It’s been awhile since I’ve brewed, and that is definitely an itch that needs to be scratched soon. Truthfully, my whole brew schedule for the last several months has been out of whack. While homeownership has opened up some new possibilities to me as a homebrewer, it has also presented a lot of distractions from brewing – the latest of which is to repaint and organize the basement (well worth the time and effort, as the end result will be the basement looking more like a brewery/bar/lounge area, and less like a cluttered dungeon).
The point is that I have a few beers that I have been planning to brew since the Summer and they just keep get pushed back due to time being spent elsewhere. As a result, the set of Saisons I wanted to get brewed during the Summer (the traditional time to brew and drink saisons), are now finally working their way into rotation. Sure, I won’t be able to let the yeast fly up into higher temperatures like a lot of people like to do, but I want a damn saison to drink, so to hell with typical brewing schedules. Besides, one of the luxuries of homebrewering over commercial brewing is that it’s no big deal if you miss the proper season for a release. In all seriousness, I’m actually interested to see how the yeast (the newer Belle dry yeast saison strain) does at lower temperatures, and the more subdued yeast character will likely play well to the first couple brews in the set (I’ll probably use the same cake for two or three brews).
So here is the plan for the first one. No deep story behind this brew, just a concept. I’ve had this idea to do a honey themed brew as a saison – not just with honey in the recipe (although that is part of it), but also some honey and raisin character from the malt. That means honey malt and Special B get the tap for this one. To take the honey them a little further, half the batch will get a nice nap on top of mead (homebrewed) soaked oak chips. This is one of those beers where it could be delicious, but could also be a big ole swing-and-a-miss. Certainly not in my wheelhouse, but what’s the fun if you don’t push your boundaries and learn new combinations of ingredients? There aren’t any new ingredients in this brew for me, but I haven’t used about half of them very much at all, and certainly not all of them in one brew. Should be interesting. Stay frosty and brew on, good people.
If you’re eyeballs want to soak up the recipe, here it is:
Batch size: 5.2 gal
Boil volume: 6.2 gal
Bitterness (IBU): 38.1
Color (SRM): 15.1
4.00 lb Wheat (Belgian), 31.6%
3.15 lb Pilsener LME, 24.9%
3.00 lb Pilsener (Belgian), 23.7%
1.00 lb Honey, 7.9%
1.00 lb Honey Malt (Canadian), 7.9%
0.50 lb Special “B” (Belgian), 4.0%
0.50 oz Galena (AA 11.0%, Pellet) 60 min, 16.8 IBU
1.00 oz Calypso (AA 12.0%, Pellet) 15 min, 18.2 IBU
1.00 oz Calypso (AA 12.0%, Pellet) 2 min, 3.1 IBU
Belle Saison Yeast, 1.0 unit(s), Yeast
Irish Moss, 1.0 unit(s), Fining 1 tsp at 15 min
Song of the Day: “Taylor” by Jack Johnson
Beer of the Day: Homebrewed Lee’s Mild Clone