Monday, March 7, 2011


Flash back to early summer, 2010. A group of us were at Sweeney's Saloon in St. Paul and they had some kind of special on local beers or something. So we ordered a few pitchers of Lift Bridge Farm Girl Saison. I swear I'd tried it earlier and was unimpressed. But on this particular summer evening, the stars were aligned and I officially found my Summer Beer.

I was such a die-hard fan, I actually noticed when they changed the "farm girl" on the label mid-summer. My undying devotion was so strong, Tom even abandoned his "only buy things if they're on sale" mantra. Whoa, dudes. Eventually the summer ended. Our wedding was at the end of September and I drank Farm Girl on our mini-honeymoon in Wisconsin. Not long after that, with snow on the ground, Farm Girl fell out of regular rotation on tap at bars and I switched to porters and stouts to warm up.

All this is leading up to our most recent batch of beer: a saison kit from Northern Brewer.

Here's the thing. I do not have the patience or even really the interest in brewing beer that takes a long time. When I see the time-frame on some kits as being 3 months, I scoff and move on. But for a saison and the possibility of creating my own version of Lift Bridge? I will suck it up and keep a batch brewing for two months. Besides, it makes me excited to imagine that this will be my SUMMER homebrew!

So, on March 6th we brewed the saison. It was our third time brewing at home (by ourselves) and we both agreed there was a lot less stress this time around. Maybe we're getting the hang of things?????

The kit. Lots of malt and lots of hops.

Adding some of the hops pre-boil. The final .5 ounce of hops was added just 15 minutes before the end of the boil.

Tom chills the wort. Our least favorite part.

Saison! So pretty!

Now, our Northern Brewer instructions say we're supposed to use a plastic bucket as our primary fermenter but how can you tell it's fermenting if you can't see it? So we put it in the glass carboy. Because then we get to see...

Fermentation! OK, maybe explosive fermentation...

In a week or two, we'll transfer it to a secondary fermenter. It will sit there for about a month and then we'll bottle. 1-2 weeks after being bottled, the beer will (hopefully!) be ready.

So, come May 6th you know where to find me. In the back yard with sun on my face and a cold saison in my hand. :)

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