Split Batch Recipe and Review: B.I.TS. Saison and IPA

13600077_1119242661432111_6866657177619082816_nAfter an almost four month hiatus from homebrewing due to the birth of my daughter I decided to brew two 5 gallon batches from one grain bill, an IPA and a saison. To make each of them unique I chose a hop combonation and yeast strain that I’d never used before for the IPA and a yeast blend and hop that I had only used once in the past (Mandarina Bavaria) for the saison. Overall, I’m pretty happy with the results and will definitely be brewing these recipe/s again and also looking for other styles that I can brew split batches with. Below are the specs of my recipe/s and tasting notes on each beer.

Feel free to comment on this post with any questions about my recipe, brewing processes, and the finished beers. Cheers!


Recipe Specs:

Brewed: July 3, 2016

Size: Two 5.25 US gallon batches

Boil Time: 60 Minutes each



13 lbs 2-row (63.4%)

2.5 lbs White Wheat (12.2%)

2 lbs Flaked Oats (9.8%)

2 lbs Pilsner (Belgian) (9.8%)

0.5 lb Biscuit (2.4%)

0.5 lb Honey Malt (2.4%)

Mash Temperature: 150F for 70 minutes followed by a 15 minute mash out and fly sparge to collect 13.25 gallons.

Specs Breakdown: 

Brewhouse Efficiency: IPA 80.1% (Set to 74%) / Saison 80.8%

Original Gravity:  IPA 1.057 (Target 1.056) / Saison 1.058 (same target)

Final Gravity: IPA 1.008 / Saison 1.004

Attenuation: IPA 85% / Saison 93%

Alcohol: IPA 6.4% / Saison 7.1%

SRM: 4.6

Bitterness: IPA 65 IBUs / Saison 33 IBUs

Note: From this point on these two brews officially went their own way. Therefore, I’ll list the hops and yeast/fermentation information along with  each beer’s tasting notes.



BITS post.001Hops:

1 oz Magnum (11% AA, 34.5 IBUs) @ 60 minutes remaining

0.5 oz  Azacca (10.3% AA, 5.9 IBUs) @ 10 minutes remaining

0.60 El Dorado (12% AA, 4.5 IBUS @ 5 minutes remaining

1 oz Nuggetzilla (15.4% AA, 12 IBUs) @ 15 minute hop stand

0.5 oz Azacca (10.3% AA, 4 IBUs) @ 15 minute hop stand

0.60 El Dorado (12% AA, 4.7 IBUS) @ 15 minute hop stand

Dry Hopping (split between last 5 days of primary fermentation and leaving in the keg):

2 oz Nuggetzilla (15.4% AA)

2 oz Azacca (10.3% AA)

2 oz El Dorado (12% AA)

Water (added to boil):

5.5 grams Gypsum

5 grams Calcium Chloride


Wyeast 1318 London Ale 3  1 smack pack in a 1 liter starter / Fermented at 65-67F for 3 days, 66-68F for 4 days, 67-69F for 2 days, and finally 65-67F for 3 days).

DSC_0420Tasting Notes:

Aroma (9/12): Mostly white grapfruit flesh and pith coupled with a balanced resiny dank   ness. Hints of papaya and peach surfaced as beer warmed. No malt to speak of. Not as overtly juicy as I expected both for this NE style IPA sub-style and from the double dry hopping method that I used (see above). No off aromas.

Appearance (3/3): To “sub-style”. Poured a pale straw in colour with a 1.5 finger white head which lingered as a cap over the top of the beer until I finished this glass. Nice amount of glass lacing. Cloudy body (cloudier on top than towards hte bottom of the glass), but not murky.

Taste: (15/20): Follows the aroma quite well with white grapefruit and hop dankness throughout. As the beer warmed the grapefruit notes faded and peach and papaya were  quite apparent and added a pleasant amount hop juiciness to the beer’s overall flavor profile that at times seemed a bit one-note. Clean bready malt in the finish with hints of honey/biscuit malt sweetness towards the end of the glass. Minimal lingering bitterness. Some hop spiciness left on palate. No off flavors.

