Saison?

Discussion in 'General Beer Discussion' started by liamf89, Dec 2, 2017.

  1. Dec 2, 2017 #1

    liamf89

    liamf89

    liamf89

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    Hi i have brewed lots of different beers now but did my first saison recently I added fruit for my first try which Is a bad idea thinking back I did a blackberry saison is probably 7-8+% without looking back at notes..what exactly are the taste profile of this style supposed to be... To my to nose its like a cider/Belgium to taste its like a Belgium/cider/whiskey without the burn. All in all is lovely also what colour should it be
     
  2. Dec 3, 2017 #2

    Sadfield

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    25B. Saison
    Overall Impression: Most commonly, a pale, refreshing,
    highly-attenuated, moderately-bitter, moderate-strength
    Belgian ale with a very dry finish. Typically highly carbonated,
    and using non-barley cereal grains and optional spices for
    complexity, as complements the expressive yeast character that
    is fruity, spicy, and not overly phenolic. Less common
    variations include both lower-alcohol and higher-alcohol
    products, as well as darker versions with additional malt
    character.
    Aroma: Quite aromatic, with fruity, spicy, and hoppy
    characteristics evident. The esters can be fairly high (moderate
    to high), and are often reminiscent of citrus fruits such as
    oranges or lemons. The hops are low to moderate and are often
    spicy, floral, earthy, or fruity. Stronger versions can have a soft,
    spicy alcohol note (low intensity). Spicy notes are typically
    peppery rather than clove-like, and can be up to moderatelystrong
    (typically yeast-derived). Subtle, complementary herb or
    spice additions are allowable, but should not dominate. The
    malt character is typically slightly grainy in character and low
    in intensity. Darker and stronger versions will have more
    noticeable malt, with darker versions taking characteristics
    associated with grains of that color (toasty, biscuity, caramelly,
    chocolate, etc.). In versions where sourness is present instead
    BJCP Beer Style Guidelines �" 2015 Edition 51
    of bitterness, some of the sour character can be detected (low
    to moderate).
    Appearance: Pale versions are often a distinctive pale orange
    but may be pale golden to amber in color (gold to amber-gold is
    most common). Darker versions may run from copper to dark
    brown. Long-lasting, dense, rocky white to ivory head resulting
    in characteristic Belgian lace on the glass as it fades. Clarity is
    poor to good, though haze is not unexpected in this type of
    unfiltered beer. Effervescent.
    Flavor: Medium-low to medium-high fruity and spicy flavors,
    supported by a low to medium soft malt character, often with
    some grainy flavors. Bitterness is typically moderate to high,
    although sourness can be present in place of bitterness (both
    should not be strong flavors at the same time). Attenuation is
    extremely high, which gives a characteristic dry finish essential
    to the style; a Saison should never finish sweet. The fruity
    character is frequently citrusy (orange or lemon), and the
    spices are typically peppery. Allow for a range of balance in the
    fruity-spicy characteristics; this is often driven by the yeast
    selection. Hop flavor is low to moderate, and generally spicy or
    earthy in character. The balance is towards the fruity, spicy,
    hoppy character, with any bitterness or sourness not
    overwhelming these flavors. Darker versions will have more
    malt character, with a range of flavors derived from darker
    malts (toasty, bready, biscuity, chocolate, etc.) that support the
    fruity-spicy character of the beer (roasted flavors are not
    typical). Stronger versions will have more malt flavor in
    general, as well as a light alcohol impression. Herbs and spices
    are completely optional, but if present should be used in
    moderation and not detract from the yeast character. The
    finish is very dry and the aftertaste is typically bitter and spicy.
    The hop bitterness can be restrained, although it can seem
    accentuated due to the high attenuation levels.
    Mouthfeel: Light to medium body. Alcohol sensation varies
    with strength, from none in table version to light in standard
    versions, to moderate in super versions. However, any
    warming character should be fairly low. Very high carbonation
    with an effervescent quality. There is enough prickly acidity on
    the tongue to balance the very dry finish. In versions with
    sourness, a low to moderate tart character can add a refreshing
    bite, but not be puckering (optional).
    Comments: Variations exist in strength and color, but they all
    have similar characteristics and balance, in particularly the
    refreshing, highly-attenuated, dry character with high
    carbonation. There is no correlation between strength and
    color. The balance can change somewhat with strength and
    color variations, but the family resemblance to the original
    artisanal ale should be evident. Pale versions are likely to be
    more bitter and have more hop character, while darker
    versions tend to have more malt character and sweetness,
    yielding a more balanced presentations. Stronger versions
    often will have more malt flavor, richness, and body simply due
    to their higher gravity. Although they tend to be very wellattenuated,
    they may not be perceived to be as dry as standardstrength
    saisons due to their strength. The Saison yeast
    character is a must, although maltier and richer versions will
    tend to mask this character more. Often called Farmhouse ales
    in the US, but this term is not common in Europe where they
    are simply part of a larger grouping of artisanal ales.
    History: A provision ale originally brewed in Wallonia, the
    French-speaking part of Belgium, for consumption during the
    active farming season. Originally a lower-alcohol product so as
    to not debilitate field workers, but tavern-strength products
    also existed. Higher-strength and different-colored products
    appeared after WWII. The best known modern saison, Saison
    Dupont, was first produced in the 1920s. Originally a rustic,
    artisanal ale made with local farm-produced ingredients, it is
    now brewed mostly in larger breweries yet retains the image of
    its humble origins.
    Characteristic Ingredients: Not typically spiced, with the
    yeast, hops and grain providing the character; but spices are
    allowed if they provide a complementary character.
    Continental base malts are typical, but the grist frequently
    contains other grains such as wheat, oats, rye, or spelt.
    Adjuncts such as sugar and honey can also serve to add
    complexity and dry out the beer. Darker versions will typically
    use richer, darker malts, but not typically roasted types.
    Saazer-type, Styrian or East Kent Golding hops are commonly
    used. A wide range of herbs or spices can add complexity and
    uniqueness, but should always meld well with the yeast and
    hop character. Brettanomyces is not typical for this style;
    Saisons with Brett should be entered in the American Wild Ale
    category.
    Style Comparison: At standard strengths and pale color (the
    most common variety), like a more highly-attenuated, hoppy,
    and bitter Belgian blond ale with a stronger yeast character. At
    super strength and pale color, similar to a Belgian tripel, but
    often with more of a grainy, rustic quality and sometimes with
    a spicier yeast character.
    Entry Instructions: The entrant must specify the strength
    (table, standard, super) and the color (pale, dark).
    Vital Statistics: OG: 1.048 �" 1.065 (standard)
    IBUs: 20 �" 35 FG: 1.002 �" 1.008 (standard)
    SRM: 5 �" 14 (pale) ABV: 3.5 �" 5.0% (table)
    15 �" 22 (dark) 5.0 �" 7.0% (standard)
    7.0 �" 9.5% (super)
    Commercial Examples: Ellezelloise Saison, Fantôme
    Saison, Lefebvre Saison 1900, Saison Dupont Vieille Provision,
    Saison de Pipaix, Saison Regal, Saison Voisin, Boulevard Tank
    7 Farmhouse Ale
    Tags: standard-strength, pale-color, top-fermented, westerneurope,
    traditional-style, bitter

