Beer Recipe: “Mo’Citra” Hoppy Saison

This beer is the spiritual successor of last season’s “Lawn Dart” Saison. I really enjoyed the high dose of wheat, and decided to up the ante with some rye.  I also wanted to have a bit more of a hop impression without much bitterness, so I used a favorite technique of minehop burstingwith my favorite hop pair, Mosiac and Citra.

Batch Size: 5 gal/ 18.9 L

Malt:
4 lb/  1.81 kg     2-row brewer’s malt (Briess)
3 lb/ 1.36 kg     Rye malt (Weyerman and Great Western)
3 lb/ 1.36  kg    Belgian wheat malt
1 lb/ 0.453 kg  Pilsener malt (Best Malz)

Hops:
1 oz/ 28 g            Citra, 13.9%, 10 min, 17.1 IBU
1 oz/ 28 g            Mosaic, 12.5%, 10 min, 13.9 IBU
1 oz/ 28 g            Citra, 13.9%, 5 min, 9.4 IBU
1 oz/ 28 g            Mosaic, 12.5%, 5 min, 7.6 IBU
Total IBU:           48.1 (Tinseth)

Yeast:
1 pkt                     Belle Saison (Lallemand)

Other:
1 tsp                  Hydrated irish moss (10 min)
1/2 tsp              Wyeast nutrient (10 min)
30 sec               pure oxygen, 0.5 micron stone, 1 hour after pitching

Target CO2:     2.8 vol

Gravity:
OG:                    1.054 (70% mash eff; target 1.056, 72% eff)
FG:                    1.007 (88% apparent atten.)
ABV:                  7% after conditioning

Water:
Mash temp:          152F/ 66.7C (target 152F/ 66.7C)
Mash thickness: 1.4 qt/lb/ 2.8L/kg
Single infusion mash, single (batch) sparge
Boil time:              60 min

Calculated Profile:

Calcium 76.8 Sulfate 119.4 Hardness 216
Magnesium 5.8 Chloride 59.2 Alkalinity 20
Sodium 135.3 Bicarbonate 24.3 RA -38

I was pretty happy with this water profile, save for the sodium content, which is just how my water is served up.  I adjusted the sulfate to chloride ratio for a crisper finish (higher sulfates), and used lactic acid to decrease the residual alkalinity and ensure a brightly flavored beer.  I added the sparge calcium additions directly to the kettle instead of the sparge water.  (See my water treatment posts here.)

Fermentation Temperature: I pitched at 76F/24.4C.  It got pretty warm in my brew cabinet, and this brew probably spent most of its time at 78-82F/25.6-27.8C which is in the realm where I would be very nervous for most yeasts.  But, given that this is a saison yeast, I wasn’t too concerned.  Indeed, this is why I brew styles like this in the summermy ground water gets up around 75F/23.8C+ which kills my ability to chill, and and I keep my house warmer.  I used a lamp to keep the cabinet warm near the end to help the yeast clean up.

Tasting Notes:

saison

Mo’Citra Saison

Appearance: Pours with thick creamy white head and hazy golden straw color

Aroma: fresh, clean, citrusy hops

Taste: great hop flavor, coming across as orange/tropical fruity without much actual bitterness; while not center stage, the rye and wheat make their presence known, giving a crisp tartness and a more “rustic” flavor; hop flavor is about as high as it can go without needing some sweeter malts to balance; slightly acidic, dry finish

Mouthfeel: much more substantial feeling than the gravity would let on; if not for the high carbonation level, it might border on slightly silky, likely from the high doses of wheat and especially rye; carbonation is actually a little high for me: though probably fine for the style, I find it much more drinkable if I pour vigorously and swirl it around a bit

Overall: This is a great, drinkable summer quencher with its dry finish, but without sacrificing mouthfeel or flavor.  The biggest thing I would change about this beer is the yeast.  I love dry yeast for its ability to ship more safely in the summer and its ease of use, and have been looking forward to trying the Belle Saison.  While the beer is quite enjoyable, I find it slightly lacking in yeast-driven flavors compared to WLP566 Belgian Saison II, which I have used in the past.  I have seen a few other people with comments to this general effect as well (Micheal Tonsmeire comes to mind). If you are unable to get liquid yeast, the Belle Saison is very good, but if shipping isn’t an issue, the liquid saison yeasts really seems to kick the beer up that extra notch.

– Dennis,
Life, Fermented

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About Dennis
Home brewer, home chef, garage tinkerer. Author of Life Fermented blog.

5 Responses to Beer Recipe: “Mo’Citra” Hoppy Saison

  1. Citra is one of my favourite hops to drink… a local Perth brewery has a black IPA – Karma Citra that is absolutely brilliant

    • Dennis says:

      Unfortunately Perth is not so local to me! I’m a little surprised that its not a more popular craft brewing hop, actually. It seems to enjoy a certain popularity among home brewers that simply hasn’t translated over to the pro world. Perhaps there just isn’t enough of it being planted? One of the many reasons to brew your own beer, I suppose…

  2. wawawuwa says:

    Sorry for being so late, but I have a question, if I wanted to experiment with these making a 1 gal brew, will it work dividing every ingredient quantity by 5?

    • Dennis says:

      More or less, yes. The biggest differences will be the amount of yeast that gets pitched for a given volume of wort, and the temperature profile. The yeast would be relatively easy to control if you have a decent scale, but the temperature profile of a relatively huge thermal mass is going to be very different from a single gallon fermentor: think of the difference in surface area to volume! That said, I wouldn’t worry about either of those things until you are trying to hit a very specific mark. Either way, it should make a great beer!

      • wawawuwa says:

        Thank you for your early reply, I like your recipe, I’m aiming for a fruity feeling brew which is what Mosaic and Citra will give. I was planning on using 2.5 g of dry belle Saison yeast. I modified the recipe a bit by adding some more Citra as dry hopping 7 days into fermenting. I will report back with my results when I get to try this. Cheers!

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