My first thought was to use it in one of my standard pale saison recipes, but I have a lot of them on the go at the moment, so I decided to try something a little different for my first batch. I’ve been intrigued for a while by the recipe for Saison de Pipaix in Farmhouse Ales. The grist---58% pilsner, 40% vienna, 2% amber---is pretty different from my usual saison base of 90% pilsner and 10% wheat, and Phil Markowski’s description makes the beer sound delicious:
“Decidedly rustic with woody, fruity, iron notes on top of a malty, dryish sour backdrop. The flavour is peppery, fruity, and dry; refreshing and pleasantly funky. A true farmhouse ale.”I actually bought a bottle once, based on this write up, but it was completely flat and possibly oxidized, so it went down the drain. I’ve been wary about picking up another after this experience, so once again this is an “inspired by” beer based more on description than acquaintance.
That said, I think this yeast should be well-suited here: perhaps not for making a clone beer, but certainly for making something that fits the beer I imagine. The blurb on The Yeast Bay website makes it sound like the strain should hit all the right notes. First, the Farmhouse Ales recipe mentions very high attenuation, at around 92%; the Yeast Bay description says that their yeast “exhibits absurdly high attenuation, resulting in a practically bone-dry beer”. Second, Ed Markowski described Pipaix as dryish sour and pleasantly funky; the Wallonian Farmhouse strain “imparts a slight earthy funk and tart character to the beer” and is “a very mild producer of some slightly spicy and mildly smokey flavor compounds”.
The write up at Ales of the Riverwards bolstered all of this. While I’m not planning on adding any of the spices that are listed in the original recipe, Ed Coffey said of his first beer that if he told me people he’d added spices, they’d believe him. He also said that the yeast emphasized the pilsner malt, which should work nicely with the more flavourful vienna and amber malt in the mix as well.
I decided to exercise a bit of restraint with the hops to let the yeast shine through. The original recipe lists Hallertauer, East Kent Goldings, and Styrian Goldings, but though I had all of these on hand, I threw some Willamette and Northern Brewer into the mix to emphasize the woodsy, earthy flavours. I gave the wort a good 40 seconds of oxygen to encourage attenuation, then set it in my fermentation chamber at 70°F. I’ll probably pull it out after 24-36 hours and let it free rise to wherever it wants to go.
Update: Tasting Notes.
|2% Amber||(Thomas Fawcett)|
|Northern Brewer||60||23.9 IBUs||(16g @ 7.5%)|
|Styrian Goldings||20||3.5 IBUs||(15g @ 3.5%)|
|Willamette||20||4.8 IBUs||(15g @ 4.8%)|
|East Kent Goldings||1||2.0 IBUs||(10g @ 5.9%)|
|Wilamette||1||1.6 IBUs||(10g @ 4.8%)|