Saison Solera

Back in April 2015 I brewed 2 x 120L batches of the Retribution Saison Provision (Dupont inspired Saison) that was transferred into a one of the Pinot Noir barrels in the garage, I have been tasting it every 4 weeks or so and on the last tasting it had really mellowed out and developed a very small and pleasant vinous note and had taken on a hint of colour/darkened slightly from being aged in the barrel. All in all pretty pleased.

Barrel aged SaisonThe plan is now to draw off 80 -100L of the Saison and to replace it with the next batch. The portion drawn off will be split 3 ways – 40L will be kegged for general drinking, 40L will be aged on Apricot puree with some Brett and Lacto, and the remaining will be bottled.

The next batch of Saison will be brewed to a different grist, the plan this time is to try and leave a little more for the Brett and bacteria in the barrel to set to work on. The grist is based on a commercial beer called West Ashley – the rough grain bill was mentioned on one of the Sour Hour podcasts.

  • 75% Pilsner
  • 10% Wheat
  • 5% Acidulated
  • 7% Vienna
  • 3% Flaked oats

The acidulated malt will be adjusted so I hit the right mash pH, it will be hopped with EKG and then fermented with WLP 565, I will try a blend of 565 and 566 at some point – maybe on the next solera batch.

Following primary fermentation – pitching at 28degC and fermenting at 32-35degC, the beer will be cooled to try and drop as much of the yeast as possible then transferred to the barrel at which point I will add some additional Brett and Lacto to the barrel. I’m going to try/would like too develop a slightly tart and funky character to the Saison – maybe a more traditional farmhouse character? The IBU’s are a little high for the Lacto to do much though, so this lactic sharpness/character may have to be achieved through blending.



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