Sunday, May 09, 2004

Bottled the Saison today. I'm pretty happy with how it's turned out so far. The gravity dropped from 1.053 to 1.012, which comes out to about 77 percent attenuated and the top end of the performance for the yeast I used. The primary fermenation was in the low to mid 70s and the secondary has been even warmer, at times getting up into low 80s. There are a lot of styles of beer I wouldn't want to ferment that warm, but it seems the White Labs Saison #565 yeast really likes the warmth. All the character that a traditional saison should have -- earthy, peppery and spicy -- are all there without adding any spices. It's a great warm weather yeast. In fact, a couple summers ago I brewed two different batches of saison with this yeast, because it was such a warm summer.

I've also experimented with using quart-sized brown plastic bottles with screw caps for about half of this batch. (The other half went into 22-ounce glass bottles. I figured that the saison is a summer beer; so why not put it in plastic bottles that are more portable? I got the bottles at The Homebrew Shop in St. Charles, Ill. I'm looking forward to taking some saison on a picnic or on a hike or whatever.

The last couple of bottles of Red Rover went south. They were very over-carbonated (think fountain of beer) and "dusty" tasting. It seemed to "jump the shark" sometime in the last month. Most of the batch was fine and consumed in the first month after bottling or kegging to a party keg.

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