dextrins) that Saccharomyces (“regular yeast”) cannot.

Brettanomyces bruxellensis under a microscope

In the Utilization by Yeasts of the Carbohydrates of Wort they talk about brett brux saying, “This yeast is remarkable for its ready attack on maltotriose and maltotetraose.” To put that in perspective, Saccharomyces cannot eat maltotetraose at all and it eats maltotriose slowly. Not only does brett brux eat sugars other yeasts can’t, it converts phenols created by the sacc yeast into “funky” compounds. This gives that aroma/flavor that’s typically described as, “funky, barnyard, or horse blanket”. Brett brux can have some acidic qualities, but is not responsible for souring beer.  I’m barely scratching the surface here and being brief, for more go here.

After stumbling upon this thread on Homebrewtalk, I was excited to give it a go. I’d had Boulevard’s saison brett, which is a great beer so I was excited to use the dregs from a bottle. This was my first mixed fermented saison and I’ve been quite pleased with the results.

Appearance

brett saison

Crystal clear, with a light golden hue. Pure white head that dissipates quickly, no lacing.

Aroma

Sour cherry straws, funky wooden attic, acid, lightly funky earth, dirt basement.

Taste/Flavor

Lightly acidic, funky, light spice, a tinge tart. Quite complex. Dry and all kinds of subtle funk. Tart funk lingers, it’s really nice and complex.

Mouthfeel

light, quite dry. Light mouthfeel, very light carbonation (hasn’t held up).

Notes

After over a year, it’s still an enjoyable beer. It drinks nice and is quite complex. I really enjoy the tones of funk I’m getting from this beer, I wish there was more yeast character (will use different yeast next time) and the carbonation held up. I have 2 bottles left, I’ll let em sit for now.

Recipe will be posted.

Orange Saisonsicle Recipe

I really like the idea of milkshake style beers. They usually incorporate lactose (milk sugar), vanilla, and some fruit. There are plenty of these kinds recipes on the net for IPAs & ales, but I haven’t seen many for saisons. They exist, but it looks like only a handful of breweries have attempted them. My turn! So I set out to brew an orange creamsicle/milkshake “style” saison (like the ice cream bars).

zestI usually use Belgian pilsner malt as my saison base, but I wanted this beer to have more complexity so I used a pilsner, 2-row, and Maris otter mix. I then added white wheat and flaked oats for body and mouthfeel, and a bit of Vienna malt.

To get my orangey orange on, I used the zest of two oranges and dried sweet orange peel in the boil.

When this beer is done fermenting I will rack it onto the two oranges I zested (chopped & frozen), and 2 vanilla beans. To prep the vanilla beans I split them, scraped out the goodness, cut them in half, and soaked them in 1 oz of Titos vodka.

Orange Saisonsicle

Batch Size Boil Time IBU SRM Est. OG Est. FG ABV
3 gal 60 min 20.04 IBUs 5.43 SRM 1.073 1.015 7.64 %

Fermentablesgrain

Name Amount %
Belgian Pilsner Malt 3 lbs 35.3
Rahr 2 Row 2 lbs 23.5
English Maris Otter 1 lb 11.8
White Wheat Malt 1 lb 11.8
Flaked Oats 1 lb 11.8
Vienna Malt .5 lb 5.9

Hops

hops

 

Name Amount Time Use Form Alpha %
Casscade .5 oz 45 min Boil Pellet 7.2

Other

nilla
Vanilla beans soaking in vodka
Name Amount Time Use Form
Dried orange peel 6 g 15 min Boil Spice
Lactose 6 oz 15 min Boil Non-fermentable sugar
Cara Cara orange zest 14.7 g 5 min Boil Spice
Cara Cara Oranges 2 each 7-14 days Secondary Fruit
Vanilla Beans 2 each 7-14 days Secondary Spice

yeast

Yeast

Name Lab Attenuation Temperature
Belle Saison Lallemand 85%+ 59°F – 95°F

Mash

Step Temperature Time
Mash 154°F 50 min

Fermentation

Step Time Temperature
Primary TBD ~80 (heating pad)
Secondary 7-14 days Ambient

refractometer

Notes

Brewed: 8/26/18 | OG: 1.074

Water: Minneapolis tap water.

70% efficiency | Mash ph adjusted to 5.2 | whirfloc/yeast nutrient @15

No tasting notes, shit was dumped.

 

Blue Saison w/ Dragonfruit

I was brewing a simple beer (my 3rd sour) to rack on a yeast cake from my first sour and had an extra gallon of wort. That gave me some room to experiment (muhaha).

Butterfly Pea FlowersSo I’d gotten some Organic Dried Butterfly Pea Flowers from Amazon a few months back and I wanted to give em’ a whirl. They’re from Southeast Asia and people make blue herbal tea with them. I went a bit extreme on this recipe with 1 oz, but damn. that color!

Most places I’ve seen describe it as “earthy.” Bon Appetit describes the taste as “earthy and woody—more similar to a fine green tea.” I like green tea and saisons are generally, earthy. More on that later.

The beer’s OG was 1.044 and I racked the 1 gallon of wort onto 1 oz of butterfly pea flowers into a 1 gallon carboy. I was pitching a slurry of WLP4021 into the sour so i saved some for this. 2 days into fermentation I added 2.76 oz of honey which took the OG  up to 1.052.Blue saison

8 days later, the beer had gone down to 1.006.

I then racked the beer onto 2 dragon fruit (white flesh). To prep the fruit I scooped out all the flesh, put it in the freezer bag, mashed it up (by squeezing), and froze it for a few days. Freezing fruit creates ice crystals which puncture or break down the cell walls, which allow maximum extraction of flavor & sugar (fruity goodness). Read more about it here.dragonfruit

 

 

 

 

 

6 days later the FG was down to 1.001 (quite dry), so I bottled. Tasting notes to follow.

hydrometer

Notes

Brewed: 8/10/18 | Honey: 8/12 | Fruited: 8/18 | Bottled: 8/24/18

OG: 1.052 | FG: 1.001 | ABV: 7%

*+1 ABV for fruit addition.

Tasting notes here.