The Brewer: Kenneth Wehry
I’m a hobby-obsessed homebrewer and craft beer nerd who daydreams about going pro one day. Currently brewing up many different beer styles 1-2 times a month, but always try to have at least one Hazy in the tank!
The Beer: Saison
This is not your average 1.020 finishing heavy, sweet, sugar on the rim Pumpkin beer. Harvest Moon is a bright, crisp pumpkin Saison with a little funk, and finishes on the dryer side! Nice amber bright orange hues with soft notes of cinnamon, clove, and ginger. This beer gets better with age. You can choose to force carb, or if you want to kick it up a notch, bottle or keg condition on maple syrup as I do! This beer is also a perfect candidate for barrel aging if you're so inclined! Wander, drink, and enjoy the crisp Fall air.
The Recipe: Harvest Moon – Pumpkin Farmhouse Ale
- 14 lbs Golden Promise
- 4 lbs Rye Malt
- 2 lbs Aromatic Malt
- 2 lbs Munich Malt
- 2 lbs Flaked Barley
- 1 lbs Carapils
- 1 lbs Crystal 60L
- 12 oz Acidulated Malt
- Boil hops: 3 oz Warrior - 0:10 min
ADJUNCTS * see Pumpkin Pro Tip below
- 3.75 Organic Canned Pumpkin in Mash
- 1 lbs 14 oz Organic Canned Pumpkin in Boil
- 1 Maltodextrin
- BE-134 Safale
BATCH SIZE: 10 gal
MASH TEMP: 152ºF
BOIL: 30 min
68ºF - 10 days
SYSTEM: Spike Solo
Pumpkin Pro Tip
The pumpkin in boil is added at the start of the boil. The maltodextrin is added 10 minutes before the end of boil. Add 1 tbsp of pumpkin spice per 5-gallon batch at flame out. If you want a dryer beer, remove the maltodextrin from the recipe.
For more from Those Who Wander Brewing, check out this Weizenbock beer recipe!
Kenneth Wehry - Those Who Wander Brewing
Spike Summarizes: All Things Saison
What is a Saison?
Saison, a Belgian farmhouse ale, is a beer style known for its intriguing blend of flavors and its historical origins. Also referred to as a "Farmhouse Ale," Saisons were traditionally brewed on farms in the French-speaking region of Wallonia in Belgium. This style is celebrated for its complex aromas, fruity and spicy notes, and its versatility in pairing with various foods.
What distinguishes Saison from other beers?
Saison stands out for its distinctive combination of fruity, spicy, and earthy flavors. It's often characterized by a balance between yeast-driven esters and phenols, creating an array of aromas that can range from fruity and citrusy to peppery and herbal. This unique profile sets Saison apart from other beer styles and makes it a favorite among those seeking complexity.
What's the history of Saison beer?
Saison's history dates back to the 19th century when it was brewed on Belgian farms to refresh seasonal workers during the summer months. The term "saison" translates to "season" in French, reflecting the beer's purpose. Farmers would brew these beers in the cooler months, and they would be ready to drink by the time the farm laborers arrived in the fields. The style's popularity has grown beyond farmhouses, with modern interpretations brewed by craft breweries worldwide.
What does Saison taste like?
Saisons offer a wide range of flavors, but they typically feature a combination of fruity, spicy, and earthy notes. You might encounter hints of citrus, pear, and apple, accompanied by peppery or clove-like spiciness. Some Saisons also have a touch of tartness, adding to their complexity. The yeast-driven flavors are often complemented by a slightly bready or grainy malt character.
How is Saison beer made?
The brewing process for Saison involves several key steps. It begins with a base of pale malt, which provides the beer's foundation. A variety of specialty malts might be added to enhance color, flavor, and complexity. The use of distinct yeast strains contributes significantly to Saison's flavor profile. Fermentation temperatures play a crucial role in the development of fruity and spicy aromas. Some Saisons are also dry-hopped, adding another layer of aroma and flavor.
What are the essential ingredients in Saison?
The essential ingredients in Saison include water, malt, hops, and yeast. The choice of yeast is particularly important, as different yeast strains can create varying flavors. Some Saisons use traditional Belgian yeast strains that produce esters and phenols responsible for the beer's fruity and spicy character. Noble hop varieties are often employed for their mild bitterness and aromatic qualities.
What foods go best with Saison?
Saison's versatility makes it a wonderful pairing partner for a variety of foods. Its fruity and spicy notes complement dishes with complex flavors, such as roasted meats, grilled vegetables, and seafood. Saison's effervescence can cut through rich, fatty foods, making it an excellent match for cheeses and charcuterie. Its refreshing qualities also make it a great choice for lighter fare like salads and sandwiches.
Is Saison a year-round beer?
Yes, Saison is enjoyed year-round. While historically brewed as a seasonal beer for farm workers, its diverse flavor profile and refreshing qualities make it suitable for any time of the year.
How strong is a typical Saison?
Saisons can vary in strength, but a typical range for alcohol by volume (ABV) is between 4.5% and 7.0%. Some stronger variations, known as "Saison Dupont" or "Farmhouse Ale," can have higher ABVs. The moderate alcohol content enhances the beer's drinkability.
Are there different types of Saison beers?
Yes, Saison has evolved into a diverse style with various substyles. Traditional Saisons are characterized by their yeast-driven flavors, but you might also encounter variations like:
- Brett Saison: Fermented with Brettanomyces yeast, adding funky and wild characteristics.
- Fruit Saison: Brewed with fruits like raspberries, peaches, or citrus to complement the yeast profile.
- Spice Saison: Infused with spices such as coriander, ginger, or black pepper for added complexity.
These variations showcase the creativity and adaptability of the Saison style.
What's the correct temperature for serving Saison?
Saison is best served at a slightly warmer temperature than most lagers, typically around 45-50°F (7-10°C). This allows the beer's aromas and flavors to fully develop while retaining its refreshing qualities.
What are some popular brands of Saison?
Several breweries craft excellent Saison beers. A few noteworthy brands include:
- Saison Dupont: A classic representation of the style, known for its balance of fruity and spicy notes.
- Ommegang Hennepin: An American-brewed Saison with a peppery character and a dry finish.
- Boulevard Tank 7 Farmhouse Ale: A highly regarded Saison from the United States, offering fruity and citrusy flavors.
These brands exemplify the diversity of Saison interpretations.
Why is Saison often served in a specific type of glass?
Saisons are often served in tulip-shaped glasses or wine glasses. These glass shapes help capture and concentrate the beer's aromas, allowing you to fully experience the complex bouquet of fruity, spicy, and earthy notes.
Is Saison beer good for beginners?
Saison's intricate flavor profile might make it more appealing to those with some experience exploring different beer styles. However, its refreshing qualities and versatility in food pairing can still make it an enjoyable choice for beginners interested in discovering new flavors.
How does Belgian Saison differ from French Saison?
Belgian and French Saisons share similar origins, but there are subtle differences. Belgian Saisons often showcase a broader range of yeast-driven flavors, including fruity esters and spicy phenols. French Saisons, influenced by the Bière de Garde style, may have a maltier and more balanced profile, with less emphasis on yeast characteristics.
Where can I buy the best Saison beers?
Saison beers can be found in many craft beer shops, liquor stores, and online retailers. Breweries that specialize in Belgian-style or farmhouse ales are likely to offer a selection of Saisons. Exploring local and specialty stores can lead you to a variety of options.