My girlfriend and I brewed this one up this past summer, taking advantage of the high-heat to ferment at proper Saison temperatures. This one was brewed with my sour-beer equipment, which most definitely has bugs living in it. It was fermented with WYeast 3724 Belgian Saison, but many of the distinct characteristics of that yeast have been muted by the lovely wild yeasts living in my equipment. First, the recipe, than a full review of the beer.
4oz. of dried Hibiscus at 15 min
.5oz of dried Ginger at 5 mins
Single batch infusion–Mash at 148 F for 75 minutes. Sparge with 170 F water. OG= 1.060 FG= 1.002 ABV= 7.6%
Appearance: Pours with a small, frothy white head. The body of the ale is a copperish red/pink, getting most of its color from the Hibiscus.
Aroma: Slight coriander spiciness, hints of fresh rain, straw, and solvent.
Flavor: Tangy with a hint of hop bitterness on the back. Very little ginger character, but the hibiscus really cuts through built on top of a hay-like malt profile. Mouthfeel is thin and bubbly. The obvious brett/lactic presence adds some layers of acidity and rustic, barnyard characteristics, though at the same time muddling the spiciness that the WYeast strain is known for.
Overall Impression: Drinkable and stronger than it would seem to be. It’s a little underwhelming to drink do to some of the flavors just being muddled. The ginger has little presence, and in future incarnations of this brew I would use fresh ginger, as opposed to the stale dried ginger I used here. I would also not inoculate it by using sour equipment–I would either go one way with just the WYeast 3724, or the other way with a purposeful lab strain of Brett or a blend of bugs. For now though it’s a drinkable brew, and a noble first attempt at the recipe.