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Saison de Citra 5.0% Dry-Hopped Farmhouse Ale

Saison de Citra 5.0% Dry-Hopped Farmhouse Ale is a brew, which trialled a Belgian Saison strain of yeast supplied by international brewers yeast company, Fermentis.

Last year, Fork Brewing brewer, Kelly Ryan, was invited to Adelaide to speak at the Australian Craft Brewers Conference about the use of trial hop varieties in the brewery (along with Dr. Ron Beatson of NZ Plant & Food Research, NZ's very own hop growing legend!). 

The Fermentis Yeast Sales Director for Asia Pacific, Jo Pitt, happened to be at the seminar and contacted Kelly to look into doing some yeast trials for Fermentis and coincide the release at the Institute of Brewing and Distilling's Asia Pacific Conference (June 19-23, 2018).

The yeast Kelly trialled was called SafAle BE-134, a Belgian Saison strain. Typified by high attenuation (90%), it's very efficient at consuming all of the sugars that come from the wort, resulting in a clean, dry-finished beer.

The strain also produces a solid amount of compounds that cause spicy and fruity aromatics, which is what Kelly wanted to look at.

"The Saison de Citra I brewed was split into three batches, with 1000 litres of it destined for said beer," he says. 

"Two lots of 100 litres were separated and placed into my small fermenters and then fermented at differing temperatures with the same amount of yeast added. One batch was fermented at 18 degrees Celsius and the other at 28 degrees Celsius.

"The results are quite interesting!"

The Saison de Citra was fermented at 24 degrees Celsius and, as well as the Nelson Sauvin hop flowers Kelly used in the kettle, it was further dry hopped with American Citra and Mosaic hops.

"The objective was to really push forward the citrus and tropical fruit characters of these varieties and also investigate how the yeast itself interacted with quite a decent dry hop. This process, coined Biotransformation, is a bit of a hot topic at the moment in the world of brewing, with our friends down at the University of Otago doing quite a bit of research into this," says Kelly.

"Hopefully it will enable brewers to get more of the delightful aroma-rich hop essential oils into the beer and make for a more delicious beer!"

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Saison de Citra Dry-Hopped Farmhouse Ale Tasting Notes

Appearance - Hazy pale yellow with a fine white head.

Aroma - A slight piny note surrounded by dominant esters, mainly pear-drop. Almost Sauvignon Blanc-esque in some aromatics, with gooseberry and ribes characters with underlying mango and papaya. 

Flavour - Clean and light on the palate with a gentle mouthfeel and dry finish. Some yeast-derived tartness in the aftertaste. A little biscuity wheat malt character and some lemon and lime curd, juicy fruit gum and mountain papaya notes.

Malts - Pilsener and Wheat

Hops - Nelson Sauvin, Citra Mosaic

Yeast - Fermentis SafAle BE-134, warm fermented

AbV - 5.0%

Bitterness - Low

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