Today we are brewing a Saison AKA French farmhouse ale. It sounds super fancy but in our opinion, it’s the most perfect beginner beer to make. You can do it at your own home. This beer is delicious.
Before we get started we need to have the equipment. The main thing that you need is
- fermenter which will be a 6.5 gallon carboy
- airlock with a stopper
- kettle that can easily hold 5 gallons
- a muslin grain sack to steep your grains
- racking cane
The most important part of brewing is sanitizing. Every single brewer will tell you that you must sanitize everything that the finished wort is going to touch. Otherwise, you risk some major health hazards. Lucky for you we have a great article Homebrewing 101: A guide to cleaning and sanitizing where you can check everything you have do to for your beer.
For the ingredients, you are going to need a couple of different grains that need to be milled. A lot of local homebrewing shops will do this for you. The yeast we are going to use is yeast 3 111 French Saison yeast. Don’t use bread yeast for brewing beer.
Fill the grain sack with all these different grains
- 1.5 lb Belgian Pilsen
- .12 oz German Wheat
- 12 oz Aromatic Wheat
- 8 oz Special Roast (Lovibond 50)
- 4 oz Caramunich Malt
Tie off your sack then drop it into 3 gallons of water that’s been heated to 160 F. Let it steep for 1 hour maintaining that temperature. Check the temperature every 10 minutes.
Once it has steeped lift your sack out of the water. Do not squeeze it. Instead, take 4 cups of hot water and strain it through the bag and let it drain until it stops dripping. Discard the grains and bring the liquid to a boil.
Add 15 lb Pilsen Light liquid malt extract. This sugary liquid is now known as wort.
As soon as it come to a boil set your timer for 1 hour and drop 1/2 oz. of Sorachi hops.
When 20 minutes remaining of the boil we will add a couple of different spices.
- 3 g Grains of Paradise
- 10 g Coriander
- 65 g peeled, sliced, fresh Galangal or Ginger
Wrap those in cheesecloth to make a bag and drop them into the boiling wort.
At 10 minutes mark add 1 oz. Styrian Goulding’s Hops
The fermentation process
After finishing the boil, you need to let the wort cool down to 80 F before adding the yeast. You can do it by placing wort in an ice bath. Don’t let anything touch the wort if it is not sanitized.
Once the wort reached 80 F you can funnel it into your sanitized fermenter. Then top it off with enough filtered water to reach the 5-gallon mark.
Pitch your yeast directly into your wort. Add the airlock and stopper. Make sure it’s fully locked down. Let it ferment at room temperature in a dark area with no sunlight for 14 days.
After 14 days it’s time for bottling. Make sure that you’re sanitizing your bottles and bottle caps. Prime all your bottles with priming sugar. You can use conditioning tablets because they are very easy. Put 4 to 5 tablets per bottle.
To fill bottles attach racking cane to a siphon and the other end to a bottle filler. Carefully place the siphon in your beer. Don’t touch the bottom or siphon any of the yeast cake at the bottom. Pump your beer through the siphon and press down on the bottom of the beer bottle to get it to start filling. Gravity should do the rest for you.
Fill up the bottle all the way to the top. Using a bottle capper cap your bottles. Place the bottles in a dark space and let them condition at room temperature for 3 weeks. After 3 weeks let them get nice and cold for at least 24 hours.
The beauty of brewing your own beer it that you get to make it however you want. Cheers.