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Tasting – Styrian Spelt Saison


For some time now I’ve felt that what is lacking in my approach to home brewing is the followup – I enjoy the brewing itself and (obviously) the beer but despite the best of intentions, I don’t get around to really tasting my brews – that is, taking time to do a structured tasting where you evaluate how well you achieved the goals that you set out for the beer and what might be done differently to better the process and end result. To rectify this I thought that it might be a good idea to start a blog where I post the recipe and tasting, in a way forcing myself to take better notes while brewing, doing a proper tasting of the end result and perhaps even getting some feedback (in the off change that someone might even stumble upon the page).
To start things of I’m posting both the recipe and tasting of a saison with spelt that has been on tap in my kegerator for some time now. For this beer I wanted to get some “continental” character to serve as a counterpoint to the American hopped saisons I’ve brewed this summer. I’ve made a few saisons with spelt this summer that I’ve really enjoyed so I wanted to combine the bready spelt taste with an European hop, this time with Styrian Goldings that I had in hand. This was also the first beer that I kegged with hops in the tank and I feel that contributed to a very wholesome hop taste.


Styrian Spelt Saison

Appearance : Pours with a very large white head due to the flaked spelt. The head stays on for quite a while leaving a nice lacing as the surface in the class goes down. The light yellow body is hazy with both the spelt and the dryhops in the keg. A very “Hefe-ish” appearance.

Smell : The beer has a very strong continental hop character that is now, after about a month in the keg, starting to mellow down and is moving towards a crassy note (perhaps because of the pellet hops?). A month back the hop smell was substantially brighter. The spelt is in evidence as well having a note of a fresh baked wheat bread under the hoppy scent.

Taste : Nice balance of “English” hops taste with a wheaty malt character. The bitterness is just right for a beer this small. A bit of fruitiness from the yeast lurks in the edges, but less than what I got from the previous saisons made with WY3711 even though the fermentation took place in the upper 25’s.

Mouthfeel : Given the FG of 1.000 the beer has a really nice mouthfeel. Could use a bit more carbonation perhaps.

Notes : A very enjoyable saison, with a different hop character from the “C-hops” that I’ve mostly tried this summer. Next year I plan to give other saison yeast strains a go, the WY3711 (and Belle Saison dry yeast) works really well but I don’t get a whole lot of yeast character out of it (this time even less than on previous brews), certainly nothing close to the one commercial saison that I’ve tried (Saison Dupont Biologique).

From → Tastings

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