Saison For The Win!

Every one-year-old needs a beer brewed specifically for their birthday party!

A week or so ago I put a poll question on Facebook, asking what beer I should brew for my grandson’s 1st birthday party. Saison just edged out IPA.

Brewing a Saison as my first batch of homebrew after my move to Sacramento seems to be fitting. Sacramento was once home to one of my favorites, Odonata. And I’m expecting it soon to be home to one of my new favorites from Urban Roots Brewing & Smokehouse.

Strangely (or way too obvious) both come from the same brewer extraordinaire and really nice guy, Peter Hoey.

Now I’ve never seen a clone recipe for the Odonata Saison, it did inspire me to brew a number of Saisons. Including one for my daughter’s wedding that was aged on Brett and peaches.

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This photo was taken by JILL HEWSTON of ALLYSON MAGDA PHOTOGRAPHY

We some time and equipment restrictions (I’m still unpacking my equipment),  I thought I would brew a fairly basic Saison that would come in right around 5% ABV, a perfect beer for summer.

So this is what I’m thinking

Grain Bill

88% Pilsner Malt

6% Munich Malt

5% Wheat Malt

1% Carapils Malt

Hops

I’m going to see what’s available when I hit the homebrew store. The plan is to keep the IBU’s (as if anyone cares anymore) to around or just below 30. I will most likely stick with a 2 hops varieties, with additions at 60 min, 10 min, flame out and dry hop. It might be nice to try using some of the newer varietals for this batch.

Yeast

White Labs WLP568 Saison blend has always worked really well for me. I should probably stick with what works on this batch.

If all goes as planned, this beer will be kegged and on tap just in time for the birthday party.

Here is one of my Saison recipes that I brewed back in 2012.

Batch #2 - Beer Recipe | Brewer's Friend

 

Rainbows & Butterflies – What’s Your Homebrew Inspiration?

I love homebrewing, but it can also be a pain in the ass. Planning, cleaning, cleaning and more cleaning. As enjoyable as that sounds, I sometimes need a little motivation and inspiration to get things going.

Inspiration!

I normally don’t brew clones, so It’s rare when another beer gets me inspired. So I was surprised when my newest inspiration hit me, it was a beer….Well a photo of a beer.

While cruising my instagram feed, I found this post from my friend @_eima of this lavender, purplish beer from Tired Hands Brewing called Prismatic Sea. I made a note of the post so I could come back to do a little investigation. The beer is described as an IPA brewed with oats and Butterfly Pea flowers, using Hull Melon and Simcoe hops.

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Testing out the Butterfly Pea Flowers in a water
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The uncarbed version a little lighter

 

I looked on-line and even emailed the brewery to find out more about using the Pea Flower. Mostly tea recipes came up in my on line searches and the brewery never responded to my email. So I was basically on my own.

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Finished Beer

Rainbows & Butterflies

Robert French

Brew Method: All Grain
Style Name: Spice, Herb, or Vegetable Beer
Boil Time: 90 min
Batch Size: 4 gallons (fermenter volume)
Boil Size: 5.78 gallons
Boil Gravity: 1.037
Efficiency: 79% (brew house)

STATS:
Original Gravity: 1.054
Final Gravity: 1.012
ABV (standard): 5.5%
IBU (tinseth): 11.28
SRM (morey): 3.76

pH 5.28 Post Boil
pH 4.07 Post Fermentation

FERMENTABLES:
3.5 lb – American – White Wheat (50%)
3.5 lb – German – Pilsner (50%)

HOPS:
0.25 oz – Simcoe, Type: Pellet, AA: 13, Use: First Wort, IBU: 10.48
0.25 oz – Denali, Type: Pellet, AA: 13.9, Use: Boil for 1 min, IBU: 0.8
0.7 oz – Denali, Type: Pellet, AA: 13.9, Use: Dry Hop on day 7 for 5 days
2.0 oz – El Dorado, Type: Whole Leaf, AA: 15.2, Use: Dry Hop in keg

OTHER:
50 g  – Whole Butterfly Pea flowers (dried)

MASH GUIDELINES:
1) Temperature, Temp: 122 F, Hold for 20 min
2) Temperature, Temp: 154 F, Hold for 40 min
3) Fly Sparge, Temp: 168 F, for 60 min
Mash Thickness: 1.25 qt/lb

WATER:
909 Pale
Glacier Vending Reverse Osmosis
Gypsum 13.5 g
Calcium Chloride 5 g
Lactic Acid 7 mL
All added in the mash

YEAST:
Fermentis / Safale – American Ale Yeast US-05
Yeast Pitch Rate 1.15M cells / mL / °P
Starter: No
Form: Dry
Attenuation: 78%
Fermentation Temp: 68 F
After 3 days, allowed the temperature to rise, and topped out at 72 F

BATCH NOTES:
10/2/16 – Brew day
10/9/16 – Cold Crashed
10/14/26 – Kegged
10/14/16 – Added 50 g whole Butterfly Pea flower in the keg
10/14/16 – Added 2 oz whole leaf Galaxy hops in keg

TASTING NOTES:
Color – Purple to lavender to blue, it really depends on lighting. The head has the slightest purple tinge.

Aroma – Fruity citrus with hints of candy.

Taste – Soft bitterness up front. An easy drinking malt sweetness, but finishes dry with a slight lingering bitterness in back of your mouth.

Overall Impression – This drinks like a dry blonde ale. Some of the dryness might be due to the Butterfly Pea Flower, but it’s not enough to really worry about.

This might be more of a gimmick beer than a style. That being said, the color really throws you out of whack.  The beer looks sweet, like candy. The El Dorado hops also gives off that “candy like” hop aroma. The beer has some sweetness, but not worthy of the color. Would I brew it again? Not any time soon.  If I did, I would bump the IBUs to the mid 40’s.  It will be interesting to see how this beer ages in the keg. I will post updates if there are any significant changes.

Cheers!

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