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Mat2000_1

Summer Saison Brew - Concerned

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So, after 16 days of fermenting in the LBK I became curious about how my Summer Saison is brewing. 

I took a very small sample in to a glass and it was quite cloudy. Cloudier then the beer looks near the top of the keg. 

It smelled excellent, exactly as I imagined a Summer Saison would smell. Sweet and fruity. 

So I tasted it and it hit me like a bag of bricks. No sweet flavor, no alcohol taste really, but a bad bitter flavor that lingered. I'm quite concerned that this beer might be infected right now. But it's not tasting vinegary or cidery. Maybe I should have taken a larger sample then 1cm in the bottom of the glass? 

Not really sure what to do but it definately does not taste normal.

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I've done a little research and I'm thinking this might be what's referred to as a "Yeast Bite"? 

I'm going to leave it until this Thursday (The 3 week Mark) then taste a larger sample and bottle if it seems to be better.

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Yea, both the cloudiness and taste are from the yeast. let it continue to ferment for another 5 days and it should clean up some.

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I made my Summer Said on with 15 oz tart cherries in water. I bottled it about 2 wks ago after fermenting for 3 wks. When I drew a sample it was moderately clear. I didn't expect it to be really clear because the cherries cause some sediment. The taste was like a hefeweizen which is perfectly normal to me. If yours tasted similar to that you're on the right track. I would advise conditioning at room temp for 6 wks before refrigerating. Don't sweat it Saisons are very similar  to Bavarian Wheats. You can add fruit when you serve it if the bite is too much for you.                                              

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Thanks KLR and Raider for the replies. I will post back on Thursday at the 3 week mark and leave an update. Cheers.

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Your welcome. Keep on brewing!

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I have to say though KLR, it does not taste like a hefeweisen or any other beer that I've ever had before. It tastes more like bitter chemically taste, like that of a medicine if you were to bite it. Like a sleeping pill or an advil. That sort of harsh bad taste left on the back of your tongue. 

I'm beginning to doubt whether this batch is going to turn out anymore. 

I've tried a larger sample today and that taste was still present. So I wasnt just getting the gunk at the bottom of the fermenter and iI'm not sure if its just the yeast or not. 

I've brewed two succesful batches so far. One of the CAL that was packed with my kit and a hard pear cider. Both had a wine like taste near the end of fermentation and my CAL has been getting better with age. But this batch does not taste like a young beer IMHO. 

I might bottle it anyways and just see if the taste changes with age. 

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Also I guess I should note that I use tap water with all of my batches since it seemed to work out for my first two brews. And I've had the Saison ferment between 68-74 degrees. I

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municipal tap water can be FULL of chlorine or chloramine or whatever it's called. unless you are using campden tablets the night before to DE chlorinate your tap water, it can contribute to off flavors. specifically it will make your beer taste like awful medicine.


muni tapwater is inconsistent in the levels of chlorine too. when I lived in Detroit some summers the water stunk like a swimming pool. other days you could barely taste chlorine. 


I would suggest for future beers that you dechlorinate your water the day before you brew.. or just use a bottled mineral water.. or even reverse osmosis water. if you are just doing extract brewing, mineral content isn't really that important as it is with all grain. I use Zephyrhills spring water for my extracts. oh and if memory serves, boiling will not drive off the chlorine in tap water.

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re saisons.. I used bella saison yeast in mine and fermented around 76-78f the whole 3 weeks. for a lark I added one grain of yeast to the bottle before capping. the resulting beer had a silty layer of yeast on the bottom that the slightest jarring of the bottle sent clouds of it into suspension.


the taste... well... it blew my mind. it was unlike any beer ive had before. very complex: apple , fruity, perfumy , smokey, yeastie, flowery .... a little plum ...  totally confusing but in an enjoyable way.


the bad taste you got is probably the chloramines. I would hate to see you dump it. perhaps you can salvage it by adding something to each glass like some honey or orange powder to make it drinkable?

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If it has been 3 wks. I wouldn't wait any longer to bottle. I agree with Zorak and I would use bottled water as well. Adding a fruit extract  will help at bottling time to work with the sourness of the Belgian style. a half of an ounce is all you should need per bottle. I made mine adding cherries when I brewed and I always use purified or spring water. I have a friend who made his Saison using rasberries  he used tap water and his tasted like cough syrup until after he warm conditioned it for 6 wks. Try adding a little fruit extract when you bottle like I had said raspberry or cherry works well  and condition for at least 6 wks before refrigerating. Hope it comes out ok.  

