This. Is. Grisette?

Belgian Beers, Saisons, Wheat beers, Bierre de garde, Sour beers, Fruit Beers etc

This. Is. Grisette?

Postby rlemkin » Mon Aug 29, 2016 13:01

So what the hell is Grisette?

This recipe is taken from one from this interesting blog http://www.horscategoriebrewing.com/2015/10/grisette-recipe.html that has been trying to piece this together. Essentially they're pale, hoppy, clean-ish wheat beers from Belgium that died out around WW2. Nothing spectacular, similar to saisons. The industrial saison, before industrial saisons? Still this should be a nice enough light summer/autumn brew.

The most interesting aspect of this for me is that I'll be brewing 12 litres and splitting into three demijohns with different yeasts. The blog can't find much information on what yeast was used, other than it was probably cleaner than Saison and could use a variety of Belgian strains.

So, each demijohn will get a different yeast. I'm thinking:-

Mangrove Jacks Belgian Abbey - A fruity Belgian abbey yeast. "exceptionally fruity with hugely complex esters and is highly flocculant."

The Yeast Bay Amalgamation - A blend of 100% Brett "Expect this blend to create a dry beer with a bright and complex fruit-forward flavor and aroma, accompanied by some funk on the palate."

The Yeast Bay Farmhouse Sour House Blend. - A blend of Saison, Lactobacillus and Brett that I've used for my farmhouse saisons. Bitterness should limit the Lacto and stop any sourness from developing allowing the cleaner saison strain to dominate.

This is a great excuse to build up some yeast with an easy beer and learn a little bit more about a style that died out (although it's being brought back by some).

-----------------------

Grisette (Belgian Specialty Ale)

Original Gravity (OG): 1.035 (°P): 8.8
Final Gravity (FG): 1.006-1.004 (°P): 1.5
Alcohol (ABV): 3.81 % - 4.13%
Colour (SRM): 3.0 (EBC): 5.9
Bitterness (IBU): 30.8 (Tinseth) inc. whirlpool additions

64% Pilsner
15% Vienna
14% Wheat Malt
7% Flaked Oats

0.6 g/L Herkules (16% Alpha) @ 60 Minutes (Boil)
1 g/L Dana (6.4% Alpha) @ 0 Minutes (20 minute Whirlpool)
1 g/L Saaz (3.6% Alpha) @ 0 Minutes (20 minute Whirlpool)


Single step Infusion at 65°C for 60 Minutes. Boil for 60 Minutes

Fermented at 23°C with
Mangrove Jacks Belgian Abbey
The Yeast Bay Amalgamation
The Yeast Bay Farmhouse Sour House + House Blend.

Recipe Generated with BrewMate
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Re: This. Is. Grisette?

Postby robwalker » Mon Aug 29, 2016 18:52

It's a table saison of no great distinction. Saison was reserved for the posh folk, grisette for the miners. Lost evidence points to a portion of raw wheat in the grist,but that's about it.
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Re: This. Is. Grisette?

Postby rlemkin » Mon Aug 29, 2016 19:08

robwalker wrote:It's a table saison of no great distinction. Saison was reserved for the posh folk, grisette for the miners. Lost evidence points to a portion of raw wheat in the grist,but that's about it.



Did you have a look at the link? They've done a fair amount of digging. I like the distinction of Saison-funky/mixed-fermentation (even if this was unintentional) vs the cleaner Grisette.
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Re: This. Is. Grisette?

Postby rlemkin » Mon Aug 29, 2016 22:13

All done and tucked away. Hopefully we've not hit winter by the time they're ready to sample next month..
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Re: This. Is. Grisette?

Postby serum » Tue Aug 30, 2016 11:12

The linked site is really interesting. Lots of good stuff on there and there's another they link to where they got all the label pics from.

The guy has done a lot of research but I'm not sure his recipe really goes along with that research. Good site though.

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Re: This. Is. Grisette?

Postby rlemkin » Tue Aug 30, 2016 11:41

serum wrote:The linked site is really interesting. Lots of good stuff on there and there's another they link to where they got all the label pics from.

The guy has done a lot of research but I'm not sure his recipe really goes along with that research. Good site though.


I know what you mean. He outlines a possibly more traditional recipe elsewhere. Well I wrote this down from the discussion. Lots of under modified and dodgily kilned malt. Was tempted to include a few percent of Golden Naked Oats and a mix of Pils/MO.

