Wednesday, August 3, 2016

First tasting: Tart Saison

I’ve been neglecting posting updates lately, which gives me a lot of new post in the next coming weeks so get ready for some hot and fast blogging in the next coming weeks. I’ll start with a beer that I’ve had for a while and never got around to reviewing. Partially out of the fact that he beer wasn’t ready and partially out of laziness. I brewed this beer a few weeks prior to blending for my “gueuze” so that I could use it to cut acidity if need be and to make some other blends at the same time. I have an ongoing quest to create the perfect tart saison. There are a few professional breweries that make great examples, slightly tart, dry, effervescent, spicy and fruity, and most important highly drinkable. I’ve attempted a few different methods in the past:

1)      Pitching sacc and bugs at the same time, which generally turns the beer into a sour beer and not a tart saison.
2)      Pitching only sacc and blending with a separate sour beer into it post fermentation. Results are nice this way and it allows me to control acidity post fermentation.
3)      Brewing exclusively with sacc and pitching bugs post fermentation – only attempted once and it might have been the closest to what I was looking for in the end

I have yet to try fermenting a beer separate from my barrel and then adding it to the barrel for a secondary fermentation, but it’s in the works. For this beer I went with method 2 since I had plenty of already soured beer around for blending.

Appearance: Pours clear golden yellow with some chill haze topped with a fluffy white head, moderate head retention.  

Aroma: Grapefruit up front with some underling grainy malt character and some spicy saison fermentation products.

Flavor: Tart grapefruit, citrus, lime, with a touch of bready malt and spices. The acidity is approaching the sour side of things, which takes away from the saison base.

Mouthfeel: Light bodied, crisp mouthfeel with a bone dry finish and lingering acidity. High carbonation

Overall: I’m pretty happy with how the beer turned out overall. I think it’s a good beer, but I think it lacks some of the saison character that I’m looking for in this beer. I might want to up the maltiness with some melanoidin malt, which I would normally say would be too malty for a saison; however it might hold up better with the acidity. I’m also thinking dry hopping with some type of spicy noble hop might increase the perception of spicy yeast characteristics. While I enjoy this beer I think there are some tweaks that can be made to improve it. 

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