Update 9/1 -- 2nd Place ribbon in Belgian/French Ales at 5th Annual MoreBeer Forum Comp. Rest of results here: http://morebeer.com/themes/morewinepro//forumresults.htm
Update 7/19 -- Added 500mL active starter of WLP001 and 1lb table sugar as thick syrup to help dry out the beer.
How novel, a few consecutive hours of free time in one day. I started this batch around 6pm, finishing up just before 11, although I batch sparged to help speed things up a bit. This was the first run on my propane burner that I picked up from a Worts of Wisdom member who recently packed up and moved out of state (thanks, Jim!) and I've learned I need to pull more wort from my mash thanks to a higher evaporation rate outside - I lost 2 gallons in 90 minutes versus the roughly 1 gal/hr rate in the kitchen. Stupid wind. Saison! Saison, saison, saison,....dry, crisp, effervescent summer farmhouse ale. It's hot out, so it's the right time. But there's a trick...fermentation needs to start at normal temperatures (~68F) and then slowly come up to 80F or higher. The latter is a piece of cake in July here, but the former requires some cooling. I'll talk about that in the next post. On to the recipe. Pretty close to JZ's Raison d'Saison ("Brewing Classic Styles"...or the Jamil Show, which I recommend giving a listen), but with a smaller volume, so slightly higher gravity. I'm also going to skip the sugar if my yeast brings the gravity down far enough.
--10lbs Ger. Pilsner
--0.75lb Ger. Pale Wheat Malt
--0.75lb Belg. Aromatic Malt
--1lb Cane Sugar (after primary winds down)
--1.5oz Liberty 4.5%AA (60min)
--0.5oz Liberty 4.5%AA (15min)
--1/4tsp supermoss (15min)
--1/4tsp gypsum (mash water addition)
--pinch of grains of paradise, whole - not cracked (5min)
--WLP565 Saison Ale Yeast, 1L starter.
OG: 1.059 (1.068eff)
Mash in with 16qts at 147F, hold for 90 minutes. That's what I intended. Instead, it was in at 149, fell to 142, came back up to 145, fell to 142...annoying. Oh well, close enough for my first outdoor mash at home, at night. I hit ~76%, so I'm happy. Collect 7 gallons wort, boil 90 minutes. I had more boil off than expected and ended just shy of 5 gallons. I felt like it, so I threw in some grains of paradise...the yeast will probably give more pepper flavor than a few uncracked peppercorns, though. IBUs ended on the low end...another AAU on each addition would probably help. Ferment starting ~68F, bring up to 80s after a couple days (to avoid fusels during early alcohol production)