Saisons and IPAs are some of my favourite beers to brew. With Voodoo Child I thought I would combine the two in one unholy beer. My suspicion is that the spicy, peppery notes from the saison yeast should combine quite beautifully with the fruity juiciness of the hops to produce something wonderful. India Pale Saison anyone? I've never been completely happy with my IPAs, for such a seemingly simple beer style it seems quite difficult to really pin down. I always find that when I get one factor right, some other facet of the beer is a bit lacking. Perhaps one of these days I should take a few brews to really dial in the IPA, but for now here is Voodoo Child.
For the yeast I went with Wyeast's 3711 French Saison. I've used it before and have been very happy with the results and I've never had any of the stuck fermentation issues that people seem to struggle with when using the Dupont strain, for example. It produces a lovely, spicy flavour that I think of as the defining characteristic of saisons.
The hops for this brew came from what I had at hand in my freezer, Newport from the hopsinjoor, Mosaic and Amarillo. I'm hoping for the flavour from the hops to be tropical and juicy with a bit of resiny spice to compliment the yeast. Newport is primarily a bittering hop, it has a rather mild, slightly resiny flavour. I used it here for both bittering and aroma. Mosaic and Amarillo both have tropical and citrus flavours, with Mosaic adding berries and resiny aromas to the mix too. In this brew I used Amarillo only for dry hopping.
The bulk of the grist consisted of Marris Otter, with some Vienna for just a hint of malt and a smattering of caramel malts for a bit of body and colour. I also threw in a tiny bit of black malt to push up the colour just a touch.
The brew was a fairly straight forward single infusion mash. I mashed low and long, at 64°C for 110 minutes, because I wanted the end result to be a dry beer and thus needed to maximise the fermentability of the wort. After the mash I had 26l of wort at 1.044. I boiled for 90 minutes to get 20.5l at 1.053, two points below my planned OG, but close enough.
Batch size: 20l
Expected OG: 1.055
Expected FG: 1.011
Expected ABV: 5.7%
Colour (SRM): 6.3
83.9% (4.0 kg) Marris Otter
10.5% (0.5 kg) Vienna
4.2% (0.2 kg) CaraBelge
1.3% (60 g) CaraPils
0.2% (8 g) Black Malt
Newport (10g / 13 IBU) @ 45 min
Mosaic (10g / 11 IBU) @ 30 min
Newport (20g / 10 IBU) @ 10 min
Mosaic (20g / 10 IBU) @ 10 min
Newport (30g / 0 IBU) @ hopstand 30 min
Mosaic (30g / 0 IBU) @ hopstand 30 min
Newport (40g / 0 IBU) @ Dry Hop 7 days
Mosaic (40g / 0 IBU) @ Dry Hop 7 days
Amarillo (40g / 0 IBU) @ Dry Hop 7 days
Wyeast 3711 French Saison