    https://www.bjcp.org/docs/2015_Guidelines_Beer.pdf
     
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  3. Dec 3, 2017 #3

    liamf89

    liamf89

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    Any info there that ain't a copy and paste job
     
  4. Dec 3, 2017 #4

    Sadfield

    Sadfield

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    Ha ha. Picky. Any chance you could actually buy and drink one before trying to brew one.

    They are the BJCP guidelines used for judging Saisons in competitions, plenty of info there. Cuts down on typing.

    "Inspiration is the impact of a fact on a well-prepared mind" Louis Pasteur
     
  5. Dec 3, 2017 #5

    liamf89

    liamf89

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    I have had a saison couple years back at a festival which I enjoyed but can't remember what it was like exactly
     
  6. Dec 3, 2017 #6

    Ajhutch

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    This is a bit of an unusual comment for a popular style, but I don't really 'get' saison. My understanding is that for a traditional one it is a very yeast-driven beer, so buy good yeast to make it seems sensible advice.

    But it also seems a popular style to use as a base for adding other flavours to. If the saison yeast character is quite delicate then it's going to be easily overwhelmed by a big fruit or spice addition. At that point I guess it's the beer's dry clean finish that are attractive.

    Probably not that helpful but just a musing.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  7. Dec 3, 2017 #7

    Leon103

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    That copy and paste was a bit unreadible due to poor formatting
     
  8. Dec 3, 2017 #8

    Sadfield

    Sadfield

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    The source material was available by a single click on the link.

    Anyhow, my advice is the same. Do your research. Drink some beer do a little googling, it's not a hardship. How can anyone expect to AG brew a style, and best manipulate all the parameters of the process, when they don't know (or remember) what the beer should taste like. Madness.

