Alsatian Funky Saison

Alsatian Funky Saison

(5 gallons/19 L, all-grain)
OG = 1.047 FG = 1.003
IBU = 24 SRM = 3.4 ABV = 6.1% (Including wine)

9 lbs (4.1 kg) Rahr Standard 2-row malt
1.5 lbs. (0.68 kg) Great Western Superior flaked wheat
4 oz. (113 g) Weyermann acidulated malt
5.9 AAU Magnum pellet hops (60 min.) (0.5 oz/14 g at 11.8% alpha acids)
2 oz. (57 g) Hallertau Blanc pellet hops (hop stand)
2 oz. (57 g) Hull Melon pellet hops (hop stand)
2 oz. (57 g) Hallertau Blanc pellet hops (dry hop)
2 oz. (57 g) Hull Melon pellet hops (dry hop)
½ tsp. yeast nutrient (5 min.)
½ Whirlfloc tablet (5 min.)
The Yeast Bay Saison Blend
White Labs WLP644 (Saccharomyces “bruxellensis” Trois)
Brettanomyces bruxellensis var. CB2 (Jason Rodriguez’s Cantillon isolate)
Wyeast WY5223-PC (Lactobacillus brevis)
750 ml of German/French white wine (suggested: Trimbach Gewürztraminer)
1 cup corn sugar (if priming)

Step by Step

Single infusion mash at 148 °F (64 °C) for 75 minutes. Collect approximately 6.5 gallons (25 L) of wort in the kettle and bring to a boil. Boil 65 minutes adding hops, yeast nutrients and Whirlfloc according to the ingredient list. At the end of the boil, there should be approximately 5.5 gallons (21 L) in the kettle. Chill to 180 °F (80 °C) and add the hop stand addition, stir and let settle for 20 minutes. Chill to 65 °F, aerate the wort with filtered air or pure O2 and pitch with a starter of the yeast and bacteria. This recipe references my own personal mixed culture of yeast and bacteria, feel free to substitute in your own favorite mix of strains and cultures.

Ferment at 70 °F until the kräusen falls. Transfer to a keg or secondary vessel and add the dry hops and ½ cup of sugar. After several days, transfer to another keg or bottling bucket, add the bottle of wine and ½ cup of table sugar and allow to sit at cellar temperature for two months to carbonate and to allow yeast-wine interactions. Chill and serve when desired.

Can be bottled either after two weeks if the gravity is suitably low, or allow to ferment in a carboy until the gravity is stable before priming and bottling. Aim for 2.8 volumes of CO2 using a priming sugar calculator.

Extract option:
Replace the pale malt, flaked wheat and acidulated malt with 4 lbs. (1.8 kg) extra light dried malt extract, 1.7 lbs. (0.77 kg) wheat dried malt extract and ½ tsp. lactic acid (88%). Stir the extract and lactic acid into 6 gallons (23 L) of water and bring up to a boil. Refer to boil, and fermentation instructions in the all-grain version.

Issue: October 2016

This beer is all about showcasing an alternative universe where Germany developed the saison and wild culture of Belgium. Rather than trying to get my hands on Alsatian Gewürztraminer grapes, I blended in a bottle of wine post fermentation. The fruity notes from the wine meld beautifully with the new German hops and lemony-funky-minerally Brettanomyces. The extended warm conditioning also provides an opportunity for the Brettanomyces to free aromatics from glycosides in the hops and wine, and to work under pressure to create flavors quickly so that the fresh hop nose is still evident.