The best versions of this style can make you sit up straight, look at the glass, and remind yourself that simple—done well—can be really, really satisfying. For more on brewing it, see Make Your Best Belgian Golden Strong Ale.
Batch size: 5 gallons (19 liters)
Brewhouse efficiency: 72%
11 lb (5 kg) Belgian pilsner
HOPS & ADDITIONS SCHEDULE
2.2 oz (62 g) Styrian Goldings [5.4% AA] at 70 minutes
3 lb (1.4 kg) light Belgian candi syrup at 10 minutes
Wyeast 3711 French Saison
Mill the grains and mash at 152°F (67°C) for 60 minutes. Vorlauf until your runnings are clear, then run off into the kettle. Sparge and top up as necessary to obtain about 6 gallons (23 liters) of wort—or more, depending on your evaporation rate. Boil for 70 minutes, adding hops and candi syrup according to the schedule—and when adding the syrup, remove from heat and stir in until completely dissolved. After the boil, chill to about 62°F (17°C), aerate with pure oxygen or filtered air, and pitch the yeast. Ferment at 62°F (17°C), increasing by about 1°F (0.5° C) per day, up to 80°F (27°C), then hold until fermentation is complete. Crash to 35°F (2°C), then bottle or keg and carbonate to about 2.75 volumes.
TIPS FOR SUCCESS
Don’t attempt this beer unless you can ensure a relatively warm fermentation. If you struggle to get beers above 68°F (20°C)—maybe you’re in the basement in winter—then the beer may not dry out as much as it needs to. One trick to juice the yeast and keep them fermenting is to put the fermentor on a floor heating vent and wrap it with a towel.