WLP566 Belgian Saison II

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WLP566 Belgian Saison II

Postby bwarbiany on Thu Oct 01, 2015 10:20 am

My recent Saison ferment used WLP566 rather than WLP565, which I've used in the past and really like. I would have used 565, but O'Shea only had the 566.

I submitted this to Fest of Ales and Pac Brewers Cup, and didn't place in either. This didn't really shock me after tasting the beer, and the recipe is very basic (see below), so I was entirely relying on yeast complexity for this beer.

I didn't get it from the yeast.

I updated the score sheets from Pac Brewers cup, and it agreed with what I thought. The yeast just wasn't as "Saison-y" as I desired. It also seemed to give a bit of a sweetness that I think is coming from esters rather than the beer not drying out.

I wanted to open this thread just as feedback to the rest of you guys that this yeast may not be a good substitute yeast for a typical saison. I could see it in other Belgian ales, though.

As for brew steps, I used RO water with added salts, the mash went well, and I slightly overshot OG to 1.055. The one major difference with my process is that my temp controller died, so I fermented this without temp control. I pitched (with a 1.6L starter) at probably about 65-70 degrees, and then let the temp run free. But it's a saison yeast, so I was comfortable letting it go that way.

Code: Select all
Recipe Specifications
Boil Size: 12.75 gal
Batch Size (fermenter): 11.00 gal   
Estimated OG: 1.051 SG
Estimated Color: 3.6 SRM
Estimated IBU: 41.3 IBUs
Brewhouse Efficiency: 77.00 %
Est Mash Efficiency: 77.0 %
Boil Time: 90 Minutes

Amt                   Name                                     Type          #        %/IBU         
20.00 lb              Pilsner (2 Row) Bel (2.0 SRM)            Grain         1        100.0 %       
1.25 oz               Magnum [14.00 %] - Boil 60.0 min         Hop           2        31.8 IBUs     
0.75 oz               Magnum [14.00 %] - Boil 15.0 min         Hop           3        9.5 IBUs     
4.00 oz               Saaz [4.00 %] - Steep/Whirlpool  0.0 min Hop           4        0.0 IBUs     
1.0 pkg               Belgian Saison II Yeast (White Labs #WLP Yeast         5        -             

Mash Schedule: Single Infusion, Light Body, No Mash Out
Total Grain Weight: 20.00 lb
Name              Description                             Step Temperat Step Time     
Mash In           Add 32.00 qt of water at 155.4 F        147.0 F       90 min       
2015 Pacific Brewers Cup - 2015 Guidelines Cat 25C - Saison.pdf
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Re: WLP566 Belgian Saison II

Postby brahn on Thu Oct 01, 2015 1:25 pm

The recipe looks fine for a saison. I like a little wheat/rye in mine but all pils is fine. A nice late charge of saaz is very much to style.

What was your FG? DId judges in the other comp also talk about sweetness? Any residual sweetness is a major flaw in saison.

I'm not familiar with that strain, I've used WYeast saison strains or strains cultured from bottle for my saisons. The strain could be the problem, or it could be that starting it so warm created a lot of the fruity esters while suppressing the phenolics. It's generally fine to let saisons get hot, but IMO it's still helpful to start them cool.

You did a 1.6L starter for ~11G wort? With one vial? That's pretty heavily under-pitched, so the yeast would be really stressed. That could lead to under-attenuation and/or esters.

How did you build the water back up? That could be the cause of any astringency and/or watery mouthfeel as well.

How heavily carbonated was it? That could also play an important role.
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Re: WLP566 Belgian Saison II

Postby bwarbiany on Thu Oct 01, 2015 2:04 pm

I need to check my FG... I usually skip that.

I actually suspect I started it even on the cool side of 65. It's tough to tell since my temp controller doesn't work, but if I remember correctly I got it down at LEAST to the mid-70s in the BK during whirlpool, and then when I transfer I generally pull out another 10 degrees. Usually I can then put the controller probe into the thermowell to make sure, but when I say 65-70 starting temp, that's probably higher than actual.

Yeah, it was only a 1.6L starter. One of these days I need to buy a 5L flask. But don't they say that Belgians are often deliberately underpitched? And 1.055 isn't exceptionally high. Besides, I've done a 1.2L starter with WLP565 that had no trouble drying 1.067 rye saison down to 1.004 in 3 weeks. And that beer was delicious!

Water was built to "Yellow Balanced" profile per Bru'n Water spreadsheet.

Carbonation was relatively high. Since I have a dual pressure regulator (with 4x kegs off one manifold with 10' lines and 2x kegs off another manifold with 25' lines) I can run saisons and the like at higher pressure. I'll have to check, but I think I'm running about 20 psi at about 40-42 deg F.

Haven't gotten score sheets back from the Fest of Ales comp yet. And looking at the Pac Brewer Cup, one judge said finish was slightly sweet while the other said slightly dry. The National judge did say that it needed more complexity and to try different saison strains... I agree with his take.
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