Homebrewing an Experimental Red Saison

What happens when you set out to make a Saison but don’t plan ahead and end up throwing in enough roasted grain to make it an amber?

Beer Specifications

Beer Name:Experimental Red Saison
Beer Style:Saison
Recipe Type:All Grain
Pre-Boil Volume:6 gallons / 27.3 litres
Batch Size:5 gallons / 22.7 litres
Estimated SRM:12° (total guess)
Estimated IBU:27
Estimated OG:1.039
Estimated FG:1.010
Estimated ABV:4%

Grain Bill/Fermentables

4Home Roasted 2-Row


1.560 minTetnang


1Safale BE-134

Fermentation Schedule

11 daysPrimary
14 daysBottle Conditioning


Mash Temperature:152°F / 66.7°C
Mash Time:60 min
Boil Duration:60 min

For this beer I set out to make a simple saison. Saison’s are one of my favourite styles for hot summer days and so I was looking forward to having some in the fridge. Unfortunately, I didn’t plan far enough ahead and failed to secure my grains on time. Luckily I still had a sack of 2-row handy and so I decided to try and get a bit of colour and flavour in it by roasting some of it for my brew.

Because I roasted it to what I thought was a light colour I decided to go heavy on the amount of roasted 2-row vs the unroasted 2-row (3 vs 4 lbs respectively). This ended up giving the beer an unexpected strong red hue that definitely made things interesting. The picture doesn’t really give justice to just how red this thing looks in person.

Just a note about water chemistry. For this brew I simply threw in 1/2 tsp of calcium chloride.

Tasting Notes

SmellIt doesn’t have the traditional smell of a saison, you know that slightly sour/funk scent you sometimes get? Instead it actually smells a little bit roasty which is cool twist.
AppearanceVery red which is what makes it stand out the most. The other thing I noticed was that the head on it disappears almost immediately and stays that way. It’s not under carbonated by any means, but it does have a flat appearance. Probably something that could be improved if I ever make this again.
TasteSurprisingly good, although not as funky as I’d like. I think it could have been better if I fermented it hot and really stressed the yeast out.
YieldThis brew cost $19.06 in ingredients to make and yielded 43x355ml bottles ($0.33/bottle)

As saisons go this isn’t the best, but also isn’t the worst. It’s red colour also gives it some character which is kind of neat. A few tweaks and I think this recipe could be vastly improved, which is something that I might just pursue in the future. Who knows a “red saison” style might just catch on yet ;).

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