AG#37 – Epeautre Saison

Another saison recipe, this time upping the gravity a little and using 20% spelt malt, to see what that brings to the party.

Recipe Specifications

Boil Size: 27.90 l
Post Boil Volume: 23.40 l
Batch Size (fermenter): 19.00 l
Bottling Volume: 17.00 l
Estimated OG: 1.054 SG
Estimated Color: 9.2 EBC
Estimated IBU: 21.3 IBUs
Brewhouse Efficiency: 60.00 %
Est Mash Efficiency: 72.0 %
Boil Time: 90 Minutes


4.00 g Gypsum (Calcium Sulfate) (Mash 60.0 mins
3.500 kg Bohemian Pilsner Malt, Weyermann (4.0 EBC), 67.3 %
1.000 kg Spelt Malt (5.0 EBC), 19.2 %
0.500 kg Munich Malt (17.7 EBC), 9.6 %
0.200 kg Corn Sugar (Dextrose) (0.0 EBC), 3.8 %
38 g Styrian Goldings [3.00 %] – Boil 60.0 mins, 16.7 IBUs
0.50 Items Whirlfloc Tablet (Boil 10.0 mins)
20 g East Kent Goldings [5.80 %] – Boil 10.0 , 3.4 IBUs
22 g Saaz [2.30 %] – Boil 2.0 min, 1.2 IBUs
1.0 pkg Belgian Saison I Ale (White Labs #WLP565)
1.0 pkg Belgian Saison II Yeast (White Labs #WLP566) (500ml slurry from Dimanche Saison)

Mash Schedule: Bubbles’ Single Infusion, Full Body, Batch Sparge
Total Grain Weight: 5.200 kg
Mash In           Add 14.00 l of water at 74.6 C          68.0 C        60 min

Sparge: Batch sparge with 2 steps (Drain mash tun , 19.41l) of 77.0 C water

21/06/2015 – Bit of a disaster of a brew day. I mashed yesterday and that went fine, even though I was expecting some lautering issues with the spelt malt. I assumed that because it is a type of wheat malt that it was prone to the same stuck mash issues. But no problem draining off. The wort smelt nice, but different. Today’s boil took quite a bit of babysitting, especially during the 30 minute boil before the hops went in. I came close to a boilover a couple of times and had to keep cycling the second element on and off. I decided at the last minute to add 200g of dextrose to boost the gravity and dry out the beer, but even with that, I ended up with an OG of 1.050. The same gravity that was caculated by BeerSmith without the sugar! I also got only 17 litres into the fermenter, so I’m glad I didn’t decide to top up the beer with water. I racked the Dimanche Saison to a secondary fermenter and pitched pretty much the entire yeast cake. Got a little too much hop and break material in the fermenter. Next time I think I’ll use hop bags for the bittering addition. The cold break in the fermenter was pretty sticky, and a lot of it, probably from the spelt malt.

24/06/2015 – The airlock is still going in this, but has slowed down compared to yesterday. Should be good.

10/07/2015 – Bottles with 160g glucose (17 litres @ 3.2 vol). Got 12 x 750ml and 16 x 500ml bottles from the batch.

14/08/2015 – Been sampling this for quite a while. Very nice saison flavour, though nothing particularly distinctive from the spelt malt. There’s a prominent tartness from the yeast which has alarmed me in the past. I keep thinking there’s an infection in there, especially with the extremely low finishing gravities I’ve been getting with these saisons. Lovely orange colour though surprisingly low head. It looks like I could have done with some wheat malt in the grist after all.

27/09/2015 – This really is a fantastic saison. A bit of extra wheat malt would definitely help the head retention next time. I’m a bit disappointed that there’s not more of a unique contribution from the spelt, but it’s still a wonderful tasting saison.
10/12/2015 – Have a few 750ml bottles of this left. Had a bottle tonight and it tastes really good. Fantastic aroma. Head retention is still disappointing, but nothing a simple recipe tweak can’t fix.

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