Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Cultured Farmhouse Saison/Tasting Session

Since discovering Logsdon Farmhouse Ales, I've considered myself a pretty big fan of their beers, from the Wit to the Saison (Which they spell Seizon). David Logsdon, the man behind the Wyeast empire decided to join the ranks of a local farmer, brewer and businessman back in 2011 when he created Logsdon Farmhouse Ales leaving Wyeast behind.  Logsdon's Seizon Bretta, which is bottle conditioned with his own Brettanomyces strain coupled with pear juice has become my personal favorite Saison.  The beer is just a perfect blend of funky/clean/barnyard flavors.

Wanting to brew a Brett Saison I picked up a couple bottles for "Testing purposes" and collected the bottle Dregs into a 500ml flask.  This was early 2012.  By December 2012 I had a large pitchable amount of slurry, it was time to get started on a recipe.  That's when it happened, my Sorachi Ace'd Saison stalled out at 1.030.  WLP565 failed me again.  Without pause I knew what I had to do, pitching the Logsdon slurry into the stalled Sorachi Ace'd Saison.

Growing this strain of Brettanomyces for the purpose of using as a primary yeast, then tossing it into secondary kinda sucked, but knowing that I would be able to harvest the yeast once this beer was done made the sting a little less painful.  I expected to wait about a year, like my 1st Brett Saison batches, but over 6 months the beer was at 1.003 and tasting good, funky and very clear.  (To the left is a picture of the beer pulled off the carboy while I was brewing my Gluten Test beers.  Super clear and light in color. )

During the 6 month Brett Fermentation I never saw anything resembling a pellical form.  I did get some bubbles along the sides of the Better Bottle.  Almost like soapy water.  The beer did form a slight haze from about 2-5 months, which I've seen before in secondary (Brett) fermented Saisons.  I've started to watch the clarity of the beers ahead of the gravity.  It seems to be a better indication of the overall process.  Once it clears, I wait about a month and rack.  Once into the keg and cold, they tend to ferment down a point or two.

Aroma: Slightly tart, hay flavors linger....It has a sharp, almost tickling effect on my nose.  Maybe if I took a bigger wiff I would sneeze.  I get a little bit of the Rye Malt, just because I know its not the pilsner malt.

Appearance: It still has a small amount of chill haze, (only been carbed for 4 days) I'm getting a solid stream of carbonation running up the glass that looks like it is not stopping anytime soon.  The color is textbook golden hay.  The beer also has solid lacing during the tasting.  (Which really means I cleaned this glass well.)

Flavor:  The spicy notes, which I assume are from the rye malt, really notch this beer up.  The general barnyard/hay flavors I got in the nose really work nicely together on this beer.  I do not get any sour flavors associated with Pedio or Lacto, which is what I wanted.  I do get a very clean, drinkable dirty beer.  A small amount of wet cardboard or wet leather on the backend really add some complexity to this beer.  I also get no off flavors, no fermentation flaws that I can pinpoint.

Mouthfeel:  Dry, dry and dry.  This beer is champagne like throughout the drinking.  It clears up so nicely on the back end you really want to keep drinking this, almost to quickly.  The carbonation is perfect, with an endless stream of bubbles wafting up from the bottom of the glass. 

Overall Impression:   This is quickly becoming my favorite style of beer to drink and brew.  The complexity of the beer is untouched by any other style homebrewers normally brew.  Granted, this beer does take some time to churn out, it is worth every minute of waiting.

Brewing Timeline/Notes:  I brewed this beer back in Feb 2013, it was on the primary yeast for 3 weeks before stalling at 1.030.  I added a big starter of slurry'd Brett Dregs and let them go for 6 months total.  Once it was clear (at 1.003) I racked into a keg.

