Ok, ok, the name is a work in progress. It’s either that or “How’s She Gettin’ On Rye Saison” but I’ve already punned on b’y with the B’yPA. No matter what, this beer is going to be a Saison and have a lot of Rye.
The Idea: Yah, yah, Rye Saison, old hat. Rye Saison has become a North American classic, usually adorned with peppercorns or other such spices to play up the saison yeast. Not this one. I made a Saison Dupont clone a few months back that is just rocking it right now after months in a warm apartment. And, in an apartment without a place cool enough to age beer, a beer that ages gracefully in the heat is a great option.
This Saison is all about simplicity. It’s part of my attempt to combine my two favorites beer ingredients (without getting into sour beer): saison yeast and American hops. I, like with the blonde last brew, am still shooting for a wine-beer hybrid. Mostly, one that comes close to an oaky Chardonay. So, this little saison is being aged for two weeks on fresh American oak chips.
The Design: Not too complex this time.
The Malts: It’s rye malt and it’s two row. A few rice hulls to break up the chance of a stuck mash and a 1/2 pound of Victory Malt to bring in some bread-y flavour and to darken the color. Plus, the more malty Victory should give me more room for playing with hops.
The Hops: If there were a Nelson Sauvin hops anonymous, I would consider joining but find it hard to remain anonymous. I want some of that wine/gooseberry type flavour again. Along with some Amarillo to complement the rye and some EKG (east kent goldings) to have a classic complement to the yeast strain. The exact quantities will be determined on brew day, but rational estimates are listed below.
The Yeast: WhiteLabs WPL565. Classic Saison Yeast. I’ve liked the fruiter 566, but I haven’t ever used the classic, so now’s my chance. I have a starter started at around 9 pm on Wednesday, April 10, 2013, so it ought to be good to go for Saturday’s brew. I want to underpitch a little, so I have a 1.5L starter (1.5 L water, 1 1/2 cups of malt extract, I use a 0.5L to 1/2 cup DME ratio) in a 1 gallon growler. Going to be shaking for the rest of the week.
The Water: Campden tablet into Toronto Tap. Pinch of gypsum to adjust the Ph for a better mash.
As it stands, the hops might change either up or down on brewday depending on if I decide for more balance or just more hops.
I’m also “dry hopping” the beer with American Oak chips once it’s fermented out (so the alcohol can fight off some of the bugs. I’m going to soak the chips in un-oaked Chardonay overnight before addition anyway). Ought to give it more of a barrel character in line with a fresh oak barrel rather than a heavy bourbon barrel.
Beer Smith always underestimates my SRM for my system, so I’m aiming super low. I want a low gravity too because I have a lot of these beers to drink and I don’t want to end up smashed just to recover my bottles! I have my total efficiency set to 72%, but the last two brew day’s I’ve exceeded that so that 5.3% is a moving target!
That’s the beer! Any thoughts?