Saison

Saison

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.

  • Yield:makes 5 gallons
  • Active time: 4 to 6 hours
  • Total time:4 weeks

Ingredients

  • 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

Directions

  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.