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2021 BJCP 25B Saison characteristic ingredients: "Pale base malt. Cereal grains, such as wheat, oats, spelt, or rye. May contain sugary adjuncts. Continental hops. Spicy-fruity Belgian Saison yeast. Spices and herbs are uncommon, but allowable if they don’t dominate."
Traditional versions were brewed with 5% to 30% non-barley grains. Most recipes seem to have a generous amount of wheat (about 10 to 20%) and a lesser amount of rye (5%). If unmalted grain is used, consider using appropriate mash practices such as cereal mashes, ferulic acid rests, and protein rests. Darker saisons may have dark crystal malts, cara-munich, cara-vienna, and/or dark sugars like dark candi syrup.
There are three possible strengths (table, standard, and super) and two possible colors (pale and dark).The finish should be dry. High carbonation is expected.
The hops should be from the continental European hop family. Hallertau, Saax, EK Goldings, and Styrian Goldings are recommended. Some New Zealand hops are possibilities. Late hop additions and dry hops can be done.
The yeast should be a saison yeast, which sometimes have a diastaticus or STA1 gene that facilitates high attenuation. Fermentation temperature may be relatively high. Some saison yeast strains are known to be finicky and slow fermenters.
Dornbusch, H. (2006, December): Saison's greetings: Belgian farmhouse ale for the holiday season. BYO, 19-22.
Heniff, M. (2005, July-August) Saison: A farmhouse brew for all seasons. BYO, 45-48.
Larsimont, J.C. (2018, March-April) Saving saison: Belgium's forgotten style. BYO, 50-55.
Strong, G. (2013, May-June) Saison: A beer for all seasons, BYO, 32-41.
Strong, G. (2023, January-February) Simply saison. BYO, 24-26.
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