Grisette?

Discussion in 'Homebrewing' started by Jettanbass9, Feb 13, 2013.

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  1. Jettanbass9

    Jettanbass9 Aspirant (275) Sep 27, 2006 Pennsylvania

    So I'm doing a little research on Grisette and have come across a relatively small amount of info on this style. But what I can gather is that it originated in France, its lighter then a saison served during the summer months and is made with a generous amount of wheat. Some places say to use saison yeast, other say to use a belgian wit and few suggest other Belgian strains.

    So yea, I could write this off to a homebrewer's interpretation but where's the historical nerdiness in that???? I leave this open to the forum... Post references, thoughts, ideas, recipes or your two cents on the style. Help me put something together!
     
  2. Beertracker

    Beertracker Champion (824) Mar 3, 2004 Oklahoma
    Trader

    Your research has put you on the right track, but Grisette actually originated in French Wallonia specifically in the Hainut province of southern Belgium. It was mostly regarded as a working class beer of the "miner's or factory workers" in the region much like saison was considered a "farmers" beer in the north. Grisette's were typically "low-alcohol, light bodied, saison-like golden ales of no great distinction" according to Phil Markowski in his Farmhouse Ales book.

    I brewed a Grisette last year using pils (60%), Vienna (10%) & unmalted wheat (30%) w/ Saaz hops (16IBU's) to an OG of approx. (1.043) using Wyeast #3711-French Saison yeast. Turned out to be one of the most popular beers served at one of my homebrew club's annual beer fests last summer. A homebrewer really couldn't go wrong, so long as they use the KISS method and brew a small (blondish) table beer that could quench a man's thirst after a hard day's labor. Cheers! :sunglasses:
     
  3. reverseapachemaster

    reverseapachemaster Initiate (172) Sep 21, 2012 Texas
    Trader

    Farmhouse Ales is definitely going to send you in the right direction. If you are in the south you might be able to find Southern Star's Walloon, which is a grisette.
     
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  4. NiceFly

    NiceFly Aspirant (231) Dec 22, 2011 Tajikistan

    I have had one brewed by Southern Star you can see the ingredients listed. No real distinction between it and a saison. I suspect the 5.25% ABV is an Americanization and would have historically been lower. There is a video interview where they blab on at length about the history somewhere on the interwebs.

    Probably analagous to a Northern Brown vs. Southern Brown.
     
  5. SwillBilly

    SwillBilly Zealot (524) Feb 4, 2004 Virginia

    Brewed on a couple month's ago. Don't have my notes in front of me, a table 3.5% saison using wy3711. Decent beer, super dry, easy to drink. Farmhouse Ales has some good info in the book on brewing a Grissete.
     
  6. reverseapachemaster

    reverseapachemaster Initiate (172) Sep 21, 2012 Texas
    Trader

    Not terribly different from a saison. Can certainly be within the grisette style with little to no yeast character and generally will display less hop character. Usually lacks any spicing.
     
  7. pweis909

    pweis909 Poo-Bah (1,762) Aug 13, 2005 Wisconsin
    Premium

    If going for historical, you might want to consider some sort of mixed fermentation. Lacto, brett, multiple saccharomyces strains, etc. I'm guessing that the isolation of strains probably was never too important during the hay day of grisette. And make it session strength, I would think.
     
  8. Jettanbass9

    Jettanbass9 Aspirant (275) Sep 27, 2006 Pennsylvania

    Thanks for all of the great info guys. Farmhouse Ales is definitely on my list of books to get. @pweiss909 - that's something I'd like to try (brett/saccharomyces) but I think that will come after a few attempts at a 'cleaner' (saccharomyces alone) version.

    On the topic of yeast in this style, are Belgian or French (non saison strains) a viable option? (not from a 'can it be fermented' view but from a stylistic standpoint) It appears the most popular Hainut providence breweries are Chimay and Dupont. I'd imagine the yeast influence would be fairly regional...
     
  9. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (3,762) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
    Premium

    “On the topic of yeast in this style, are Belgian or French (non saison strains) a viable option?” They certainly are viable options and as a homebrewer you can make this beer anyway you like. I think you summed it up perfectly in your original post: “Some places say to use saison yeast, other say to use a belgian wit and few suggest other Belgian strains.”

    I have brewed a lot of Saisons (of non-low gravity) but I have never brewed a Grisette. I would think that Wyeast 3711 would be a good choice for a Grisette.

    What you should think about in your decision of yeast strain is: what do you want your Grisette to be like?

    · If you want a dry and spicy beer than Wyeast 3711 would be a good choice
    · If you are looking for a beer that doesn’t have much ‘Belgiany’ character (i.e., more on the neutral side) then a Wit yeast like Wyeast 3944 would be a good choice
    · If you are looking for a more full bodied and expressive beer (i.e., ‘Belgiany’ character) then a Belgian strain like Wyeast 3787 or Wyeast 1214 would be a good choice

    Good luck with your Grisette.

    Cheers!
     
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