Looking to do something different, and after really liking my rosehip Saison from last year, I decided to make a rhubarb Saison, with some raspberries added for good measure. Needless to say, this is influenced by the glut of rhubarb and raspberries in the garden at this time of year, and it has become a tradition to use the summer garden fruit in beer as much every year.
I went for a fairly simple grain bill of mainly Pilsner malt, with some wheat, Vienna, and CaraMunich malts. Hops were Fuggles and East Kent Golding, with some Huel Melon at the end. This was a new hop to me, but gives strawberry and melon aromas. It certainly smells that way from the packet.
I added 450g of fairly thinly sliced rhubarb to the last 20 mins of the boil, then another 450g of sliced blanched rhubarb in the primary fermentation in a bag. After fermentation had pretty much finished at 9 days, I added another 750g of sliced and blanched rhubarb and 500g of pasteurised (80C) freshly picked raspberries to the suspended bag.
Rhubarb and raspberries being pasteurised
Fermentation was set to 26-27C to maximise the spicy fruitiness from the Mangrove Jack’s French Saison yeast.
At this stage the gravity has dropped to 1.001, so is very dry indeed, and 6.4%. The fruit will have some fermentable sugars to add to this. I’ll leave this for another 7-10 days before bottling.