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Dry Saison Yeast

Posted: Wed May 29, 2019 11:31 am
by Rob___I
Has anyone got any advice for getting the most out of the Lallemand Belle Saison dry yeast: the best spicy fruity flavours and full attenuation? As I understand it, along with a very fermentable wort, this will be all about providing the right initial temperatures and changes in temperature through fermentation.

For other saison yeasts (white labs I think) I have heard starting at 20C for the first few days, then day by day increasing by 1C up to 28C works. Markowski’s Farmhouse Ales book states (with photographic evidence) that Dupont ferment their saison at 30C! Being used to usually fermenting my beer with British & American ale strains, these seem like phenomenally high headache inducing temperatures. Presumably this isn't the case with a saison strain?

I have used the Belle Saison yeast before and had success getting a very low finishing gravity but until now I have not been able to control temperature (sorry!), so have previously waited until middle of summer to brew this style. However, I’m not sure I have ever really got the right yeast flavours: I get lemony fruit but they haven’t seemed particularly peppery.

Bit of background info, the beer I’ll be making this weekend is a light coloured Saison, inspired by Saison Dupont Vieille Provision. Belgian pils malt for the majority of the grist but with the addition of some raw wheat (10% of grist for grainy texture) and some honey for increased fermentability. Mash at 64C. Goldings hops for bittering, Celeia & Goldings for aroma and flavour. OG1050. 25 IBU.

Are there any tips people have for using the Lallemand Belle Saison dry yeast in a beer like this?


Re: Dry Saison Yeast

Posted: Sun Jun 02, 2019 5:31 pm
by simonmwhite
Hi Rob,

My method seems to get the classic nose and flavors from Belle Saision. I make no more than 19 litres which is enough for a keg and it's not uncommon for me to have a batch fermenting up to three weeks. Some may gasp in horror and say that's waaay too long to be in primary and would be worried about contamination but I've never had issues because my sanitation is on point and I am careful when I need to inspect it.

I always play it safe with yeasts that can not tolerate high temperatures, especially during primary fermentation. I start at a relatively low temperature, say ~18c and hold it there for a week. I then ramp up to 20c for another week checking gravity as I go. If I think it can go a bit more I'll push it to the upper limits of the temperature range for a few more days. I've found the yeast to be aggressive initially then it becomes steady and wants to keep ticking over.

You'll want to control temperature. Definitely DEFINITELY start doing this. Up until recently I used a simple water bath; this is a plastic washing basket filled with water and an aquarium heater stuck to the side. This works perfectly well especially if it's in a shaded place. I've since moved to a fermentation fridge which is just awesome and opens up so many possibilities. Go make one if you can! I was gifted a fridge freezer and I bought a Inkbird ITC-308 from a online homebrew store to override the thermostat, a small tube heater from Toolstation sits inside and kicks in where the temperature goes below what you've programmed in.

Guess the take-away is:

1. Time is your friend and you can never rush beer (well, you can but will it be a good beer?)
2. Control temperature
3. Be patient

Your recipe sounds great, looking forward to trying it at the next meeting.