Ah, the timeless tradition of beer brewing. Now, before the world went to hell in a handbasket, the Belgian and French Saison style was one of the most celebrated beer types on the old continent. I’ve always had a soft spot for its lively carbonation, fruity and spicy notes, and the dry finish that cuts through the dread of an impending zombie apocalypse like a hot knife through butter.
To brew 5 gallons of Jimbo’s Beerbos, you’ll need:
- 68% Pils Malt
- 15% Weyermann Wheat Malt
- 7% Flaked Oats
- 10% Vienna Malt
- 40g Slovenian Hop Pellets
- 70g Czech Saaz Whole Hops
- A combination of Belgian and French Saison yeast
- Start by mashing the Pils Malt, Wheat Malt, Flaked Oats, and Vienna Malt at 151-152°F (66-67°C) for about an hour. The starches in the grains will convert into sugars, creating a sweet liquid called wort.
- After mashing, separate the wort from the grains. If you’re using steeping grains, remember to put the crushed grains into a muslin bag for easy removal.
- Bring the wort to a boil and add the Slovenian hop pellets. Boil for 60 minutes. With 15 minutes remaining, add the Czech Saaz hops.
- Cool the wort down to 68°F (20°C). This is crucial because if the wort is too hot when the yeast is pitched, it can kill the yeast.
- Pitch the Belgian and French Saison yeast and let the wort ferment for 10 days.
- Original Gravity (OG): 1.055 – 1.065
- Final Gravity (FG): 1.002 – 1.008
- Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 5.5% – 6.5%
- International Bitterness Units (IBU): 20 – 35
- Color (SRM): 5 – 14
The brewing process is all about achieving the ideal balance between the malt sweetness and the yeast’s unique flavor contributions. The mash temperature at 151-152°F (66-67°C) is key to producing the right amount of fermentable sugars, ensuring a dry finish characteristic of the Saison style. The yeast is pitched at a lower temperature of 68°F (20°C) to avoid producing excessive fruity and spicy flavors.The Belgian and French Saison yeasts were chosen because they provide the complex mix of fruity and spicy flavors that define this style. These yeasts also have a high attenuation, meaning they consume most of the sugars during fermentation, contributing to the beer’s dry finish.
Jimbo’s Beerbos, when brewed correctly, will yield a complex beer with a fruity and spicy character, a soft malt backdrop, and a refreshingly dry finish. The use of Slovenian and Czech Saaz hops offers a delicate bitterness that beautifully complements the beer’s flavor profile. As for aging, Saisons can be enjoyed fresh or aged. Aging will mellow out the flavors and add complexity, but it can also reduce the hop character and freshness of the beer.
Brewing a Saison isn’t just about the end result, it’s about the tradition, the history, and the love for beer that has survived through ages and even through the zombie apocalypse. As I always say, the only thing better than cracking a zombie’s skull is cracking a cold one after a long day of zombie hunting. Cheers to survival and good beer!