Grisette/Podcast (Saison)

Original Gravity (OG): 1.035 (°P): 8.8
Final Gravity (FG): 1.006 (°P): 1.5
Alcohol (ABV): 3.85 %
Colour (SRM): 2.9 (EBC): 5.7
Bitterness (IBU): 26.3 (Tinseth)

55% Pilsner
15% Flaked Barley
15% Flaked Wheat
15% Wheat Malt

1 g/L Hallertau Tradition (5.7% Alpha) @ 60 Minutes (Boil)
1 g/L Hallertau Tradition (5.7% Alpha) @ 15 Minutes (Boil)
1 g/L Hallertau Tradition (5.7% Alpha) @ 4 Days (Dry Hop)


Single step Infusion at 64°C for 60 Minutes. Boil for 60 Minutes

Recipe Generated with BrewMate
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Re: This. Is. Grisette?

Postby serum » Tue Aug 30, 2016 12:34

Yes I reckon it would have been just pale and wheat but that doesn't mean the same now as it did then. Dingemans pale is a good shade darker so might be worth using.

I think traditionally you'd step mash as well. Modern brewers don't seem keen on that but that's what the Belgians have always done as far as I know.

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Re: This. Is. Grisette?

Postby rlemkin » Tue Aug 30, 2016 12:38

serum wrote:Yes I reckon it would have been just pale and wheat but that doesn't mean the same now as it did then. Dingemans pale is a good shade darker so might be worth using.

I think traditionally you'd step mash as well. Modern brewers don't seem keen on that but that's what the Belgians have always done as far as I know.


What do you think about carbonation for these? I'll probably go as high as I dare in regular bottles.. need a bigger supply of Belgian bottles.

People are definitely getting keener on step mashes, but mostly people who have shelled out for grainfathers and the like.

We'll see how these come out. The Amalgamation and Farmhouse sour both took off within about two hours of pitching. All three are racing along now. Ambient temp ~23c.
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Re: This. Is. Grisette?

Postby serum » Tue Aug 30, 2016 13:36

I've been having a bit of a go but not doing the protein or acid rests but doing a rest at 64 then one at 71 to see what happens.

I find doing it at 64C gets you the conversion but then my beers seem a bit dry and without as much body as a Belgian one.

For carbonation I tend to go with around 150g sugar for a 21L batch. That isn't as fizzy as a bottled Belgian but I like it like that. It's something like 2.6-2.7 vols.

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Re: This. Is. Grisette?

Postby rlemkin » Sun Sep 04, 2016 22:39

Fermentation pretty much finished now. Pulled samples of each beer yesterday and it was great to compare the three strains. Obviously it's way too early to do this and it's my normal policy to not touch a beer for two weeks. As is to be expected all are pretty clean, lightly hopped pales, but the three characterful yeast strains work wonders.

Really impressed by the flavours from the MJ Belgian Abbey yeast, and excited to get it into a dubbel afterwards.
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Re: This. Is. Grisette?

Postby rlemkin » Tue Sep 06, 2016 21:15

Has anyone on the forum done much blending? Thinking of blending a portion of this together, but also perhaps blending in a little of a sour saison. I'm not very impressed with the Amalgamation portion right now, while the Abbey version is great, but more in the vein of a Trappist Single. Will taste again prior to bottling and see if I can come up with something that proves interesting.
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Re: This. Is. Grisette?

Postby rlemkin » Fri Sep 23, 2016 15:13

I decided against blending in the end, it's a yeast trial after all.

Thinking about taking these along to a homebrew club this weekend, so popped an Amalgamation Grisette to do a carbonation and taste test. A bit early I know. Standard ale carbonation, so not as carbonated as i'd like (aimed for 2.5vol).

I'm quite happy with the early impressions; it's moderately bitter, well balanced, a touch malty & sweet with an interesting fruity complexity. It definitely tastes like there are more hops in the beer than is the case. Not very saison like, I'd put it closer to some 'hoppy' pales I've had from newer 'craft'/micro breweries, although more interesting in some ways. An above average pale I'd be happy to have on tap.

The Brett blend definitely imparted some good tropical fruit type characteristics and in the finish there is just a hint of something that I associate with Orval. Happy with this one. Even if I made a beer that tastes like a hoppy pale.

This experiment is a good reminder to me about the importance of yeast and how it really does make the beer. I've got three pretty interesting and distinct beers from the same wort, even if none of them is really a grisette. Perhaps I should rename this thread Not-hoppy-tastes-hoppy Brett Pale/Belgian Single/Farmhouse Saison..
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Re: This. Is. Grisette?

Postby StevieDS » Sat Oct 22, 2016 16:09

I tasted a commercial grisette for the first time today and it was rather delicious. It was made by 8 wired brewing, secondary fermentation with brett and it was great, not very saison-y, to me it tasted more like a wild wheat beer.
How did yours turn out in the end?

"The master has failed more times than the beginner has even tried."

