Saison and the Owls

Saison and the Owls

Sometimes I decide on what recipe to brew based on ingredients I have kicking around. Maybe I have a sack of Maris Otter so I will brew a streak of British Beers or a lot of american hops so I’ll do a streak of IPA’s.  In this case, I had a container of ECY30 Brettanomyces naardenensis that I bought from Al at a home-brew club meeting and some Danstar Belle Saison dry yeast packets given out at the National Homebrew Conference. These two yeasts could work very well together so I came up with a saison recipe based loosely on some rye saisons The Mad Fermentationist has over on his blog. For the base beer malt selection the rye adds some color and a subtle spiciness, the wheat should help with head retention, and the pale would result in a fuller malt flavor.

Saison aging with Brett

Saison aging with Brett

Overall I was really impressed with the performance of the Belle Saison yeast. I rehydrated the two packets, pitched into 68* wort, and had fermentation activity within 30 hrs. I set the BCS controller to slowly ramp the beer up to 75* over 3 days and then hold there. The beer finished off at 1.006 with a great balance of dryness and sweet fermentation esters. The rye was definitely background and I would go up to 30% if I really wanted to have it as a prominent flavor. I kegged 5 gallons of the beer and the other 5 gallons I racked into a glass carboy and pitched the Brett. It has been aging for about three months now and I plan to give it another three before sampling.

Saison with Rye (Batch Number 146)

16C – Saison
Recipe for 11.5 gallons Post Boil


9 lb/43.9% Dingemans Belgian Pilsner
6 lb/28.6% Breiss Pale Ale
4 lb/19% Breiss Rye
2 lb/9.5% Weyerman German Wheat


3 oz Slovenian Styrian Goldings 3.8 % 60 Min
2 oz Slovenian Styrian Goldings 3.5 % 10 min


Danstar Belle Saison Dry Yeast – 2 Packets
East Coast Yeast ECY 30 Brett Naardenesis – 1 vial

Mash pH measurement

Mash pH measurement


Strike: 7 gal, 3.5g caso4, 2.1g cacl2, 57.4 ml phosphoric 10%
Sparge: 9.25 gal, 4.6g caso4, 2.8g cacl2, 51.4 ml phosphoric 10%
CA 106
MG 10
NA 3
SO4 66
CL 29
HCO3 0

Mash Schedule

Strike at 131 and hold for 10 min. Raise heat to 149 and hold for 40 min. Mash out to 168. All temperature increases via recirculation and heating HLT.

Measurements and Calculations

Wort Volume Before Boil:13.00 US gals
Wort Volume After Boil:11.5 US gals
Volume Transferred:10.75 US gals
Volume Of Finished Beer:10.00 US gals
Pre-Boil Gravity:1.050 SG
OG:1.056 SG
FG:1.006 SG
Apparent Attenuation:88.8 %
ABV:6.6 %
IBU(Rager):28 IBU
Color (Morey): 4 SRM
Mash Efficiency:83.6 %
Mash pH: 5.35
Fermentation Temp: 75 ?F
Fast ferment test: 1.005

Process Notes

Measured the Mash pH at 5.36 at 78? 14 min into the mash. Ran a slow lauter and sparge and collected 13 gal of wort.

Rolling 90 min boil. Added bittering hops 30 min into boil. Added ½ tsp rehydrated Supermoss HB and 1 tsp Wyeast nutrient at 10 min. After 90 min, whirlpooled in boil kettle for 5 min then shut off pump to let settle. Racked into conical (first batch in conical) at 65*.

Filling the Conical post boil. This was its maiden voyage.

Filling the Conical post boil. This was its maiden voyage.

Used Danstar Belle Saison dry yeast that I got for free at the National Homebrew Conference in Philadelphia. Oxygenated wort for 2min. Redydrated both packets and pitched into wort. Active fermentation within 30 hrs. After 10 days cold crash to 35 degrees and let settle for 3 more days. Rack under pressure into one keg and the other 5 gallons I racked into a 5 gallon glass carboy. Pitched oen vial of ECY30 into carboy and let sit at room temperature. Carbonated keg at 3 vol CO2.

Tasting Notes

The carboy has been aging on Brett for almost three months now and I will let it go another three before tasting. Al Buck from East Coast Yeast recommends giving this Brett some time to age. The kegged batch is almost gone but has been very enjoyable. A lot of this beer is about the fermentation and I would definitely use this dry yeast again! It dried the beer out nicely while not being too dry because there are plenty of sweet alcohols and esters to balance. The rye and pale malt work very well together for a subtle complexity. Its going to be tough waiting another three months to taste the brett version.