Haystack Saison All Grain Recipe Kit

Item Number: 1244

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Haystack Saison pays respects to the pre-modern farmhouse ales traditionally brewed during spring on Belgian farms. Firm bitterness and a slightly elevated alcohol content ensures this beer will keep through summer, but is a perfect treat year-round. Peppery spice flavors are deftly sown into fruitful notes of earthy tartness and baled with fresh hay-like malt character. This is not a beer to leave fallow. Even young, crack a bottle and harvest the yield of your labors - you worked for it.

Brewing Notes:

  • Style: Saison
  • Fermentation Range: 70 - 80°F
  • Original Gravity: 1.056
  • SRM: 6.5
  • IBU: 40s
  • ABV: 5.8%

Tasting Notes:

  • Aroma: Low malt aroma of faint biscuit with a touch of sweet caramel. Stone fruit, earthy and peppery spice yeast notes with supporting medium-low floral, spicy, and earthy hop aroma.
  • Appearance: Deep straw-gold hue with a dense and persistent bright white foam head. Moderate clarity.
  • Flavor: Moderate clean malt flavors and medium-high bitterness. The yeast and hops offer a flavor combination of slight tartness, dark fruit, and peppery spice with floral and earthy characteristics. Low bubblegum flavor can be present. Very dry on the finish.
  • Mouthfeel: Medium-light body with moderate to high bubbly effervescence. Very faint tart sensation on the back of the tongue upon swallowing.


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Notes from Brad, Northern Brewer Head Brewer:

“As one of the old-school beer styles, Saison is perhaps one of the most tweaked and twisted styles out there. Since its origination on the farmsteads of Belgium, Saison was generally brewed with the ingredients available on the farm at the time, and once brewed, served as a refreshing and thirst-quenching beverage for the hard-working farm hands employed there. By its very nature and history, Saison is a wide-reaching style category with many variations therewithin. For this recipe, we chose to stick to a simple grain bill and hop schedule to really let the main ingredient (and arguably the ingredient that actually make this a true Saison)” shine. Aside from the malt composition, what really defines the Saison style is the specific yeast strain(s) that are suitable for production of this classic beer. Hops are important as well, but generally, anything with “noble-esque” flavor and aroma characteristics fit the bill here. But more about the yeast!

The yeast strains paired with this recipe kit will all create a fantastic Saison, but they all have a few subtle differences. The dry option, Fermentis SafAle BE-134, will produce a well-balanced, dry Saison with a pleasant harmony of spicy phenolics and fruity esters. This yeast is nearly fool-proof and produces a great middle-of-the-road Saison. As far as the liquid options are concerned, we have an awesome variety to choose from!

Saison yeast strains are generally classified into two versions: French and Belgian. In this case, the yeast strain that represents the French Saison strain is Imperial B64 Napoleon. Expect a citrus-forward ester profile with supporting black pepper phenolics and high attenuation to ferment out incredibly dry. This yeast strain is a beast and absolutely chows through the sugars in no time at all resulting in a surprisingly rapid fermentation.

If you would prefer a Saison with the Belgian version of the strain, Wyeast 3724 is the answer here. This particular strain tends to favor a bit more ester production and fewer phenols, while also providing notes of bubblegum and a slight tart flavor as well. If you choose this option, just be aware that this yeast strain is notorious for stalling about halfway through the fermentation, around 1.035 to 1.030 or so. If this happens to you, just be patient. Given enough time and elevated temperatures (upper 80s to 90°F) it will finish off just fine on its own. If you are in a rush, you can always add another yeast strain to the fermentation to coax it into fully attenuating.

The final liquid option paired with this recipe is Omega Yeast’s OYL-500 Saisonstein. This strain is a pretty awesome genetic hybrid of both French and Belgian Saison yeast strains, dreamed up and bred by the mad scientists at Omega. Due to its lineage, this yeast represents the best of each individual strain, providing a full range of both esters and phenolics, while rapidly attenuating without stalling like traditional Belgian Saison strains. Personally, this is my favorite saison strain out there and always gives predictable, consistent results.

Although the flavor profiles and fermentation kinetics of these individual strains may vary, they all have one thing in common: they are all diastatic strains (saccharomyces var. diastaticus). This means that these yeast strains all contain a specific gene (STA1) that is responsible for coding to excrete a diastatic enzyme that further breaks down longer-chain wort constituents (dextrins, complex polysaccharides) into simple, fermentable sugars during the active fermentation process, meaning incredibly high attenuation rates and very dry resultant beers.”

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