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Pink Peppercorn Wild Saison
I've copied this post over from my facebook page since I plan on updating this post every 3 months or so for a year.
I wasn't happy with the way my pink peppercorn saison turned out, so I took a tip from Ben Hirsch and tossed some bugs at it. ¬†I choose Yeast Bay's M√lange blend since they described it as "our most varied mix of fermentative organisms, intended for use in the production of sour beers in which a balance of funk and sourness is desired." In other words it has lots of wild strains in case one doesn't do the job, surely another one will. All that's left is to wait...12-18 months.

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Saison M√lange Update: It's been three months (ok, two and a half...I couldn't hold out any longer!) since I bottled my pink peppercorn saison with The Yeast Bay M√lange blend. If you remember I didn't really care for the beer when I brewed it. I chilled a bottle for a couple of hours and popped the cap expecting to be greeted by the echoey silence of a flat beer. What I got was actually a pretty decent fizzt! The beer is amazingly lightly carbonated! I say amazingly because I didn't add a single ounce or gram of priming sugar when I bottled. I read an article, I believe by Michael Tonsmeire, that basically said if you bottle with brett (or maybe it was lacto, or pedio, I can't remember) then the beer should be at 1.003 gravity or you risk having bottle bombs. My original saison finished at 1.003 on the nose, so the numbers were spot on.

At first whiff I pick up a very pleasant pear aroma that wasn't present when I bottled the beer. There's a lemony brightness to the aroma and you can definitely pick up some fresh hay. Tasting it brings more pear followed by a little brett barnyard and finishes nicely with the pink peppercorns and a bit of alcohol. In case you haven’t had a chance to chew on a pink peppercorn, they're actually a berry with more fruit flavor than pepper spiciness, but that's there as well. I bought a pound of these and I'm more than happy to give some away if you want to try it yourself.

What I don't get is any sourness yet. I wasn't really expecting to though at this point, everything I read said it will take up to a year for the lacto and pedio to produce the perfect sour tartness. The gravity is down to 1.002 so by the time the bugs are done with the last 2 points of sugar and maybe a little more, the carbonation should be spot on. The abv at bottling was 6.3% so by the time it's done, it should bump up to about 6.7-7.3% a nice little bonus.

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Can not wait to taste one of these. Sounds like and interesting experiment.

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