AG#38 – La Deluge Saison

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This beer was going to be called “Saison du Maison” but a couple of disasters later, probably caused by drinking while brewing, I hastily renamed it to “La Deluge”. The new name really sums up the beer. “Apres moi, la deluge..”, as they say in France.. Read on..

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: 1.060 SG
Estimated Color: 8.6 EBC
Estimated IBU: 27.5 IBUs
Brewhouse Efficiency: 60.00 %
Est Mash Efficiency: 73.0 %
Boil Time: 90 Minutes

Ingredients

3.00 g Gypsum (Calcium Sulfate) (Mash 60.0 mins Water Agent 1 –
4.500 kg Bohemian Pilsner Malt, Weyermann (4.0 EB Grain 2 79.6 %
0.350 kg Munich Malt (17.7 EBC) Grain 3 6.2 %
0.350 kg Wheat Malt, Bel (3.9 EBC) Grain 4 6.2 %
0.450 kg Corn Sugar (Dextrose) (0.0 EBC) Sugar 5 8.0 %
20 g East Kent Goldings [5.80 %] – Boil 60.0 Hop 6 17.0 IBUs
20 g Styrian Goldings [3.00 %] – Boil 60.0 mi Hop 7 8.8 IBUs
0.50 Items Whirlfloc Tablet (Boil 10.0 mins) Fining 8 –
20 g Styrian Goldings [3.00 %] – Boil 10.0 mi Hop 9 1.8 IBUs
20 g Saaz [4.00 %] – Boil 0.0 min Hop 10 0.0 IBUs
1.0 pkg Belgian Saison I Ale (White Labs #WLP565 Yeast 11 –
1.0 pkg Belgian Saison II Yeast (White Labs #WLP Yeast 12 –
Mash Schedule: Bubbles’ Single Infusion, Light Body, Batch Sparge
Total Grain Weight: 5.650 kg

Mash In Add 14.56 l of water at 71.2 C 65.0 C 60 min

Sparge: Batch sparge with 2 steps (Drain mash tun , 19.05l) of 77.0 C water

04/07/2015 – This is what I hope will be my house saison recipe. The mash was going perfectly, treated the water with a little gypsum, hit a good mash temperature (64-64.5C), did a 90 minute mash to account for the lower temperature. I’d poured a pint of cider off the keg during the mash as I was going out for dinner later. All going well, drained off the first runnings and set aside. When I was draining off the second runnings into the boiler I had failed to notice that the tap on the boiler had been left open. After a quick run to the toilet I walked back into the kitchen to find the kitchen floor flooded. I closed the tap and started with the long and dirty job of cleaning that mess up. The wort had went under the washing machine and behind the kickboards. They all had to be removed in order to clean. Never has a brew day taken so long to clean up after. I don’t normally have a beer when I’m brewing, and now I remember why. It causes lapses in concentration and brewing can be pretty unforgiving. One simple mistake can drastically alter the final result. An absolute disaster! I now have a new rule – no beers until both runnings are done. I estimate that I lost about two litres of wort. It’s positive that it was the second runnings that I lost where there is less concentration of sugar and flavour. I’m also getting a good percentage of fermentables from simple sugars on this brew, so that’s a positive also. Given the disaster, I decided to rename this beer to “La Deluge”, not realising what was going to come next..

05/07/2015 – I still wanted to do a full boil so I decided to replace the lost sugars with some dry malt extract. I figured that since I lost around 2 litres of wort and that the wort would be around 1.040 (though I didn’t bother checking this) that 200g of malt extract should suffice. It turned out to be a pretty good hunch, as I hit my OG perfectly in the end (1.060) and got 19 litres into the fermenter. My renaming of the beer was especially ironic as during the chilling phase, the weather turned extremely sour. Huge downpours of rain that not even the patio parasol could hold. I had to put the lid back on the boiler while the wort was chilling because the rain was coming through the parasol. Felt like another disaster and a huge disappointment after yesterday’s fiasco. However, I was delighted to see that I’d hit my numbers, produced a very clear wort, and got the full amount into the FV. During chilling, I racked my spelt saison off the yeast and pitched about two thirds of the yeast into this saison. I reserved a flask of yeast to do a small batch with during the week.

18/07/2015 – The bubbling has only just stopped on this. This yeast combo really is a beast. Will cold crash for a few days to drop the yeast before bottling.

24/07/2015 – Bottled with 169g corn sugar (18 litres at 3.2 vol). Got 12 x 750ml and 16 x 500ml bottles from the batch.

17/09/2015 – I thought this was going to take a long time to condition but this is tasting fantastic already. The alcohol is prominent, you know it’s a strong beer you’re tasting, but it isn’t hot in any way. Lovely colour, perfectly judged bitterness, can’t wait to see what another few months aging does for this beer.

14/11/2015 – Comparison tasting between the “La Deluge” saison and one of the few bottles of the unbretted “Funkytown” saison. In comparison to the Funkytown, the Deluge is tart and fiercely alcoholic. Nut the most striking difference between the two is the clarity. The Funkytown is absolutely sparkling, whereas the Deluge is extremely hazy, though you’d expect that for a saison. The Funkytown has an alcohol presence, but it’s not as hot. I can’t explain the difference in the clarity – both beers got the same dose of Whirlfoc. The hotter alcohol in the Deluge can surely be attributed to the fact that there’s no simple sugar in the recipe. The Funkytown recipe has a slightly lower OG but it’s an all-malt beer. The Deluge has a considerable portion of corn sugar in the recipe. I will definitely be rebrewing the Deluge beer without corn sugar next summer.

20/12/2015 – I think the alcohol has faded quite a bit in this. Tasting pretty good, perhaps a bit drier than Saison Dupont, I’m not sure if would pass as a clone. Very dry, very highly carbonated. Still has a satisfying body though.

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