Saison (23 Litres)
Saison (French for Season) is a very old southern Belgium beer style (possibly early 1700s), which was traditionally made by farmer-brewers in the late winter, stored until summer then provided to thirsty seasonal workers (les saisonniers). In those days, the supply of beer was often considered to be part of their payment. Working for beer – some things never change! The diversity of brews from one farmhouse to the next probably explains why the BJCP style guidelines describe Saison (16.C.) as such a broad category, with variations across colour, alcohol, bitterness and late hop presence. Despite such variation, one could argue that the essence of Saison comes from the yeast. It’s a highly carbonated, bottle conditioned ale, which often displays quite funky characters such as fruity, spicy, peppery, cloves, etc. The Saaz hop addition, although not necessary and not the typical type of hop for this style, adds a little bit of extra spiciness to the finished brew. You may choose to ferment warmer than the recipe recommends to get even more funk goin’ on!
- 1.7kg Australian Pale Ale
- 1.7kg Thomas Coopers Wheat Beer
- 1lb Light Dry Malt
- 25g Saaz Hops
- 11g Belle Saison Yeast
- Dextrose Corn Sugar
- Colour: Gold
- Body: Light
- Bitterness: Low
- Approx. Alcohol Level: 6.5%
- Naturally Carbonated: Natural
STEP 1: Mix
Add Saaz hop pellets to 500ml of just boiled water and leave to infuse for about 15mins (this works well in a large coffee plunger or similar).
Place the Light Malt in a sanitised, well drained fermenting vessel. Add 2 litres of hot water, immediately pick the FV up and swirl the contents until dissolved (about 15 secs) - this minimizes lumps.
Add the beer kits and hop infusion to the FV and then stir to dissolve.
Top up with cold tap water to the 20 litre mark, stir thoroughly.
Check the temperature and top up to the 23 litre mark with warm or cool water (refrigerated if necessary) to start the brew at 24C.
Sprinkle the dry yeast or stir in liquid yeast and fit the lid.
STEP 2: Brew
Allow the brew to cool over the course of 12 to 24 hours and ferment as close as possible to 20C.
Fermentation has finished once the specific gravity is stable over 2 days. It should finish around the 1004 – 1008 mark.
STEP 3: Bottle
Bottle the brew with a priming rate of 8g per litre (2 carbonation drops per 750ml bottle).
Store the bottles at or above 18C for at least two weeks to allow the secondary fermentation to take place.