The inspiration for this beer was a play on De Baets’ remarks that traditional saisons were low gravity and heavily hopped. When it was still brewed with the Rodenbach strain, De Ranke’s XX Bitter was a rough approximation of a traditional saison, but with its cleaner character today you’ll have to brew your own for a taste of history. This recipe makes for a refreshing summer beer with the gravity dialed down and aromatics pushed to the fore.
Many American brewers are embracing a style of beer that is fast becoming a relic in its native country — saison. This farmhouse ale can be interpreted in many ways, almost like a blank canvas for the brewer. Get seasoned saison advice from pro brewers.
Saisons are traditionally a warm weather drink, but a few of us have a tradition of getting together each fall to brew a strong, dark, spiced saison. Each year’s version has a different dried fruit and dark malt. The blend of spices along with the earthiness of the Brettanomyces and buckwheat honey make for an almost savory beer. Brett C is a good complement to the Dupont strain because it helps to dry out the beer.
his is the recipe for McKenzie’s Brew House’s multi-gold-medal-winning rye saison from head brewer Ryan Michaels. It’s a good example of how a very simple recipe can result in a beer of extraordinary complexity. The clean version has a wonderful rustic character from the rye and yeast, while the barrel-aged version adds some tartness and funk.
Inspired by The Livery’s Trippel Weizenbock. Steve Berthel told us that, “Most lagers do not use black patent, chocolate, or roast barley in the recipes. I favor a two-hour boil with dark crystal malts to achieve the raisiny, toffee flavors.” He combines extra dark 155–165 °L English crystal malt with bready German base malts (malted wheat, Pilsner, Vienna, and dark Munich). Moderate hopping with Perle and Tettnang provide the balance. Mike’s second attempt to dial in this recipe is currently resting in a 5-gallon (19-L) malt whisky barrel from Balcones Distillery in Texas.
In December 2010, head brewer Jason Oliver of Devil’s Backbone Brewing Co. of Roseland, Virginia collaborated with Alistair Reece, homebrewer and beer blogger (http://www.fuggled.net/), on a traditional double-decocted tmavé. Reece penned the recipe and named the beer for the Slavic goddess of death and renewal. Oliver has won an astonishing amount of brewing medals and is a staunch proponent of decoction mashing (see inset), and Weyermann floor malted Bohemian Pilsner malt.
“Medium bodied, dry, with a crisp lager background. Medium bitterness, aroma and flavor dominated by roasted malts, noble hops, and a noticeable but not overpowering smokiness. The taste is rather long, crispy dry with intense roast maltiness, subtly enhanced by the addition of a little bit of raw licorice. Think: Your favorite Baltic porter with some extra layers of smoke, complexity and depth!” — Anders Kissmeyer