Mouthfeel (3/5): Smooth medium body with a medium level of carbonation. Very balanced. Could be a touch more creamy and bitter for this IPA sub-style. Hint hop astringency in finish.

Overall (7/10): While it took a bit longer than I would have liked for this IPA’s hop character to develop in the keg I’m pleased with the final product. In future iterations I’ll aim for a bit more hop complexity, pungency, and bitterness. Because I used  some pecialty malts  that are not normally used in this substyle a simpler grain bill may let the hops shine in the way that I orginally hoped they would. For my first time using Wyeast 1318 London Ale 3 I am quite pleased with its contributions (esters, soft mouthfeel) to the finished beer, but I’ll definitely need to monitor the sulfide to chloride ratio and ph more closely to achieve the results that I look for in a New England style IPA. Lastly, I would like to use hop combo again with my “house IPA strain” aka Wyeast American Ale II.

Score: 37/50

B.I.T.S. Saison

BITS post.002Hops:

1 oz Tettnang (5.3% AA, 16.6 IBUs) @ 60 minutes remaining

1 oz Hallertau Mittelfrüh (4% AA, 4.6 IBUs) @ 10 minutes remaining

1 oz Mandarina Bavaria (7.1% AA, 5.5 IBUs) @ 15 minute hop stand

1.5 oz Saaz (4.3% AA, 5 IBUs) @ 15 minute hop stand

0.5 Hallertau Mittelfrüh (4% AA, 1.6 IBUs) @ 15 minute hop stand

Dry Hopping:

2,5 oz Mandarina Bavaria (6.8% AA) for 5 days in primary fermenter

2 oz Mandarina Bavaria (6.8% AA) added to keg and left outside keezer for one day before being placed in inside and carbonated. Staying in keg.


The Yeast Bay’s Saison Blend II / Fermented at room temperature with intermittent cooling by window AC for 2 weeks

DSC_0599Tasting Notes: 

Aroma (9/12): Mix of orange and lemon citrus notes from both the dry hopping and yeast esters along with some floral notes and phenolic spiciness. Really nice overall balance of hops and yeast, especially for this yeast forward style. No malt character or off aromas, but some booziness surfaced as the beer warmed.

Appearance (3/3): Bright orange to light gold in color with 1.5 finer head which dissipated quickly but left an attractive amount of glass lacing behind. Carbonation streaming up the sides of the glass. Because of the dry hops this beer turned out a touch cloudier than I would have liked, but I couldn’t bring myself to deduct a point for it.

Taste (16/20): Follows the aroma almost seamlessly with the same balance being present throughout. While not as overtly bright and citrusy as other varieties the Mandarina hops add a citrus character that both enhanced and tamed the beer’s yeast character which was quite dominant prior to dry hopping. As a result the saison character (phenolic and herbal spiciness) was present mainly the the finish which lingered on my palate. No off flavors, but a noticeable boozy flavor detracted from my enjoyment at the time of typing these notes.

Mouthfeel (4/5): Serving this beer at 13 PSI was definitely the right decision. While the oats and wheat gave this beer a bit more mouthfeel (medium bodied) than is typical for a saison the added carbonation added drinkability. As in the taste, there boozy note/s weight down on my palate enough to make me take a point off from an otherwise drinkable and smooth beer.

Overall (8/10): At first I hoped this beer would be a showcase for the Yeast Bay’s Saison Blend II. However, due to my fermenting this beer without any temperature control I went in a different direction and chose to aim for a balance of Mandarina Bavaria hops (only my second time using this varietal) and saison yeast. With no off flavors or aromas the only things I’d change with this beer are taking out the oats to lighten the mouthfeel and fermenting the wort/beer in my fermentation fridge to keep the yeast from becoming too dominant.

Score: 40/50



About Barry W

Israel (formerly NJ) based sourdough baker and fermentation enthusiasts sharing his baking, fermenting, cooking, and brewing adventures on thebrewedpalate.com.
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