Belgian Saison Home Brew Review

Before refrigerators came around, people found ways to keep food and beer… the method was fermentation…

Alcohol keeps bugs and bad bacteria away from food. When it comes to food and beer, alcohol adds to the shelf life. Higher alcohol has been a way to increase the shelf life in beers… it’s the reason why ‘Exports’ versions of different styles (IPA’s, Dortmunder Export, etc.) are brewed to ‘export’ strength, meaning higher alcohol…

IPA’s are essentially higher alcohol Pale Ales brewed that way so the beer would last during sea voyages while being exported…

When it comes to Belgian Saisons, the higher alcohol content is not so much for exporting purposes, but rather to help keep the beer during the summer months…

One thing about brewing higher alcohol beers is that it requires a higher starting gravity, which usually results in a higher ending gravity… that means it leaves more residual sugar making the beer sweet and harder to drink…

Since this is intended to be a beer to be drunk during the summer, high alcohol and sweet just doesn’t appeal…

In answer to this issue, higher attenuation levels and sourness turn what would be a winter beer into a highly refreshing summer farmhouse ale.

One of the things that stands out before you even taste the beer is the sound of the beer, a light spritz ready to quench your thirst…

When I kegged my Belgian Saison and did what every home brewer should do, a quality control taste test, I found the beer to be almost like a fruity white wine, except it tasted good… ha.

I like to compare and contrast beer when it’s carbonated and when it’s not because it helps me determine whether the body of the beer is what I want it to be and whether I should adjust my carbonation levels…

The attenuation of this beer makes it so it doesn’t need to be highly carbonated in order to be drinkable… but after adjusting the carbonation a bit higher, I realized the beer picks up a champagne-like sparkling mouthfeel…

It is interesting to note how the body of this beer style seems to be affected little by the carbonation levels, although I can see why higher carbonation levels are preferred, it makes the beer more of a ‘thirst quencher’.

The main take away I got from brewing this beer is growing the lactobacillus… when I compare this beer with my Berliner Weisse, I can definitely tell an increased sourness that makes my Berliner Weisse seem almost too mild. The sourness however is not sharp like the type you expect from a Berliner Weisse…

This makes me wonder if the highly attenuating yeast fights the bacteria to eat up the sugars and makes the sourness a more pleasant flavor and mouthfeel?

One thing I can say as far as brewing this style and sour beers is that pitching bacteria without aerating the wort seems to be working just fine… there is no reason why you can’t add the oxygen to yeast in the starter and get the best of both worlds when brewing this style of beer…

Hope you enjoy the recipe… I would probably brew this beer around late March mid April to give the beer enough time to mature so it can best be enjoyed during the warmer oven-like Arizona months of July/August…

Cheers!

4 Comments

  • chris

    Reply Reply August 25, 2013

    German whites… i can like that – –

    • jorgitoz

      Reply Reply August 25, 2013

      When I asked my German teacher what she thought of Belgian beers she gagged, Lol…

  • gth

    Reply Reply September 2, 2013

    Thanks for info. & review. Your web site & info. is always great. Thaks

    • jorgitoz

      Reply Reply September 4, 2013

      Thank you, Cheers!

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