OG too high for style (saison)

Discussion in 'Homebrewing' started by FFreak, Apr 16, 2014.

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  1. FFreak

    FFreak Defender (665) Nov 10, 2013 Vermont

    I just brewed my first saison and it turned out much higher OG than I had calculated. I've been hitting only about 63% efficiency on my last four batches so I created the recipe using that as the starting point. Somehow I acheived nearly 80% on this batch. So I've got a saison now with a starting gravity of 1.084. I oxygenated with O2 for 90 seconds and pitched 2 packs of Wyeast 3711 in a 1.5L starter, so I should get adequate attenuation, but I'm not sure about what the thing is going to taste like. Definitely not to style. Is there anything anyone would suggest, or am I just stuck with a big Belgian-like beer?
     
  2. ventura78

    ventura78 Aspirant (268) Nov 22, 2003 Massachusetts

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  3. FarmerTed

    FarmerTed Aspirant (218) May 31, 2011 Colorado

    Trinity does saisons with that yeast that go up to 13% abv (haven't had a big one myself). I wouldn't worry too much about guidelines for saisons myself.
     
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  4. inchrisin

    inchrisin Zealot (571) Sep 25, 2008 Indiana

    I'd think that with such a low FG that it would take a pretty long time to set up. it would still be worth tucking away until August or September to see how it's settling down.
     
  5. kennyg

    kennyg Initiate (0) Dec 31, 2007 Illinois

    I'm always happy when my gravity comes out higher than expected even if it means I'm doin' it rong!:slight_smile:
     
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  6. FFreak

    FFreak Defender (665) Nov 10, 2013 Vermont

  7. Smokebox_79

    Smokebox_79 Initiate (0) Jan 11, 2013 Pennsylvania

    I did a honey saison that went from 1.086 to 1.001, drinks like a nice dry wine. Almost meadish. Got 10 gallons aging of it right now. 4 weeks primary, 1 week secondary so far.
     
  8. mikehartigan

    mikehartigan Disciple (335) Apr 9, 2007 Illinois

    While 3711 is a bit more tolerant of high temp than a typical Ale yeast, it doesn't like it as hot as a typical Saison yeast - 3724, for example. I'd keep a close eye on fermentation temp to keep it from getting out of control. Better yet, be proactive and keep it cool.
    Other than that, I wouldn't worry about it. It'll probably turn out fine. And as kennyg alluded, it's better to overshoot your OG than undershoot it. Within reason, of course.
     
  9. premierpro

    premierpro Aspirant (266) Mar 21, 2009 Michigan

    If you were not planing to enter this beer in compitition then it is not a big deal. Enjoy your creation!
     
  10. AlCaponeJunior

    AlCaponeJunior Poo-Bah (2,662) May 21, 2010 Texas
    Society

    Change the name to imperial saison. Problem, solution. :grinning:
     
  11. jae

    jae Initiate (0) Feb 21, 2010 Washington

    Saisons are less of a "style", more a category of beers defined by their specific yeast characteristics. I've made 3% ABV pale saison to 12% ABV dark sour saisons.
     
  12. VikeMan

    VikeMan Poo-Bah (2,030) Jul 12, 2009 Pennsylvania
    Society

    Super-Saison was a term in vogue for a while. I don't hear it much anymore though.
     
  13. hoptualBrew

    hoptualBrew Initiate (0) May 29, 2011 Florida

    What changed about this batch compared to the previous four? Were the mash and sparge dynamics the same? Anything different with the mechanics of the process? Grain crush?

    If your just worried about the saison, don't be, the high gravity may work in your favor. If your worried about the inconsistency in efficiency, then we need more details.
     
  14. telejunkie

    telejunkie Aspirant (253) Sep 14, 2007 Vermont

    if i were you, i'd be ready for a bit of a hot mess based on my experience...not saying it's going to happen, but could. If anything I would prefer to undershoot og with 3711 since i've always had 3711 ferment to dry so don't be surprised if your hydrometer reads under 1.000 when finished. My first batch with 3711 went from 1.068 to .996 and the alcohol burn was just too intense for my taste. Subsequent batches never went above 1052 and I enjoyed those.
    You could mix in some maltodextrin if my fears for your batch do come true to counter the burn.
     
    PortLargo likes this.
  15. kdb150

    kdb150 Devotee (448) Mar 8, 2012 Pennsylvania

    I think you're stuck, but you won't necessarily get a bad beer out of it. Any reason you didn't dilute it prior to pitching your yeast? I had the same thing happen when I decocted my hefeweizen, I badly overshot my gravity due to a ~15% higher efficiency than expected. Diluted it with water down closer to my target gravity and it turned out fine. I always prep an extra few quarts of water for brewday just in case, or keep an unopened bottle of distilled water handy.
     
  16. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (5,611) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
    Society

    “ …the alcohol burn was just too intense for my taste.” Was that due to higher alcohols (fusel oils)?

    Cheers!
     
  17. LehighAce06

    LehighAce06 Champion (828) Jul 31, 2010 Pennsylvania
    Trader

    that sounds amazing, where in PA are you? would like to set up an IP homebrew swap for some of that!
     
