WYLDE SKY SAISON
Refreshing, slightly tart and delicately spicy Farmhouse ale. A Franco-Belgian staple.
Version#1 OCT 2018
What to brew first? We’ve always been a big fan of the style and to put the brewhouse through its paces why not just go for it…
The basic premise was a simple, uncomplicated grain-bill using low-colour pale, malted wheat, and malted rye - our understanding that the latter usually compliments this group of yeast strains really well with its spicy character. Happy to report this is the case in the final product.
Getting the right pH during mash was important too, and so a healthy portion of acidulated malt was thrown in. We sometimes like to think (correctly or not) of Saisons as the halfway between standard ales and sours. Tart, but not quite sour, hence the need to lower our mash pH, however, not too much.
While in the subject of water, we use a reverse osmosis system, which allows us then to re-profile the water to whatever suits what we’re brewing. The water profile for this version was based on the region of Hainaut, in Belgium, taking care to allow for the fact that they usually get rid of the temporary hardness mineral content before brewing too.
Hops are not the main force behind this brew (yet, as we’re quite keen on a dry-hopped version soon… tell us your thoughts in the space provided - if there is one, that is…). Pacific Jade did the honours for bittering (presence, but not too sharp), with Comet and Wai-iti rounding up a very subtle aroma.
Yeast-wise V1 gets the French treatment, which has a few tricks up its sleeve, mainly the ability to process some dextrins too, leading to a characteristic dry-finish. Flavour compounds in this strain also provide a sweet and spicy tone, one which I particularly enjoy very much and we know you will too.
Tasting Notes: background tartness, sweet, and spicy.
Character: very light straw colour, a summer beer (oh wow, great timing!), with a dry-finish, and spicy aftertaste.
Process: single infusion mash at 63C, boil, whirlpool. Fermentation starting at 21.5C, up to 23C and beyond; followed by secondary (maturation) between 0.5C and 1C for 2 weeks (we’d pimp-slap our cooling system even more if we could… one day… cue maniacal laughter). Carb’d at 2 vols in can, and 2.2 in keg, quite low for the style, but we know this yeast will want to put some overtime on its shift.
Available: Keg | Key-Keg | 330ml Can
VERSION#2 JAN 2019
As promised then, the same recipe but now brewed with one of the many Belgian Saison strains…
It’s quite incredible what a few changes do to the final product, you’d have both V1 and V2 side-by-side and while they obviously share so much, they are distinctive in their own right.
We were very pleased with how the French strain brought out a crisp and spicy character to a super-dry finish on V1. Now with V2 the yeast drives that tartness more commonly associated with what most of us think of when it comes to Saisons.
The water profile remained unchanged, as did the grain bill. We did however swap Comet and Pacific Jade around, with the former for bittering and the latter at flame-out, followed by Wai-iti in the FV as a dry-hop addition (in the same amounts though) for an all-New-Zealand aroma team on this one.
ABV: 4.7% (slightly lower OG, ever so slightly higher FG)
Tasting Notes: positively tart and spicy.
Character: very light straw colour, a summer beer, with a dry-finish.
Process: single infusion mash at 64C, boil, whirlpool. Fermentation starting at 21.5C, up to 23C and beyond; followed by secondary (maturation) between 0.5C and 1C for 1 1/2 weeks. Carb’d at 2 vols in can, and 2.2 in keg, quite low for the style, as once more that strain just doesn’t want to quit working.
Available: Keg | Key-Keg | 330ml Can (in a few days)
Let’s not get ahead of ourselves. That’s a lot of beer you’ve got to get through first.