Saison Yeast Character

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Saison Yeast Character

Hi all!

I love to brew different saisons and I have tried many of Drews different ideas. One of my own saisons that I have brewed many times is based on a very standard saison recipe with mainly pilsner malt and a few percent of wheat and vienna added to it - on top of that it is lightly seasoned with lemongrass, fresh ginger and lime zest. It gives a nice hint of asians cousine but it is still the fermentation spiciness that brings most of the taste. I have tried it with many different yeast and to me it comes out best with one of the classic saison yeasts like WLP565 or maybe WLP585. 

Now to the question - I like this beer best when the yeast character is more peppery then bubble-gum-like. I get both of these flavors from the yeast but sometimes more or less of them. I have not yet entirely mastered how to handle the fermentation to select which of these flavors that come dominant. So, to Drew and all other saison gurus out there - how should I treat the Saison yeast to get that lovely peppery tones? Amount of yeast? Oxygen? Temperature profile (I almost always start low and then let it raise quite high)? Yeast strain selection? What else? 

Thank you very much! 




drew's picture
Pepper and clove are phenols

Pepper and clove are phenols so usually I pursue those with lower temps. I never much like to try and abuse yeast. I also don't think you get much more pepper than WLP565