So I have been brewing since the summer of 2006. It has passed being a hobby, I love the time I spend brewing. In the last few years brewing has become part of what I am.

I spent a short stint with a small brewery and after a long hiatus from the world, things are starting to shape up toward a new revelation(revolution) in my brewing life. Come follow on the journey, I can't promise being heavily active but will try to keep posts interesting and informative.

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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Saison Brew

Well, the weather held and there was no rain, just clouds passing over.

New refractometer
A fun brew session, minus thinking I had a gallon more in my kettle than I expected, then thinking I missed my numbers drastically.   I did get to play with my new toy, a new refractometer.  Its cool as hell to be able to watch your gravity change as the mash runs out of the tun, or checking right from the kettle. 

Something else different for me was using some adjuncts to supplement the sugars in the kettle.  Into the mash went a half pound of wild rice, to produce a slight nutty flavor and some color.  My shop was out of flaked rice, and I really didn't feel like having to play with cooking more rice, so instead in went a pound of rice solids.  Adjuncts aren't something I use that often, I am just not a fan, but having listened to an interview with the Bruery and an email to their head brewer, I decided rice would give an interesting character to a Saison.

So very counter to all of my brewing instincts, I skipped the starter, from what I have heard Saison yeast produce more character when they are stressed so underpitching is the way to go.  According to Mr Malty's calculator I should have used 2.6 vials of yeast or done a starter, I only used one.  That makes the yeast produce more generations to get enough cells to carry out the ferment, or work through more of the wort.  Now the creatures are having a ball in the fermenter, every time I use a new Belgian strain I get surprised by the fermentation.  I have the fermenter sitting in my mash tun and wrapped in a blanket...why...I don't know; everyone says Saison like to be warm so I'll let them stay warm. 

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