There's a small Indian grocery store close to my office owned by a couple who have run the store for a long time. They stock all sorts of spices and regional ingredients. They also have a halal butcher, which is the only place one can find good goat meat in the area. I guess if you follow halal then it's the only place to find any good meat in the area. Everything is incredibly cheap there and I have a pantry stuffed full of spices acquired there. I thought it would be interesting to spice a saison out of ingredients available at this shop.
My immediate thought was to scrap any spice combination that would resemble the chai masala spice blend commonly used in beer. I don't mind chai masala but I would rather select spices that will work with the dryness of saison and the citrus/fruit/spice/earthy character of the yeast. I also decided to avoid anything too gimmicky that would make for a beer with a reasonably probability of getting dumped, such as curry powder or curry leaves.
In the end I opted for:
- Unmalted white wheat from Ukraine: I like adding wheat to saisons for some body and the store sold wheat so I thought it made sense to pick some up.
- Buckwheat from Russia: I thought this was an interesting ingredient that would add some nutty and earthy notes to the yeast phenolics.
- Ginger: Ginger is a basic ingredient in many Indian dishes and also has a long history of use in saisons so it was an easy starting point for spicing the saison. The spicy/sweet flavor works really well with citrus, which is perfect for the lemony notes of 3711.
- Golden raisins: Golden raisins have a nice subtle honey flavor that also plays really well in saisons. I've seen plenty of commentary that raisins are easily overdone so they will go into the beer with serious restraint.
- Green cardamom: Cardamom works well with almost anything as long as it is used in moderation. It's herbal, citrusy and slightly floral. That's all perfect to integrate into a saison.
Sanskrit Saison with wheat, buckwheat, ginger, golden raisins and green cardamomBatch size: 3 gallons
Est. OG: 1.053
Est. FG: 1.010
Est. ABV: 5.7%
Est. IBU: 25
Est. SRM: 3.3
83.3% 5 lb. German pils malt (2 SRM)
12.5% 12 oz. White wheat malt (1.7 SRM)
4.2% 4 oz. Buckwheat (2 SRM)
Mash & Sparge
Infuse 12 qt at 156F for 146F rest for 40 minutes
Decoct 3 qt and boil for 160F rest for 30 minutes
Sparge with 2.68 gal of water at 180F
Water Profile: Bru'n Water Yellow Bitter
Epsom salt 1.2g
Canning salt 0.2g
Calcium chloride 0.9g
Lactic acid 1.5ml
Epsom salt 1.1g
Canning salt 0.1g
Calcium chloride 0.8g
0.30 oz. Belma [12.10%] at 90 min 21 IBU
0.10 oz. Belma [12.10%] at 20 min 4 IBU
12g golden raisins, chopped at 10 min 0 IBU
0.7g ginger at flameout
4g green cardamom at flameout
Ferment with 100ml slurry of 3711 at 78F
Brewday & Fermentation Notes
First runnings: 1.066
Pre-boil gravity: 1.041
Pre-boil volume: 5.1 gal
Mash efficiency: 91.7%
Post boil gravity: 1.055
Post boil volume: 3.5 gal
Gravity check 6/10/15: 1.008
Cardamom flavor is dominant. Complex and interesting but the cardamom probably needs some time to age out.
Bottled 6/14/15. Cardamom assertive but already mellowing out. Racked one gallon to jug and added Oud Beersel dregs.