Batch 33: Ploughshares to Swords

I just noticed that the name of this beer is consonant-heavy. Can a beer be consonant-heavy?

Anyway, we are embarking on a quest into Saison territory!! (should I say terroir?)

Inspired by a number of various recipes on, and given my current compliment of ingredients, I present to you (for camping consumption in the Smoky Mountains, care of Doshin-Kamp!) a strong Saison intended to be dry, refreshing, and high in spice character 🙂 The Saison was typically brewed on farms to be a refreshing and fortifying drink for field-workers. I was inspired by a reading from the book of Isaiah (2:3-4), upon accepting the God of Jacob, “they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks” – a very aiki concept indeed, to take that which is used to kill and turn it into that which is used to cultivate. Forgive me for momentarily turning the notion back on its head. Ben requested a spicy yet strong Saison for camping in the Great Smoky Mountains, therefore with the increased ABV of this recipe, it will pack more of a punch, and be much more like a sword than a plougshare. For spice, I will ferment in higher temperatures. This yeast should give plenty of classic Saison character at higher temps, and these should be well-complimented by judicious additions of malted rye, coriander, and grapefruit peel. First-wort-hopped northern brewer will add an earthy and possibly a slight spicy aroma, and the citrus of the grapefruit peel should be accentuated by both a Cascade aroma addition, and dry-hopping with Cascade leaves from casa de Cole.

Recipe Type: All-Grain
Yeast: WLP565
Yeast Starter: 400mL Starter (orig 500mL, but I took 100mL for the yeast library)
Batch Size (Gallons): 7 gallons
Original Gravity: 1.056 (before fermentation sugar addition)
Final Gravity:
IBU: ~32 (depends on what app you ask)
Boiling Time (Minutes): 90
Color: 6?
Primary Fermentation (# of Days & Temp): pitched yeast at 75*

12# Rahr 2-row
2# Torrified Wheat
2# Munich
2# Rye

1 oz Northern Brewer cones (9.1%) FWH
1oz Cascade cones (7.7%) 10 min
1oz Cascade cones (ala Brian Cole) Dry Hop 7 days

1 whirlfloc – 10 minutes (!! FORGOT THIS PART)
.5oz fresh-crushed coriander – 5 minutes
.5oz grapefruit peel – 5 minutes

first runnings: 1.056 at 140* (corrected to 1.071)
beginning of second runnings: 1.017 at 130* (corrected to 1.029)
SG for a collected ~8.5 gallons before boil: 1.032 @ 142* (corrected to 1.048)

OG: 1.056

I split this batch into 2 carboys. I first tried carefully to split the yeast starter between the two carboys, and then I poured the beer in on top of the yeast. I was able to get a fairly even split of ~3.5 gallons in each 6 gallon plastic carboy. This should give plenty of headspace to protect against possible crazy initial fermentation that some have reported with this yeast. I used a sanitized paint strainer bag to filter out all of the leaf hop matter and spices. I hope to still only loose about 1/2 gallon of this beer to trub.

Once primary fermentation begins to die down, I will add 1.5 # sugar (.75 # to each carboy) to “dry the beer out” (notice I planned this prospectively, and accounted for this sugar in my original recipe, meant to get me up above 1.070). If the beer stalls out or doesn’t ferment below 1.01, I will add a fresh starter of WLP001 to try to finish it off. If With the OG, and 1.5# of sugar added to the fermenter, and a FG at  1.01, this beer will be about 7.3% 🙂


UPDATE (4/14/14): added 3/4# sugar (boiled for 5 min in water to make a total of 800mL volume) to each fermenter!!