A Tale of Three Saisons (with Brett)

Intent. In food, beer, architecture, art, everything — a clear vision is key to truly honing your craft.

Along those same lines, I’ve gotten to the point where the intent of most batches transcends beyond simply creating something delicious to consume. I feel like each batch needs to serve a broader purpose, specifically, learning about the impact of various ingredient choices and processes.

1-gallon each of Brettanomyces Bruxellensis, Brettanomyces Lambicus, and cultured Crooked Stave Surette.

1-gallon each of Brettanomyces Bruxellensis, Brettanomyces Lambicus, and cultured Crooked Stave Surette inoculated saison.

The intent of this beer is to see how citrusy American hops meld with various strains of Brettanomyces. Specifically, I’ve taken a pretty typical saison recipe, tweaked the fermentability of the wort by creating a higher proportion of long-chain sugars to be consumed during a secondary Brett fermentation, and hopped it to higher levels using American varietals. I am using the notoriously fickle Dupont strain which is nice and fruity, but painfully slow — something that will work well with a super-attenuative Brett strain.

Inoculating with cultured Crooked Stave Surette microbes.

Inoculating with secondary microbes.

The base beer was allowed to ferment with Wyeast 3724 until approximately 54% apparent attenuation was achieved (about 3 weeks) before being transferred into secondary 1-gallon fermenters, where each beer was dosed with different bugs:

  • White Labs Brettanomyces Bruxellensis
  • White Labs Brettanomyces Lambicus
  • Cultured Crooked Stave Surette (cocktail of Brett, Lacto, etc.)

With some luck, in about 6-10 months I’ll have bottles of each variety ready for consumption.

The Recipe

Size: 4.54 gal
Efficiency: 72%
Attenuation: 94.0%

Original Gravity: 1.055
Terminal Gravity: 1.003 (Projected)
Color: 5.32 SRM
Alcohol: 6.24% ABV
Bitterness: 16.4 IBU (Calculated but doesn’t account for whirlpool isomerization)

7 lb (76.7%) Pilsner Malt (Dingemans)
1 lb (11.0%) Munich 10L Malt (Briess)
1 lb (11.0%) White Wheat Malt (Briess)
2 oz (1.4%) Acidulated Malt (Best Malz)

8 g (5.7%) Citra™ (14.1%) – added during boil, boiled 60 m
20 g (14.1%) Citra™ – WHIRLPOOL (14.1%)
1 oz (20.0%) Simcoe® – WHIRLPOOL (13.0%)
2 oz (40.1%) Citra™ Leaf – HOP BACK (13.8%)
1 oz (20.0%) Centennial Leaf – HOP BACK (10.0%)

0.5 ea Whirlfloc Tablets (Irish moss) – added during boil, boiled 15 m
0.5 tsp Wyeast Nutrient – added during boil, boiled 10 m

1 ea WYeast 3724 Belgian Saison™

60m – 152 °F
10m – 168 °F

Final Volume into Fermenter = 3.5 Gallons
Yeast Required =  125 billion (per Mr. Malty)
Yeast Production Date: 6/26/13
Yeast Starter = 1L @ 1.040 on stir plate (per Mr. Malty) =  4 1/8oz. DME

1. Chill to 66* F and allow to free rise to room temp (high 70’s)
2. Keep at room temp until fermentation stops
3. Rack to (3) 1-gallon purged FVs and Pitch Secondary Cultures

Secondary Fermentation:
Rack to 3 separate 1 Gallon FVs.
Pitch with (3) different cultures:
1. Brett Bruxellensis (Whitelabs)
2. Brett Lambicus (Whitelabs)
3. Crooked Stave Surette Culture

Brettanomyces Pitching Rate:
White Labs Brett Vial: 50 million / ml
(Per White Labs FAQ: http://www.whitelabs.com/yeast/wlp650-brettanomyces-bruxellensis)

Target Secondary Pitch = 20,000 / ml / degree plato (0.02 million / ml / degrees plato)

12.62 plato X 3785 ml (1 gallon) x 20,000 = 955,334,000 (0.95 billion)

Pitch 19.1 ml of slurry from each vial into one gallon

One thought on “A Tale of Three Saisons (with Brett)

  1. Curious how this turned out. I am going to culture some of the Surette yeast as well. Have you had a taste yet? Probably too early?

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