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Building a Recipe, Part 3: Saison in the glass

A simple tasting description: Tastes like a saison… lots of spice and phenolics. Orange and other spices are in the background. Mouthfeel is light to medium. Love the foam and the spritzy finish. This is a fairly classic saison and sessionable with just a little alcohol at 6%.

I think the big question for me is, did using Blacklands Malt 2 Row change the beer? It is difficult to isolate the malt from the saison yeasty character – yet there is a firm backbone here that seems to have that pils-like graininess. In that sense, I am very happy to use the new 2 row in place of pils, but am sure there are other styles that would feature Blacklands Malt more cleanly.

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4 thoughts on “Building a Recipe, Part 3: Saison in the glass

  1. Matt
    No offense taken….I appreciate your quick response and being only my second batch you suggested a few good points which I overlooked or really didn’t think it would make such a diffrence. We’ll be brewing this upcoming weekend and I’ll let you know the outcome.

    Cheers, Tony

    1. Good. Do let me know.

      Of the things listed… really only the hydrometer could be confirmed without brewing. It is possible the calibration paper slid inside, leaving you with a consistently short reading. You can check it in distilled water at 69F to confirm… and perhaps again in a starter around 1.040?

      Otherwise, be patient and eliminate one variable at a time. I would start with the water, and then to crush and mash technique, and sparge technique. Feel free to drop me a note – the form on the about the author page will email me.

      Cheers, Matt

  2. Hi Matt….Been following your posts over the past couple months and find very interested. I just purchased a Sabco Brew-Magic and and brewed a couple recipes. I’ve been having an issue with efficiency when mashing in. Each recipe’s pre-boil OG was supposed be 1.053 and i’ve been coming in at 1.038. I’m getting about 58-60% efficiency. Wondering if you have any tips on increasing effiency.


    1. Hi Tony,

      That is pretty awful efficiency. Let me go through some thoughts – and most of this is pretty basic so don’t be offended.

      1. Make sure that your hydrometer is calibrated. My first one was off by several points.
      2. Make sure that you are hitting your volumes. It can be tricky if you just use the instructions to push two inches over the mash… and then sparge. I like to premeasure both strike and sparge water – and hit my pre-boil volumes dead on.
      3. Don’t crush finer… it is tempting, but can cause more problems. If you have your own mill – don’t go much finer than 0.045″
      4. Check your water. If you have high alkalinity, it can dramatically affect extraction. If there is a question – try a batch with store bought RO water and toss in a tsp of calcium chloride and gypsum.
      5. Let the mash hydrate for a few minutes before circulation.
      6. Keep at it. It took me about 4 or so batches before I really figured out some of this.

      Drop me an email and let me know if I can help any further.

      Cheers, Matt

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