Low Tech Saison
Sometime something sounds like a fun idea, but reality doesn’t meet up with your expectations. That was the case with my low tech brew day up north.
The idea was simple enough, brew a beer without using any of my gear other than a kettle and a bucket. No problem, we’ve got a big fire pit with a grill that fits over it, so make the beer over the fire… the uncontrollable, inconsistently heated and constantly hungry fire. But other than that, everything went great.
The main issue revolved around getting good heat transfer from the fire to the kettle. I was able to lower the grill to within inches above the fire pit but even closer might have worked for the initial warm up. My main concern was having some control over the heat so as to avoid boiling over (a problem I never did face).
Once the water was warm enough to mash in, it was actually fairly easy to keep it at temperature. Usual losses of a degree or two every 30 minutes were easily offset by having the kettle near, but not directly over the fire.
Now came the hard part, getting the kettle up to a boil. This proved to be a challenge. After the first hour, despite every appearance of a boil starting, nothing had happened. Eventually by building the fire up to right below the kettle and keeping it fed with fuel, I was able to maintain a low simmering boil. Nothing at all like the rolling boils achieved when using a proper propane burner or electric heating element. But it eventually accomplished it’s purpose, in 2 1/2 hours the 7 gallons of wort had simmered down to 5 gallons.
Finally came chilling and for once in this exercise, low tech was with me. Adding a lid all the it required was to lower the kettle into the lake. Digging it into the sift sand to make sure it didn’t shift or tip and a quick hour later we were all set.
The very English grain bill (originally designed for a mild) will bring a slightly more malty base to the French Sainson (3711) yeast. It is still unknown how much if any smoke from the fire made it’s way into the final results. Add to all that the exclusive use of Galaxy hops this beer should be an interesting brew.
|Batch Size||Boil Time||IBU||SRM||Est. OG||Est. FG||ABV|
|5.5 gal||75 min||36.9 IBUs||11.8 SRM||1.052 SG||1.004 SG||6.3 %|
|Name||Cat.||OG Range||FG Range||IBU||SRM||Carb||ABV|
|Saison||16 C||1.048 - 1.065||1.002 - 1.012||20 - 35||5 - 14||2.3 - 2.9||5 - 7 %|
|Golden Promise (Simpsons)||7 lbs||68.63|
|Oats, Golden Naked (Simpsons)||1.75 lbs||17.16|
|Brown Malt||0.25 lbs||2.45|
|Chocolate Malt||0.2 lbs||1.96|
|Cane (Beet) Sugar||1 lbs||9.8|
|Galaxy||1 oz||60 min||Mash||Pellet||14|
|Galaxy||1 oz||15 min||Boil||Pellet||14|
|Galaxy||1 oz||1 min||Boil||Pellet||14|
|French Saison (3711)||Wyeast Labs||80%||65°F - 77°F|
|Download this recipe's BeerXML file|