Brew Day – Saison de Truite

Roughly translated the beers name means trout season. To me trout season is about nature and friends. I hope that this beer reflects that. This is a first for me. A two part beer.

The first beer is ment to be drank in late June. It is a dry, slighly earthy. Very drinkable. Designed to welcome summer and all that it has to offer.

The second beer, is targeted to be consumed in late summer. It reflects a year of learning. Of consuming. A complex flavorful beer.

A brew day of firsts. I actually exceeded my target gravity. This never happens. Now. That being said I did a stupid thing. I changed more than on thing in my process. First I changed the gap on my mill from .039 to .035. Second I adjusted the Mash PH by adding 1 teaspoon of Calcium chloride and 1 teaspoon of gypsum. Third I sparged with near boiling water. What does all this mean?

Not much to the end beer drinker.

My process seems to be improving, though and thats a good thing.

I captured about 10 gallons of wort yesterday @ 1.063 (yielding a potential alcohol of about 6.5%). I ran off about 3.5 gallons (I really need to measure the volume of the new bakery fermenters) into the batch that will be fermented with the brett. This batch will probably take about a month to complete fermentation. I will be keeping an eye on it. It had not started bubbling as of this Monday morning.

Then I ran off 6 gallons into the large fermenter. At 6.5% (possibly) it is higher than I wanted for the Saison so I watered it down with about 2.5 gallons of cool water. This yielded 8 gallons of of 1.044 (4.6% estimated) wort with is being fermented with White Labs 565 Saison Yeast. I am currently fermenting the Saison batch in a rubbermaid tub with a aquirum heater set to 81 Degrees F. This is very high for a fermentation but is something that gives the beer its characteristic spicy taste. It was bubbling like mad this morning and I cant see it taking more than a few days to ferment out but I am shooting for a 3 week ferment to get it as dry as possible.

Once the ferment is complete I will be blending the beer until they reach the mix of flavors I am looking for. The early summery beer will probably settle at about 5% and should be a great drinker. The late summer version is going to be an interesting beast and I cant want to try it.

As a quick aside my normal brewing efficiency is around 61%, on Sunday I hit 79.9%. That reflects an increase of 33%. The problem is I don’t know what to expect next time. I guess I will need to brew again to find out.

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03 2007

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