September 26, 2012

Spelt Saison Tasting/Review/Criticism

Sorry I don't do very distinct reviews on my beers, at least those that I'm not happy with. These notes are really reminders to myself what I need to change in the next rendition. 

Several misses on this recipe.

I was concerned about how much yeast character I would get from this beer since the weekend I brewed it was unnaturally cool for August. Sure enough, the beer is lacking a lot of the big yeast flavor a warmer fermentation would have provided. I left the beer in the low 70s and tried to finish warm in the upper 80s but obviously I did not get the Dupont dregs I used get warm enough in this beer to bring out some big flavors. There's hints of pepper and clove but not a lot of the more funky and fruity flavors that should be present.

The spelt makes for a nice flavor complex, so I'm happy with that. The oats were definitely a wrong decision. The body is way too thick for a saison even though I kind of like the slight oat flavor. I guess I should have added table sugar along with it to balance the body. Otherwise, the munich was a little too light to give it a sweet edge.

The first wort hopping was also a mistake. There's not a lot, if any, hop flavor coming through and the beer needs more bitterness that a regular 90 minute addition would have provided. It also needed some flameout or dry hop additions to create some hop aroma.

Not the worst beer I've ever made. Not even the worst of the year. Actually as it warms up, like most saisons, it gets more complex and flavorful. However, I'm not happy with the notes above so next year I will look towards modifying the grain bill to cut out the oats and probably the vienna and aromatic as well. I'll definitely use a more standard hopping profile and maybe play around with using some more noticeable hops in the aroma. I'll also add some table sugar to the boil to help thin the beer out. Additionally, a really warm fermentation will be necessary to drive those flavors out.

I won't try brewing another saison until the warm months approach next year so I'll have plenty of time to fine tune my thoughts.


Post a Comment