I love Saisons. Real ones. Light, refreshing, rustic, big spices and big fruits, dry, hoppy, packed with flavor and aroma, with a clean finish that draws you back for more. I love them made with the 3724 DuPont strain, not so much on the French Saison yeast that so many use to avoid the care needed for the DuPont. Enter the 3726 Farmhouse Ale strain that Wyeast releases only every 3 years. On this beer I had to try it before it left. And I was not disappointed. 1 week fermentation took the beer to 1.008, no stalling, no problems, 76*F controlled fermentation, great Saison. This beer is a simple recipe, 41% Great Western Pale Malt, 41% Weyermann Pils, 18% German Dark Wheat Malt, 147*F mash for 75 minutes, 1 tsp Gypsum and 1 tsp Calcium Chloride (split 3/8 each in mash, 5/8 each in boil). Bittered with 0.4 oz of Seuz at 45 minutes, 0.6 oz Styrian Bobek at 10 minutes, and a blend of 0.4 oz Bobek, 0.5 oz German Saphir, and 0.5 oz Hallertau Mittelfruh at FO for a total of 20 IBUs. The beer didn’t finish as low as I had hoped, but with the combination of the tartness of the yeast, the bitterness, and the acidic bite from the high carbonation, along with the sulfates, it turned out perfect.
Look: Pours a deep gold w/ rustic orange burnish, big frothy pure white head that fades slow to a whispy layer atop and a thin ring along the sides. Nice bubbly carbonation. Decent lacing.
Aroma: Lots of fruits, pears, bananas, strawberries, apples, white pepper, cloves, ginger, grass, hay,
Taste: Pepper, fruity, lychee, rosemary, ginger, spicy bite, lite floral, refreshing and crisp, grainy, yeasty.
Mouthfeel: Fizzy, dry, light acidic bite, spicy finish, bitterness is there, but not overly done, balanced between bitter, dry, acidic, and sweet.
Overall: Very good Saison, big fruits and spices. Herbs and florals from the hops shine. Very dry and light, bitterness and carbonic acid play well together for a perfect finish. Lacing and head retention could be boosted some, but very well crafted Farmhouse Ale. Rustic, fruity, spicy, floral, dry, bitter, hoppy, grainy, light, crisp, tart, refreshing, as it should be.