Small Batch Brü

Recipes, techniques and tasting notes

dark saison

Dark Winter Saison: Saison Noel

Since I don’t currently have any way of controlling my fermentation temperatures, I tend to lean toward using Saison yeast for it’s higher temperature range. I keep my thermostat around 75 degrees at home and that usually gives me a fermentation temperature of around 78 degrees. Since the holidays and cooler temperatures are approaching I decided to try my hand at a dark Saison; something with cinnamon, vanilla and spice flavors that we can enjoy on a cold night on the balcony. This will also be my first time brewing with my igloo mash tun, as well as my first batch over 1 gallon.

Saison de Noel (Dark Winter Saison)


Batch Size: 3 gal
Estimated OG: 1.077
Estimated FG: 1.013
Estimated IBU (tinseth): 29.4
Boil Time: 60 minutes


5 gallon igloo cooler mash tun
9 gallon Bayou Classic pot
Electric stovetop


(73%) 7 lb 10 oz Belgian Pilsen
(13%) 1 lb 5.2 oz Crystal 120L
(6%) 10.6 oz Light Munich
(3%) 5.3 oz Vienna Malt
(3%) 5.3 oz Light Wheat Malt
(2%) 2.7 oz Carafa II


0.98 oz East Kent Goldings (5.6 Alpha) – 60 minutes
0.65 oz Czech Saaz (2.8 Alpha) – 20 minutes


WLP566 Belgian Saison II (0.5 L Starter from Red Eye Breakfast Stout)

Other Stuff

Pure vanilla extract – 3 TBSP
Cinnamon stick – 1 stick


City of Houston tap water

Mash Schedule

152 F for 60 minutes
Batch sparged 168 F

Brew Journal

10/20/16 – Brew day. First batch over 1 gallon and first batch with my igloo mash tun. Started the mash at 151 and ended at 150 an hour later. Runnings clear after a few quarts. Sparged once with 170 F water. Boiled what I think was about 4.25 gallons for 60 minutes. First running gravity was 1.093 and the pre boil gravity was 1.071. Pitched a starter of WLP566 Saison II from my Red Eye Breakfast Stout. Fermentation started within 3 hours of pitching.

10/30/16 – Gravity 1.011. Racked into 3 gallon PET secondary. Added 3 tbsp pure vanilla extract and 1 cinnamon stick.

12/7/16 – Bottling day. Bottled 22 12 oz bottles and 1 22 oz bomber.

12/15/16 – Tasting. Slightly opaque. Dark brown, clean and no haze. Good carbonation with small, tight bubbles that last. Very slight cinnamon and pretty much no vanilla flavor. Will add 2 cinnamon sticks next time. I’ll also use vanilla beans next time instead of extract.

2/19/16 – Still have some bottles left. Need to taste and see if anything has changed.