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Day 129 Saison Update

This is just a very brief update. I don’t have anything going right now, except for the Hi-Nelson Saison with Hibiscus. That batch has been in primary fermentation for two weeks, as of tomorrow. This morning, I noticed that there is still airlock activity at intervals just over a minute apart. I don’t think I have had a batch of beer, before this one, that took more than 10 days in primary. I still think I’ll move it to secondary this weekend. It will have another week to finish up there and I can always let it go longer in secondary, if necessary. Then, after bottling, it’s supposed to go another month conditioning. (I’m sure temptation will have me opening one to test after a couple of weeks!)

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Day 126 Quick updates on Hi-Nelson Saison, Tepache #3

This morning, I put the tepache fermentation bucket out in a sunny spot for the afternoon. I brought it back indie this evening and it is nice and frothy. Tonight, I strained the pineapple skins and core from the liquid and composted them. This time, instead of adding one cup of water and a 12 oz beer, I decided to do the option without adding beer. It calls for four cups of water…not sure why the difference in volume of the additions when adding beer versus not. But it was so close to 1 gallon, that I went ahead and bumped the water to about 7 cups to get it to the gallon mark. I’ll track the progress and decide when to bottle it.

Tepache bucket in back. Hi-Nelson Saison hydrometer sample in front...settled under refrigeration.

Tepache bucket in back. Hi-Nelson Saison hydrometer sample in front…settled under refrigeration.

The Hi-Nelson Saison is still bubbling away. It has slowed from the very aggressive bubbling to a regular, rhythmic bubble about every 4 seconds. I’ll probably replace the blow-off with a regular airlock sometime tomorrow. I saved the hydrometer sample in the refrigerator, so I could let it settle and see the color and also taste it. The color is nice. It will definitely change when I add the hibiscus tea, but it looks like a good base. The flavor…obviously pre-fermentation sweet…but a good foundation to build on, I think.

A friend has brewed this recipe locally and kegged it. I got a 22 oz bomber of it today to try! The color is like grape juice almost…not quite as dark. You expect a fruit juice kind of flavor from it, but it’s not sweet…more tart. There is a kind of fruit, citrus, earthy quality to the taste, but a carb tingle on the tongue turns to a dryness, like the tannins in a lighter red wine.

A friend's version of Hi-Nelson Saison. Hard to capture the color, but intense!

A friend’s version of Hi-Nelson Saison. Hard to capture the color, but intense!

The aroma is not powerful, but it’s interesting. The combination of dry hopping with Nelson-Sauvin hops and hibiscus tea makes for a hard to describe scent. Much like wine, but with a resinous componant. The alcohol seems to be evident in the nose, but not in the flavor (even though it is a fairly high ABV, in the 8% range). All in all, an interesting taste that grows on you and it’s refreshing! Nice!

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Day 125 July 4th! Brew Day! Saison!

Supplies for brewing today.

Supplies for brewing today.

After some glitches in finding what I needed to brew today and an unexpected trip to Raleigh, I finally got a late start on brewing today. This is what I brewed: Hi Nelson Saison    By FuzzyMittens Recipe specifics: Style: Saison Batch size: 5.0 gal OG: 1.076 FG: 1.000 Bitterness (IBU): 35.5 Color (SRM): 5.1 ABV: 7.5% (my calculator puts this at 9.98%) Grain/Sugars: 11.00 lb Pilsner (Belgian), 78.6%   (Had to substitute German) 1.00 lb Munich 6L, (German), 7.1% 1.00 lb Cane Sugar, 7.1% @ 10 minutes 0.50 lb Flaked Wheat, 3.6% 0.50 lb Flaked Oats, 3.6% Hops: 1.00 oz Nelson Sauvin (AA 13.0%, Pellet) 60 min, 35.5 IBU 0.50 oz Nelson Sauvin (AA 13.0%, Pellet) 0 min, 0.0 IBU 1.50 oz Nelson Sauvin (AA 13.0%, Pellet) dry hop Recipe Notes: Use Belle Saison yeast. Add tea to secondary. Tea is made with half pound of flowers steeped in half gallon of hot water. Mash @ 148 and boiled for 60. The brew went well today. I brewed in the BIAB method. (Brew in a Bag).

(BIAB) Brew in a bag

(BIAB) Brew in a bag

I did have to make a grain substitution, but they are VERY close, so it shouldn’t be a problem. This brew really gets interesting later, when it gets dry hopped with 1-1/2 oz of Nelson Sauvin and in secondary fermentation along with a tea made with dried hibiscus flowers.

Dried Hibiscus F;owers

Dried Hibiscus F;owers

After chilling the wort, I used my new little oxygen tank set up to oxygenate the wort for about two minutes. That should give a healthy yeast action and get fermentation started faster. I wound up with about 6 gallons of wort, but, after the trub and racking, it will likely be back to around 5 gallons. OG is 1.068; a little lower than target of 1.076, but I believe others brewing this recipe were in the same range. If the experience of others holds true in fermentation, the FG would be around 1.004; rather than 1.000 and that would result in an 8.4% ABV. That’s plenty! Looks like the original recipe may have incorrect numbers. OG of 1.076 and FG of 1.000 would be 9.98% ABV, not the 7.5% listed. 10:00 pm No action in the blow off, so I put a heating pad under the bucket on the lowest setting. The original brewer of this recipe talks about ramping the temp up to 90F for the first week, I think. This Belle Saison yeast is supposed to take off fast, especially with the oxygen boost I gave it. Hmmm.

By the way, I put the tepache outside and it is starting to get a little action in the airlock tonight.

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