Honey-Wheat Farmhouse SaisonFebruary 17, 2017 2:02 pm Leave your thoughts
Ever since I tried my first sour beer about a year ago I’ve been intrigued by the process of brewing my own sour. I’ve also been very intimidated. After a few months of research I finally decided to take a whack at a sour batch. I had some WLP566 (Saison II) in a mason jar in the fridge from a previous batch so I decided to go with a Saison base. In addition to the WLP566 I pitched a vile of WLP670 (Farmhouse Ale) and the dregs from a bottle of Odell Meddler.
The brew day went pretty well and I ended up with a pale wort that went into the fermenter with a SG of 1.054. I decided to go with the Michael Tonsmeire technique of pitching everything at once. The sacch, the farmhouse culture and the dregs all went into the fermenter at about 75 F. I for the first 24 I used a piece of sanitized foil – no airlock. I had some great fermentation and the kreusen dropped after about 4 days. I
added 16 oz of orange blossom honey after about two weeks and the fermentation took off again for about two days at 74 F in my storage room.
The plan is to let this sit in primary for about 6 months and then bottle half as-is and rack the other half onto whatever fruit will work best. I’m thinking either peaches, plums or cherries.
Honey Wheat Farmhouse Saison
Batch Size: 5 gal
Estimated OG: 1.061
Estimated FG: 1.009
Boil Time: 60 minutes
5 gallon igloo cooler mash tun
5 gallon igloo cooler HLT
9 gallon Bayou Classic pot
(51.2%) 5 lb 8 oz German Pilsner
(27.9%) 3 lb German Wheat Malt
(4.7%) 8 oz German Crystal 10L
(2.3%) 4 oz Carafoam
(2.3%) 4 oz American Honey Malt
(11.6%) 16 fl oz Orange Blossom Honey (Add after primary fermentation)
0.3 oz Czech Saaz (2.5 Alpha) – 10 minutes
0.6 oz Amarillo (7.0 Alpha) – 5 minutes
WLP566 Belgian Saison II (0.5 L Starter from old cake)
WLP670 Farmhouse Ale (Pitched vile)
Odell Meddler Dregs (Swirled and straight from the bottle)
City of Houston tap water (I know….not the best)
156 F for 60 minutes
Batch sparged in three steps to collect 6.4 gallons of 1.053 wort into the kettle
1/21/17 – Brew day started around 10:50 AM, cooled and pitched everything around 6:30 PM. First running gravity was 1.088. OG was 1.054. siphoned just under 5 gallons into the primary. Used a piece of sanitized foil for the first 24 hours of fermentation.
2/4/17 – No pellicle, but the yeast has flocculated. Nothing unpleasant in the aroma yet.
2/8/17 – Moved to the storage unit. Sloshed around a little along the way. Thermometer strip read 74 F in the storage unit.
2/14/17 – Liz added 16 oz of orange blossom honey to the primary.
2/17/17 – Pulled a sample for pH , gravity and tasting. Hydrometer reads 1.005 which is pretty close to the estimated finishing gravity. My pH meter is reading about 3.8 and I calibrated it right before testing this sample. There isn’t really much tartness in the flavor but the aroma is somewhat acidic. Liz pointed out the honey flavor, which I agree is there. I think there’s definitely more brett character (bandaid) than lacto. The plan is to add a lacto culture to try and get the pH down to 3.3-3.4 and maybe add a little tartness to the flavor.
4/15/17 – Added dregs of a bottle of Avery Apricot sour from their Botanicals and Barrels collection. Very lactic beer with great apricot flavor and aroma. Definitely should have made a starter. I don’t think there is enough bacteria to make a difference.
6/10/17 – Definitely funky. Pulled a sample today. Extremely clear and very dry. Fruit forward from the honey. pH reads 3.5 and gravity is 1.000. I will be leaving this for another month or two. Plan is to bottle 1 gallon as-is, 3 gallons on pluots for 6 months and the remaining gallon will be blended with a batch of the same recipe. Cidery-apple flavor with the brett horse blanket aroma.
7/15/17 – Tasted a 12 oz bottle with Liz. Carbonation is medium. Head disappears after about 10 seconds but small bubbles are still rising from the bottom. Funky brett aroma and a slight smell of grapes and a little honey. No hot alcohol but you can tell this one is above 7%. I think more time in the bottle will do this beer justice, but there’s only one 750 ml bottle left. The rest of the batch was racked onto cherries and apricots.
Tags: homebrew, homebrewing, saison, sour, sour beer
Categorised in: Brew Day, Sours
This post was written by SmallBatchBru