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I am half dozen or so batches into my homebrewing "career" (Saison du Buff, Jasmine IPA and Midas Touch among my highlights) I found a recipe for a darker saison. I made some modifications (chocolate malt & vanilla bean), but I am confused/nervous about fermentation. Recipe says 105 days in primary, but that seems ABSOLUTELY INSANE to me. I am thinking about going standard 2ish weeks in the bucket then transferring to carboy to ride out the remaining 90ish days. Am I daft for thinking 105 days of primary seems odd? Or should I skip the bucket, go straight into carboy and pitch into it and do the full 105 there?

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link to the recipe? –  mdma May 4 '13 at 15:36
    
Here's the recipe; it was silly of me to not add it in original post. Thanks for the help: vanillawiki.org/discussion/725/william-street-saison-extract/p1 –  zorbthegeek May 4 '13 at 16:14

3 Answers 3

In my dealings with Saison yeast they take a bloody long time to finish primary fermentation, 105 days doesn't sound untoward to me. You'll find that it'll be slowly bubbling for the whole time.

It's definitely a patience yeast, and you'll probably want to make enough so you can check the gravity every 3-4 weeks to ensure it's still going (and to give you peace of mind)

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I used WY 3724 in my last saison. My records show 60 days to go from 1.053 to 1.005, but I kept the temperature at 88 F. for most of that.

For the first few days, the yeast is very active. However, the krausen falls, and the yeast slows down once 50% apparent attenuation is reached. If you raise the temperature and are patient, the yeast will keep going and show some impressive attenuation numbers.

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sorry if I seem dense... so would go you straight to the carboy? 3 months on the yeast cake just seems odd to me. Everything I have read about brewing has said don't expose beer to yeast that long (off flavors, etc). The last saison I made was much shorter (2 weeks primary, 2 weeks secondary, 2 weeks in the bottle). I am kicking myself right now for not finding a more detailed recipe. –  zorbthegeek May 4 '13 at 19:52
    
I left it in the primary fermenter (a 6 gallon carboy) for the entire 60 days. I didn't detect any flavours that I would attribute to autolysis. –  Tobias Patton May 4 '13 at 21:44

What yeast are you using?
I've had 2-3 month primaries with saisons in the past, nothing to worry about.

From http://www.wyeastlab.com/hb_yeaststrain_detail.cfm?ID=60

This strain is notorious for a rapid and vigorous start to fermentation, only to stick around 1.035 S.G. Fermentation will finish, given time and warm temperatures.

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I am using WYeast 3724. Pitched it this morning, airlock is already popping along. Thanks for the help everyone. –  zorbthegeek May 5 '13 at 5:31

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