Photo: Peter Reed

Saison is a light-colored, light-bodied, dry, fruity, and effervescent ale. It originates from the Wallonia region of Belgium, where French is spoken. Traditionally, it was brewed in the spring for consumption over the summer, but I like it as a late winter ale because of its higher alcohol content and spiciness.

OG: 1.048 to 1.065
FG: 1.002 to 1.012
IBUs: 20 to 35
ABV: 5 to 7%

Ferment warm (up to 80°F) for maximum attenuation.


About This Recipe

Yield:makes 5 gallons
Active time:4 to 6 hours
Total time:4 weeks
Special equipment:Basic equipment setup
This recipe appears in: Homebrewing: How to Brew a Saison


  • Yeast
  • White Labs WLP565 Saison Ale or Wyeast 3724 Belgian Saison
  • Fermentables
  • 7.5 pounds Pilsner LME
  • 1.0 pound Wheat LME
  • 1.0 pound cane sugar
  • 0.5 pounds Munich LME
  • Hops and Spices
  • 1.3 ounces Hallertau 5% AA for 60 minutes
  • 0.7 ounces Hallertau 5% AA at flame out
  • 0.5 ounce coriander at flame out
  • Zest of one Seville orange at flame out
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarsely crushed grains of paradise at flame out


  1. 1

    One day before brew day, make a starter with your yeast.

  2. 2

    Bring fermentables and water to make five gallons to a boil on high heat.

  3. 3

    Once a rolling boil is achieved, start a timer for 90 minutes. Add the first hops dose with 60 minutes left.

  4. 4

    At the end of 90 minutes, remove from heat and immediately add remaining hops and spices. Add clean cool water to make 5.5 gallons. Cool the wort to below 70°F with an ice bath or a wort chiller. Remember to keep things sanitary for every stage after the boil.

  5. 5

    Transfer the wort to a sanitized fermentation bucket or carboy. Add an airlock and cool to 68°F if not already there. Also cool the yeast starter to 68°F.

  6. 6

    Once the wort reaches 68°F, aerate the wort and pitch the yeast.

  7. 7

    Ferment for 7 to 10 days. Let the beer temperature rise to 80°F as it ferments. If it does not fully attenuate you can add a package of dried champagne yeast to finish the job. It should dry out to a final gravity of about 1.008 to 1.010 before bottling.

  8. 8

    Bottle or keg the beer, carbonating to 3 to 3.5 volumes.


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