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I am guessing you used the Belle Saison yeast.  That ferments like crazy, so just because the room was 68-74F doesnt mean the beer was.  At higher temperatures you will get more esters which add to the character but can take time to condition out and mellow.  I made the seasonal White IPA with the Belle yeast going as high as 90 degrees, and it took awhile to come into its own.

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Hey,

I just wanted to update that I've bottled my Saison. At the time of bottling it still tasted pretty bad, but I'm hoping that it might condition out over time. I didn't add any fruit or extracts to it but we will just have to wait and see what happens.

I'll be surprised if it was my tap water because I'd made a batch of CAL and a batch of Hard Pear Cider before this Saison and they turned out both very well. I've looked into how my city disinfects its water supply, and that's with chlorine gas. The water never tastes overly chlorine like. However, I think that I will buy one of those water filters that fit on to my kitchen sink to help my brews taste better... I only have a 2L Brita Jug at the moment and it just takes too long to use that water for my batches.

I've got two more batches fermenting away right now. American Porter + Robust LME and Belgian Christmas Ale.

Hopefully they turn out alright. Time will tell. I can only chalk it down to a learning experience.

I'll be much more thorough with my sanitizing procedures in the future and I'll try to use more pure water.

Thanks for all of the help and advice you guys. I'm grateful that I can always look to these forums for good advice.

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I have had 3 saisons in the last 2 months. they have all been cloudy but very good. like nothing you have ever had before. I just had a Kumbocha saison at my local tap house and WOW! it was amazing. very fruity, yeasty and tart. I believe saisons ferment at higher temps. I saw one video from the guys at northern brewer where the fermented one at like 82 F. 

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brita filters probably wont be very effective at removing chloramine and chlorine. remember that just because you don't smell it doesn't mean it isn't there.  even in small doses you will run the risk of bandaid tasting beer...yuck.


if you are dead set on using tap water look into how to use campden tablets to get the chlorine out. otherwise use bottled mineral water or distilled water. as long as you are doing extract brewing, you'll be fine.  if doing all grain you will need to look into water chemistry and minerals... and especially PH.


 


I don't know how effective those tap filters are but looking into it couldn't hurt.

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Well I just picked up one of those tap filters last night.. I'll experiment with my next batch and go from there. 

I have alot to learn before I do all grain! I'll learn to walk before I run. 

Wish me luck and thanks for your advice.

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no problem! I'm a noob too... still learning. I've learned so much from ppl.. .glad to share.  I haven't done AG yet but I'm so close. I got my blichmann burner.. my coleman cooler... just need a natural gasline hooked up. I think my first will be a Belgian dubbel.   gonna try doing water chemistry tweaking with it too... getting all mad scientist. it's been about 2 years of extract brewing. I'm hearing the AG siren song calling.... actually it's my internal accountant telling me how much cheaper it will be to do all grain than extract but hey... it's all good.


best of luck.. have fun!  good luck on that off flavor issue.  if you still get it after using the filter thing try doing a batch with bottled spring water or reverse osmosis water. . . just for comparison.

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Since beer is mostly  water, up to 85%, I would spend the $2.00 and play it safe with bottled water. Purified for lagers especially Bavarian style, and spring water or purified for all other styles. 

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I will switch to bottled if I continue to get poor results. I'll try this tap filter first. 

As I said, my first 2 brew's turned out great, and I just spent 30 bucks on this tap filter. 

So I'll give it a try and go from there. 

I bought a jar of sour cherries, I want to purree them. I'll freeze the purree, make a CAL + LME and add those cherries after a week in fermenter. It will be my first freinkenstein creation. Can't wait. 

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Let the saison sit a few weeks


It should smooth out


Wasting your time and money adding fruit to beer in feremnter

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So.. After 4 weeks in the bottle I put one of these Saison beers in the fridge and it tasted pretty good actually. 

Strong and a little fruity. Like a mild taste of apricot. There was nothing too strange in the flavor.

Ive also tried another one of my beers that I considered "bitter" after it had cooled down and it definately lost that harsh flavor that it originally had also. So I think what I was experiencing was just my first taste of extremely active yeast! 

Active yeast do not taste very nice. 

Now I won't panic next time that yeast bite slaps me in the face...

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