    "Inspiration is the impact of a fact on a well-prepared mind" Louis Pasteur
     
  9. Dec 3, 2017 #9

    Leon103

    Leon103

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    Lol
    Easy. If it's wet and alcoholic it is fine
     
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  10. Dec 3, 2017 #10

    darkbright

    darkbright

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    Jeez, a tough audience. Perhaps google it, read about it or buy one if you really want to know what you are making. Otherwise a cut and paste job will probably be the best you can get.
     
  11. Dec 3, 2017 #11

    Leon103

    Leon103

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    Yeah who needs a forum. Google has the answers
     
  12. Dec 3, 2017 #12

    AdeDunn

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    I did a bit of research into the style myself Liam & Leon, and you know what I found? A bunch of best guesses... The one thing they all agree on? It was farmhouse ale made with whatever came to hand, in the French speaking region of Belgium. ALL of the Saisons out there now are creations, not originals.

    Now don't get me wrong, my introduction to the style was Brewdog Electric India, which some folks would tell you is not saison. Tasted ruddy good though, so was the recipe I used for my first AG, switching out extra pale malt for a more "true to style" Belgian pilsen malt. You know what? I bottled it yesterday and already it's truly a delicious bit of beer.

    So what am I getting at? Well a saison is a light coloured beer, usually made with either belgian ale yeast or a specific saison yeast, depending upon who you ask. So have fun, go to town, see what you get...

    Here's a wild idea, stop caring about styles set by other people, experiment, find beers YOU like. Tweak existing recipes, enjoy the process and the result, stop caring what other people think as end of the day it's YOUR beer. :thumb:

    I was going to brew one myself today, but life decided nope.... :lol: Nowhere near style, as I plan to use a mix of Amarillo, mosaic and citra hops, non of which are in the slightest bit Belgian...... Bet it'll taste good though when I finally got around to it...
     
  13. Dec 3, 2017 #13

    jeg3

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    I did a saison recently and my take on the taste was a bit like a dry cider or a sparkling wine in terms of mouth feel, mine had some darker malt and low bitterness and was highly carbonated.

    In contrast I've just bottled a Christmas ale using same yeast - WY3711 - which is more hopped and much less carbonated, so in the style of a British bitter, flavoured with orange and ginger. The first taste is lovely
     
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  14. Dec 3, 2017 #14

    IainM

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    That sounds very interesting.
     
  15. Dec 3, 2017 #15

    strange-steve

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    Some of the comments there not terribly helpful, I think the first saison I ever tasted was home brewed, likewise my first bock, kolsch and Berliner weisse.

    Anyway to answer your question, a saison is generally a dry, highly carbed ale with a citrusy fruit character, some spicy, peppery phenols and often a slight tartness. A typical saison has a simple recipe with most of the "saison character" coming from the yeast. If you want to try what is often considered the quintessential saison then look out for Dupont. It is beautifully simple but elegant.
     
  16. Dec 3, 2017 #16

    GerritT

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    First cider I tasted was a bought one, so I could check whether the 20 litres I had fermenting were tasting okay. 12 litres of mead are in secondary but I still don't know what it should taste like. Yes I have a bottle of mead, a hydromel, but haven't gotten around tasting it.
    That's how thing sometimes go.
    IPA? The bottle had an elephant on the label.
     
  17. Dec 3, 2017 #17

    IainM

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    Mead is a funny one. Most commercial examples are very sweet due to consumers expecting that when they buy a honey product. By all means they are perfectly good meads, but very narrow compared to what is traditional.
     
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  18. Dec 3, 2017 #18

    dad_of_jon

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    I've found the 3 saisons i've done to date have all been so much better than the commercial saisons I've tried. - electric india, m&s sorachi ace and nogne saison. So buying a commercial could put you off. I've found my saisons to be a bit too funky when young but they do age 3-4 months+ beautifully. If you do make one and think uurgh! - DO NOT THROW IT OUT - leave it for a few months then try! :grin:
     
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  19. Dec 3, 2017 #19

    meirion658

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    I've just done a saison and used both WLP and the Wyeast strains in the fermenter. They say they lag at about 1030 but mine went straight through. I based the recipe on a Dupont if you want the recipe pm me.
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2017
  20. Dec 3, 2017 #20

    Zephyr259

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    I'm with you there, Electric India is nice but the hops are probably more dominant than is traditional. I couldn't drink Nogne Saison, got barely halfway down the glass and it just tasted bad to me. Dupont is great but really mild in my experience.

    I'll be tasting my first saison in a week or so. Based on the basic saison recipe from Farmhouse Ales using Wyeast 3726 Farmhouse Ale, pilsner, munich and wheat with East Kent golding and Saaz; it was tasting very nice at bottling.
     
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