Saison flavoured with white wine

Discussion in 'General Recipe Discussion' started by strange-steve, Oct 31, 2018.

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  1. Oct 31, 2018 #1

    strange-steve

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    I just brewed today but already thinking about my next brew. It's been a while since my last saison but I wanted to try something a little different and I came across a recipe on Mad Fermentationist's site for a funky saison which is blended with white wine before bottling. I know that probably sounds terrible to some people but I think it could work well.

    This is the gist of the recipe I've adapted from his page:

    20L Batch
    1.052 OG
    1.004 FG
    6.7% ABV (before wine addition)

    3.5kg pilsner malt
    1.0kg flaked wheat
    0.1kg acid malt

    Bittered to 25 IBU
    Whirlpool with 50g each hallertau blanc and hull melon
    Dry hop with 50g each hallertau blanc and hull melon

    Fermented with a blend of WY3711 and WLP644

    500ml of white wine added at bottling (something like Gewurztraminer or Alcase reisling)

    Thoughts?
     
  2. Oct 31, 2018 #2

    IainM

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    Sounds good to me. Northen Monk did a brut IPA with white grape, which worked well, so I can see this working in a similarly dry saison. I'd be careful to choose the right wine though, both of those come in a variety of sweetnesses, and you might end up overcarbing.
     
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  3. Oct 31, 2018 #3

    strange-steve

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    Well you see I know exactly bugger all about wine, so that's good to know. It might be prudent to add the wine a few days before bottling then to let it ferment out rather than try to guess how much residual sugar is in there.

    I spotted both those varieties of wine in Lidl earlier today so I might pick up a bottle for research purposes acheers.
     
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  4. Oct 31, 2018 #4

    IainM

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    You should be fine with a Alcase reisling.
     
  5. Oct 31, 2018 #5

    Ajhutch

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    I like the sound of that. I’ve been thinking about ways to incorporate wine or grape juice into a sour beer. My biggest concern is the different acids clashing and how difficult it would be to balance everything. Making a funky beer without lacto and then using the acidity of the wine sounds like a really good way to go. That Tonesmeire bloke knows what he’s doing!
     
  6. Oct 31, 2018 #6

    -Bezza-

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    Most of the German grape varieties will cover the whole dry to sweet range. Alsace follows a similar approach so I wouldn't be confident in guessing the sugar content just on region and grape alone.

    I guess the wine makers on here would be able to tell you the SG of a fully fermented dry white wine. If you compared that to the SG of the wine you are planning on using, that should tell you something about the remaining sugars. Again, I guess the wine bods will be able to tell you to what extent that sugar might then be fermentable.

    What sort of flavour is the wine trying to add? Something like a gewurtz could give some slightly peachy flavours for example, which could complement a saison quite nicely.
     
  7. Oct 31, 2018 #7

    strange-steve

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    Well I grabbed a bottle of this earlier, just having a taste now. This is a medium dry according to the label but there's actually quite a bit of sweetness up front. I can see why this wine was suggested, there's a lot of citrusy fruitiness and a really crisp, dry finish after the initial sweetness which I think will blend well with the saison flavours. [​IMG]
     
  8. Oct 31, 2018 #8

    strange-steve

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    This isn't my recipe, but according to Tonsmeire:
    "I selected the varietal because it tends to be a more aromatic and fruity/spicy than most European wines. This 2010 bottle was bright, citrusy and minerally, a nice match for the flavors already in the beer."
     
  9. Oct 31, 2018 #9

    strange-steve

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    He certainly does, although his recipe uses his own house blend which does contain lacto. I was thinking the same as you though, a little acidity from the wine will compliment the flavours nicely even without the lacto.
     
  10. Oct 31, 2018 #10

    strange-steve

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    So I just conducted a little experiment. I found what I think is the last bottle of my old rye saison, it's aged quite well actually, and dosed it in the glass with 12.5ml of the wine and it's very subtle. Too subtle, I don't think I would have noticed if someone had set it in front of me. So I added a little more to take it up to the dose suggested in the original recipe, and it's still rather subtle, noticable but certainly not obvious. This is a fairly complex beer though, probably not the best base for this.

    Edit to add:
    After that I poured another splash of wine into the glass just so I could taste it, and the flavours blend incredibly well, there's no clashing at all. I really think this could work.
     
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2018
  11. Jan 2, 2019 #11

    Ajhutch

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    Did you ever brew this Steve?
     
  12. Jan 2, 2019 #12

    strange-steve

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    Not yet but it's second on my brew list. I'll probably brew it next month so that if it turns out decent it'll be fresh for the Irish nationals in March.
     
  13. Jan 16, 2019 #13

    strange-steve

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    Well I brewed this today except I didn't bother using the WLP644, I just went with the Wyeast 3711. OG was a little higher than expected at 1.057 and other than knocking the filter off the GF during the whirlpool it was a smooth brewday all round acheers.
     
  14. Jan 16, 2019 #14

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  15. Jan 16, 2019 #15

    strange-steve

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  16. Jan 22, 2019 #16

    strange-steve

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    Gravity today is down to 1.008 giving about 6.4% ABV, though I expect this yeast to drop another few points before it's done.

    Flavour at the minute is rather pleasant with a soft grainy-ness from the flaked wheat and fruitiness from the hops.
     
  17. Jan 22, 2019 #17

    F00b4r

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    I had a "Winale" in my Mikkeller advent calendar and it was a supringly nice beer (it almost tasted like it was a beer/wine blend) and I'm going to try something similar so I'm interested to see how yours turns out.
     
  18. Jan 22, 2019 #18

    strange-steve

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    I haven't tasted that one but yep that's the sort of thing going for, though I'm not gonna bother with the lacto.
     
  19. Jan 30, 2019 #19

    strange-steve

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    Two weeks in now and down to 1.004 and 7% abv. Taste test was pretty clean but rather boring at this point, I'm going to give it a few more days then chuck the dry hops in.

    Also I got this today to add to it, @IainM or anyone else know if I'd be ok to add this at bottling or would it be better to add it a few days before?
    [​IMG]
     
  20. Feb 13, 2019 #20

    strange-steve

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    So I bottled this today with the white wine and had a bit of a "stupid moment". I did a little trial before and worked out that an addition of 30ml/L was about right then "forgot" that a wine bottle is 750ml not 500ml, which means that I've actually added about 45ml/L :oops:
    I didn't even realise until I was all done, so I've no idea what it tastes like yet.
     

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