SMASH French Saison w/ Nelson Sauvin hops

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In an effort to experiment with some malts and hops that I’ve never used before, I threw together this SMASH recipe that showcases golden promise and Nelson Sauvin hops.

  • 6.5 lb Golden Promise
  • 0.2 lb Acidulated malt
  • 0.25 oz Nelson Sauvin 60 min
  • 0.25 oz Nelson Sauvin 30 min
  • 0.50 oz Nelson Sauvin 10 min
  • WYeast French Saison

// Mash-in 154 for 50 min. 1.25 tsp gypsum to mash. Sparge w/ 168 to collect 3.25 gallons 1.058 wort. Boil 60 minutes. Add ice to get down to 140, chill overnight to 64. Pitch yeast, no starter. Shake to aerate. Wort had big clouds of proteins suspended in it. Brewed 1/14/16. //

1/25/16  Fermentation was fairly active at first and stabilized to bubbling once every 15 seconds for about a week. Finally, after about two weeks, bubbling in the airlock slowed to about once a minute. Gravity at 1006. Very clean, crisp and dry saison flavors. I really like it. Not much noticeable in the way of hops, but we’ll see how it is once it’s kegged.

THE VERDICT

This ended up being just an OK saison. It came out weirdly acidic, which is probably  a result of me stupidly adding acidulated malt based on my initial pH reading. Still trying to get the hang of it. An overall dry and clean beer, with some gentle hop character that blended well with the saison yeast. I didn’t really get a strong reading on the Nelson hop contribution since the yeast is so flavorful, so probably not a wise choice of recipe to try out the new hop with.  Something just isn’t right about the beer, though. For a saison, it’s a little lacking in the ester department. This may be a trait of the French Saison strain, or, maybe it’s the golden promise getting in the way. I’d probably stick with a Belgian strain for the yeast.

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Filed under All-grain, Balanced, Belgian, Experimental, Saison, Small Batch

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