As you may know, these Brew Dudes are having a saison throwdown in August. Although I might be showing my hand a bit early, I think that this is a good recipe that will stand up to any saison that it may be stacked against.
This is my honey saison recipe with the key ingredient being a pound of local honey that will help to dry out the beer. Along with a mighty yeast starter and some aggressive fermentation temperatures, I think I have the formula for a winning beer.
Honey Saison Recipe
10 lbs Belgian Pilsner Malt
1 lbs Belgian Munich Malt
1 lbs Belgian Wheat Malt
.125 lbs (2 oz) Belgian Caramunich Malt 60°L
1 lbs Honey
1.25 oz Willamette Pellets, 5.00 %AA boiled 60 minutes
.5 oz Willamette Pellets, 5.00 %AA boiled 1 minutes
Yeast: White Labs WLP568 Belgian Style Saison Ale Yeast Blend
Original Gravity: 1.061
Terminal Gravity: 1.007 (I will try to get it lower)
Color: 6.74 °SRM
Bitterness: 28.4 IBU
Alcohol (%volume): 7.1 %
With a low target final or terminal gravity, you want to mash at a lower temperature. Mash for at least 60 minutes at 147° F until full conversion. To be sure, you may want to mash for 90 minutes. After the boil, bring the wort temperature down to 68° F and pitch a 3 liter yeast starter. Place your fermentor in a room that gets warm. Look for an ambient temperature of 70° plus to help your fermentation temperatures get in the high range of the yeast strain. If you are getting close to 80 degrees, you are doing it right. A good healthy pitch of yeast and warmer than normal temperatures are key to getting your saison to a dryness that is right for the style. Plus, the temps should encourage the spicy yeast notes that are known in saisons. After fermentation, bottle or keg as usual. Carbonate to a level of sparkling.