AG#88 – ‘Murica Saison

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I had some Ardennes yeast in the fridge that I fully expected to go down the plughole, but I decided to do a spur of the moment brew. As my grapefruit saison has thrown up a few challenges, namely finishing high in gravity and (as of writing) struggling to carbonate properly, I thought it would be a good idea to do the same brew again, this time without the grapefruit addition. Plus I was keen to brew an American style saison with some citrussy American hops.

I think I need to have a section in every blog post entitled “Today’s Grainfather Fuck-up”, because I seem to mess up some little detail in every brew I do these days. Today I prepared my mash and sparge water as normal but only when the mash was finished did I notice that I had neglected to plug in my sparge water heater! I should get an award for that kind of stupidity. I hastily decanted about 3 litres of the treated water in the HLT into my kitchen kettle and boiled before adding back to the HLT. It was enough to take the sting out of the cold water but it was barely lukewarm. I feared for my efficiency, but as it turned out, the efficiency was fine.

Batch Size: 23 L
OG: 1.050
Boil Size: 28 L
FG: 1.010
Boil Time: 60 mins
IBU: 22.2
Efficiency: 71%
Colour: 7.5

FERMENTABLES
9% 0.50 Wheat – BE 37.0 3.8
4% 0.20 Munich I (Weyermann) 37.8 14.0
87% 4.70 Pilsner – BE 36.0 3.8

MASH STEPS
Saccharification Rest 65 50
Mash Out 76 10

HOP ADDITIONS
38.00 Saaz Pellet Boil 60 3.6 13.8
10.00 Saaz Pellet Boil 10 3.6 1.3
20.00 Amarillo Pellet Boil 10 9.6 7.0
10.00 Styrian Goldings Whole Boil 0 3.6 0.0
20.00 Amarillo Pellet Boil 0 9.6 0.0

YEAST
1.0 Wyeast Belgian Ardennes 3522 0.74

EXTRAS
0.5 each Irish Moss 10 mins Boil

01/01/2018 Brew Day – Uneventful apart from forgetting to heat sparge water, but my gravity came out at 1.050-1.052, so surprisingly a little higher than expected. Wort smells great. Pitched the full amount of yeast slurry as it had been in the fridge for nearly two weeks, which is longer than I normally leave it. I try to use yeast slurry within a week or else it gets dumped. Some would say that’s too cautious, but there you go. Some gentle bubbling on the surface of the wort within 8 hours.

02/01/2018 – A slow and steady stream of bubbles through the airlock now. The weather is so cold, I’m concerned about the yeast flocculating out. I might roll this yeast over again into another saison and add some brett.

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