  18. telejunkie

    telejunkie Aspirant (253) Sep 14, 2007 Vermont

    with that one, it did have fusels as well because of the explosive fermentation...so between the phenols, fusels & what I called ethanol burn, it was a tough keg to finish. Not saying some people didn't like it, but not me...
     
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  19. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (5,611) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
    Society

    Thank you for that input. It has been a while since I have brewed with 3711 (my latest Saison batches where ECY08, WLP585 and WY3724). If I utilize 3711 again I will keep the OG down and keep an eye on the fermentation temperature.

    Cheers!
     
  20. AlCaponeJunior

    AlCaponeJunior Poo-Bah (2,662) May 21, 2010 Texas
    Society

    Oh yeah, everything is imperial now. It's all the rage. Even session beers come in imperial strength these days. :rolling_eyes:
     
  21. Smokebox_79

    Smokebox_79 Initiate (0) Jan 11, 2013 Pennsylvania

    I told the guy who sets up my local homebrew club that my creation was an imperial saison and he's kind of a dick and scoffed saying "uhhh, there is no style called that". I don't attend those anymore....
     
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  22. hoptualBrew

    hoptualBrew Initiate (0) May 29, 2011 Florida

    What was your fermentation temp?
     
  23. firstthenlast

    firstthenlast Initiate (85) Nov 25, 2013 Massachusetts

    maybe not totally traditional but to style. It will be good, don't worry. you could make another low gravity and blend if it bugs you that much
     
  24. FFreak

    FFreak Defender (665) Nov 10, 2013 Vermont

    The things that changed were:
    1. mashed for 90 minutes instead of 60
    2. used the LHBS instead of morebeer.com for the ingredients (crush might have been finer)
    3. I do a modified BIAB method and really squeezed the crap out of the bags this time

    I've also been having a problem getting the right boil volume. I use the BrewCipher spreadsheet to calculate strike and sparge water volumes and it indicated a combined total of about 9 gallons. It seemed like I ended up with 9 gallons in my BK. I have a 10 gallon BK and it was only about 2 inches from the top. I ended up boiling for 110 minutes to get down to 5.75 gallons into the fermenter.
     
  25. VikeMan

    VikeMan Poo-Bah (2,030) Jul 12, 2009 Pennsylvania
    Society

    Something sounds off. If you want, beermail me and we can take a look at your parameters.
     
  26. telejunkie

    telejunkie Aspirant (253) Sep 14, 2007 Vermont

    ambient was probably 70-72F...given the explosive nature of the fermentation and the fact that I put a blanket over the bucket, I wouldn't be surprised if got to well into the 80s at peak, but that's a giant question mark unfortunately.
     
  27. FFreak

    FFreak Defender (665) Nov 10, 2013 Vermont

    My ambient is around 65-70 and the batch is holding at about 73 over the past 36 hours or so. It's bubbling away furiously, but it did not blow off. This was a bit of a surprise and unexpected. I was actually set up to top crop from the carboy using a blow off tube into a sanitized flask. There's very little headspace and the way it took off, I expected it to blow off. But the krausen had settled down after 12 hours, so I stuck an airlock on.

    I expect that the batch temp will start coming down soon. I see lots of different approaches to temperature control with saisons and belgians. What should I try to do with this given the 3711? Ramp up to mid 70s and hold for a week or so?
     
  28. telejunkie

    telejunkie Aspirant (253) Sep 14, 2007 Vermont

    after primary settles down, yeah I'd ramp it up...sounds like a good temp for the yeast. Best of luck with it! Cheers
     
  29. FFreak

    FFreak Defender (665) Nov 10, 2013 Vermont

    What's 'beermail'? I took a look at the parameters in the spreadsheet as you suggested. By dropping the "Grain Absorption Loss" parameter I get to a more realistic combined strike/sparge starting volume of around 8.5 gallons. I'll try that on my next batch.
     
  30. VikeMan

    VikeMan Poo-Bah (2,030) Jul 12, 2009 Pennsylvania
    Society

    Sorry. Beermail was the term for 'Conversation' on the old BA site. I keep forgetting that it changed. You can click someone's avatar, then click 'Start a Conversation' in the box that pops up. (Think of it as internal email on the BA site.)
     
  31. hoptualBrew

    hoptualBrew Initiate (0) May 29, 2011 Florida

    I have never found a need to ramp up temp. With 3711, I've always fermented at 68-70 F, lately 70 F and it finishes through fairly quickly. Just brewed a Saison that fell from 1.062 to 1.021 in 3 days and then to 1.005 4 days later. If your having a problem with it finishing, I would say just remove the airlock and give the carboy a quick shake around to rouse the yeast, but then again, 3711 is not a high flocculator so that shouldn't be too much an issue.
     
  32. jlordi12

    jlordi12 Devotee (470) Jun 8, 2011 Massachusetts

    I agree you can ferment this strain down at around 60 and have no trouble.
     
  33. pointyskull

    pointyskull Initiate (165) Mar 17, 2010 Illinois
    Trader

    Last night I sampled a bottle of my 9% saison (made with 3711).
    Only 10 days in bottle - nicely carbed, wonderful peppery notes. Could be the best beer I've made yet...
     
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