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Lemon Saison - advice welcome!

PostPosted: Mon Jul 04, 2016 21:36
by rats_eyes
I'm going to make a run of different saisons over the sumer months so have come up with a few rough ideas. I want to make a lemon saison with has a slightly creamy mouthfeel and some lemon sherbet type tastes. I've found something like this taste in slightly sweeter examples of dry styles (saison, lambics). Like the inside of a (not too sweet) lemon meringue pie! I've never used lemons in a beer before, so haven't decided how to approach this. If any of you have any advice please feel free to chime in.

Here's my basic recipe idea so far...

belgian pilsner 70%
flaked oats 30% (for mouthfeel)

90 minute mash at 64c (moderately dry)

I'm aiming for OG of 1.060-ish, fermenting with whitelabs saison II (I am tempted to pitch brett C alongside this in primary, for extra fruit, as yet undecided)

hops - i'll have some dana before brewday, which sound like they might compliment lemon, I've never used them before though. any one used them before? otherwise i'll head for ekg and styrian goldings. i usually aim for just under 30 ibu in saison, but not sure whether to back off a bit and let the lemons make up the shortfall.

lemons - my cautious side thinks add lemon zest late in the boil or in the fermenter like a dryhop. my other side is tempted to rack the beer on to whole lemons after primary fermentation and see what happens. does anyone have bitter lemony experience they can share?

Re: Lemon Saison - advice welcome!

PostPosted: Tue Jul 05, 2016 07:08
by pittsy
I think to get a lemon taste you need to use something other than real lemons as the oil in them will kill any head you would of had .

Re: Lemon Saison - advice welcome!

PostPosted: Tue Jul 05, 2016 07:18
by mark1964
Add zest and juice 10 mins before end of the boil. I added 20 orange's that way to a black ipa and it's decent

Re: Lemon Saison - advice welcome!

PostPosted: Tue Jul 05, 2016 07:47
by rats_eyes
mark1964 wrote:Add zest and juice 10 mins before end of the boil. I added 20 orange's that way to a black ipa and it's decent

Interesting. I'm guessing that you need a lot of orange to compete with powerful hops and the dark Malt? What was the batch size and how prominent was the orange?

Re: Lemon Saison - advice welcome!

PostPosted: Tue Jul 05, 2016 10:11
by mark1964
I made 25 litres in the first batch I used 15 orange's and the taste was there slightly. Second batch I used 20 orange's juice and zest. I grated the zest and ended up with around 3/4 of a litre. I just added the lot at 70 mins and it's right now. The beer is hopped with magnum for bittering then large additions of citra and amarillo throughout. Then a lot more at 90 mins and dry hopping. It was a 66 ibu beer. Very nice too

Re: Lemon Saison - advice welcome!

PostPosted: Tue Jul 05, 2016 10:22
by rlemkin
I would look into using some lemony hops. Out of the hops I've used I'd say Saphir is quite lemony and smooth. Sorachi is supposed to be lemony, but I get nothing but coconut from it.

Re: Lemon Saison - advice welcome!

PostPosted: Tue Jul 05, 2016 12:09
by robwalker
Zest that shit up!

Re: Lemon Saison - advice welcome!

PostPosted: Tue Jul 05, 2016 12:13
by mark1964
Yep hops just don't do it as well as fruit

Re: Lemon Saison - advice welcome!

PostPosted: Tue Jul 05, 2016 12:31
by serum
I got a lot of lemon in my spelt Saison which had bobek, French saison yeast, and pilsner and spelt Malt (2 parts pils to 1 part spelt). Carb it high and you should get that flavour. You could also sour it to make it more tangy.

If you fwh with sorachi ace you get some lemon too.

Re: Lemon Saison - advice welcome!

PostPosted: Tue Jul 05, 2016 23:11
by rats_eyes
Bobek is a good call. I got similar flavours from it in a saison last year, which turned out to be one of my best brews. I have some of that. I also ordered some Savinjski (another styrian golding variety), which I'm hoping might have similar qualities. I'm going to avoid sorachi, not quite sure where i stand on them yet.

Brewday for this will be in three weeks time. I'm re-brewing a more classic style saison next week, then the lemon two weeks later, followed by another variation (dark and smoky i think) two weeks after that.

Re: Lemon Saison - advice welcome!

PostPosted: Mon Jul 18, 2016 21:13
by rats_eyes
I got around to making this yesterday. I used up all of the bobke that I had left, bulked the bittering addition up with some saaz. Here's the recipe I went for in the end...

4.82 kg Pilsen 85.0 %
0.85 kg Porridge oats 15.0 %

mash at 64 degrees for 75 mins, 10 minute mash out at 75 dg.

33.00 g Bobek [3.95 %] - Boil 60.0 min 14.0 IBUs
30.00 g Saaz [3.10 %] - Boil 60.0 min 10.0 IBUs
15.00 g Bobek [3.95 %] - Boil 15.0 min 3.2 IBUs
35.00 g Bobek [3.95 %] - Boil 2.0 min

zest of 4 lemons aded at 2 minutes remaining.

Re: Lemon Saison - advice welcome!

PostPosted: Mon Sep 04, 2017 21:36
by rats_eyes
As a bit of follow up, this one came out as one of the better beers I've made and managed to win a competition within our local HB club. I added a tincture made of another 4 lemons' zest as a dry "hop". It started off with quite a flowery character, but the lemon came through really nicely after a few weeks in the bottle.