It’s summer time and with temperatures that approach (or at the very least are in the “feels like” range of) 40°C/104°F what better beer is there to make then the classic Saison?
|Beer Name:||SFBC – Lando Saison|
|Recipe Type:||All Grain|
|Pre-Boil Volume:||6.5 gallons / 23 litres|
|Batch Size:||5 gallons / 19 litres|
|6.625||Franco Belge Pilsen|
|5 oz||Acidulated Malt|
|14 days-6 months||Secondary|
|14 days||Bottle Conditioning|
|Mash Temperature:||150°F / 65.5°C|
|Mash Time:||60 min|
|Boil Duration:||60 min|
Lando Saison is SFBC’s core beer recipe that they also build upon and mix in different ways to produce all sorts of neat sours and other experiments. According to their website this recipe is close to the base beer that they produce with the major differences being that they use a custom culture of “4 sach strains, brett, lacto and pedio”, blend and barrel age theirs.
For my take on it I decided to go with their recommendation of using Safale BE-134 as my yeast. They also had a few other suggestions but all of those included brett and I haven’t quite worked up the courage to try that on my system yet for fear that I’ll infect my equipment. I’ve also never used Safale BE-134 before so this was a good opportunity to see if that yeast alone could produce the strong spicy and almost funky character that I associate with Saisons without the need to mix in brett or lacto.
One other slight deviation was to swap out the Tettnang for some Saaz that I still had lying around from a previous brew day. According to a few different hop substitution charts this was an acceptable choice.
The brew day was quite simple as this recipe just calls for a single infusion mash and doesn’t have an overly complicated hop schedule. I cooled the wort down and transferred it to my carboy for fermentation. My original gravity (OG) reading at that time was 1.042 which is a few gravity points off of the target of 1.047 but RDWHAHB right? I pitched the yeast at 25°C/77°F to try to really get as much clove flavour out of it as possible.
I then placed the carboy in the warmest spot in my house (a closet on the second floor) and let it ferment out. Fermentation was quick and kicked off the very same night and airlock activity more or less finished 24 hours later. I then moved the carboy to my basement, where most of my fermentation happens, and let it continue there for a total of three weeks.
When I went to bottle, the beer had a really nice spicy and not quite sour smell so things seemed to be on the right track. The final gravity reading was 1.008, a little bit lower than the targeted 1.010, for an estimated ABV of 4.46%. I primed with enough table sugar (I know… I know…) for 2.5 volumes of CO2 and let the beer bottle condition for 2 more weeks.
Carbonation seemed spot on and the wheat really gave it a nice thick rocky head.
|Smell||The aroma threads the needle between what you would normally expect from a funky Saison and that of a light sour beer. It’s definitely not in your face overpowering or anything like that.|
|Appearance||Very nice bright colour (hard to see in the pictures). Not see-through but then again that’s not really what I was after. Every beer that I’ve poured has had that really nice thick head which does eventually dissipate into a thin layer that sticks around until the very last drop.|
|Taste||Some Saisons are very spicy and funky and almost slap you in the face with it. This beer however is very light and does no such thing. That’s not to say it doesn’t still taste like what you would expect from a Saison, it does, but it’s missing that back of the throat spice taste that you may be expecting. I can see why SFBC uses it as the base for their sours however, because it gives you a nice platform to build on without trying to overshadow everything else you’re doing with it.|
After taste testing one or two (or more…) of these I’ve come to the conclusion that this might be a great beer for the beer lover who isn’t normally sold on Saisons or sour beers but is looking for something a bit more flavourful than your standard light lager/lawn mower beer.
From someone who tends to like the spicy and funky Saisons, I definitely think it’s just missing something in the taste. Perhaps next time I brew it I’ll bite the bullet and go for something with brett to see if that’s what’s really needed to get that full flavour out.
Either way this beer is very refreshing and is the perfect match to a hot summer day!
P.S. – We called this brew “Down on the Farm”.