Category Archives: Santa’s Saison

Santa’s Saison

I recently moved to a new neighborhood and I figured a good way to make nice with the neighbors is to supply them with tasty alcohol!  Strangely my wife was opposed to the idea but it all worked out well in the end and it would seem the neighbors wave a bit more than in the past.  I’ll mark that up as a win.  I wanted to brew a fairly quick turn around beer that I could bottle condition in nice 750ml champagne bottles (fancy!!!) and that is fairly accessible and hopefully liked by non-beer drinkers.  So, I figured a nice saison with its fun fruity, peppery notes and low bitterness would fit the bill.  Of course its a holiday beer so I tuned everything up a bit.  Higher alcohol, a bit maltier, a nice lively carbonation and a weeee bit hoppier.  One novel thing is I did a 50/50 pitch of the dupont strain and french saison.  I really like the dupont strain and would normally do just that but I wanted to make sure it fermented out quickly and completely so I mixed in the wyeast 3711 to do just that.  Here is what I came up with:


Recipe Info

Beer Name: santa’s saison
Style: Saison



Original Gravity: 1.065
Final Gravity: 1.010
Color: 5.6
Alcohol: 7.2 %
Bitterness: 33 IBUs


Efficiency: 70
Attenuation: 85


Mash Fermentable Weight: 15 Pounds
Mash Thickness: 1.70 Quarts per Pound
Grain Temp: 72 F
Strike Water Qty: 8.38 Gallons
Mash Volume: 9.58 Gallons
Strike Water Temp: 156.4 F
Mash Temp: 147 F


Kettle Gravity (start of boil): 1.049
Starting Boil Volume: 7.875
Boil Duration: 90 Minutes
Evaporation Rate: 1.25 Gallons per Hour
Final Boil Volume: 6


Weight (Lbs) % by Weight Name Yield SRM
12 80.0 Pilsner; Franco-Belge 80.0 1.7
2 13.3 Munich – Best Malz 78.0 8.7
1 6.7 Wheat Malt; White 88.0 2.8


Weight (ozs) Name AAU Time (mins) Use IBUs / Addition
1 Liberty Pellets 5.2 60 Boil 16.6
1 Liberty Pellets 5.2 15 Boil 8.2
1 Liberty Pellets 5.2 15 Whirlpool 4.1

Yeast and Friends

Amount (Milliters) Name
1 vial White Labs WLP565 Belgian Saison I Ale
1 pouch Wyeast Labs 3711 French Saison


Amount Name Time
1 tablet Whirlfloc Tablet 15
1 tsp Yeast Nutrient (Wyeast) 10


step mash
45 min 147F
30 min 155F
10 min 168F

Liquid Yeast Pitch – Stirplate Starter

First Starter
Quantity of Yeast: 1 vials / pouches (100B cells per)
Quantity of DME: 75 grams
Starter Size: 0.8 liters

Do 2 x 1L starters. Pitch 0.5L of Dupont 565 and 0.3L French Saison. (double check these numbers)

Salt and Acid adjustments:

Mash Salts:
Gypsum: 10.0 gram (I forgot to add this!!!!  Duh!!!!)

Mash Acid:
Lactic Acid: 4.0 ml @ 88 %

Sparge/Boil Salts:

Predicted Mash pH of: 5.45

Mash Ions (ppm):
Ca: 80.4 Mg: 3.0 Na: 21.0 Cl: 11.0 So: 199.8

Boil Ions (ppm):
Ca: 72.6 Mg: 3.0 Na: 21.0 Cl: 11.0 So: 181.1

Ferment at 80F for 2 weeks then bottle.

Bottle Carbonation
Temperature at Bottling: 80 F
Volumes of CO2: 2.8
Amount of Beer: 3.5 Gallons
Amount of tableSugar to add: 109.2 grams or 3.8 ounces

11-24-15 i made a starter the night before.  not ideal but it is what it is.  1 did 1 smackpack each of WY3724 (DuPont) and WY3711(French Saison) in a 1.2L Starter w/ 120g of DME
11-25-15 normal brewday except I FORGOT GYPSUM!!!  Booooo!  I pitched 800mL of the starter to get a standard ale pitching rate.  60 sec of oxygen.  Pitched at 64F and set johnson controller on heater wrap to 66F @ 1pm.  @8pm it was already bubbling and kreusen forming.
11-26-15 nice 1″ kreusen and steady bubbling.  set controller to 72F.
11-29-15 ~5sec apart for bubbling.  kreusen gone.  temp raised to 80F.
11-30-15 ~8sec bubbling.  room WREAKS of banana bread.    starting to drop clear.
12-1-15 took sample.  1.006.  pH 4.27.  strong pepper notes and some banana but not bad.  a bit hot but promising but still very young.
12-2-15 ~20 sec bubbling
12-7-15 bottled
FG 1.006
3.6 Gallons at 80F and targetting 3.25 volumes.  136g of table sugar boiled 10 mins w/ 3/4cup of filtered water.  16 x 750ml bottles filled.
1-8-16 aroma: orange, pepper, light alcohol, bready malt
flavor: similar to aroma.  a bit too much alcohol heat but not bad.
mouthfeel: nice and dry but not bone dry.  good carb level.  effervescent but not overdone.
appearance: amber.  has cleared nicely in the bottle.
overall:  very, very good.  only change would be a bit less munich malt and focus on fermentation to reduce alcohol heat.  on a side note – the banana note really subsided with aging in the bottle.  not sure if the yeast took it up or it just aged out but it was barely noticeable.