Brewing with Saggy Stone Brewing
May 24, 2022
Saggy Stone Brewing Company was up for the challenge of developing a seasonal saison beer to complement its existing lineup of ales. Liam McElhinney, head brewer at the South African craft brewing company, wanted to retain authentic, saison-style notes with no risk of over-attenuation or over-carbonation after packaging.
This year, he teamed up with Lallemand Brewing to try the new LalBrew Farmhouse™ hybridised, non-diastaticus yeast strain. For previous saisons, McElhinney used the LalBrew Belle Saison™ strain to contribute spicy and peppery notes. However, it is a diastatic yeast, which can result in over-attenuated beers if proper care is not taken to prevent cross-contamination.
Yeast experts developed the LalBrew Farmhouse™ strain using classical and non-GMO methods to remove the STA1 gene, which is responsible for the diastatic activity of saison yeasts. Care was taken to retain normal brewing sugar utilization to produce dry saisons. Additionally, the patented technology helps ensure the strain will not produce sulfurous off flavors —
enhancing the saison yeast aroma characteristics.
To create the Saggy Stone Brewing seasonal saison, McElhinney adjusted the mash regime and used glucoamylase enzyme to achieve the typical dryness of a saison. The LalBrew Farmhouse™ yeast was rehydrated in 5L of wort for 15 minutes before transfer to the fermenter. In total, 500 g was used to ferment a 1200L batch. The yeast performed exceptionally well during fermentation reaching terminal gravity and 84% attenuation in six to seven days (Figure 1), which is significantly faster than a typical diastatic saison yeast strain. The temperature of 20-25°C was chosen by McElhinney to bring out some of the spice characteristics of the yeast to complement the hops Motueka and
Saphir hops coming from the kettle on the brew day.
The result is the Farmhouse Saison from small brewer’s batch #9. The brewery describes it as spritzy, light and dry with a fruity and clove aroma and peppery and spicy flavor. With a final alcohol of 5.2% and an IBU of 21, the beer is receiving positive reviews for its ease of drinking, particularly on a hot summer’s day.
That is the cool thing about working with Lallemand, not only are their yeasts world class, but they always keep exploring and
pushing the boundaries with new products. We were all so super excited about the final product, I think the yeast really adds some layers to the beer in terms of aroma and flavor. All the typical saison characteristics are there and really well balanced, which makes this beer really sessionable! “
Liam, Head Brewer at Saggy Stone Brewing Co
Figure 1: Saggy Stone Brewing Farmhouse Saison Brewing Temperature