Cultured Farmhouse Saison
Type: All Grain Date: 2/2/2013
Batch Size (fermenter): 6.00 gal Brewer: Chris Lewis
Boil Size: 6.86 gal Asst Brewer:
Boil Time: 60 min Equipment: Lewys Tower
End of Boil Volume 6.24 gal Brewhouse Efficiency: 72.00 %
Final Bottling Volume: 6.00 gal Est Mash Efficiency 72.0 %
Fermentation: Ale, Two Stage Taste Rating(out of 50): 41.0
Taste Notes:  In this post
Amt Name Type # %/IBU
9 lbs Pilsner (2 Row) Ger (2.0 SRM) Grain 1 73.2 %
2 lbs Rye Malt (4.7 SRM) Grain 2 16.3 %
8.0 oz Acid Malt (3.0 SRM) Grain 3 4.1 %
12.8 oz Sugar, Table (Sucrose) (1.0 SRM) Sugar 4 6.5 %
0.60 oz Bravo [15.50 %] - Boil 60.0 min Hop 5 29.9 IBUs
1.20 Items Whirlfloc Tablet (Boil 15.0 mins) Fining 6 -
0.50 oz Sorachi Ace [12.00 %] - Boil 0.0 min Hop 7 0.0 IBUs
1.0 pkg Belgian Saison I Ale (White Labs #WLP565) [35.49 ml] Yeast 8 -
1.0 pkg Brettanomyces (Logsdon Ales #LB-Logsdon) Yeast 9 -
1.20 Items Honeycomb, Red Oak (Primary 3.0 days) Flavor 10 -
0.40 oz Sorachi Ace [12.00 %] - Dry Hop 3.0 Days Hop 11 0.0 IBUs
Beer Profile
Est Original Gravity: 1.055 SG Measured Original Gravity: 1.053 SG
Est Final Gravity: 1.014 SG Measured Final Gravity: 1.003 SG
Estimated Alcohol by Vol: 5.3 % Actual Alcohol by Vol: 6.6 %
Bitterness: 29.9 IBUs Calories: 172.1 kcal/12oz
Est Color: 4.5 SRM
Mash Profile
Mash Name: Single Infusion, Full Body, Batch Sparge Total Grain Weight: 12 lbs 4.8 oz
Sparge Water: 4.64 gal Grain Temperature: 72.0 F
Sparge Temperature: 168.0 F Tun Temperature: 72.0 F
Adjust Temp for Equipment: FALSE Mash PH: 5.20
Mash Steps
Name Description Step Temperature Step Time
Mash In Add 14.38 qt of water at 168.2 F 156.0 F 45 min
Sparge Step: Batch sparge with 2 steps (1.22gal, 3.43gal) of 168.0 F water
Mash Notes: Simple single infusion mash for use with most modern well modified grains (about 95% of the time).
Carbonation and Storage
Carbonation Type: Keg Volumes of CO2: 2.3
Pressure/Weight: 10.59 PSI Carbonation Used: Keg with 10.59 PSI
Keg/Bottling Temperature: 41.0 F Age for: 210.00 days
Fermentation: Ale, Two Stage Storage Temperature: 73.0 F
Fermentation Notes
Primary Fermentation:  70 Degrees for 2 weeks, stalled w/WLP565 at 1.030  Brett LB added.  Aged for 6 Months.
Created with BeerSmith


  1. Sounds good. I've also had the Seizoen Bretta and really enjoyed it. I have another bottle that I've been saving, so maybe I should be trying to culture some of the yeast for my own experiment. Thanks for the idea!

    1. The Bretta is a great beer. I would really recommend building up a starter for it. I collected around 2,000ml from this batch. It was a really active fermentation. The beer was almost clear when I added in the Logsdon yeast. My plan was to carb it and quickly bottle them all, but I can't stop drinking this off the keggor.

  2. What is the reality of trying to save and reuse mixed culture yeasts? I have 3 separate carboys of saison fermenting with (1) t-58 + JP dregs, 2) belgian ardennes (planning on pitching JP and Side Project dregs this weekend), and 3) White Labs American Farmhouse) and would love to save some of these to rebrew with. Any thoughts?

    1. That's a hard question. Jamil firmly states that over time the blends will always balance out if you let it get to that point. The question is, how long will that take. I just a slurry of Russian River, Flanders Red and a couple bottles of the Bruery's Tart of Darkness. It was great for 2 batches, that last one is way to tart to enjoy.

      What I have been thinking about it placing a couple wood cubes into the wort as it nears completion, letting the yeast absorb into them. Then drying them out. On the next batch, placing the wood into the wort along with a new stronger pitch of something. That way I can carry over the character while keeping the beer moving along.


Thanks for Commenting, Prost!