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Brewday: Dark(ish)ness Saison

February 17, 2012

I actually brewed this one about 3 weeks ago, prior to my work kind of taking over life for a while.  Things got crazy, things got a little weird, I took a surprise trip out of town for a week, etc etc.  I’m back and I survived.  

This was brewed up on a Friday night, when the Nickel City was chilly, windy and rainy.  While in warmer weather almost all of my brew activities occur outdoors, on nights like this I keep it to open flame activities (heating strike water, boiling).  The rest is done in the kitchen, while I keep warm and empty pints.

Recipe after the jump

Grains gettin milled.

Dark(ish)ness Saison:

Batch Size: 6.07 gal
Efficiency: 86.1%
Attenuation: 75.0%
Est Original Gravity: 1.056 (1.048 – 1.065)
Est Terminal Gravity: 1.014 (1.002 – 1.012)

Color: 16.64 
Alcohol: 5.51% (5.0% – 7.0%)
Bitterness: 19.8 (20.0 – 35.0)


  • 5 lb Superior Pilsen Malt
  • 4 lb 2-Row Pale Malt
  • 1 lb White Wheat Malt
  • 0.2 lb Roasted Barley
  • 0.33 lb Chocolate Rye Malt
  • 0.25 lb Crystal 40L Malt
  • 0.5 oz Cluster (7.0%) – First wort hop
  • 0.5 oz Sorachi Ace (12.8%) – 5 min
  • 0.5 oz Sorachi Ace (12.8%) – dry hop
  • Wyeast #3711 – French Saison (stepped up into 2 quart starter)


  • Mash-In – Liquor: 3.37 gal; Strike: 159.98 °F; Target: 148 °F
  • Batch Sparge: 4.36 gal sparge @ 168.0 °F, 15 m
  • Total Wort Collected: 6.61 gal


  • Talking Heads – “Remain in Light”, Bon Iver – “For Emma, Forever Ago”

The brew went exceptionally well.  I’m still not 100% sure what I’m doing right, but my efficiency is off the charts.  Not a complaint, by any means.  Mash temp was spot on, color was spot on (and beautiful) – stole a few splashes of wort and mixed with bourbon for a bastardized “Hot Scotchie” – delicious.  

I’m excited to taste this one – this is the first Saison that I’ve brewed.  It smells wonderful and should be a real treat from time to time.  I think I’ll bottle this one, rather than keg, as I don’t want to plow through it as I do some others.

In closing, I put a scarf on my dog.  Here is a photo:


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