Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Funky Saison

That time again to get another sour/funky beer in the works. This one ended up being a result of purchasing some Sorachi Ace hops several months back. S. Ace hops can be really divisive; some folks claim it produces a nasty, fake, lemon pine-sol type of flavor/aroma. Other say it gives a nice balanced, bitter citrus note. I was inspired by Brooklyn's Saison which is made exclusively with Sorachi Ace (all throughout from bittering to dry hopping). I had it on tap in town and really enjoyed the balance of Belgianesque phenolics with the light lemon notes. I also wanted to try a couple other techniques; using T-58, a dried yeast from Safale that is supposed to produce light clove and banana flavors, and pitching in some cultured bottle dregs. It started with simply a bottle of Saison de Lente from the Bruery, a fantastic, dry fruity saison finished with Brett. I ended up supplementing with some dregs from the bourbon barrel wee heavy and the Flander's Red. The result was a pretty hoppy, mid gravity saison (if you will) with some funk in the finish. I don't have plans to give it tons of time before kegging, so the funk should be pretty subdued.
Batch Size: 5.00 gal
Boil Size: 5.87 gal
Estimated OG: 1.050 SG
Estimated Color: 5.1 SRM
Estimated IBU: 37.5 IBU
Brewhouse Efficiency: 70.00 %
Boil Time: 75 Minutes

Amount Item Type % or IBU
7.00 lb Pilsner (2 Row) Ger (2.0 SRM) Grain 66.67 %
3.00 lb Wheat Malt, Bel (2.0 SRM) Grain 28.57 %
0.50 lb Caramel/Crystal Malt - 20L (20.0 SRM) Grain 4.76 %
0.50 oz Chinook [12.50 %] (75 min) Hops 23.2 IBU
1.00 oz Sorachi Ace [11.10 %] (Dry Hop 14 days) Hops -
1.00 oz Sorachi Ace [11.10 %] (10 min) Hops 14.3 IBU
1.00 oz Sorachi Ace [11.10 %] (0 min) Hops -
1 Pkgs SafBrew Specialty Ale (DCL Yeast #T-58) Yeast-Ale

04/19/10: Brewed this morning. Efficiency didn't seem to take too much of a hit. Mashed at 150 to control yeast and residual sugars for Brett. Beer took off very quickly and temps started out in the mid 60s quickly got around 80. Moved carboy to the basement where it was in the mid to upper 60s to finish out before kegging. Hope to get this guy kegged within a month or so.
05/10/10: Just pulled the first sample and it's remarkably at 1.003. No funk is noticeable but the spice profile is really nice. Certainly not along the lines of a saison but some solid Belgian flavors.
05/24/10: This guy is starting to get a nice fluffy white pellicle, one of this thickest I've had of any sour. Hopefully one of my kegs kicks soon and I can get it tapped.


  1. Dan...did you just add dregs, or did you get their activitiy/cell count up a bit with a starter first? only a month before kegging, planning on putting this on for drinking young?

    I suspect any lactobacillus will be repressed by the hopping schedule...any pedio in the mix, or just brett?

  2. Yeah, I built up 3 bottles worth of dregs from .5 to 1 pint starter. It was pretty bangin stuff, but I imagine there was some Champagne yeast in there too since all of them were bottled with it. Should the flavor have some off notes from diacetyl or whatever, I may hold off kegging, but I just want to maintain the hop flavors.