Planning: Brett Amarillo Smash
Fermenting: AG52 Brett Saison v2, AG41 Lambic v2.0
Conditioning: AG51 Brett Saison, AG48 Biere de Garde, AG42 Westvleteren XII Clone, AG29 Lambic v1.0
Drinking: AG51 Brett Saison v1, AG53 Standard Bitter
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Re: This. Is. Grisette?

Postby INDIAPALEALE » Sun Oct 23, 2016 09:05

Just for information. The name Grisette comes from the name given to women who worked in the coal mines.
They wore grey clothes, gris or grise in French. Hence the name Grisette.

"You're not drunk if you can lie on the floor without holding on." Dean Martin
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Re: This. Is. Grisette?

Postby rlemkin » Sun Oct 23, 2016 10:20

StevieDS wrote:I tasted a commercial grisette for the first time today and it was rather delicious. It was made by 8 wired brewing, secondary fermentation with brett and it was great, not very saison-y, to me it tasted more like a wild wheat beer.
How did yours turn out in the end?


Was it a collaboration with Modern Times? Have seen them going around recently. I try to avoid US and NZ imports though.. for my wallets sake as much as anything else :whistle:

This is my problem with the style.. if it's got brett character and much acidity then it's not a grisette. It looks like it was never a farmhouse/wild anything. Just a fast and dirty early mass produced sessionable wheat beer for quick consumption. What I brewed barely fits the bill. I'm not convinced it's really a useful name/style..

Did a quick tasting with these the other day. Largely meh if truth be told. They tasted better initially, but the yeast character seems to have dropped off. The Amalgamation Brett blend is frankly very underwhelming and imparts little character now, it's just very clean. I'm not going to use this yeast for primary fermentation again, it's too clean and takes forever. My DIPA fermented with it is still fermenting. The Belgian Abbey yeast is slightly better, but a lot of the character has gone (accidentally got Brett in it, which could be a factor). Will be able to evaluate it better in my Dubbel.

The overwhelming winner is my mix of The Yeast Bay Farmhouse Sour which had Orval & Fantome dregs added two generations ago. Lovely characterful tangerine-y esters and bone dry. No sourness thanks to the hopping. They actually produce a blend (Saison II) which is the Farmhouse Sour without the Lactobacillus because people like the character so much. So my favourite Grisette? Not really a grisette :whistle:

This style is consigned to the dustbin for me..

I've a few bottles left of each, I think with the Brett they should probably improve in time.
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Re: This. Is. Grisette?

Postby StevieDS » Sun Oct 23, 2016 14:11

rlemkin wrote:Was it a collaboration with Modern Times? Have seen them going around recently. I try to avoid US and NZ imports though.. for my wallets sake as much as anything else


That's the one. I know what you mean, it was none too cheap, £3.50 for a half pint I think! It really enjoyed it but not worth that money and not terribly unique. TBH if it didn't have the brett in it I think it would have been incredibly bland.

"The master has failed more times than the beginner has even tried."

Planning: Brett Amarillo Smash
Fermenting: AG52 Brett Saison v2, AG41 Lambic v2.0
Conditioning: AG51 Brett Saison, AG48 Biere de Garde, AG42 Westvleteren XII Clone, AG29 Lambic v1.0
Drinking: AG51 Brett Saison v1, AG53 Standard Bitter
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Re: This. Is. Grisette?

Postby rlemkin » Sun Oct 23, 2016 21:41

StevieDS wrote:
rlemkin wrote:Was it a collaboration with Modern Times? Have seen them going around recently. I try to avoid US and NZ imports though.. for my wallets sake as much as anything else


That's the one. I know what you mean, it was none too cheap, £3.50 for a half pint I think! It really enjoyed it but not worth that money and not terribly unique. TBH if it didn't have the brett in it I think it would have been incredibly bland.


I'm going to hate myself for saying this... but £3.50 isn't bad. I saw a bottle, but it was almost £6 for 330ml!
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Re: This. Is. Grisette?

Postby brugen » Sat Jun 24, 2017 19:08

I was at a beer festival a couple of weeks ago and tried a 3.5% Grisette called Gold Digger by Mad Squirrel Brewery of Potten End, Hertfordshire.

It was very pleasant.

The blurb says "Brewed with a pale lager base malt and a sizeable portion of wheat, El Dorado has been used late in the boil and Loral, a fairly new US hop variety, has been used to dry hop. Fermentation is played out with a mix of two yeast strains. Belle saison yeast and BRY 97. This should combine to give Gold Digger a herbal aromatic quality, with a dry, peppery taste and underlying citrus fruit flavour."

Whether this tasted the same as the lady miners drank in 1945 to celebrate the end of the war I very much doubt. But at £1.50 a half pint you can't complain.
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